Patrick Mahomes is projected for a big playoff debut. The Kansas City quarterback is listed as the favorite to lead all divisional round passers in yards, per BetOnline, though Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is a close second among the eight starters this weekend.
With regard to the leading NFL MVP candidate, Kingsbury said, “He’s a guy who loves the bright lights on him, and I expect him to play his best football.”
Over the past 48 years, the Chiefs are 4-16 in the postseason, and that record is inextricably linked to a streak of horrifically bad kicking luck in the playoffs, a streak which is now working on its third generation and shows no signs of abating. Other teams have struggled to find reliable kickers for years at a time, but only the Chiefs have employed competent, and occasionally elite, kickers who inexplicably lose their touch come playoff time. (Don’t worry, Vikings fans, your petition for inclusion is under consideration.)
The Athletic polled 85 defensive players from 25 different teams on a number of different topics. The players were all asked this question: “Which quarterback would you least like to face in a big game?” Of the 85 players, 81 answered.
An overwhelming 52 percent picked Tom Brady. Of the 81 players answering the question. 42 picked Brady.
In second place was Aaron Rodgers, all the way down at 32 percent, or 26 out of 81 players.
Drew Brees (six votes) and Patrick Mahomes (number not specified) also received votes.
One of the biggest tension points in this game will come with Andrew Luck drops to pass on second- or third-and-long. The Chiefs could find equal advantages on offense, though. They are second in passing marginal efficiency, and Indy’s defense is 31st. They are one of only two offenses better than Indy’s on passing downs, and the Colts’ defense is even less efficient than KC’s.
Like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Jared Goff and other players on teams that earned byes in the first round of the NFL playoffs, Mahomes is subject to Article 37 of the collective bargaining agreement. Article 37 dictates compensation rules for postseason play, which says players on the 53-man roster are only paid if their team appears in a playoff game. The underlying logic is that if a playoff team doesn’t appear in a playoff game, its players shouldn’t be paid. The leading counter argument is that players on teams with byes still spend considerable time preparing for the divisional round of the playoffs. And, as mentioned above, their practice squad teammates are paid.
Known for clean eating, Ford purposely added the tropical fruit to his pregame snacks that weekend because coconuts provide extra hydration. And because he read Tom Brady’s book recently and the New England quarterback recommended them.
“He’s very big on coconuts, too,” Ford said. “Coconuts, not coconut water. It’s different.”
Earl Thomas, S
Dark-Horse Destination: Kansas City Chiefs
Call Thomas the insta-fix. Few safeties of this era have seen the field the way he does, hence 28 career interceptions and at least five passes defensed in every season; at one point he recorded 10 passes defensed in an 11-game season. Numbers don’t do justice to Thomas’ value or impact, but they certainly don’t hurt.
Kansas City Chiefs: Cornerback
The Pick: Byron Murphy, Washington
Kansas City allowed an average of 273.4 yards passing per game in the regular season, second-most in the NFL.
This is why it’s important the Chiefs target a cornerback early in the draft. LSU’s Greedy Williams is trending as the top corner in the draft—he’s No. 1 on Miller’s board—and he’s unlikely to fall to the bottom of Round 1.
Take quarterback Jared Goff’s game-winning touchdown pass from the Rams’ thrilling 54-51 win over the Chiefs in Week 11. Facing a first-and-10 from Kansas City’s 40-yard line, Los Angeles came out in a shotgun formation that resembled most of the sets it uses. Wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Josh Reynolds were both aligned in a tight stack to the left, with Woods alone in the slot on the right. But there was a twist. Rather than setting up camp near one of the offensive tackles, tight end Everett split wide right as a receiver.
Around the league
“There’s not much we can do right now; we have time to make a decision,” Rooney said, via Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette. “We’ll look at all the options. We’re not going to release him, that’s not on the table. But I will say all other options are on the table.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, the Bengals are likely to become the next team to poach an assistant off the Sean McVay coaching tree by picking Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor to replace Marvin Lewis, who finally stepped down after 16 seasons without a playoff win. Schefter and Mortensen reported on Thursday that the Bengals want to hire Taylor when the Rams’ season comes to a close.
Rose kicked in two games for the Chargers at the end of the 2017 season, making 1 of 3 field goals and 5 of 6 extra points. Rose had touchbacks on 8 of his 9 kickoffs for the Bolts last season.
He also played in eight games for the Redskins as an injury replacement for Dustin Hopkins.
“That game has helped us become the team we are today,” Foles told reporters Wednesday, via the Eagles’ official website. “Going through that, that’s not easy as a team to lose like that. But, it’s like I said, there’s never pointing fingers. It actually brought us closer. It can separate a team or it can bring a team closer, and it brought us closer.”
He has always played and acted like a Patriot, starting in grade school with his first demanding coach. Tyrone White helped prepare his younger son for Bill Belichick, and that’s a chief reason why a dynasty in decline still has a credible chance to win the whole thing.
Reid and his attorneys assert that after reading the contents of the NFL/NFLPA report, they reject its findings that there was no evidence he was targeted for drug testing. They claim that some of the dates the NFL used in its report are incorrect and asked for a public correction as soon as possible.
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Reid on Sammy Watkins: “He’s done a nice job. He’s had good work all three days and has looked pretty good ... We’ll see how he finishes up [Thursday] and see how he feels.”
With a lot on the line for both teams, let’s check in with the Arrowhead Pride staff for game predictions:
Without Watkins, it seems only natural to trust Robinson to play a larger role than Conley — and that might even remain true if Watkins comes back. Robinson adds a level of dynamic playmaking that Conley has been unable to provide this season, making Williams a bigger x-factor during the playoff push.
Outside of Hilton, the Colts’ biggest pass-catching threat is former Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron. The Colts make him an even bigger focal point in the red zone, running rub routes to get him open, and forcing safeties covering him to sort through the trash.
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