AFC West: Steve Gregory

Broncos-Patriots matchup of the day

November, 22, 2013
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has long been considered by his peers to be one of the league’s best defensive minds, particularly in how he coaches, and arranges, the players in the secondary.

His defenses understand what quarterbacks want to do in a variety of situations, and they play with discipline, almost no matter who is on the depth chart. But his cornerbacks and safeties in particular have always been well-schooled and able to take the lessons from the classroom on to the field.

The talent in recent years may not rival some of his first teams in New England when he had the likes of Ty Law, Asante Samuel and Rodney Harrison in the secondary, but they often get it done when they need to. Even this season, despite a variety of injuries, the Patriots have succeeded in keeping teams out of the end zone enough to be 7-3.

Sunday, however, the Patriots will face an offense often with four or sometimes five receiving targets in the pattern. The Denver Broncos play with the kind of balance that few, if any, teams can match. After 10 games, they have three players with at least nine touchdown catches and four players with at least 45 receptions (and running back Knowshon Moreno has 37 catches). That is next-level spread-it-around.

How Belichick deploys the players in his battered secondary, and how Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning deals with it, will have a lot to say about how things go Sunday night. Belichick has routinely picked coverage over pressure when facing Manning through the years, even rushing as few as two or three players at times to get as many people in coverage as possible.

But Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib has a hip injury and cornerback Kyle Arrington has a groin injury. Belichick and Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia have matched Talib on an offense’s best receiver at times this season, but if he isn’t 100 percent Sunday and is still in the lineup, it would be a lot to ask of him to trail Demaryius Thomas for an entire game.

Arrington has played as the slot corner when the Patriots are in the nickel (five defensive backs) or dime (six defensive backs) – most teams line up in either when facing the Broncos’ three-wide-receiver look – and that would put him across from Wes Welker much of the time. The Broncos believe they will see both Talib and Arrington in the lineup Sunday night.

Patriots safety Steve Gregory has a fractured finger, did not play in the Patriots’ loss to the Panthers this past Monday night and remains a question mark for Sunday's game. The Patriots will also be without cornerback Alfonzo Dennard against the Broncos because of a knee injury.

It all means Belichick figures to mix and match in coverage with plenty of zone looks. If history holds true, the Patriots will try what several teams have done with the Broncos this season: knocking receivers out of their routes early with plenty of the physical stuff.

The Colts and the Jaguars disrupted the Broncos’ offense some with the tactic, and Denver's receivers will have to be ready to play through it and get themselves in the right spots.

AFC West free-agency assessment

March, 29, 2012
AFC Assessments: East | West | North | South NFC: East | West | North | South

Denver Broncos

Key additions: QB Peyton Manning, CB Tracy Porter, TE Joel Dreessen, TE Jacob Tamme, S Mike Adams, QB Caleb Hanie, WR Andre Caldwell.

Key losses: DT Brodrick Bunkley, WR, Eddie Royal, TE Daniel Fells, QB Tim Tebow, QB Brady Quinn, TE Dante Rosario.

Did they get better? The Broncos added Manning and that move changes the course of the entire division. Denver is instantly the favorite to win the AFC West again because of this addition. Yes, there are risks as the 36-year-old Manning missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury that required several surgeries. Denver is convinced Manning is fully recovered and has been cleared to play.

If the 2012 Manning is anything like the Manning we last saw, Denver will be in good shape and the offense will be dangerous. The key is on defense. It has improved greatly and the Porter and Adams additions should help, even while losing Bunkley will hurt. Overall, this team made huge strides in the offseason.

What’s next: Denver’s biggest need areas are at defensive tackle (the Broncos may need two), running back, safety, receiver and linebacker. However, much of that need is for depth purposes.

Denver’s only true glaring hole is at defensive tackle. Expect the Broncos to use their No. 25 pick on the position. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team’s second-round pick is used on a running back unless the Broncos like one of the remaining veterans on the market.

Kansas City Chiefs

Key additions: CB Stanford Routt, RT Eric Winston, RB Peyton Hillis, TE Kevin Boss, QB Brady Quinn.

