Defensive Player of the Year: Stephon Gilmore, CB, New England Patriots
Saints DE Cam Jordan was the runner-up with 2 1/2 votes. Others receiving votes included Buccaneers OLB Shaquil Barrett (2), Steelers OLB T.J. Watt (2), Vikings DE Danielle Hunter (1), Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu (1) and Rams DT Aaron Donald (1/2).
3. (AFC West champion) Chiefs
If the Bills can beat the Patriots on Sunday and the Chiefs can knock off the Bears on Sunday night, then Kansas City will head into Week 17 as the No. 2 overall seed in the AFC, which would give them an inside track at getting a playoff bye. Unfortunately for the Chiefs though, the computer doesn’t see that happening. SportsLine is projecting the Patriots to win out, and if that happens, the Chiefs will be stuck playing in the wild-card round. Chiefs remaining schedule: At Bears, Chargers.
Suggs should not only bolster the Chiefs’ defense, but it also prevents fellow divisional winner and potential playoff combatant, the Baltimore Ravens, from claiming him.
Waiver claims are awarded inversely related to record. The 12-2 Ravens were Suggs’ preferred destination, but the franchise that drafted him didn’t even put in a claim because it knew he would not fall to the team with the best record in the NFL.
3. Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu
The Chiefs’ defense is suddenly pretty good and Mathieu is a big reason why with three picks, nine passes defended, two sacks, and 62 combined tackles. His versatility remains a huge asset. Without him, it’s difficult to imagine this Chiefs defense being as good as it is (11th in DVOA).
Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) at Chicago Bears
The Bears are out of the playoffs, while the Chiefs are hoping to improve their seed. This won’t be an easy trip for Kansas City, but the way their defense is playing I think they will find a way. Patrick Mahomes outplays Mitch Trubisky.
Pick: Chiefs 31, Bears 17
26. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Shaun Wade, Ohio State
With Kendall Fuller, Bashaud Breeland, and Morris Claiborne all headed to free agency this offseason, the Chiefs need to add talent to their cornerbacks group. Wade played primarily in the slot for Ohio State, where he showcased good physicality in coverage, the quicks to read and react to option routes, and a willingness to tackle against the run.
KANSAS CITY (10-4) AT CHICAGO (7-7), SUNDAY, 8:20 ET
Bears head coach Matt Nagy: Nagy has failed to take Trubisky’s development to the next level in the QB’s third season. Although most Bears fans find fault with the player, Nagy deserves blame for his quarterback’s poor performance.
The pick: Chiefs 27 Bears 17
Mitchell Trubisky vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Trubisky proved last week that he can’t be trusted to produce when faced with a tough defense, and an upcoming matchup against the Chiefs falls into that category. Over the last four weeks, no defense in the league has allowed fewer touchdown passes or fantasy points to enemy quarterbacks. As a result, Trubisky needs to be benched.
Around the NFL
The Titans have a 44.4% field goal percentage this season, which is 22.3 percentage points worse than the next-worst team, the Jets. Joseph joins Succop, Cairo Santos and Cody Parkey as Titans kickers this season. Tennessee also released kickoff specialist Ryan Santos on Tuesday.
The Titans are forever stuck in a 9-7 loop
In both of Mike Mularkey’s seasons as head coach, the Titans were 9-7. In Mike Vrabel’s first season in Tennessee, the Titans again ended with a 9-7 record. Now Tennessee is careening toward — you guessed it — another 9-7 season.
The Titans rank No. 15 in total offense and No. 19 in total defense. They’re essentially the perfect picture of mediocrity and can’t stop finishing with a good-not-great record to match.
Kitchens was hollered at on the sidelines by one receiver, who also begged the Arizona Cardinals to trade for him. Kareem Hunt is accusing the team of taking plays off. Baker Mayfield has, multiple times, mentioned a lack of accountability and discipline. While not all players were expressly pointing the finger at their coach, where does all of that responsibility lie? NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport noted on Sunday that the Browns are leaning toward keeping Kitchens, but is that a tentative vote of confidence? Might that just be the final salvo fired by an organization desperately clinging to the idea that they’re functional and non-chaotic anymore?
“As head of football operations for the Jaguars for the last three years I was responsible for all things related to football,” Coughlin said in a statement. “I take great pride in our accomplishments, especially in 2017. I’d like to thank Shad Khan for the opportunity to come back to Jacksonville, all the players and staff for their efforts, and the great fans here for their support. I was the first coach of this franchise and I will always be supportive of the Jaguars.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Most youthful teams are not contenders; they are young because they’re rebuilding. But the Chiefs are able to make it work by having a great mixture of veterans surrounding their young core.
On offense, the veteran presence of players like right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, tight end Travis Kelce and running back LeSean McCoy counter the energy of young players like Mahomes, Hill and rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman.
The defense has experienced leadership from Mathieu, defensive end Frank Clark and linebacker Anthony Hitchens that mixes well with the youth of defensive tackle Chris Jones, cornerback Charvarius Ward and safety Juan Thornhill.
Follow Arrowhead Pride on Social Media
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