Countdown to Kickoff

Countdown to Kickoff
FOX Football Gameday Host

Sparks is the Afternoon Drive host on 101 The FOX and an all-around sports FAN that brings years of Gameday coverage experience! Having talked football with the best of the best from Sports Talk Legends to Vegas Odds Makers he will be the MAN to get your SPARK ignited and make sure you're READY for GAMEDAY!

Sparks

FOX Football Gameday Host

Sparks is the Afternoon Drive host on 101 The FOX and an all-around sports FAN that brings years of Gameday coverage experience! Having talked football with the best of the best from Sports Talk Legends to Vegas Odds Makers he will be the MAN to get your SPARK ignited and make sure you’re READY for GAMEDAY!

Kendall Gammon

Countdown to Kickoff Host

Kendall is a 15-year NFL veteran Pro-Bowl Long Snapper known for his years of broadcasting with 101 The Fox on Gameday. Kendall and the team will discuss what happened, what’s next and what to expect with special guests and expert analysis from around the league as we get ready for kickoff.

Dani Welniak

KCTV5 News Sports Anchor

Dani Welniak is a former pro footballer herself sporting her own Women’s Championship Super Bowl ring. Her experience on the field gives her a strong understanding of gameday strategy. Listen every week as she breaks down the defense and what KC must do to contain the opponents offense.

BJ Kissel

NFL Insider

Every gameday we will check in with Local Sports Expert BJ Kissel to discuss Who’s Hot, Who’s Not, and go in depth about what the Kansas City Offense and Special Teams need to do on gameday. Check out his KC Sports Network Podcast for more weekly updates!

Steve Gorman

Rock N Roll Reporter

Every week we will catch up with Former Fox Sports guest broadcaster and Black Crowes Rock N Roll drummer to make their picks for the biggest games of the week.

2021 Schedule
PRESEASON
W 19 – 168/20at San Francisco 49ers7:30pmKSHB
W 17 – 108/20at Arizona Cardinals7:00pmESPN
W 28 – 258/27vs Minnesota Vikings7:00pmKSHB
REGULAR SEASON
Week 19/12vs Cleveland Browns                       3:25pm                 CBS
Week 29/19at Baltimore Ravens                         7:20pm                    NBC
Week 39/26vs Los Angeles Chargers                  Noon                    CBS
Week 410/3at Philadelphia Eagles                       Noon                       CBS
Week 510/10vs Buffalo Bills                                   7:20pm                 NBC
Week 610/17at Washington Football Team            Noon                       CBS
Week 710/24at Tennessee Titans                           Noon                       CBS
Week 811/1vs New York Giants                            7:15pm                 ESPN
Week 911/7vs Green Bay Packers                       3:25pm                  FOX
Week 1011/14at Las Vegas Raiders                         7:20pm                     NBC
Week 1111/21vs Dallas Cowboys                             3:25pm                  FOX
Week 12///BYE WEEK                                            ///                            ///
Week 1312/5vs Denver Broncos                             Noon                      CBS
Week 1412/12vs Las Vegas Raiders                         Noon                      CBS
Week 1512/16at Los Angeles Chargers                    7:20pm        FOX/NFLN/AMAZON
Week 1612/26vs Pittsburgh Steelers                        3:25pm                  CBS
Week 171/2at Cincinnati Bengals                           Noon                       CBS
Week 181/9at Denver Broncos                             3:25pm                      CBS

Local Coverage

TUNE IN ON GAMEDAY

Join us on Gameday for team coverage on Fox Football Gameday with a 3 Hour Pre-Game Broadcast hosted by Fox afternoon Drive Host Sparks. Get all the News around the league, updates on College Sports, Fantasy Football and more! All leading up the the Countdown to Kickoff with with our Gameday experts Kendall Gammon, Dani Welniak, and BJ Kissel!

101 THE FOX FOOTBALL GAMEDAY

RED REPORTS

101 The FOX Slacker morning Show 

Listen to the Slacker Morning show every week at 7:30am as we check in with BJ Kissel for a FRIDAY RED REPORT to get Teed UP for GAMEDAY! Then get the recap of the previous game every Monday with the Fox Football Gameday Wrap-up. PLUS get Slacker’s FOX Fantasy Football Update on Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30am with Fantasy Football Guru Adam Copeland.

POSTGAME COVERAGE

CHIEFS NEWS

Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu (concussion) ‘feels good’

Kansas City safety Tyrann Mathieu remains in the concussion protocol but felt good Monday morning, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

Mathieu suffered a head injury in the first quarter Sunday and was ruled out for the rest of the AFC divisional round victory over the visiting Buffalo Bills.

“He’s still in the protocol and going through it, but he feels good. We’ll see how that goes moving forward,” Reid said.

