Hardman averages .6 yards of separation above the next closest receiver. The majority of players on this list are primarily featured in the slot, which is the toughest position to press. Hardman has already scored some magical touchdowns this season and will continue to be Kansas City’s big-play compliment to Tyreek Hill. He’s also proving to be a threat in the return game as well.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Defense up for Rodgers challenge. The Kansas City Chiefs know they’re in for a huge defensive test on Sunday night. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is coming off one of the best games of his career -- he threw for 429 yards and accounted for six total touchdowns in a 42-24 win over Oakland -- and he’s leading a balanced offense.
The Chiefs’ defense had an impressive showing of its own in amassing nine sacks in a win over Denver last week, but the Kansas City defensive players realize Rodgers can create more issues.
”That’s going to be a challenge for us,” Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “The first phase of the route -- can we disrupt the timing -- and from there in the second phase, can we finish the play? He’s going to extend some plays, he’s going to make some plays Sunday night, he’s Aaron Rodgers. The biggest thing is just limiting the explosive plays.”
Before becoming the head coach of the New York Giants, Kyle’s father, Pat, coached tight ends, offensive line and quarterbacks under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles. And Kyle’s great uncle, the legendary Fritz Shurmur, was the Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator while Reid was an assistant there.
Shurmur, an undrafted rookie who had been on the practice squad, had impressed Reid during practice.
“He works like crazy,” Reid said. “Now, the one thing that we don’t have is NFL reps during a game, but what he showed us is that he is a good, young quarterback that has a future. We felt comfortable bringing him up.”
When the Chiefs have the ball: Matt Moore will start under center for the injured Patrick Mahomes this week. While the QB change severely ticks Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill’s ceiling downwards, I’m confident HC Andy Reid will have more than a few plays schemed up for his star players. Reid has had nearly 10 days to prepare for this game, too. Ultimately, Moore’s presence harms the Chiefs backfield outlook more than anything. LeSean McCoy (39 percent) has led Damien Williams (35 percent) and Darrel Williams (21 percent) in snap rate over the last two weeks after McCoy got zero carries in Week 5. We can chase this committee when Mahomes is on the field because of all the Chiefs red-zone scoring chances, but a 3-man committee with the backup QB doesn’t sound particularly appealing. This is just a housekeeping note because you can’t play Mecole Hardman or Demarcus Robinson without Mahomes, but Sammy Watkins is tentatively expected to return this week.
1) Bring non-perishable food items to Sunday’s game. There will be donation bins surrounding the outside of Arrowhead Stadium.
2) Make a monetary donation by visiting harvesters.org/chiefskingdom. Every dollar donated can help provide three meals for those in need.
3) Drop off non-perishable food items at an area Hy-Vee store beginning on Nov. 1.
Around the league
Waller is the best of the bunch, and one of the top TEs in the NFL
Football Outsiders has Waller rated highly among tight ends in a couple advanced metrics. He’s ranked first in DYAR, which assesses the value of the tight end’s receiving plays. He’s ranked third in DVOA, which is similar to DYAR but accounts for all plays and not just receptions. Waller also has a catch rate of 88 percent, good for fourth in the league and first at his position. He is third among tight ends with 485 receiving yards, behind only Austin Hooper and Travis Kelce.
“I don’t give two --- about people who ain’t here,” said safety Malcolm Jenkins, who was singled out by Scandrick as “selfish.
“You ask anybody in the locker room who I am as a player, who I am to this team -- I think one of the things he said was that I didn’t take accountability for certain plays.,” Jenkins said. “Anybody goes and looks at any of my comments, I immediately take credit for all of the mistakes I make.”
“It basically say it don’t matter who you is,” Lions cornerback Darius Slay said Thursday, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “No matter how much you put in, at the end of the day it’s a business so that’s how I just look at it. Nobody’s safe, in my opinion.”
On Tuesday, Slay took to Twitter immediately following the trade, calling Diggs’ departure “bull----” and adding, “This one hit me bra.” The cornerback elaborated Thursday on his feelings about the move.
Keenan Allen did not practice for a second straight day Friday because of a hamstring injury. He’s listed as questionable on the team’s injury report.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said Allen tweaked his hamstring in practice this week and will be a game-time decision.
”He worked a little bit, but we just kept him out to be smart, and we’ll see if he can go on Sunday,” Lynn said.
Tom Brady got so excited about the addition of Mohamed Sanu Sr. that the New England Patriots quarterback was ready to give up his iconic No. 12.
It’s perhaps a sign of how happy Brady is to have another solid receiver. The Patriots placed Josh Gordon on injured reserve Wednesday, taking away one of their best offensive playmakers.
Sanu, who has worn No. 12 for his eight-year NFL career, will switch to No. 14 in New England.
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The Chiefs may choose to match Tyrann Mathieu up with the Jones/Williams combination in the passing game, dragging him nearer to the box. This can help eliminate a dynamic receiving threat while offering a little more in run support. If that is the case, a lot of stress will be placed upon Damien Wilson and Reggie Ragland to cover the flats against tight ends. From the Chiefs’ point of view, that will be a poor matchup.
So perhaps an easier strategy would be to sit back in a split-safety look, forcing the Packers to beat the defense on the ground. While that’s not been a particularly great strategy thus far this year, the quality of play put forth by the linebackers and defensive line last week might be enough to get stops.
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