NFL AM: Denver Broncos Continue The Domination Of Kansas City Chiefs



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Chiefs Find Way To Lose

In a matchup of two supposed Super Bowl contenders in the AFC, the only thing that was evident was that glaring holes that both the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs have at quarterback.

On the field, the Chiefs grasped defeat from the jaws of victory as they turned the ball over five times and had 70 penalty yards en route to a 31-24 loss.

“I’m not quite sure I’d ever been in one quite like that,” Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said. “That was a new one.”

The final nail in the coffin for Kansas City came with around 30 seconds left in the game when the usually sure-handed Jamaal Charles lost his second fumble of the night which Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby picked up and took to the end zone.

“I have to be careful with the ball,” Charles said. “It’s my fault.”

Aside from the final outcome, both teams have to be asking questions about their ability to compete with the very best teams in the NFL.

Although Manning’s final stat-line of 26 for 45, for 256 yards, with three touchdowns and an interception looks solid on paper, his declining arm strength was evident when he tried to throw outside the numbers. Teams will be able to press up on the Denver targets over the middle of the field and force the future Hall of Famer to make throws he simply can not make any longer.

On the Chiefs side, Thursday night’s loss was a confirmation of what many already know.  Alex Smith can’t stretch a defense, and their dink-and-dunk passing game has major limitations.  Furthermore, they are absolutely owned by the Broncos and Peyton.  Manning bettered his record against Kansas City to 14-1, and if the Chiefs can’t beat the Broncos at home, it’s difficult to imagine them getting it done on the road.

With all of the warts that Denver has shown in the first two weeks, the fact is that they’re 2-0 with two wins against pretty good AFC opponents.  Winning ugly is certainly better than the alternative.

Former NFL Official Was Suspicious Of Pats McNally

In the latest turn of “the story that refuses to go away,” Patriots ball boy Jim McNally and locker room attendant John Jastremski were reinstated by the NFL yesterday. 

“Last week, the New England Patriots requested the reinstatement of both John Jastremski and Jim McNally. The Patriots have satisfied the league’s requirements for reinstatement and the league has granted permission for the employees to return,” the team said in a statement about the league’s decision to allow Jastremski and McNally to return.

You didn’t think the story would end there, would you?

In a WTHR (Indianapolis) exclusive, former Star columnist Bob Kravitz interviewed former NFL official Mark Baltz, who wasn’t surprised at all of the alleged shenanigans from McNally.

“He always asked for the footballs way, way before he was supposed to get them,’’ said Baltz, who was an NFL official from 1989-2013. “If he could get them 10 or 15 minutes before he was supposed to get them, instead of the usual two minutes before the game – and there were some crews that let him do that – he would do it. I wouldn’t let him take them early, and I think he eventually figured that out because he stopped asking after a while. I probably did 10 to 15 games up there (in Foxboro, Mass.) and those first few times, he’d always ask. I always thought it was very suspicious. He certainly acted in a suspicious manner.’’

Baltz claims to have reported the McNally to the NFL “six or eight years ago” for the suspicious behavior.

“For an officials’ locker room attendant, I always thought he was an unusual dude,’’ Baltz said. “Most locker room guys, they sit there and if you need something, they got it for you. When you left the locker room, you’d lock the door and they’d stay right there. The other 31 teams, that’s what they would do. That was his job.

“But McNally, he was running all around like a chicken with his head cut off. Asking for the balls early. What I specifically reported him for several years ago, and I thought this was really unusual, he’d run out on the field with the footballs before the game and the next thing you know, he’s playing pitch-and-catch with (Tom) Brady. Then, next thing, he’s on the sidelines right next to (Bill) Belichick, like he’s a (bleeping) assistant coach or something.”

Baltz went on about McNally.

“He (McNally) was always worried about the footalls,’’ Baltz said. “Always. It was very odd. I reported him to the league, but never got any reaction from them. I don’t think they thought it was a big deal at the time. But (McNally) did things that 31 other locker room attendants don’t do.

“I think McNally did his homework and knew which crews he was dealing with and which crews he could get over on. `Are the footballs ready yet? Are the footballs ready.’ I’d tell him, `Yeah, they’re ready, but when we got out on the field, you can have them.’ Obviously, there were a lot of times when he’s gotten them early and had the time to let some air out of the ball, or whatever he was doing with them.

“All I know is, when he got them (the footballs), he would run. He would take off. Whether he was going somewhere and letting air out, I’m definitely suspicious, but I don’t know for sure.’’

When you add up the text messages, the destroying of Tom Brady’s cellphone, the history the Patriots have of cheating and the report by ESPN tallying up their transgressions over the years, it’s becoming tougher and tougher for the most ardent Pats backers to think “everyone is just out to get them because they win.”

9 Finger Discount?

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul spoke out about his condition, after losing his index finger and parts of two other fingers in a fireworks accident back on July 4th in Miami, Florida.

“I can’t think of the last time my index finger got me a sack,” JPP tweeted.

JPP might not remember when his index finger got him a sack, but the fact that he’s only playing with one of them is not going to help his cause to get paid.

The former first-round pick from South Florida reportedly lied about his condition to the Giants medical staff and when he was finally available to be checked out, he looked something like this.  

Pierre-Paul’s teammate, Robert Ayers believes that you don’t need any digits to play defensive end.

“Actually, I don’t need to see it to know he can play with it,” Ayers said. “You know, I think you can play with no fingers at all in my personal opinion. You’ve seen guys play with big casts on their hands, literally, so it’s proven.

“Is it a bonus (to have all your fingers)? Yes it is. But is it impossible to play with no hands?

“So the picture that you guys choose to paint is far from reality just because you guys have a job to do,” Ayers continued. “But I think the heart that he has is what’s going to get him to be able to fight through this. Physically it’s just one thing, but it’s his heart and determination that’ going to get him by.”

It’s unclear whether JPP will play this year for the Giants, but we can almost assure you that he’ll be wearing a different uniform next year.



About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.