Mathieu was injured when he took an accidental knee to the head from teammate Jarran Reed. Mathieu played just seven snaps.

Daniel Sorensen took over for Mathieu and had nine tackles in the win over the Bills. He played 92 percent of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps.

Mathieu is a three-time Pro Bowler, including in 2021, and a three-time first-team All-Pro selection. He played in 16 games (all starts) in the regular season and grabbed three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, along with three fumble recoveries and 76 tackles.

Kansas City also is releasing receiver Josh Gordon (five catches in 12 games) and hopes to sign him to the practice squad. Reid said the team is activating defensive tackle Khalen Saunders (knee) off injured reserve as his 21-day window expired.

The Chiefs are preparing to host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in the AFC Championship game.

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs outlast Josh Allen-led Bills in OT thriller

Patrick Mahomes passed for 378 yards and rushed for 69 Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs advanced to their fourth straight AFC championship game, outlasting the Buffalo Bills 42-36 at Kansas City, Mo.

Mahomes completed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce on the first possession of overtime, which prevented the Bills from ever getting a chance in the extra session.

Kansas City claimed its 11th win in 12 games but will host the AFC championship game next Sunday against the one opponent that beat the Chiefs during that stretch, the Cincinnati Bengals.

The teams each scored twice inside the final two minutes of regulation, generating 25 points during that span. Kansas City forced overtime on a 49-yard field goal by Harrison Butker as time expired.

Before that, Josh Allen fired touchdown strikes of 27 and 19 yards to Gabriel Davis, the last coming with 13 seconds remaining. Mahomes responded to the first score by hitting Tyreek Hill with a 64-yard TD strike before finding Hill for 19 yards and Kelce for 25 to set up Butker.

Allen played brilliantly, connecting with Davis for four touchdowns, while finishing with 329 yards passing and 68 yards rushing. Davis caught eight passes for 201 yards.

Mahomes finished 33 of 44, with 11 strikes to Hill for 150 yards.

Allen engineered a 75-yard march in 75 seconds, firing an 18-yard touchdown pass to Davis with 37 seconds remaining to forge a 14-14 halftime tie. Buffalo also scored on its first drive, converting two fourth downs, including a 1-yard touchdown rush by Devin Singletary.

Mahomes engineered touchdown drives of 11 and 12 plays in the first half. He rushed for 49 yards on the first series, including an 8-yard score, and found Byron Pringle for a 2-yard TD pass with 1:52 remaining in the second quarter.

For the half, Mahomes totaled 163 yards and Allen 158, with no turnovers.

A 50-yard field-goal attempt by Butker in the first half sailed wide right.

Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu (concussion) won’t return vs. Bills

Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu suffered a head injury in the first quarter Sunday and was ruled out for the rest of the AFC divisional round game against the visiting Buffalo Bills.

Mathieu appeared to collide with the leg of a teammate attempting to make a tackle and was taken to the locker room to be examined by an independent physician. The Chiefs later announced he had entered concussion protocol.

Mathieu is a three-time Pro Bowler, including in 2021, and a three-time first-team All-Pro selection. He played in 16 games (all starts) in the regular season and grabbed three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, along with three fumble recoveries and 76 tackles.

The Bills used two fourth-down conversions to score a touchdown on that first possession before the Chiefs responded with a TD drive for a 7-7 tie after one quarter.

RB Darrel Williams, CB Rashad Fenton inactive for Chiefs vs. Bills

Running back Darrel Williams and cornerback Rashad Fenton are among the Kansas City Chiefs’ inactives for Sunday night’s home playoff game against the Buffalo Bills.

Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (shoulder) was active for Kansas City after missing the final two games of the regular season and last week’s wild-card victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Williams (toe) missed two practices this week before being a limited participant on Friday. Williams ran for a team-high 558 yards with six touchdowns while playing in all 17 regular-season games.

Edwards-Helaire played in just 10 games but rushed for 517 yards and four touchdowns.

Fenton (back) didn’t practice all week. Fenton had 49 tackles in 14 regular-season contests.

Backup running back Matt Breida is one of Buffalo’s inactives. He had 125 yards on 26 regular-season carries.

NFL NEWS

Eagles’ Pro Bowl G Brandon Brooks announces retirement

Three-time Pro Bowl guard and Super Bowl LII champion Brandon Brooks of the Philadelphia Eagles announced his retirement Wednesday after two injury-marred seasons.

Brooks, 32, missed the entire 2020 season with a torn Achilles tendon and played only two games in 2021 before landing on injured reserve with a pectoral strain.

“How do you say goodbye to something you’ve known your whole life,” Brooks said. “Something that taught you triumph, pain, success, failure, perseverance, love, empathy and altruism. I don’t know, but I’ll try my best. Yes, after 10 years in this game, it’s true I am retiring.”

