Chiefs Notes: First Playoff Game Date Set

The second-seeded Chiefs learned on Tuesday that they would host a second-round playoff game on Sunday, January 11 at noon at Arrowhead.

The visitor will be third-seeded Indianapolis if the Colts defeat No. 6 Denver in the wild-card round, or the Baltimore-Tennessee winner if the Broncos win for the second time in three weeks at Indy.

Top-seeded New England drew the Saturday night prime-time slot.

Quarterback Trent Green, the first player Vermeil acquired upon taking the Chiefs job in 2001, was named winner of the team's Derrick Thomas Award as selected by his teammates Monday.

"Trent is our heart and soul," said defensive end Eric Hicks. "He plays every play, and you're talking about a guy who came back from major, major knee surgery. I think guys have rallied around that.

"Trent doesn't make many mistakes and he gives you a chance to win every Sunday," Hicks added. "That's what you want a leader to do."

After being derided by fans and media in 2001, when he led the NFL in interceptions (24) in his first full season back from a 1999 career-threatening knee injury while with Vermeil's Rams, Green engineered a Kansas City offense that has been the league's most point productive unit over the past two seasons.

This year the Chiefs scored an NFL best 484 points, beating the club record of 467 set just a year ago when they were 8-8. Green played a huge role in that efficiency by completing 63 percent of his 523 passes for 4,039 yards and 24 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions. He was voted into his first Pro Bowl after finishing third among AFC quarterbacks with a 92.6 efficiency rating.

The Chiefs' rookie of the year designation, as represented by the Mack Lee Hill Award, went to two players on a split vote. Second-round draft pick Kawika Mitchell, who started six games at middle linebacker in the absence of Mike Maslowski, and backup defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson, a sixth-round draft pick, shared the honor.

BY THE NUMBERS: 13
Kansas City's current winning streak at Arrowhead Stadium, where they will host a first-round playoff game. 101 -- the average rushing yards given up during KC's current 13-game win streak at home. 188 -- the average rushing yards given up in 12 road games during the streak of current home victories.

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"I know he works hard, and that gets tougher and tougher at his age. But he's a unique 67-year-old. I don't know how many people 67 are in his kind of condition. I think he can do this for three to five more years. He'd probably disagree with me, but we'd love to have him that long."

DE Eric Hicks, who himself will be a free agent at the end of the year, expressing his hope that Dick Vermeil returns for a fourth season with the Chiefs. He and the rest of his Chiefs teammates are glad he decieded to come back for another tour of duty.


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