“I sense more excitement about this season because of some of the storylines,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told Ourand. “Going into the season, the young quarterbacks were a very good storyline. It’s happening in Kansas City, where Patrick Mahomes is an attractive storyline.”
Two of the biggest practitioners of the college concepts meet Sunday night, when the New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs. Expect a lot of shotgun formations, spread fields, option plays and other college concepts.
The line opened with the Patriots installed as a 3.5 point favorite. Some sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark have brought the line down to a field goal, but there has otherwise not been much movement. The point total is installed at 59, which is the highest in the NFL this season. Given the quality offenses and shaky defenses in play here, it is probably still worth betting the over!
“To me you’re either a good pocket passer or you’re a scramble quarterback and you know, obviously, he does both well,” said linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
The Most Promising Young Passers
Patrick Mahomes II (1,797, second season)
Career Passing Yards Per Game: 299.5
Estimated Games to Break Record: 244 (15.3 seasons)
Estimated Age to Break Record: 38.3
Julian Edelman vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Edelman returned from a four-game suspension and saw a team-high nine targets in a win over the Colts, and he’ll remain a terrific PPR option when the Chiefs come to town. Their defense has allowed 29.3 points per game on the road this season, and slot receivers have averaged 8.8 catches per game to opposing slot receivers.
But even against that backdrop, this year’s Super Bowl race looks particularly wide open, with K.C. sitting nervously as tentative favorites.
In that department, we might gain some additional insight after Sunday night’s Patriots-Chiefs matchup, which rates as the best of the week in terms of matchup quality (as determined by the harmonic mean of the two teams’ Elo ratings in each game):
Who’s the best team in the AFC? Pretty safe to say it’s the Chiefs right now. They’re 5-0, they’re beating quality opponents, and they’re mostly healthy. However, I bet a lot of you fine folks, if you had to choose who would win represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, you’d pick the Patriots, through gritted teeth.
Kansas City Chiefs: ILB Reggie Ragland
In Worthy’s report, head coach Andy Reid mentioned missed time during the exhibition period as a reason for Ragland’s subpar play. The second-year linebacker started 10 games alongside Derrick Johnson last year.
Around the league
Though you likely won’t hear similar complaints from these other players, here are some stars who deserve more help from their teams:
Baltimore Ravens defensive tackles Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce are two of my favorite players in the NFL — a pair of rugged, offensive line-detonating nose tackles. Players like Williamsand Pierce don’t typically get a chance to shine in the spotlight, but they’re leaders of arguably the best defense in the NFL.
Roseman isn’t the only front-office operative burning up the phone lines in advance of the league’s Oct. 30 trade deadline. Let’s examine the top names providing grist for the rumor mill as we reach the height of the hot-stove season:
The fit is natural: Snoop Dogg and the Dawg Pound. But it’s even more natural because the D-O-double-G has now publicly declared affection for almost half the NFL.
Watt and Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt are tied for the NFL lead with six sacks along with Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Geno Atkins.
“My wife gave me crap the one day, told me I need to look more interested out there,” Flacco said, via ESPN.com. “But I’m just trying to stay out of it. I’m not comfortable out there. I don’t need to get too creative.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers coach has been fined $25,000 for criticizing officials, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because the action had yet to be officially announced by the league.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
It’s never good when Kansas City Chiefs head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder takes the podium prior to an Andy Reid press conference, and that’s exactly what we got on Wednesday at Arrowhead Stadium. It turns out that right guard Laurent Durvernay-Tardif and rookie safety Armani Watts will need to undergo surgery for their injuries.
The Kansas City Chiefs have signed outside linebacker Nate Orchard, the team announced on its official Twitter account Wednesday morning.
If they were following the team in the early 2000s under head coach Dick Vermeil, they remember the 2003 season, when the Chiefs had an unstoppable offense coupled with a poor defense. That combination was sufficient to bring the Chiefs to the postseason with a 13-3 record that assured a first-round bye.
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