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What was once just a lackluster early afternoon slate of games is instead a somber three hours headlined by the most depressing game possible. If there’s any consolation, it that at least Chiefs captains reportedly supported the idea of keeping the game as scheduled, even if not all players were on board. Still, it’s preferable to them being browbeaten into playing the game the day after a tragedy because postponing would be too severe an inconvenience or financial burden to the league.


So that Panthers-Chiefs game should be great for gloomy vistas as well as a moment of silence for domestic violence victims. Even though it’s Carolina, should the Chiefs summon the courage to rebound from Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide with a victory, there’s a good chance that Peter King will replace the Colts with the Chiefs as this season’s formulaic Hollywood movie football team. That should make everything better.

Also, in things that are soul-crushing for solely journalistic reasons, the Boston Herald has this headline about Wes Welker’s feelings about playing his former team even though he only played in Miami for three years and has been in New England for twice as long. Also, dolphins and porpoises aren’t the same thing. Lazy headlines for lazy storylines. If I’m not mistaken, I believe that’s a copy editor credo.

Your early game slate, as rated for potential watchability by KSK’s patented four- and sometimes five-star system:

Carolina at Kansas City
Jacksonville at Buffalo *
Seattle at Chicago ***
Minnesota at Green Bay **
Indianapolis at Detroit **
New England at Miami **
Arizona at New York Jets *
San Francisco at St. Louis **
Houston at Tennessee **