THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As if they didn’t have enough problems, the winless Kansas City Chiefs now must get ready for the possible return of the greatest running quarterback in NFL history and a slog through all four teams in the rugged NFC East.
Michael Vick, finally eligible to play after serving prison time and a league suspension for his role in a dogfighting ring, might be facing them across the line of scrimmage in Philadelphia on Sunday.
The Chiefs are at least glad they’ve been practising against the wildcat offence the past two weeks, though it was not a factor in losses to Baltimore and Oakland.
"It’s something we’re going to prepare for, but it’s like having a good running back who can throw back there," Chiefs safety Jon McGraw said. "Most teams get in wildcat formation, you think, `Well, OK, here comes a run play.’ But when Vick is back there, it adds that extra element, that he can still throw the ball. With Vick in there, we’ll have to play it honest."
Kevin Kolb, who threw two touchdown passes in Sunday’s 48-22 loss to New Orleans, will start on Sunday if McNabb can’t. Eagles coach Andy Reid said if McNabb is out again this week, the backup will be either Jeff Garcia — or Vick.
"He’s an exciting player to watch," McGraw said. "I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t enjoy watching Michael Vick play."
Linebacker Derrick Johnson will not be surprised to see Vick in the wildcat Sunday.
"You’ve got to have somebody watch him at all times because he’s probably the most talented guy in the league," Johnson said. "He’s not a quarterback who’s just going to stand in there. You’ve got to put a wrinkle or two in there because he has a wrinkle or two."
Johnson also does not believe the long layoff has robbed Vick of his quickness.
"He still has it," he said. "And he’s going to let it out, too, whenever he gets the chance. We’ll have to be ready for whatever they throw."
Whether Vick plays or not, the Eagles will be facing a defence that can’t find a way to win.
In their season opener at Baltimore, the Chiefs gave up 501 yards and lost. On Sunday, they held Oakland to 166 yards and lost again.
So which is the real Chiefs defence?
"The one that played yesterday," said defensive end Glenn Dorsey. "We’ve just got to finish strong. When we’ve really got to have it, we’ve got to get it. We played all right against Oakland but came up short in the end. That’s what’s so frustrating."
Frustrating hardly tells the story for the Chiefs in posting their 25th loss in 27 games. Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell played miserably all day until the final 69-yard drive, capped by Darren McFadden’s five-yard touchdown run with 1:07 left.
Time of possession, usually another reliable indicator of who won and lost, also leaned heavily in Kansas City’s favour. The Chiefs held the ball for 38 minutes, 39 seconds. The Raiders had it 21 minutes, 21 seconds.
"A play here and a play there at certain times in a game," Dorsey said. "You go back and look at it and think, `If I’d done this, we would have won.’ But we were right there. We’re showing improvement and we believe in each other. We’re going to get it turned around."
Nine penalties also aided the Raiders, as did the two interceptions Matt Cassel threw in his Chiefs’ debut.
"We played hard. But a loss is a loss," said Dorsey. "But I see which way we’re going. We’re getting better every week. It’s frustrating, but we’re heading in the right direction."