“If you talk to Darrel, Darrel will tell you he can do it all,” Bieniemy said. “I’ve been told that quite a few times by Darrel.
”Whatever role you want him to step into, that’s the role he’s going to assume, and that’s the role he will play. The kid has no fear of what he does. There’s no stage too big for him.”
Even after the Chiefs released Hunt late last season, Williams at one stage of training camp was fourth on the running back depth chart behind Damien Williams, Carlos Hyde and rookie Darwin Thompson.
He passed Thompson, and Hyde was traded, but the Chiefs then put another obstacle for playing time in front of him. They signed veteran LeSean McCoy days before the start of the regular season.
”It was just another guy I had to compete with,” Williams said. “It’s just something that made me work harder.”
Most Valuable Player: Kansas City Chiefs QB, Patrick Mahomes
We are literally seeing one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time play right now. A year removed from college, many believed that Mahomes would struggle in his first game. He went on to throw for 50 touchdowns and win the MVP.
That’s going to be a pretty consistent thing we see for the future. While the Chiefs defense still has holes, the offense is going to be the reason they succeed. Mahomes is on pace to throw for nearly 6,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. Even if those numbers are less than a season ago, who is going to challenge him?
Lamar Jackson had some bright moments, and Matt Ryan is at least close in passing yards. That doesn’t mean either is worthy of being in a conversation. Cook could be a late bloomer if the league takes running backs more seriously, but the award usually goes to a quarterback unless another position is just insane.
Get used to seeing Mahomes’ name on this NFL list consistently; it’s going to happen.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
Week 4 ranking: 2
FPI chance to make the playoffs: 99.1%
How to increase their playoff chances: Improved defensive efficiency. The Chiefs have allowed opponents to score on 43% of their possessions, which is 25th in the league. The Chiefs are 4-0 despite this, so they’re going to make the playoffs regardless. But cutting down on opponent scoring drives will give them more margin for error. -- Adam Teicher
Record: 4-0 (.531)
This week’s game: vs. Colts
Biggest needs: CB, LB, OG
This roster is the envy of just about every team but the Patriots, but there’s certainly room for improvement in certain areas. Cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller are in contract years. Inside linebacker and left guard appear to be areas to target for an upgrade.
Introducing Chris Harris, cornerback for the Denver Broncos.
Those familiar with the AFC West may balk at the idea of the Broncos trading one of their best overall players to a division rival. Certainly, if John Elway had his druthers, he would ship Harris out of the entire conference. But when a team like the Broncos hit rock bottom and need to completely start over, which is exactly where Denver is at after the first four weeks, there’s a realignment of values that starts with simply getting as much as you can for what few assets you have left.
Right now, the Broncos are 0-4. They face the Chargers this week and the Chiefs in three weeks. They were already on life support before being surprised by the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday. When they received news that Bradley Chubb was done for the season, it was the official “wheels came off” moment that snuffed out any glimmer of hope remaining in the Mile High City.
Even Harris knows that things are over, and he’s not remotely worried about letting his true feelings show when he said “thirteen more weeks for me” after Sundays’ game.
On Sunday night, the Colts will be doing what they can to keep up with the high-flying Chiefs offense. The betting odds aren’t too kind to Indy, who opens the week as 10.5-point road underdogs, per BetMGM.
While the Colts aren’t expected to be victors in this matchup, there is an expectation that this game will feature a lot of offense. That’s typical with any game the Chiefs are playing in, but the total is currently sitting at 57.5 points.
Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs
Williams is owned in most competitive leagues, but he’s still under-owned in ESPN. Of course, his role depends on the status of Damien Williams, who has missed the last two games with a knee injury. If he sits this week, Darrel will be in play again. Darrel played 51.4% of the snaps on Sunday, while LeSean McCoy played 45.7%. Darrel wasn’t great on the ground with eight carries for 13 yards, but he scored twice and was on the field a lot in the fourth quarter. He added three receptions for 43 yards and had 11 touches, one week after getting 14 touches. If he gets double-digit touches in this offense, he’s worth starting.
William Hill, America’s largest sportsbook operator, had 92% of the bets and 89% of the money on the Chiefs (-7). Kansas City escaped Detroit with a 34-30 win on a touchdown in the closing seconds. The Patriots (-7) held on in a defensive struggle at Buffalo 16-10, but point spread bettors on the Patriots also lost with New England taking 84% of the spread bets and 87% of the money.
Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill sports book operations, told me “big weekend for the books, and the Lions, Bills, Bucs, Browns and Saints were all very good results.”