Key losses: CB Brandon Carr, QB Kyle Orton, FB Le'Ron McClain, LB Demorrio Williams.

Did they get better? Had it not been for the Manning blockbuster, everybody would be taking about what the Chiefs did. I think the Chiefs’ work in free agency was among the best five in the NFL.

Instead of giving quarterback Matt Cassel serious competition, the Chiefs further committed to him by giving him some strong pieces on offense. Hillis will team with Jamaal Charles to make a dangerous running tandem. Winston is one of the league’s better right tackles and Boss and Tony Moeaki will give opposing defenses fits in double tight end sets. This will be a varied offense that will have many weapons. The Chiefs are solid on defense and Routt is a veteran who is comparable to Carr, but more experienced and is less expensive.

What’s next: The Chiefs could use a nose tackle, help at inside linebacker, secondary depth and offensive line depth. They will get a good player with the 11th pick and I think they will try to solidify the middle of the defensive line with someone like Memphis’ Dontari Poe. If the Chiefs can add an impact defender with that pick, it will complete an outstanding offseason.

Oakland Raiders

Key additions: G Mike Brisiel, CB Ron Bartell, CB Shawntae Spencer, CB Pat Lee.

Key losses: LB Kamerion Wimbley, RB Michael Bush, QB Jason Campbell, CB Stanford Routt, TE Kevin Boss, DT John Henderson, RB Rock Cartwright, WR Chaz Schilens, DE Trevor Scott, CB Chris Johnson.

Did they get better? It’s difficult to argue this team improved. Just look at all the losses. It’s a pure fact of numbers, Oakland lost much more than it brought in. This team has more questions than it did at the end of last season and it has more holes. With limited cap space and the fact Oakland doesn’t pick in the draft until No. 95, the Raiders will have a difficult time adding any more impact players. Depth can be an issue.

I understand why this has happened. The new Oakland regime had to get things in order, and sometimes, before a team can make major steps forward as an organization, it may have to take a step back. There is still a lot of talent in Oakland, but it is clear the other three teams made more impactful additions.

What’s next: Oakland will be challenged to find impact players, but it will need to add depth at several places after finding a starting outside linebacker. Oakland needs depth at linebacker, the secondary, offensive line, running back and at quarterback. I think we will see Oakland be patient and add at spots all the way up into the season.

San Diego Chargers

Key additions: WR Robert Meachem, LB Jarret Johnson, WR Eddie Royal, FB Le’Ron McClain, QB Charlie Whitehurst, S Atari Bigby, TE Dante Rosario, LB Demorrio Williams

Key losses: WR Vincent Jackson, RB Mike Tolbert, G Kris Dielman, S Steve Gregory, QB Billy Volek.

Did they get better? I’ve talked to a lot of scouts who believe the Chargers improved. The truth is they lost two good players in Jackson and Tolbert and so did not improve as much as Denver and Kansas City did. But the Chargers did get creative and added a lot of pieces for the price it would have cost to keep Jackson. They also retained key offensive linemen Nick Hardwick and Jared Gaither. Meachem and Royal give quarterback Philip Rivers some interesting weapons.

Johnson will help the defense and he will make it tougher. The Chargers may have gotten a little deeper while losing some star power.

What’s next: The Chargers still haven’t addressed their greatest need outside of keeping its offensive line intact. San Diego will no doubt use its No. 18 pick on the best available pass-rusher to help Johnson is not a great pass-rusher.

Other needs include a big backup running back, offensive line depth and some more depth in all layers of the defense.

San Diego news and notes

March, 16, 2012
Now we know why the Chargers brought back Charlie Whitehurst.

The San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that the Chargers (who signed safety Atari Bigby on Friday night) cut longtime No. 2 quarterback Billy Volek. Whitehurst will now back up starter Philip Rivers. The paper reported the Chargers saved $750,000 in roster bonus by cutting Volek.

Denver, Kansas City and Oakland are all looking for a backup and the experienced Volek could interest all three.

