Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe records first downs, if not touchdowns

Kansas City Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe kept away from New England Patriots middle linebacker Jerod Mayo during a game on Sept. 29.
Kansas City Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe kept away from New England Patriots middle linebacker Jerod Mayo during a game on Sept. 29. The Kansas City Star

While Chiefs wide receivers have yet to catch a touchdown pass, they have contributed to the team’s ranking second in the NFL in third-down efficiency and sixth in time of possession.

Dwayne Bowe has caught 11 of his 31 passes on third down, and of those 31 receptions, 25 have produced first downs.

“Right now other guys are making plays on third down,” Bowe said of the wide receivers. “They are moving the chains and getting guys in positions to score those touchdowns. As long as I’m contributing then I’m feeling good.”

Bowe, whose last touchdown catch came in the playoff loss at Indianapolis, led the NFL with 15 touchdown receptions in 2010, and said he’s not pressing in an effort to get in the end zone this year.

“You just go out there before every big play, take your time, take a deep breath and just know the ball is going to be where it needs to be,” Bowe said. “I’ve been doing this for eight years, and once I go out there it’s like clockwork. Once they start coming like it was in 2010, they are going to start coming.”

Orton in familiar role

Buffalo quarterback Kyle Orton is the ultimate relief pitcher.

In late November 2011, the Chiefs claimed Orton on waivers after he lost his job to Tim Tebow in Denver, and he led the team to wins in two of the last three games of the season and to within a win of making the playoffs. Orton signed as a free agent with Dallas in 2012 and after two seasons was released and signed with Buffalo last Aug. 30.

Since taking over as Buffalo’s starter in week five, he’s led the Bills to three wins in four starts, with two fourth-quarter comebacks.

“I certainly love being here,” said Orton, who leads the NFL in third-down completion percentage (70.3) and fourth-quarter passer rating (132.5). “Another great organization and they have similarities to Kansas City. I enjoyed (Kansas City). It was a first-class organization. It was nice being back close to Iowa and being back close to my parents. So I really enjoyed my time there.”

Orton, who is in the first season of a two-year contract with Buffalo, gave little thought to re-signing with the Chiefs, who still had Matt Cassel on their roster in 2012. In fact, he didn’t bother finding a place to live while with the team.

“Stayed in a hotel,” he said of his residence in Kansas City.

Sharing return duties

The Chiefs used both Knile Davis and De’Anthony Thomas on kickoff returns last week against the Jets, and special teams coordinator Dave Toub will continue to alternate them.

Davis returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown two weeks ago against St. Louis, and Thomas returned one 78 yards that set up a touchdown last week against the Jets.

“It will be back and forth,” said Toub. “We have designed returns for each guy, and depending on who we play will dictate who we’re going to use and when in different portions of the game. We’re fortunate to have two who can break it at any time.”

Injury report

The Chiefs said cornerback Jamell Fleming and backup linebackers Josh Martin and Jerry Franklin, all with hamstring injuries, did not practice on Thursday.

Buffalo star wide receiver Sammy Watkins sat out practice because of a groin injury, and running back Fred Jackson, who also has a groin injury, was a limited participant.

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to Follow him on Twitter: @randycovitz.