KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Buy cornerback Patrick Peterson. The Chiefs had eyes for star CB Jalen Ramsey, but the Jaguars refused to play ball with Kansas City, per The MMQB’s Albert Breer. With the Chiefs still lodged in their Super Bowl window, why not swing for the fences? Peterson returned from his six-game suspension and looked the part right away in Week 7. If K.C. pondered Ramsey -- why not chase the next-best thing? At 29, Peterson is five years older than Ramsey, but still has plenty left in the tank. Potential compensation: 2020 first-round pick plus a 2021 second-rounder.
The Kansas City Chiefs were supposed to score at least 30 points every week in 2019. There were reasons to be concerned that the defense would struggle like it did in 2018, but the offense was never in doubt. Now it is.
Patrick Mahomes suffered an ankle injury in the first game of the season, re-aggravated it in Week 5, and then tweaked it yet again the week after that. He could at least play through that injury, though. Mahomes isn’t going to play through the dislocated knee he suffered in Week 7.
While Mahomes is out a few weeks, the Chiefs will be relying on Matt Moore to lead the way. And our team isn’t convinced that it’s going to work out well for Kansas City, at least not this week against the 6-1 Green Bay Packers.
Packers offense vs. Chiefs defense
Kansas City’s best defender is defensive tackle Chris Jones. Last season, he had 15.5 sacks, six tackles for losses vs. the run and 74 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. According to Sports Info Solutions, his average tackle limited the play to 1.3 yards. He’s off to a quiet start to this season with two sacks and zero tackles for losses in five games, having missed the last two games with a groin injury. According to PFF, he has 22 total pressures; according to SIS, his average tackle has limited the play to 2.3 yards.
Here is what you get,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach tells me. “At high school, there is such an emphasis on technique, the fundamentals of the game.” Veach worked with both Pederson and Nagy in Kansas City. He is a former college teammate of Nagy’s and helped introduce him to the NFL world after a playing career in the Arena League and multiple stops as a high school assistant in Pennsylvania. Veach says there’s a high level of creativity in high school, which is clear if you watch Pederson or Nagy’s play designs.
But Veach says there’s an extra layer: “The [high school] game is about form tackling, how to run routes, how to work leverage. When you get guys who have spent so much time on that level, they are not sitting there breaking down the Cincinnati Bengals for six days and trying to come up with a few concepts that might expose them based on personnel and scheme matchups,” Veach says. “They are going to put much more emphasis on the technique and the fundamentals, and when these guys get a chance to be head coaches, they don’t lose sight of it, and those teams [the Bears and Eagles] are technically sound teams. Throw in the complexities of their schemes with the sound fundamentals and they have successful programs.”
“We feel that in 20 minutes, we can kind of change a kid’s trajectory [in life],” Colquitt said. “A lot of these kids come in and they’re hiding what they have going on in their mouths, but when they come here, we can fix anything that they have going on in about 20 to 30 minutes. They come in here and they’re nervous, but when they look in the mirror afterward, it changes their life. You see them dancing and just acting totally different.”
Around the league
Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. expects to stay in Denver past the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
”I doubt it happens,” Harris told ESPN’s Josina Anderson on the possibility he would be traded.
A team source told ESPN’s Dianna Russini that the Broncos don’t see a trade market for Harris and haven’t had any calls for his services.
The 30-year-old quarterback was placed on injured reserve and is eligible to return to the field in Week 11. The plan is to elevate Foles to the active roster that week, Rapoport added. Getting back on the practice field is the first stage in that return becoming a reality.
The question for the Jags is whether Foles will immediately replace Gardner Minshew in the starting lineup if he’s healthy for Week 11. The rookie has played well in relief, becoming the first player with 10-plus passing TDs and two or fewer INTs in his first seven career games since 1950, per NFL Research, and ranks fifth in the NFL with a 10-2 TD-INT ratio.
Seven weeks later, I still think the Chargers should actively try to trade Gordon before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
First and foremost, if the Chargers don’t have any intention of paying Gordon at the end of the year, why wouldn’t they trade him? Sure, Los Angeles is in line for a third-round compensatory pick if Gordon signs elsewhere in free agency in March. But I think both parties would benefit from a trade now.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
On fourth-and-short, quarterback sneaks have the highest success rate of any play-call. If you don’t trust the analytics, you should at least trust New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who calls more quarterback sneaks with the face of his franchise (and arguably the NFL) than any coach in the league. In the short term, the on-field result corroborated the probabilities: the play worked. The Chiefs converted the fourth down with at least a yard to spare, adding over 10% to the Chiefs’ chance to win the game.
However, most Chiefs fans would certainly not consider this play to have increased the team’s chance of winning. Patrick Mahomes was injured on the play — and is now likely to be out for at least two weeks. A few plays later, his backup Matt Moore missed Damien Williams on a third-and-1 play, forcing the the Chiefs to kick a field goal — thereby eschewing the advantage they had gained with Mahomes’ sneak. With the field goal, the team’s chance of winning went right back to where it was before the sneak — essentially wasting the play that injured the reigning MVP.
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