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Arrowheadlines: The biggest area of concern for Chiefs ahead of NFL playoffs

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Chiefs headlines for Thursday, January 3.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

NFL Playoffs: Strength, area of concern for each AFC team | NFL

Area of concern: A full season of game tape on Patrick Mahomes now exists.It’s easy to point out that the Chiefs’ defense gives up the most first downs in the league (26.2 per game) and then talk about the leaky middle-of-the-field pass defense or rushing vulnerability. However, a bigger concern might be that defensive coaches now have 17 games (16 this season and one from 2017) of film on Mahomes. I’m taking nothing away from his talent -- he does have strong indicators that his trajectory could be among the upper level of the elite, but the chances for him (and Andy Reid’s play-calling) to sneak up on a defense diminishes with every snap he takes.

Agent’s Take: The 2018 Contract Awards, featuring the best and worst NFL signings of the year | CBS Sports

Best Use of a Contract Year

Dee Ford

Ford would have no shortage of suitors if the Chiefs let him hit the open market.

Worst Use of a Contract Year

Kelvin Benjamin

Although there isn’t going to be a particularly strong group of wide receivers available in the 2019 NFL draft, look for Benjamin to sign a one-year prove-it deal to try to re-establish his value.

The NFL wants college spread offense so badly, teams are interviewing a fired Big 12 coach | SB Nation

Mahomes is probably Kingsbury’s most famous QB success story, but he’s not close to the only one.

He coached Johnny Manziel during his Heisman year at Texas A&M and later got some production out of Davis Webb, who had a few good years at Tech before Mahomes unseated him.

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is CBS Sports’ unanimous choice for NFL MVP over Drew Brees | CBS Sports

After 12 wins, the top seed in the AFC, the AFC West crown, 5,097 passing yards, and 50 touchdown passes, Patrick Mahomes has emerged as CBS Sports’ unanimous choice for league MVP over Drew Brees. In the final edition of our MVP watch for the 2018 season, all five NFL writers here at CBS Sports voted for Mahomes in first place and Brees in second place, which makes Mahomes our undisputed MVP of the 2018 NFL season.

NFL releases who Chiefs will play in fall 2019 | FOX 4 Kansas City

There will be some exciting games at Arrowhead in the fall – the Chiefs will play the Green Bay Packer and Minnesota Vikings.

The Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens – three playoff teams the Chiefs might play at Arrowhead over the next few weeks-- are also scheduled to travel to Kansas City in the fall of 2019.

2019 NFL Free Agents: Latest Buzz, Predictions for Earl Thomas, Dee Ford, More | Bleacher Report

However, the Chiefs would be wise to secure Ford either to a long-term extension or with the franchise tag. Seeing as how Ford seems comfortable playing under the tag, it’s likely one of the two options will keep him in Kansas City.

2019 Prediction: Ford plays for the Chiefs under the franchise tag.

Predicting the Breakout Stars of This Season’s NFL Playoffs | Bleacher Report

RB Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

In four seasons with the Miami Dolphins, Williams had never run for more than 181 yards. In his three starts with the Chiefs, he ran for 203 yards.

Around the league

NFL television ratings saw 5 percent bump in 2018 | ESPN

The uptick partially stemmed two years of ratings slides for the NFL, part of a decrease throughout the television industry. The average game in 2018 drew 15.8 million viewers as compared with 14.9 million in 2017. That number was 16.5 million for the 2016 season and 17.9 million in 2015.

NFL Odds: Patriots Among Betting Favorites To Win Super Bowl LIII | NESN

While the Patriots cannot afford to look past their next opponent, they continue to attract attention on the Super Bowl exact matchup odds. A clash between the Patriots and the New Orleans Saints is pegged as a short +600 wager on those NFL betting lines, while the odds of a Super Bowl XXXVI rematch featuring the Patriots and Los Angeles Rams sits at +950.

Tomlin irked by Antonio Brown’s lack of availability | NFL

“I haven’t spoken to him since that meeting I had with him prior to the game at the stadium on Sunday,” Tomlin said. “Obviously, I’m going to address it; we’re going to address him and the circumstance. To be quite honest with you, we’re going to information gather and use all the time at our disposal and wish to do so.”

Why Are NFL GMs Being Let Off the Hook? | Sports Illustrated

If, as is so often said at season-ending press conferences, accountability for a lost season is shared by all, why are head coaches disproportionately bearing more of the consequences? GMs are usually in a position to build a closer relationship with the owner, who ultimately makes the firing and hiring decisions; in failed arranged marriages between a coach and a GM, it’s more often the GM that’s given a chance to hire his own head coach, rather than vice versa.

Five NFL teams eligible for ‘Hard Knocks’ and one of them would be a perfect fit | CBS Sports

When we factor in those three rules and apply them to every team, we’re left with just five teams that the NFL can force to be on Hard Knocks in 2019: The 49ers, Raiders, Giants, Redskins and Lions.

Offensive Line of the Week: Colts front dominates play-in game | NFL

Indy’s O-line yielded one quarterback hit and four hurries, as Luck was the second-least pressured starting quarterback of the week. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo and right tackle Braden Smith excelled against a defense that typically thrives on third down and in the red zone, while Castonzo and left guard Quenton Nelson were the week’s highest-graded players at their respective positions by PFF.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Kansas City Chiefs defensive trends and tabulation for Week 17

Unlike previous games — where the opposition was allowed to claw its way back — the Chiefs defense shut down a bad offense and didn’t allow them past its own 32-yard line.

Eric Bieniemy to interview with four teams this week, turns down Cardinals

UPDATE: Monday, 1:37 p.m. Arrowhead Time

After our initial report on the New York Jets’ interest, news emerged that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals have all asked to interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy for their vacant head-coaching positions.

Patrick Mahomes Week 17 Film Review: something good and something bad

This week’s performance from Mahomes was one of his worst of the season. There were near-interceptions and inconsistencies with ball placement. I realized something this week about Mahomes that seems to have held true throughout the season: even when things aren’t going great, he’s found ways to move the chains.

The Re-Up: The Chiefs have three weeks to give everything they have

The Chiefs made an emphasis to get younger as a whole this offseason, waving goodbye to players like Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson and leaving a nucleus of young talent. Seven members of the Chiefs are 30 or older, and only two Chiefs—Frank Zombo and Dustin Colquitt—are above the age of 31.

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