Brooks played his first four seasons (2012-15) with the Houston Texans, who drafted him in the third round in 2012 out of Miami (Ohio).

He signed a five-year, $40 million deal with Philadelphia in free agency in March 2016. He signed a four-year, $54.2 million extension in November 2019.

Brooks made the Pro Bowl in three straight seasons with the Eagles from 2017-19 and finished his career with 114 games played (108 starts).

“I attacked my rehab with intensity and passion — I always do — but making it back this season just wasn’t in the cards,” he said. “It didn’t end the way I would have like it, but to me it’s never about the ending. It’s about the journey. I was fortunate enough to go on this journey with a group of brothers, not teammates but family.”

Bucs’ Rob Gronkowski yet to decide about 2022 season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski said if he had to make an immediate decision about his football future, he’d walk away from the game again.

“If they’re like, ‘Rob, you’ve got to decide right now, right this second if you’re playing next year,’ I would say no right now,” Gronkowski, 32, told TMZ Sports. “I would be like, ‘No, I’m not playing.'”

At age 29, Gronkowski retired after nine seasons and three Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots. He was lured back into the game by the appeal of playing again with Tom Brady when the legendary Patriots quarterback joined the Buccaneers before the 2020 season.

The two won a fourth Super Bowl together last year but fell short of the goal this season, losing to the Los Angeles Rams 30-27 on Sunday in the NFC divisional playoffs.

He acknowledged he could change his mind before the 2022 season. He told TMZ Sports that he has to get both his body and mind in sync before committing to return for a 12th NFL season.

“I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are from there,” Gronkowski said. “Just let things settle down — got to just heal a little bit. Fix all the bumps and bruises.”

He missed five games this season with multiple rib fractures and a punctured lung.

After the loss to the Rams, Brady said he will consult with his family and take time to decide whether to return for a 23rd season in which he’d be 45. Gronkowski said Brady’s decision will impact his.

“It will factor into the situation,” Gronkowski said. “He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do for himself and his family, no doubt about that. But then for myself, I gotta do what I gotta do, ya know, what’s best for myself, see where I’m at, how I’m feeling — all that type of stuff.”

In two seasons in Tampa, Gronkowski caught 100 passes for 1,425 yards and 13 touchdowns in 28 games.

In 143 career games, Gronkowski has 621 receptions for 9,286 yards with 92 touchdowns. He has been selected as a first-team All-Pro four times and ranks third all-time in TDs among tight ends.

NFL divisional playoffs draw record TV ratings

The NFL’s divisional playoffs delivered great drama and record TV ratings last weekend.

The divisional-round games averaged 38.2 million viewers — the highest average for the round on record — the league announced on Tuesday. That viewership marked a 21 percent increase from last season.

Saturday night’s San Francisco-Green Bay Packers NFC game on Fox, a 13-10 49ers win decided by Robbie Gould’s 45-yard field goal on the game’s final play, drew 36.9 million viewers. The game was the most-watched TV show on a Saturday night in 28 years, dating to the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ dramatic 42-36 overtime AFC win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night on CBS drew an average 42.7 million viewers. It was the most-watched divisional playoff game in five years, with viewership peaking at 51.7 million viewers at the thrilling finish.

The Los Angeles Rams’ 30-27 NFC victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday on NBC drew 38.1 million viewers. It was the network’s most-watched game since in 2006, excluding Super Bowls.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ 19-16 AFC win over the Tennessee Titans, decided by Evan McPherson’s 52-yard field goal as time expired, Saturday on CBS averaged 30.8 million viewers.

Giants conduct second interview with Bills OC Brian Daboll

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll had a second interview for the New York Giants’ vacant head coaching position, the Giants said Tuesday.

Daboll is the first candidate that far along in the process for New York. The Giants have conducted initial interviews with Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.

The Giants said Daboll spent the day at their training center in East Rutherford, N.J., after they previously interviewed him via videoconference while the Bills were still alive in the NFL playoffs.

The Bills were eliminated in a 42-36 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.

Daboll, 46, has been Buffalo’s offensive coordinator since 2018. In 2021, the Bills ranked third in the league in scoring offense (28.4 points per game) and fifth in total offense (381.9 yards per game).

The Giants last week hired former Buffalo assistant general manager Joe Schoen as their new general manager, replacing the retired Dave Gettleman.

CHIEFS NEWS

NFL NEWS

Eagles’ Pro Bowl G Brandon Brooks announces retirement

Three-time Pro Bowl guard and Super Bowl LII champion Brandon Brooks of the Philadelphia Eagles announced his retirement Wednesday after two injury-marred seasons.