Two years ago, San Diego traded Whitehurst, then its No. 3 quarterback, to Seattle in a deal that moved the Chargers up 20 spots in the second round of the 2011 draft. San Diego also received a third-round pick last season. Seattle had hoped Whitehurst was their quarterback of the future. Whitehurst started four games, threw 155 passes and had three touchdowns in Seattle.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Chargers signed Bigby, who formerly played for Green Bay and, most recently, Seattle. The six-year veteran has started 35 NFL games. The Chargers would like to draft a safety soon, but Bigby will be in the rotation. He replaces Steve Gregory, who signed with New England.

Meanwhile, San Diego running back Mike Tolbert is visiting another team Saturday and there is strong chance he will sign there. The Chargers could turn to Kansas City’s Jackie Battle as a backup if Tolbert leaves. Tolbert has also visited the Chiefs.
The Broncos’ first foray into free agency wasn’t the big hit they were waiting for, but it does fill a hole in Denver.

The Broncos agreed to a two-year deal with Cleveland safety Mike Adams, who fills Denver’s need for a veteran safety.

Adams has a chance to start for Denver. He played 77 percent of the defensive snaps for the Browns last season. With Brian Dawkins likely not returning -- Denver isn't expected to bring him back if he doesn’t retire -- Adams gives the Broncos much-needed experience at safety.

The team drafted Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter last season. Moore began the season as a starter, but he regressed. By the end of the season, Carter was by far the better player. The team still has hopes for Moore, but Adams offers insurance if either youngster struggles.

In other AFC West safety news:

Steve Gregory, formerly of San Diego, agreed to terms with New England. Gregory was an injury replacement for Bob Sanders last year. Gregory is probably a bit underrated, and his departure will have the Chargers looking for a partner for Eric Weddle early in the upcoming NFL draft.

Alabama’s Mark Barron and Notre Dame’s Harrison Smith are possibilities for the Chargers in the draft.
As the Denver Broncos wait to hear from Peyton Manning, the Tennessee Titans have emerged as a strong competitor for the superstar quarterback.

Manning, who is also considering the Cardinals and Dolphins, is meeting with the Titans’ brass and then he is expected to make a decision on his future. There has been recent chatter that Manning may be swayed to stay in the AFC South and play for the Titans. Wednesday, Manning’s former boss didn’t do anything to end that talk.

Former Indianapolis general manager and current ESPN analyst Bill Polian said on "SportsCenter" that he thinks the Titans are the most logical landing spot for Manning. Polian cited that Manning and his wife, Ashley, have ties to the state. Manning was a legendary quarterback at the University of Tennessee.

So, location could be a big stumbling block for John Elway. This doesn’t mean Manning won’t be a Bronco, but the Titans may have an emotional edge. Whatever happens, I’m sure the Broncos want a resolution so they can proceed with the rest of their free-agency plan, regardless of the outcome of the Manning sweepstakes.

In other AFC West news:

ESPN Boston is reporting key San Diego backup safety Steve Gregory will visit New England on Wednesday. If Gregory gets a starting job, he will likely leave San Diego. Denver has also been linked to Gregory. The Chargers will likely look for help at safety in the draft.

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. believes the Chargers’ re-signing of center Nick Hardwick is a top under-the-radar signing.

Robert Meacham’s deal with the Chargers includes $100,000 in bonuses if he makes the Pro Bowl for each of the next two seasons.

The word is Oakland, Washington and New Orleans may be the early favorites to land Matt Leinart as a backup quarterback. Oakland’s connection is Leinart played for new Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in Houston. The Raiders are looking for a new backup.
Don’t be surprised if the Denver Broncos refrain from adding pricey free agents until they get an answer on where Peyton Manning will sign.

I have gotten the sense that Denver will wait on Manning before making its major decisions. It makes sense, because Denver’s needs and salary-cap availability will depend on what Manning does. If Manning does sign with Denver, several of Manning’s former teammates in Indianapolis, including tight end Dallas Clark, receivers Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez and Pierre Garcon and center Jeff Saturday could be in play, as could others who might fit well with Manning.

This approach, of course, would be a calculated risk for Denver. If Manning goes elsewhere, the Broncos will have to scramble with their non-Manning plan. Because free agency starts Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, Denver could lose out on some targets if the Manning decision takes too long.

