In this week’s Blitz, The Star’s Terez Paylor answers five postgame Twitter questions from Chiefs fans.
1. Was the Bills game a turning point or one-time show of gumption? How do we recover from injuries for next week/rest of the season? -@ND622
Hard to say, but it’s a good sign that the Chiefs pulled off a comeback like this. They’ve shown a disturbing tendency to lose games when a key player gets hurt — see the Tennessee game a year ago or the Chicago game this year — but the Chiefs rallied from a 10-0 deficit Sunday after losing Justin Houston. There’s something to be said for that. Speaking of the injuries …
2. What is the play if (Mitch) Morse and (Eric) Fisher can’t go? -@ese_camalone
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The line you saw toward the end of the game — left tackle Donald Stephenson, left guard Jeff Allen, center Zach Fulton, right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and right tackle Jah Reid — could work. If Allen, who battled through an ankle injury the entire second half, can’t go, the Chiefs will need to make a decision on Ben Grubbs — who hasn’t practiced in a long time — and call someone up from the practice squad. Jarrod Pughsley, who had some moments during the preseason, would seem to be a solid candidate as a guard-tackle swing player.
3. Will Justin Houston and/or Dee Ford be able to play against the Raiders? -@annecasa
Way too early to say. Ford didn’t practice all week, and Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Houston has a knee sprain similar to the one he suffered in the wild-card loss to Indianapolis in 2014. Knee sprains are tricky, but there’s typically a two-week recovery time there. Houston was spotted limping out of the locker room Sunday under his own power, so that’s a positive.
4. What prompted more downfield throws last week and today than the rest of Andy Reid’s tenure? -@ColemanKCMO
The coverage. The Bills were playing a lot of single coverage on Jeremy Maclin with only one safety, which is a gamble. If Alex Smith can get him the ball in those situations — like any professional quarterback should — you’re just begging for Maclin to rip it up like he did Sunday.
5. How pivotal is next week’s game? -@JonnySielaff
Huge. The Raiders, 5-6, are no pushovers, and general manager Reggie McKenzie is building a nice squad in the Bay Area. There’s some solid young talent on the Raiders, and they’ll be trying to pull to .500 against a Chiefs team they also beat at home last year. Should be a fun one.
2 Quarterbacks in Chiefs history who have multiple winning streaks of five or more games. With Sunday’s win, Alex Smith — who guided the Chiefs to a 9-0 start in 2013 — joined Hall of Famer Len Dawson, who has four such streaks, in that club.