The only intrigue is whether the Chiefs will keep an undrafted rookie in Litton or veteran Matt McGloin as the third quarterback. Litton has shown enough potential that he’s worth keeping around.
Take the Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill, for instance. With a deep ball-loving gunslinger in Patrick Mahomes installed at quarterback, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound dynamo with 4.24 speed seems primed to build on a sophomore season in which he caught 75 balls for 1,183 yards and seven touchdowns. With another big year, the 24-year-old Hill — a fifth-round pick in 2016 who has already made the Pro Bowl twice — could set up a scenario where he angles for a new deal based off Beckham’s prior to his final season under contract in 2018, where he’s set to make around $720,000.
“He’s going to have to have a monster year to get more than Beckham,” Corry said of Hill, “but from what we’ve seen so far in Kansas City, he’s the go-to guy there, not Sammy Watkins.”
Can the Chiefs’ defense keep up with the offense?
I’m a Chiefs fan. That’s no surprise to anyone who’s followed me. The Chiefs’ defense was embarrassing on Saturday against the Bears. The Bears sat their starters, so common sense said the Chiefs should have dominated the game. That wasn’t close to the case. The pass rush barely touched Bears QB Chase Daniel all afternoon and the secondary got beat often. It was a poor showing for a unit with some question marks.
With the 2018 NFL season just around the corner, our analysts provide their predictions on the major individual awards. Check back later this week for playoff teams and Super Bowl picks.
Coach of the Year
T-8. Andy Reid (1 vote: Schein)
Also worth keeping an eye on: Raheem Morris, assistant head coach, Atlanta Falcons... Leslie Frazier, defensive coordinator, Buffalo Bills… Dave Toub, assistant head coach/special teams coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs…
Not only does that mean putting Trubisky up against DeShaun Watson, who was soaring toward offensive rookie of the year honors before he tore the ACL in his right knee in practice. Mahomes enters the race this season, having been appointed the Chiefs starter three weeks after Nagy took the Bears job.
Saints’ Michael Thomas, Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill and Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. highlight the best wide receivers 25 and under, according to Mike and Peter.
Below is a list of the top 20 highest paid receivers based on annual salary, according to Spotrac.
6. Sammy Watkins, Chiefs, $16 million
According to ESPN’s David Purdum, two-thirds of the bets on the Browns’ win total at Caesars Palace have been on the over of six or more wins. Jay Rood, MGM’s vice president of race and sports, says the Browns have garnered more bets to win the Super Bowl than the Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman
Despite the fact 85 players were selected ahead of him in the 2017 NFL draft, Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt led the league with 1,327 rushing yards last season. Now we’re thinking Freeman could be in line to become the next standout middle-round rookie back.
Watts led the way in snaps in the Chiefs’ first preseason game by a long shot. He got 49 plays and the next highest was 15 plays behind him. To top that off, he earned the highest grade from scouting website Pro Football Focus in the Chiefs’ win against the Atlanta Falcons.
Around the league
NFL Rank, our annual ranking of the top 100 players in the league, is out and sure to spark some debate. We’ve assembled a group of NFL Insiders to audit the list with their takes on who’s underrated, who’s overrated and much more.
Check out the full NFL Rank list from 1-100 here.
The confusion over the rules defining a “catch’ doesn’t help and neither does the negative publicity surrounding bad behavior by some NFL players. Let’s not forget the lingering concern over the link between playing football and neurological problems. Many parents, including me, who played tackle football when they were children are refusing to let their sons and daughters participate in the sport.
Sean McDermott’s squad doesn’t look ready for the regular season. The preseason may be for tinkering, but the Bills have major personnel deficiencies that will be difficult to overcome once the games count.
The Cowboys owner doubled down on that assertion during a radio appearance Tuesday, saying that “it’s probably better physically” for players to play a longer regular season and shorter preseason, and arguing that change would “create a safer game.”
But what the Bears don’t have is a dependable pass rush. The pass rush -- rather, their lack of a pass rush — appears to be the Bears’ biggest weakness, and it’s a weakness that will likely hold them back. While the Bears have some tremendous defensive players in the front-seven like defensive end Akiem Hicks, defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, and linebackers Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith (this year’s first-round pick), they don’t really have a dependable second pass rusher to help Hicks.
But as the preseason winds down without a soap opera breaking out, those are just two stories that stand out amid a host of reasons for hope or headaches, depending on where your allegiance lies.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The Kansas City Chiefs will phase in a new tailgating policy this season, as first reported by Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star.
The skinny: Once the Chiefs’ game begins at Arrowhead Stadium, tailgaters will be asked to either move into the stadium or out of the parking lot.
Bob Sutton has a job for a reason: because over the five seasons he’s been in Kansas City, he’s been running one of the most effective defenses in the NFL
Carrington Harrison and Brad Fanning from 610 Sports Radio held an interview with Mahomes at Arrowhead Stadium on Monday, offering us all a bit more insight into the life of Mahomes.
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