But Denver wants Manning so badly — and might like its odds of landing him enough to take that chance.

In other AFC West news:

A frank Mike Tolbert discusses why he likely won’t be signing with the Jets in free agency. The running back’s agent, Joel Turner, said Monday that he and the Chargers are working to try get a deal done with Tolbert before free agency begins. However, there are no guarantees Tolbert will be signed by then.

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that the Texans will not be interested in Manning.

The Texans did cut tackle Eric Winston, who could be among the players both the Chiefs and Chargers look at.

Add Denver to the list of teams that might show interest in San Diego free-agent safety Steve Gregory.

There have been recent indications the Chargers might not be players for Miami defensive tackle Paul Soliai. However, the Chiefs and Broncos may show interest.

San Diego inactives

November, 10, 2011
SAN DIEGO –- The only new injury news for San Diego on Thursday is that safety Steve Gregory was hurt this week in practice and he is inactive. He will be replaced by Paul Oliver against Oakland.

Below are the Chargers’ inactives:

DL Luis Castillo

OG Kris Dielman

WR Malcom Floyd

LB Darryl Gamble

S Steve Gregory

LB Shaun Phillips

WR Bryan Walters

Bob Sanders' body betrays him again

September, 28, 2011
You have to think Bob Sanders' NFL career is over.

[+] EnlargeBob Sanders
Christopher Hanewinckel/US PresswireBob Sanders' NFL career may be over after being put on the injured reserve.
After playing just nine games total in the past three years for the Indianapolis Colts, Sanders' season with the San Diego Chargers ended after two games. Sanders, who missed Sunday’s game against Kansas City, was put on the injured reserve Wednesday because of a knee injury. That means four straight seasons have ended on the injured reserve for the hard-hitting, playmaking safety. He has played just 11 games since the 2007 season when he was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

San Diego general manger A.J. Smith made it clear in a statement that the Sanders’ experiment is over in San Diego.

“All we wished for Bob was good health and hoped to turn him loose to do his thing, which was being one great, physical, highly-competitive player,” Smith said. “It didn’t work out for him or us, and we wish him the very best. He was with us a very short time, but made a positive impact with our team in many ways, and I’ll always appreciate that.”

The Chargers knew they were taking a chance on Sanders and the deal was very team friendly. But they liked Sanders and they wanted him to be a big part of the defense. They expected him and fellow safety Eric Weddle to create a special tandem.

When I spoke to Smith about Sanders, Smith said all Sanders needed was “health.” He didn’t get it. I met Sanders during the summer and he is easy to root for. He said he was due for some good health and he was thrilled to get the chance in San Diego. When healthy this summer, Sanders was fast and he looked good.

But, in the end, his body betrayed him again.

The Chargers, who are getting used to injuries, will use Steve Gregory with Weddle along with some other young players. Gregory is serviceable, but a healthy Sanders could have been special.

Meanwhile, the Chargers brought in another veteran defender. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris replaces Sanders on the roster.

Harris was cut both by Chicago and Indianapolis this year. The Chargers want a veteran to fill the gap in the rotation for the next few weeks. Luis Castillo will be out for several weeks with a broken leg and Jacques Cesaire will be out for several weeks with a knee injury. Rookie defensive wend Corey Liuget missed last week’s game with an ankle injury. He was practicing some Wednesday. Still, it is not known if he can play against the Dolphins. The Chargers will take anything Harris can give him at this point.
This is the eighth in our series of position-by-position rankings. It is a little different this season because we’re ranking the players before free agency starts and before rosters are set. We will adjust accordingly as we go along. On to a stacked group of defensive backs:

1. Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland: This may change. Many league observers expect Asomugha to leave the Raiders when free agency starts. That would be a major hit to this list.

2. Champ Bailey, Denver: Bailey is aging, but he is still an elite-level player.

3. Eric Berry, Kansas City: Berry could be atop this list next year. The second-year safety appears to be a special player.

4. Quentin Jammer, San Diego: The veteran cornerback is underrated. He is a stalwart.

5. Brandon Flowers, Kansas City: He is a favorite of NFL scouts. He is becoming one of the better young cornerbacks in the league.

