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Arrowheadlines: Is it time to panic about the lack of pass rush?

Chiefs headlines for Thursday, October 17

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The latest

NFL Panic Index 2019: Bad officiating could end up costing the Lions and Browns a playoff spot | SB Nation

The Chiefs (and Frank Clark) can’t get a sack

Deshaun Watson and the Texans went into Kansas City as underdogs to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. But Watson left with the big win because the Chiefs couldn’t take advantage of Houston’s biggest weakness: its offensive line.

Despite Watson being sacked 18 times already this season, the Chiefs couldn’t bring him down. During the offseason, Kansas City let Justin Houston and Dee Ford leave, and the splashy addition of Frank Clark hasn’t resulted in an improved rush. The team is near the bottom of the league in sacks, with 11 on the season, and it’s last in adjusted sack rate.

More concerning than the overall number is the Chiefs’ complete lack of production in consecutive games. They also failed to sack Jacoby Brissett in a loss to the Colts, and only managed one sack on Gardner Minshew in Week 1.

Panic index: The Chiefs have been dealing with injuries — both Chris Jones and Xavier Williams missed the game against the Texans — but this isn’t a one-week issue, and additions like Clark were expected to bring the pressure on their own. Clark hasn’t been that guy so far, and the Chiefs need an answer.

NFL MVP stock watch: Why Russell Wilson leads the top five candidates so far | ESPN

2. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

2019 stats: 2,104 passing yards, 80 rushing yards, 14 total TDs, 1 INTs

Kansas City’s back-to-back losses to the Colts and Texans, coupled with big-moment plays strung together by Wilson and Deshaun Watson in recent weeks, have last season’s MVP down a spot from where he opened as the favorite to repeat in 2019. Still, Mahomes has done some remarkable things in six games, such as throwing 212 consecutive passes before recording his first interception of the season, the sixth-longest streak to begin the NFL season, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

We’ll be keeping an eye on how Mahomes’ injured ankle and having wide receiver Tyreek Hill back at his disposal affect his play going forward.

Opinion: NFL’s next wave of QBs look like some of the game’s greats | USA Today

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes: Aaron Rodgers

This comparison works best for two reasons: How dangerous both players are once they leave the pocket, and the creative arm angles with which they throw.

But objectively speaking, Mahomes may be in his own category. He won the NFL MVP last season after just turning 23. While Rodgers has more experience and a proven track record, Mahomes is gifted with more arm strength, and he constantly churns out plays that defy the norms — throwing across his body, rifling passes on the run, whipping side-armed passes to avoid defenders. Perhaps the scariest thing for the rest of the NFL? The kid is still learning the position.

Mahomes, Chiefs looking to bounce back vs. Broncos |

“I’ve definitely been through adverse times when I was in college of not winning the game I felt like we could have won,” Mahomes said this week, via ESPN. “There were certain times at Texas Tech when we didn’t do the things we wanted to as an offense to find ways to win. My first year here, the team went through a little stretch where they weren’t winning games.

”It’s a long season. You can figure it out. ... There [are] difficult times in the NFL. Teams are good, and we’ve played some great opponents so far this season, and we’ll have to find a way to get this thing rolling again on a short week against a great opponent.”

NFL Power Rankings, Week 7: Losing streaks send Chiefs, Rams tumbling down list | Denver Post

6. Kansas City (4-2): The Chiefs have lost six fumbles, tied for third-most in the league.

Next: at Broncos (Thursday).

Revealing the Plays the Broncos Must use to Upset the Chiefs | MileHigh Huddle

The Colts held onto the ball for 37 minutes of game time while the Texans were even better at 40 minutes. That means on a shortened week, this Chiefs defense should come in very worn out and beaten up. The Broncos would be remiss not to lean on the run game, especially playing at altitude.

When they do have to pass, though, what can the Broncos learn from the success of the Colts and Texans? There are some very simple play designs that both the Colts and Texans ran that the Broncos can mimic to get the passing attack back on track.

Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 7: Running backs |

Phillip Lindsay vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Lindsay and Royce Freeman are splitting snaps almost down the middle, but it’s the former who is putting up more fantasy points. I could see both of them starting in fantasy leagues this week, though, as the Chiefs have allowed over five yards per rush and an average of more than 26 fantasy points to enemy running backs in 2019.

Chiefs Announce Coaches of the Week | The Mothership

The Kansas City Chiefs have announced their Coach of the Week honors for the sixth week of the 2019 season. The awards go to Odessa High School coach Mark Thomas and DeSoto High School coach Brian King.

As a result of this honor, both schools will receive a $500 player health and safety grant from the Hunt Family Foundation. Each school will also receive a Gatorade Sideline Kit, including coolers and Gatorade products. Additionally, both coaches will be presented congratulatory footballs autographed by Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid and a certificate recognizing their selection.

Jamaal Charles has wild tale of wanting to fight Larry Johnson in Chiefs locker room | Kansas City Star

After forgetting to bring lunch to Johnson (as rookies were supposed to do), Charles returned to the locker room after a practice and found his clothes in the shower. And the water was flowing.

Furious, Charles said he wanted to fight Johnson (included hitting him the head with helmet) but calls to his mother and girlfriend helped dissuade Charles from that idea.

Instead, Charles gave his clothes to an equipment person to dry off and never again forgot to bring lunch.

“I was just sitting down with my little towel on, my little towel with my little stool,” Charles said in the video.

Around the league

Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick to start Sunday vs. Bills |

“We’re going to start Fitz this week,” Flores said. “Kind of came to that conclusion really over the last few days. Decided, we felt like that was the best thing for this team to give us an opportunity, the best opportunity for this team to go up into a tough environment and try to pull out a win. We do that on a weekly basis. What’s the best way, what’s the best grouping, set of players, offense, defense, kicking game -- to help us try to win the game. We felt that was the case this week.”

Roger Goodell: PI replay is ‘what we anticipated’ |

“This is something that we spent a great deal of time on as you know back in the February-March period. Something that coaches felt very strongly,” the Commissioner said. “I think they understood that replay was not going to correct every instant replay or pass interference close call. We’re not over officiating here, we’re not trying to, or possible to make it perfect. And we’re not re-officiating these plays. So, the thought process was to correct the obvious and clear error. So, I think the numbers reflect that. If it’s something close and there’s not obvious and clear evidence, it’s going to stay with whatever is called on the field, and I think the data supports that. I think it’s what we anticipated, the coaches anticipated. But as you know whenever there is a rule change, there is a period of adaption. And there’s also a period of where people are testing to try to see. So coaches are testing to see what types of changes are going to be made, are the officials going to be making changes. And I think it’s settling out where we expected it to.”

Browns’ Myles Garrett says ‘fan’ punched him in face after taking picture | ESPN

Garrett, 23, told police he was on his cellphone at 2:55 p.m. ET when a man later identified as Perez pulled up next to the vehicle and asked for a picture, according to the report. Garrett said the man got out of his car and approached his down driver’s side window and took a photo of him. After the man took the photo, he struck Garrett with a closed fist.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Juan Thornhill believes he’s flipped the switch to the pro game

“At first, it was like I was out there thinking a little bit,” said Thornhill. “I wasn’t playing fast and then last game, I felt like I was pretty comfortable and the game was just like slowing down for me, and I actually felt it, and I started to see a lot more, and that just allowed me to make plays on the football.”

Thornhill felt that accumulating six games under Spagnuolo made the difference.

“I came into that game feeling a lot different,” said Thornhill. “I feel like I knew our defense a lot more. I feel more confident in everything, so that was the biggest thing—just going into that game with more confidence that I have usually have because I feel like I know our defense.”

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