Manning Battling Teammates

This is going to be one of the most highly anticipated games ever in Kansas City Chiefs history on Sunday afternoon against the Indianapolis Colts. Can the Colts put the sideline spat behind them and worry about the task at hand?

On Sunday at the RCA Dome, wide receiver Reggie Wayne and quarterback Peyton Manning were caught by CBS cameras pushing each other on the sidelines. That confrontation escalated to yelling and teammates had to separate the two combatants. Indianapolis is playing it off as nothing, and just calling it a heat of the moment incident.

"I haven't done all the background research of it yet," Colts head coach Tony Dungy said to the Indy Star, "but I don't think it's a big deal. I think it's been put behind us."

Manning threw 39 passes Sunday in the ‘Dome', but only two went to Wayne; the second pass came after the encounter on the sideline. Manning threw nine passes to Marvin Harrison and 10 to Brandon Stokely.

"Probably a microcosm of the whole day," Dungy said. "When you're winning, when you're playing well, those things don't normally happen."

Still there is growing sentiments in the Colts locker room that Manning's ego is out of control. With management rewarding him with a mega contract in the off-season, the Colts find themselves facing an off-season in which they have a dozen starters and back-ups who will be unrestricted free agents in March. Thus this team probably stinging from the Jaguars loss on Sunday understands this might be the Colts last year to be a true contender.

This week there will be lot of pre-game hoopla about two of the NFL's best quarterbacks. Though Manning gets more ink than Trent Green, Sunday's starting quarterbacks are statistically even. Green has thrown for over 1000 yards and six touchdown passes with two interceptions, while Manning has also eclipsed the 1000 yard barrier with seven touchdowns passes and has thrown the same number of interceptions as Green with two.

But what makes this quarterback so good is their ability to distribute the ball to variety of receivers on the field. That also is a testament that each team has a plethora of targets at their disposal.

"I do. I like the concepts better. I like the approach of disrupting wide receivers off the line of scrimmage. I've never liked that from an offensive coach's perspective. I've always appreciated it if we could do it and not let good people run freely from the line of scrimmage." Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil said. "We don't do that often. There are certain coverages that tell us to do it but not on a consistent basis. I think that enhances our chance to defense a good pass offense."

There could be a big milestone passed on Sunday; tight end Tony Gonzalez could surpass the 500-catch plateau. The All-Pro tight end is just six catches away from reaching that milestone. By the end of the season he could very well pass Kellen Winslow for third place on the all-time tight end receiving list.

For the Chiefs Sunday represents a chance two win back to back games. If the Chiefs are going to get back into the AFC race considering they have dug themselves a pretty deep hole; they'll have to defeat a team that they've not beaten since 1985 when Kansas City defeated the Colts 20-7 in Arrowhead. If Kansas City losses on Sunday the streak will reach eight games and that will tie them with division rivals Denver and Oakland in what will be a record they don't want to see.

Still the Chiefs are not going to back down and this is a game that has been marked on their schedule since it came out in April. The players want this game as payback for their embarrassing loss in the playoffs last January.

"Bring 'em on," strong safety Greg Wesley said. "That's my attitude, and I'm sure it's a lot of other guys' attitudes. We know we're improving. If we've got to go on the stage to show it, then that's what we've got to do."

Sunday's game will also be the last of the Chiefs short two game home stand as they hit the road again for consecutive games against NFC North opponents Tampa Bay and New Orleans. After those games the Chiefs will host the New England Patriots for their only Monday Night home game of the season.

Chiefs Notes:
It took twenty years for an offensive lineman to win the AFC Player of the Week honor. On Tuesday the NFL announced that Kansas City Chiefs starting guard Brian Waters was given the AFC's weekly honor as the best player in the conference. Waters was part of an impressive offensive line that set an NFL record with eight rushing touchdowns. Waters who has yet to crack All-Pro status, has quickly become one of the better guards in the NFL. The former unrestricted free agent made his mark this season when he completely dominated Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis back in Week four in Baltimore. Waters along with guard Will Shields are considered the finest tandem in the NFL at their position.

Cornerback William Bartee will start Sunday in place of Dexter McCleon. Though McCleon has been suffering with a shoulder injury that has bothered him since training camp and likely will be available on Sunday, Bartee's performance against the Colts was impressive.

Both starting middle linebacker Monty Beisel and rookie defensive tackle will not play on Sunday. Both are suffering leg injuries and that means linebacker Kawika Mitchell will start in place of Beisel and the Chiefs will move John Browning back inside to play along Lional Dalton and Ryan Sims.


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