6. Eric Weddle, San Diego: He is a top safety and a playmaker.

7. Stanford Routt, Oakland: This is a big year for Routt, who just signed a big contract with the Raiders. He’ll be challenged if Asomugha leaves.

8. Antoine Cason, San Diego: Cason is an up-and-coming player. He was very solid is his first season as a starter last year.

9. Brandon Carr, Kansas City: Carr is a strong right cornerback. He and Flowers make a nice tandem.

10. Bob Sanders, San Diego: The new Charger has to show he can stay healthy. If so, he’ll be a great pickup.

11. Tyvon Branch, Oakland: Branch is a good, strong player, but he still has to improve.

12. Michael Huff, Oakland: Huff is decent, not great. He could leave in free agency.

13. Andre Goodman, Denver: He is nearing the end of his career, but he’ll probably start in 2011.

14. Brian Dawkins, Denver: This could be his final season.

15. Steve Gregory, San Diego: He is a solid role player.

16. Kendrick Lewis, Kansas City: Lewis and Berry could be a pair for years.

17. Chris Johnson, Oakland: He could start if Asomugha leaves and the youngsters aren’t ready.

18. Javier Arenas, Kansas City: He could be a good nickel for the long term.

19. Mike Mitchell, Oakland: It’s time for this 2009 second-round pick to make a move.

20. Rahim Moore, Denver: I have a feeling this second-round pick will be ranked much higher next year.

21. Quinton Carter, Denver: The same may be said for Carter.

22. Marcus Gilchrist, San Diego: The second-round pick will get a chance to contribute early.

23. DeMarcus Van Dyke, Oakland: The third-round pick is a speedster.

24. Chimdi Chekwa, Oakland: The fourth-round pick got great experience at Ohio State.
The patient San Diego Chargers stunned the NFL Thursday with their under-the-radar signing of former NFL defensive player of the year Bob Sanders.

Is this an indication that the usually free-agent weary Chargers will go on a spending spree in an attempt to springboard back into the playoffs? The Chargers missed the postseason for the first time in five years last season.

Not so fast, says the man behind the Chargers’ plans. I caught up with San Diego general manager A.J. Smith on Friday. He said the team’s free-agency game plan will not change.

“We’re players in free agency, we just don’t always explore the big-money players and I don’t expect that to change,” Smith said. “We’re not totally against it. There always can be a signed player that we will spend big bucks on. We’re not against not. But that’s a unique situation. Usually, we wait and see what is out here and we are particular. That’s not going to change.”

Smith believes in building through the draft and the Chargers are in good shape this season. The Chargers have five picks in the first three rounds. They have extra picks in the second and third rounds. Smith said he has not decided whether to move up, trade down or stand pat in the first round at No. 18.

“We can do anything, we haven’t decided yet,” Smith said. “But it’s nice to have the five early picks.”

The Chargers have franchised receiver Vincent Jackson and have signed Sanders. It’s a good start to an offseason that is stalled by the extended collective bargaining agreement talks.

Smith is very excited about Sanders and has been a fan since Sanders played at Iowa. The Chargers weren’t mentioned as suitors for Sanders. Buffalo, Jacksonville and the Jets were all in on Sanders before he suddenly signed with the Chargers.

Sanders has played in only nine regular-season games in the past three years. He tore a bicep in Week 1 in 2010. Smith said he is aware that there are no guarantees of Sanders’ health, still the team believes he can be a major addition.

“I’ve always highly regarded him,” Smith said of Sanders said. “I admire his physical play, his intensity, his character, his leadership. There is a package there.”

The Chargers plan to play Sanders at strong safety and have second-year player Darrell Stuckey be his backup. The team wants to re-sign free safety Eric Weddle and have Steve Gregory back him up.
For a team that usually doesn’t wade into unrestricted free agency, the San Diego Chargers made a big splash on Thursday night.

As labor uncertainty threatens to shut down the league for an indefinite amount of time, the usually passive Chargers got a jump on the league by coming to terms with former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders. Sanders, 30, signed a one-year deal.