Brooks, 32, missed the entire 2020 season with a torn Achilles tendon and played only two games in 2021 before landing on injured reserve with a pectoral strain.

“How do you say goodbye to something you’ve known your whole life,” Brooks said. “Something that taught you triumph, pain, success, failure, perseverance, love, empathy and altruism. I don’t know, but I’ll try my best. Yes, after 10 years in this game, it’s true I am retiring.”

Brooks played his first four seasons (2012-15) with the Houston Texans, who drafted him in the third round in 2012 out of Miami (Ohio).

He signed a five-year, $40 million deal with Philadelphia in free agency in March 2016. He signed a four-year, $54.2 million extension in November 2019.

Brooks made the Pro Bowl in three straight seasons with the Eagles from 2017-19 and finished his career with 114 games played (108 starts).

“I attacked my rehab with intensity and passion — I always do — but making it back this season just wasn’t in the cards,” he said. “It didn’t end the way I would have like it, but to me it’s never about the ending. It’s about the journey. I was fortunate enough to go on this journey with a group of brothers, not teammates but family.”

Bucs’ Rob Gronkowski yet to decide about 2022 season

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski said if he had to make an immediate decision about his football future, he’d walk away from the game again.

“If they’re like, ‘Rob, you’ve got to decide right now, right this second if you’re playing next year,’ I would say no right now,” Gronkowski, 32, told TMZ Sports. “I would be like, ‘No, I’m not playing.'”

At age 29, Gronkowski retired after nine seasons and three Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots. He was lured back into the game by the appeal of playing again with Tom Brady when the legendary Patriots quarterback joined the Buccaneers before the 2020 season.

The two won a fourth Super Bowl together last year but fell short of the goal this season, losing to the Los Angeles Rams 30-27 on Sunday in the NFC divisional playoffs.

He acknowledged he could change his mind before the 2022 season. He told TMZ Sports that he has to get both his body and mind in sync before committing to return for a 12th NFL season.

“I just want to heal completely, see where my thoughts are from there,” Gronkowski said. “Just let things settle down — got to just heal a little bit. Fix all the bumps and bruises.”

He missed five games this season with multiple rib fractures and a punctured lung.

After the loss to the Rams, Brady said he will consult with his family and take time to decide whether to return for a 23rd season in which he’d be 45. Gronkowski said Brady’s decision will impact his.

“It will factor into the situation,” Gronkowski said. “He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do for himself and his family, no doubt about that. But then for myself, I gotta do what I gotta do, ya know, what’s best for myself, see where I’m at, how I’m feeling — all that type of stuff.”

In two seasons in Tampa, Gronkowski caught 100 passes for 1,425 yards and 13 touchdowns in 28 games.

In 143 career games, Gronkowski has 621 receptions for 9,286 yards with 92 touchdowns. He has been selected as a first-team All-Pro four times and ranks third all-time in TDs among tight ends.

NFL divisional playoffs draw record TV ratings

The NFL’s divisional playoffs delivered great drama and record TV ratings last weekend.

The divisional-round games averaged 38.2 million viewers — the highest average for the round on record — the league announced on Tuesday. That viewership marked a 21 percent increase from last season.

Saturday night’s San Francisco-Green Bay Packers NFC game on Fox, a 13-10 49ers win decided by Robbie Gould’s 45-yard field goal on the game’s final play, drew 36.9 million viewers. The game was the most-watched TV show on a Saturday night in 28 years, dating to the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ dramatic 42-36 overtime AFC win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night on CBS drew an average 42.7 million viewers. It was the most-watched divisional playoff game in five years, with viewership peaking at 51.7 million viewers at the thrilling finish.

The Los Angeles Rams’ 30-27 NFC victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday on NBC drew 38.1 million viewers. It was the network’s most-watched game since in 2006, excluding Super Bowls.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ 19-16 AFC win over the Tennessee Titans, decided by Evan McPherson’s 52-yard field goal as time expired, Saturday on CBS averaged 30.8 million viewers.

Giants conduct second interview with Bills OC Brian Daboll

Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll had a second interview for the New York Giants’ vacant head coaching position, the Giants said Tuesday.

Daboll is the first candidate that far along in the process for New York. The Giants have conducted initial interviews with Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.

The Giants said Daboll spent the day at their training center in East Rutherford, N.J., after they previously interviewed him via videoconference while the Bills were still alive in the NFL playoffs.

The Bills were eliminated in a 42-36 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.

Daboll, 46, has been Buffalo’s offensive coordinator since 2018. In 2021, the Bills ranked third in the league in scoring offense (28.4 points per game) and fifth in total offense (381.9 yards per game).

The Giants last week hired former Buffalo assistant general manager Joe Schoen as their new general manager, replacing the retired Dave Gettleman.