While it’s likely he only intended to praise Mahomes, his upcoming opponent in Sunday’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s likely to be viewed by many as a slight to teammate Myles Garrett, who was the actual No. 1 pick by the Browns in 2017.
Most Valuable Player
1. Patrick Mahomes (10 votes: Battista, Bush, Carr, Chadiha, Hanzus, Harrison, Jeremiah, Rank, Schein, Shook)
If statistics are the criteria for determining the NFL’s best receiver, Hill wouldn’t qualify. He isn’t in the top five in catches (44), yards (705) or yards per catch (16.0), though he is tied for second in receiving touchdowns (seven).
CHIEFS: 12.8 wins
Current record: 7-1. Projected playoff percentage: 99.9.
If they can hold their current pace, the Chiefs will produce the highest rates of offensive diversity and combined efficiency at the running back, tight end and wide receiver positions in my model’s history. So far, Kansas City has been able to outpace its defensive inefficiencies. The Chiefs’ defense has given up the most big plays per game (9.3), and it’s possible that this ineffectiveness, by forcing Patrick Mahomes to learn more offensive plays in high-pressure situations, helped accelerate his learning curve.
Current Record Holder: Peyton Manning (55, 2013)
2018 Contender: Patrick Mahomes II (26, on pace for 52)
AFL Super Bowl ‘champs’:
The Chiefs and Jets represented the AFL in three of those “Super Bowls,” with New York winning a landmark affair by shocking the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, and Kansas City crushing the Vikings the next year. Yet neither the Jets nor Chiefs have ever returned to the Super stage.
With Garrett’s comments effectively in the rearview mirror, the Browns have a larger task on hand leading to Sunday.
Williams, who will retain his responsibilities as defensive coordinator, now has to devise a plan to slow down the Chiefs, owners of the league’s third-ranked offense and No. 1 scoring offense.
In the Chiefs’ 30-23 win over the Broncos on Sunday, running back Kareem Hunt went airborne again, hurdling a Denver defensive player. It was the third time this season that Hunt had leaped over an opponent.
Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who is Jewish, added his condolences on Wednesday, the first opportunity Chiefs players had to speak publicly since Sunday’s game.
“It’s always such a sad situation anytime there is violence and people are dying or getting hurt,” Schwartz said. “This one hits a little more close to home for me, being in the Jewish community. It’s just sad to see. It seems like these things are more prevalent these days.”
Around the league
The NFL trade deadline saw considerable action as two wide receivers, a running back, a safety, and an edge rusher were dealt on Tuesday.
The MMQB polled five team scouts who all agreed that there isn’t a stud receiver in the 2019 class, a second straight down year at the position. One evaluator (who doesn’t work for the Cowboys) believes the trade made sense because none of the draft’s receivers measure up to Cooper.
Playing defense is harder than ever due to numerous factors, including offense-friendly rule changes, innovative offenses and rocket-armed quarterbacks. However, a few teams still have solid defenses.
The Raiders made players available just before Tuesday afternoon’s trading deadline. Derek Carr and Greg Olson spoke at the podium before most reporters entered for an open locker room period. The place was a ghost town.
“We just got back a few hours ago, so we’ll kind or recalibrate here and see where we’re at relative to who’s available and how we want to structure our game plan and what we want to do there,” Belichick said, via NBC Sports Boston. “That’s one of the things we’re going through (Tuesday). But it’s a consideration, and I’d say it’s a concern.”
Yes, it is quite the story. But look around the NFL and you’ll find that Mr. Mankato is but the lead chapter being written by Division II players on NFL teams with winning records.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
This morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport put this tweet out into the Twittersphere:
Going into his second season, Ford was still a backup but showed some improvement to his pass-rush technique. He was still not playing with good strength, base or a variety of pass rush techniques but his bread and butter explosion off the line of scrimmage was starting to connect at the NFL level.
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