If healthy, Sanders is a substantial addition to this defense, which was ranked No. 1 in the NFL. However, counting on Sanders’ health is not advisable. Sanders has played in just nine regular-season games for the Colts in the past three years. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. Sanders played in one game in 2010. He was hurt in the season opener with a torn left biceps. He was recently cut by the Colts.

“We are all very excited to add Bob Sanders to our defense,” General Manager A.J. Smith said. “We have always held him in high regard. He’s a smart, physical, instinctive player. His intensity and playmaking ability can make an immediate impact on our defense.”

Sanders, 5-foot-8, 206 pounds, is a tough, tenacious player when healthy. He will give this team toughness. The Chargers clearly hope to pair him with Eric Weddle. However, Weddle could end up being an unrestricted free agent. If he does, he will be very popular on the open market. The Chargers will have to pay to keep him. Weddle’s agent, David Canter, said Thursday night that Sanders’ deal did not impact Weddle’s decision.

“Eric is excited,” Canter said. “This is a tremendous pickup for San Diego. If Eric is in San Diego, he and Bob will make a great safety tandem.”

If Weddle stays, Steve Gregory will likely be the nickel defensive back.

This is a gutsy move by a team that clearly understands that it needs to make some big moves this year to recapture its status as one of the NFL’s better teams. San Diego was 9-7 in 2010 and finished out of the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Obviously, the Chargers know they must become more aggressive.

It will be interesting to see what else this team does once free agency starts. The Chargers have five drafts picks in the first three rounds. An active free agency and a fruitful draft could help make this team elite again.

If Sanders can stay healthy, this was a major first step.

Steve Gregory back with Chargers

November, 6, 2010
As expected, the San Diego Chargers activated safety Steve Gregory.

He returns this week after serving a four-game NFL suspension for using a banned substance. Goodman was tied for the AFC West lead with 30 tackles when he was suspended after Week 4.

San Diego’s pass defense is No. 1 in the NFL, but it gave up 303 passing yards last week against Tennessee, including several big plays. It is not known if Gregory will start Sunday at Houston. But I’d expect to see him play some.

He is a physical force in the secondary. Gregory can also help on special teams, which the Chargers desperately need.

To make room for Gregory, receiver Richard Goodman was released the undrafted rookie is a candidate to return to the practice squad. Goodman is remembered for leaving the ball on the field before he was touched by a New England defender after making his first NFL catch on Oct. 24. The Patriots recovered for a key turnover in a three-point loss for San Diego.

Moving on: San Diego Chargers

November, 1, 2010
Here are some areas the San Diego Chargers need to focus on after a 33-25 home win over the Tennessee Titans:

Recap: The Chargers showed they can win a game by coming back and then hanging on to beat the Titans. San Diego went on a 20-0 run starting late in the second quarter to end a three-game skid. San Diego is 3-5.

Biggest area to fix: big plays allowed in the passing game. The Chargers almost fell out of the game early and then they almost let the Titans come back by allowing way too many big plays in the passing game. That has to stop. It should help that safety Steve Gregory is on his way back from serving a four-game NFL suspension for using a banned substance. But the Chargers need to tighten up in this area against a very explosive Houston team on the horizon.

Biggest area to build on: passing game. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 305 yards despite not having his top four receivers. As long as Rivers -- who has thrown for 2,649 yards, which is the most any quarterback has ever thrown for though eight games -- has tight end Antonio Gates available, he’ll find a way to get it done. These two players have a special connection that sparks the entire team.

What to watch for: San Diego will continue to try to get back in the AFC West race with a road test at Houston. The Chargers are 0-4 on the road this season and have been particularly sloppy away from home.

You pick it responses

October, 8, 2010
The unlikely event that the Kansas City Chiefs are the last remaining unbeaten team in the NFL is the AFC West “you pick it” winner of the week.

The other candidates were San Diego linebacker Shaun Phillips getting four sacks and an interception return for a touchdown in a rout over Arizona and San Diego starting strong safety Steve Gregory being suspended for four games for using a banned substance.

