Heat turned up on Pioli in Kansas City

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Heat turned up on Pioli in Kansas City

After the Chiefs 35-17 loss to the Bills on Sunday, Scott Pioli finds himself in the crosshairs of the Kansas City media. Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star empties the chamber on Pioli. It sounds like Babb has an axe to grind about the way he believes Pioli tries to influence opinion by back-channeling information to "opinion makers."Writes Babb: "Pioli is now in his fourth year of trying to justify the hype that earned him accolades in New England, respect within the NFL, and a multi-million-dollar job as a GM. Expectations were unreachable, maybe, but Pioli has done himself no favors by obsessing over trivial details, spending too much time trying to feed his addiction to his own reputation, and engineering a team using the discount football philosophy that has made the Hunt family richer but has gotten the Chiefs only marginally closer to a Super Bowl."Once Babb was done, his Star colleague Sam Mellinger tagged in and dropped a few flying elbows of his own. "Pioli came to Kansas City promising multiple championships and a consistent approach focused on building The Right 53, not necessarily the best 53.
Instead, hes on his second head coach and fifth offensive coordinator, and his four years in Kansas City are known much more for middle-school-type drama than consistency. He came here talking about modeling after the Steelers but created something closer to The Real Housewives of the NFL."When you get blown out in the first two games of the year and you haven't developed a comfortable relationship with the local media, this is the result. And Mellinger and Babb are not without salient points. Or tremendous writing ability (thank God there's still some of that around, right?). But two games in is a bit early to start poking the GM down the plank.

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)