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Chiefs beat writer Brooke Pryor answers Twitter questions

This weekend is going to be a big one for Kansas City.

Yes, the Chiefs are hosting Sunday Night Football at Arrowhead, but even more significant than that, Joe’s is going to be open on a Sunday for the first time. I haven’t been around here long, but I do know this is a big deal. Like the KC equivalent of Chick-fil-A opening on a Sunday.

It just doesn’t happen. Until now.

But, I learned earlier this week, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Chiefs or Mahomes mania.

Here’s what happened: my journalism senses started tingling when I saw Joe’s announcement on Twitter earlier this week.

So I sent a couple emails, inquiring about interviewing a couple people who made the decision to open the restaurant on Sunday because of the Chiefs. I thought it would be a good way to capture the ever-increasing fervor about the Chiefs around the city.

Turns out my premise was a little flawed.

Joe’s will be open Sunday, but it has nothing to do with the Chiefs. The Food Network will be in town to feature one of Joe’s sandwiches on the show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” With their shooting schedule, the only day they could film was Sunday. Joe’s wanted a full dining room for the shoot, so they decided to open the original gas station location from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Mystery solved.

But just because Joe’s isn’t opening because of the Chiefs doesn’t mean you can’t stop by and grab a couple Z-Mans or pounds of burnt ends and brisket for tailgating. It’s a 7:20 p.m. kickoff, which means there’s plenty of time to eat, drink and eat some more.

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Not as many as you’d think. The Bengals are in the bottom of third of the league in rushing yards per game, only averaging about 90 rushing yards each week. Granted, the Bengals were missing RB2 Joe Mixon for a couple weeks while he recovered from a midseason knee surgery. Mixon is back and he’ll be splitting the reps with Giovani Bernard. Bernard didn’t practice on Wednesday with a knee/toe injury. If Bernard isn’t able to go or is limited, the Chiefs’ task of stopping the Bengals’ run game gets a lot easier.

I don’t think it’ll be Patrick Peterson. He’s too expensive for the Chiefs. I think the splashy move was going to be Earl Thomas before his injury, but now that’s out. I tend to think that this regime would look more into getting a bargain guy that they’ve identified as having a major upside (think Jordan Lucas) than an A-lister.

Doesn’t seem like it. Andy Reid said as far as he knows, that’s not the direction they’re going right now.

Externally, yes. But internally? I don’t know how warm it is. The biggest issue for the Chiefs seems to be the tackling, or lack thereof. A lot of times, the players have been in a position to make the tackle, but the opponent slips through their grips like he’s covered in Crisco.

There were also other issues that came to the top of Sunday’s 43-40 loss to the Patriots. Remember Josh Shaw ending up in one-on-one coverage against Rob Gronkowski? The same Josh Shaw who was only signed after the Denver game? It was far from ideal, but it was also one of the only options the Chiefs had.

With so many injuries, Bob Sutton is working with a patchwork group of young guys and recent additions. I’m not willing to turn the heat all the way up on Sutton until I can see what his defense looks like with a full complement of healthy starters.

Do I have to choose? They’re both so good for different reasons. But I’m going with NE clam chowder (please don’t hate me), only because I can eat clam chowder every day. If I ate barbecue every day, I’d royally mess up my digestion. But I had clam chowder three days in a row in Boston and felt wonderful. I also couldn’t wear pants that buttoned when I got back, but I’m sure that’s definitely not related (it’s definitely related).

I think I’d have better luck figuring out the price of tea in China than how to fix the Chiefs middle linebackers. Anthony Hitchens looked great in the season opener against the Chargers, but he feels like he’s regressed in the last couple of weeks. Sometimes he seems to look hesitant, which isn’t exactly what you want in a run stopper. And Reggie Ragland hasn’t looked good at all. I’m going to see his missed tackles in my nightmares. But one thing that I really credit Ragland for having is accountability. He’s been the first person to step up and admit when he needs to be better and make better plays. Now he just needs to put those words into action.

For more on this, look for Blair Kerkhoff’s story coming later this week.

I think so. And I think he’ll start practicing sooner rather than later. I think it’s all about pain management for him right now and he’s waiting until he’s really, truly needed before coming back. I think once he does, he’ll have a limited amount of time that he can play and be effective, so he’s waiting for the right time to come back and be able to make a postseason run. It’s a tough thing to time, but I think he’s going off feel right now, because honestly, I don’t have another explanation.

No joke, I had a dream about this last night. Probably because I read through the Twitter questions right before I went to sleep. Note to self: not doing that again. But I’m pretty sure I decided that I’d rather have fingers for toes. Might be cool to be able to type with my hands and my feet. Definitely would have to wear close-finger shoes though because that would look really, really strange.

Nah, they taste better dipped in ranch or hummus. But mostly ranch.

Brooke Pryor

Brooke Pryor covers the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL for The Star.

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