The Chiefs’ story was an easy winner. The 3-0 Chiefs were on a bye last week when the other unbeaten teams, Pittsburgh and Chicago, lost. I agree with the readers. The Chiefs may just be 3-0 but this is a fascinating storyline no one could have predicted a month ago.

Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated:

Brian from Durango, Colo.: The Chiefs are the last undefeated team in the league. and i think they will send a message sunday that they are not a fluke. they have FOUR first round picks in the front seven (hali, D johnson, dorsey and jackson) as well as a first round safety and what should have been a first round corner in flowers. the talent has always been on the defense its just they never had anyone that knew what to do with it and how to do it. Now they do, romeo has done an exceptional job of bringing this unit to respectabillity and no its no fluke. this defense has the athleticism and potential to be one of the best if they continue to improve. special teams is hugely improved with dexter and javier along with the coverage teams. and on offense, we have 2 of the top 10 rushers in the league with a scary slot receiver and a big jumping WR (dbo). its a complete team and we have to think that they should only keep improving do to the time required to really gel and these rookies to really learn the game. the chiefs are for real, they finally found a match made in heaven with the coordinators and it seems the whole organization is being run very efficiently and effectively with promising results and a very promising future.

Matt from Amez, Iowa: Deffinitely the Chiefs. Nobody, and i mean NOBODY predicted them being 3-0. and if they play at the top of their game on Sunday, 4-0 isnt too farfetched

Bryce from Tucson: How can it not be the Chiefs being the last undefeated team? Philips had a big day, but it was against Arizona and Max Hall. Come on. When a team that has won 10 games the previous three years is on top of the standings alone, that has to be the top story.

Bryant from Riversdale, Calif.: The story has to be the utter domination of 95 Shaun Phillips. Four sack, pick six games just don't happened every week for a reason. His performance as speaks in the larger picture how good the D is and still can be. They are number 1 in the NFL currently but because the aren't the Ravens, Steelers, or Jets no on talks about them.

Nick from Washington, DC: I''d have to go with Phillips big game against Arizona for the AFC West story of the week. With Merriman, Tucker, English, and Applewhite out Phillips was able to step up and crush the Cardinals passing attack. This story could even be rolled into perhaps one of the bigger surprises in the AFC, the Chargers #1 ranked defense. Rivera has put together a stellar bunch of mostly unknown's and its looking fantastic.

Andre from Vista, Calif.: Has 2 be SPs big day. It doesn't matter who you're playing to have a day like that in the NFL isn't an easy thing. All this does it build up confidence & momentum!

Bryan from Fort Bragg, N.C..: It has to be the chiefs being the last undefeated team of the year. i mean how many people, experts or fans, would have predicted this honestly before the season started. not only are they the last undefeated team, but they are in the top of the league in defense again and their offense is coming around as evidenced by the blowout against san fransisco. if they knock off the colts this sunday, they will definately deserve top honors on the next espn power rankings. GO CHIEFS!

Chris from Palmdale, Calif.: The big story is definitely the Chiefs being the last undefeated team. Not only is it a huge surprise that they are the last team without a loss this season, but it's a pretty strange turn of events that for the first time since the 70s, they are the last undefeated team with only 3 wins. So far every team in the league has shown their flaws and the Chiefs are only getting stronger. And obviously it's a huge achievement for them to be in the position they are in, considering they have recently finished their seasons with about as many wins as they have now. Bravo to Haley for turning this team around and kudos to the Chiefs organization for allowing for rebuilding the last 2 seasons. I'm excited to see how far they can go with this, even though I'm a Broncos fan

Jesse from Kirksville, Mo.: The story has got to be the Kansas City Chiefs. Sure, they're on their bye week, but they've beaten every team theyve played so far, though they were expected to lose. They finally have found a formula that works, one that involves dividing reps between CHarles and Jones and it is working. Now for the test: the Colts passing game versus the Chiefs running game. Are you ready?

Adam from Nashville: As much as I hate them, the Chiefs being undefeated after all the rest have fallen is the big story. While it is not Randy Moss big, it is still huge and until they lose, they will continue to be a big story. But, I would suspect the 72 Phins will pop the cork within the next two weeks.