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Monday, December 9, 2013
Upon Further Review: Chiefs Week 14

By Adam Teicher

LANDOVER, Md. -- An examination of four hot issues from the Kansas City Chiefs' 45-10 win over the Washington Redskins:

Marcus Cooper
Cornerback Marcus Cooper had a strong performance Sunday against the Redskins, breaking up three passes.
Scoreboard watching: By winning, the Chiefs could have clinched a playoff spot if either the Miami Dolphins or Baltimore Ravens had lost. The Chiefs' game finished first, so some players were on their phones in the locker room trying to keep up with developments in the other games. Defensive end Tyson Jackson at one point was frustrated with his inability to pull in a reliable score in Miami's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even coach Andy Reid delayed his comments to the media until both games were finished. As it turned out, both the Dolphins and Ravens won, so the Chiefs didn't clinch a playoff spot. But they can do so by beating the Raiders next Sunday in Oakland, regardless of what happens in other games. “We’ve still put ourselves in a great situation," quarterback Alex Smith said. "We can’t get caught up in all that other stuff. That will all take care of itself. We continued to put ourselves in a situation where we control our own destiny."

Frightful weather: Snow was falling as the game began. Later, ice and rain were falling. Two of the Chiefs' three remaining games will be played in California, but they have a Dec. 22 game against the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium that could be played in the frozen elements. They could also have one or more playoffs games in the cold, though their wild-card playoff game is likely to be played indoors in Indianapolis. But Smith said the conditions didn't have much of an impact on Sunday. "I didn’t think so," Smith said. "The first half I thought was great. There at the end of the game, it was getting pretty sloppy. Once the temperature rose, there was rain and ice coming down, but for the first half and third quarter, I thought it was pretty decent."

Cooper rebounds: Rookie Marcus Cooper had a dreadful three-game stretch, last week's loss to Denver in particular. But Cooper bounced back with a strong game on Sunday. He was credited with three passes broken up, including one in the end zone. Cooper left the game at one point with what the Chiefs later called a back contusion, but he returned.

Sack party: After getting just two sacks in their previous five games, the Chiefs dragged down Washington quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins six times. Tamba Hali and Jackson had two sacks apiece. Hali moved into third place on the Chiefs' all-time sack list with 73.5. The leader, Derrick Thomas, is 53 sacks away.