It’s such a good time that Chandler and his wife decided to add one more person for their trip this week to see the Chiefs play the Colts on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium
Nine-year-old Mechi is a close friend of Chandler’s children, and she is a huge Chiefs fan, even though her parents don’t follow the NFL.
“We started to introduce her to football about four years ago,” Chandler said, “and she has very quickly just gone all in. (She’s) probably as big a fan as anyone you’ll know, as you can tell by her reaction, honestly.”
Around the league
2. Denver Broncos (0-4)
How miserable is it?
The talent is still there on defense, and Vic Fangio worked wonders in Chicago last year, and yadda yadda. Yes, the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 with Manning’s corpse propped up Weekend at Bernie’s style, but that team’s defense went on a historically great run. For Denver to realistically have a chance in the near term, Elway needs to land a franchise QB. The post-Manning era has done little to prove that’s possible. Flacco, Case Keenum, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler—none have been the answer for this team, but they all appear to be Elway’s type. Drew Lock, the 2019 second-rounder who also fits the tall-and-vanilla mold, could be, but what will this team do when it lands a top-10 pick? Let’s just hope that 6-foot-6 Justin Herbert looks good in
Bears linebacker Khalil Mack admitted Tuesday that he expected to be a Raider for life, but he intends to suppress those emotions when Chicago squares off against his former team on Sunday in London.
”That’s the expectation when you get drafted to a team: You want to be there for the long haul and bring championships and all those good things,” Mack said. “It’s the business side of it that doesn’t really let you do that.”
As the franchise quarterback, Allen should expect criticism for all his mistakes. The Bills coaching staff will keep working on him to make better decisions and drill into him the need to take what the defense gives him.
But no one should be too surprised by Allen’s performance. The pattern has long been established. There is the good Josh and the bad Josh, and you never know which one will turn up.
But this failure in the passing attack was not all on Allen. The Patriots have the best secondary in the NFL, and they played the Bills receivers tight all game.
You also have to blame the Bills receivers, who failed to get separation in the tough man-to-man coverage of the Patriots.
The margin for error is perilously thin in the league’s best defensive division. If being able to win any style of game is a prerequisite to success in today’s NFL, it’s fair to doubt whether the Bears or Vikings have that gear. What’s clear after Chicago’s 16-6 victory over Minnesota on Sunday is that there’s still no defense like the Bears’ defense. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman have carefully built their defense over the years with homegrown products, contract extensions and incredible continuity. But they still don’t play with the cohesion, explosion or ferocity of the Bears’ group, even when facing a backup quarterback like Chicago’s Chase Daniel. The Vikings are already 0-2 in the division, a significant hole to climb from.
It probably doesn’t speak well for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky that his expected absence against the Raiders in London in Week 5 doesn’t feel like a killer for the Bears, especially because there are no current plans for surgery. If the Bears can win another defensive game at Tottenham, they’ll hit the Week 6 bye at 4-1. Before the season started, this looked like a division that would produce two playoff teams, and that remains true after four weeks. The surprise here is that the 2-1-1 Lions should also be in that mix. They’ve already faced the tougher part of their non-conference schedule (Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers), with Sunday’s 34-30 loss to the Chiefs serving as proof that they can compete with anyone.
The Redskins, knowing that they were going to lose Cousins after a multiyear contract saga, tried to be proactive by trading for Alex Smith two months earlier. Kansas City was willing to deal the former No. 1 pick because the Chiefs had young Patrick Mahomes waiting in the wings. Mahomes went on to win the 2018 NFL MVP, and so the Chiefs appear to be the only true winners of that 2018 veteran quarterback carousel.
Smith, of course, did not last long as Cousins’s replacement in Washington. He broke two bones in his leg in a Week 11 loss to the Texans and his football career remains in jeopardy.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
It’s safe to say this was not the performance (or result) that Chiefs fans envisioned in Mahomes’ first game in a dome. The climate-controlled environment didn’t do much of anything to assist the quarterback. The building was loud — and things weren’t working right offensively. There were too many fumbles — and receivers were struggling to separate with consistency.
As Chiefs head coach Andy Reid might say, it wasn’t one of Mozart’s best paintings. But throughout the game — in both good and bad stretches — Mahomes showed focus and poise that is usually reserved for the best players in the league.
The moment wasn’t too big for the kid. Aside from a few first halves where the energy probably needed to be controlled (see: both 2018 New England Patriots games), Mahomes has been a steady a presence in the biggest moments. Even in those games, he’s still given his team the lead (or a tie) with minimal time to work. He’s been nearly perfect when answering the bell. Outside of the Monday Night Football thriller against the Los Angeles Rams, his record in those moments has been just about spotless.
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