3. Kansas City Chiefs: Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes
I’d have Patrick Mahomes as my MVP pick, like nearly everyone will, and Andy Reid would be my coach of the year. Who else should get the credit for Mahomes’ incredibly rapid development? Reid keeps losing great assistants and keeps posting winning records. He’s underrated and will be until he wins a championship. But this is still Mahomes’ first playoff start and Reid’s playoff failures have been noted time and time again. So they can’t be ranked any higher than this. We’ll check back on them in a few weeks.
But the maestro of the NFL’s best offense, Kansas City’s Andy Reid, is one of the league’s greatest proponents of the play. That makes perfect sense: He’s essentially a Brown disciple, given that his West Coast offense was originally conceived by Bill Walsh when Walsh coached on Brown’s staff with the Bengals.
The Chiefs, who will play Indianapolis in the divisional round this weekend, have run a draw 16 times this year and have had success 10 times.
The 12-4 Chargers were one of the best teams during the regular season, but were forced to settle for a Wild Card berth because they played in the same division as the Chiefs. They had a better regular season than the Patriots, their Divisional Round opponent, and already knocked off the Chiefs once. They’re a team you should be all over in the NFL Playoffs 2019.
“I think he could be a great NFL coach,” said Mahomes early Tuesday. “He has the work ethic. He has the passion for the game. I know he loves this sport and he’d be able to relate to quarterbacks. He would put in the work. Now it’s about him finding out where he needs to be at.”
6) Chiefs vs. Saints
Why do we cast MVP votes before the Super Bowl? Why not file ballots after seeing how it all winds up? If we get Drew Brees vs. Patrick Mahomes come February, MVP honors -- and the Lombardi -- go straight to the winner, with every debate permanently put to bed.
4) Chiefs vs. Rams
After watching the Chargers flip the script with a victorious romp over the Ravens in a rematch of a Week 16 loss to Baltimore, I’d be down with these two squads reprising their Monday night epic -- a 54-51 Rams win -- to see how the defenses would adjust.
Evan Boehm, who won the 2011 Simone Award at Lee’s Summit West High School, is likely to start at center for the Colts.
His dad, retired Lee’s Summit West Coach Royce Boehm, will also be in uniform, serving as part of the chain gang as he’s done for every Chiefs home game this season. The elder Boehm is in charge of footballs and keeping them ready for the officiating crew.
Fuller’s food routine:
Monday – Q39’s burnt end burger
Tuesday – The Mixx. Just the salad.
Wednesday – The Mixx, gets the salad but adds fries to it.
Thursday – Chick-fil-A
Friday – Bristol seafood – gets all seafood appetizers mussels, oysters or lobster mac and cheese.
Game day - Fuller said he just eats breakfast and gets ready for the game.
Reid was seven years into his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, an NFL team Vermes grew up supporting from his childhood home in nearby Delran, N.J. To some, there was little correlation to the job Vermes had assumed — overseeing the roster of a soccer club — and the one assigned to Reid. To Vermes, there was plenty to learn.
Rebuild the secondary.
It’s reasonable to believe that of all of the defensive backs who played for the Chiefs this season, only cornerback Kendall Fuller might remain by 2020. The Chiefs need some long-term solutions at both safety and corner, and the time to get started on that is now, with the Chiefs holding three picks in the first two rounds of the draft. -- Adam Teicher
Around the league
Where are the Buccaneers headed with Arians at the helm? Well, they’ll have the best-equipped coach to tutor Jameis Winston since he joined the Buccaneers in 2015. That’s of vital importance, since Winston is entering the final season of his rookie deal, coming off a campaign in which he began the season with a suspension and was benched for poor play and needs to take the next step, or else face a potential parting of ways with the Buccaneers.
And while it’s not ideal that Lawrence and countless other college stars have to play no fewer than three years of unpaid football, it’s worth remembering that the rule keeping Lawrence from turning pro is one imposed by the NFL, not the NCAA.
Beginning in 1990, the NFL has required that all of its players be three years removed from high school before being eligible to be signed by an NFL team.
“That’s our guy,” said defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, via the team’s official website. “I’m going to ride with my guy. If you have that ‘C’ on your helmet, I’m going to ride with you to the end. I don’t care what happens on the field. We are together, that’s it.”
Houston Texans defensive standout Jadeveon Clowney was paid a bonus of $1.005 million on the penultimate day of the 2018 regular season as part of a resolution over a dispute of which position he should have been listed as playing under his fifth-year option, a source told ESPN.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The players of note for the Chiefs are Dorian O’Daniel (calf/ankle), who missed practice entirely, and safety Eric Berry (heel), running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (foot). Berry missed the Chiefs’ final regular-season game when his heel flared up and Ware hasn’t played since Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens. Tuesday marked Watkins’ first practice since early December. Watkins last played against the Rams back in Week 11.
It would be a mistake to underestimate Luck. But at the same time, let’s remember that this is a quarterback who was being touted as a “generational talent” when he was drafted in 2012. He’s a good — even a very good — quarterback. But let’s be honest: he hasn’t yet lived up to the expectations most had of him in 2012.
Attacking the evacuated space is paramount to the success of the Chiefs defense this week. That’s easier said than done, because the Colts will mix in zone rushing plays, so attacking too aggressively can lead to misdiagnosed gaps, easier reach blocks for the offensive line, and bigger holes for the backs to run through. So identifying the power run and the pulling guard early in the development of the play will be necessary.
One of those games, of course, was a 10-7 loss on January 7, 1996, when kicker Lin Elliott missed three kicks—including a 42-yarder in the game’s final seconds that could have sent it to overtime. The Chiefs haven’t won a home playoff game since 1994.
Follow Arrowhead Pride on Social Media
AP Facebook Page: Click here to like our page
AP Instagram: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Twitter: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Editor-in-Chief: Pete Sweeney: Follow @pgsween
610 Sports Twitter: Follow @610SportsKC