“He’s just a calming presence,” Nagy said. “He’s somebody that I trust as a friend, as a mentor. The amount of trust that I have for him and the experience, the life experiences and the coaching experiences that he’s been through, and the experiences we’ve been through together for so many years, he’s taught me to be who I am as a coach and taught me to be myself as a human being.”
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) | Soldier Field (Chicago)
Patrick Mahomes proved his cold-weather bona fides last week in the snow, a trait that should come in increasingly handy this season. The Chiefs’ passing attack is coming together at the perfect time and should be playoff-ready after facing a string of challenging defenses, including the Bears this week. Following a brief hot streak, Mitchell Trubisky is also wrapping up his nightmare season with a difficult slate. Kansas City’s pass defense gets better by the week, with Steve Spagnuolo able to mix his looks because he trusts his safeties in the back end. The addition of Terrell Suggs this week only makes this K.C. team look more like an outfit that could make it all the way to Miami, by way of a few games in the snow.
The Chiefs for years have struggled to cover downfield, and that’s a disaster waiting to happen in the modern, pass-happy NFL. But by signing Mathieu, drafting Thornhill and bringing in cornerback Bashaud Breeland to work alongside Charvarius Ward and Kendall Fuller, the Chiefs suddenly had a nickel package that could rival just about any in the league.
2 Patrick Mahomes Kansas City Chiefs QB
In a snowstorm, Mahomes snapped his slow streak. In his three prior games, Mahomes completed 59.4 percent of his passes, averaged 6.3 yards per attempt, threw three touchdowns and two interceptions, and generated a 79.6 passer rating. Against the Broncos’ 11th-ranked defense by DVOA, in an environment that loosely resembled Hoth (minus the AT-ATs), Mahomes completed 79.4 percent of his passes, averaged 10 yards per attempt, threw two touchdowns and a pick, and generated a 115.7 passer rating. He’s back.
Last week: 2
3 Patrick Mahomes
Blair: If you felt like the universe suddenly snapped back into place on Sunday after a month or so of being ... cosmically off, it might have been because Mahomes threw for 300 yards in a game for the first time since Week 10. Everything is in balance once more. It surely helped that he’s had Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins on the field together with Travis Kelce over the past two weeks, building a rhythm to close out a season marked by chunks of missed time for most of the key elements in K.C.’s offense (including Mahomes). The hand bruise that Mahomes suffered in Week 14 did not appear to get in the way on plays like the stunning 41-yard touchdown connection with Hill that kicked off the scoring in a blowout win over Denver. The Chiefs would love to see Mahomes and Hill hooking up on more big plays like that as they move into the postseason. After logging 18 catches of 20-plus air yards in 2018, Hill has just seven through 10 games in 2019. Especially encouraging heading toward January: Full Throttle Mahomes emerged during a snowy game that started with the temperature at 24. (For the record, it was Mahomes’ second-highest passing total in a game where the temperature was 32 or below; in his career, he has averaged 309.5 yards in six such games, with an 8:4 TD-to-INT ratio and a 93.9 passer rating.)
Second Team: Travis Kelce, Chiefs
Kelce is unlike any other receiving tight end in the league. He’s the focal point of a high-volume Chiefs passing game, with numbers that rival the NFL’s most prolific wide receivers. Kelce has 1,131 receiving yards on the season, and with a big game on Sunday against Chicago, he could easily trail only Thomas and Godwin in that category. Defenses have used a variety of players (including corners and safeties) and bracket coverages to try to slow down Kelce, but he’s managed to solve them all.
Kansas City Chiefs - Patrick Mahomes, QB
Injuries have slowed down Mahomes this season, but he’s still having a terrific year. He’s averaging 8.5 yards per pass, and he’s reduced his interceptions to just four in 12 games. Mahomes also leads the league in net passing yards, which takes into account sacks. He has 3,606 passing yards and 23 touchdowns this year.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Kansas City - Tyler Biadasz OL
Kansas City strengthens their offensive line for the sake of Patrick Mahomes.
Around the NFL
If all of that happens, then the Patriots would be 11-5 while the Bills would be 12-4. If the Patriots lost to the Bills and then beat the Dolphins, they would finish with the same record, and it would go down to the common opponent tiebreak, which the Patriots would win.
Either way, both teams are in the playoffs. The Patriots have looked vulnerable and even if they win the AFC East, there’s a good chance one of teams that has already beaten them this season — like the Ravens or Chiefs — can unseat them before they appear in yet another Super Bowl. We can still be free of the Patriots’ vise grip on the NFL.
Marcus Peters would make it to the Pro Bowl ... as a Ravens player
What has happened next has been nothing short of shocking. Peters immediately stepped into the starting lineup and came up with a pick-six of Russell Wilson in a 30-16 road win over the Seahawks. Peters has been one of the league’s best cornerbacks since. The guy who the Rams couldn’t trust has become the corner the Ravens depend upon; it’s no coincidence that Peters was the one on John Brown in Cover Zero on the Bills’ last play of the game two weeks ago, when the Bills failed to convert on fourth down.
2008 San Diego Chargers, 8-8
This San Diego team became quite the story during the 2008 season. The Chargers closed out the season winning their last four games, including a 52-21 win over the Broncos in Week 17 to give them the AFC West title.
What they did in the playoffs: The Philip Rivers-led Chargers kept that momentum going in the playoffs, where they were able to knock off Peyton Manning’s Colts 23-17 in overtime. Then in the Divisional Round, the Chargers lost to the Steelers, who went on to win the Super Bowl over the Cardinals that year.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
”I was really uncertain about my future last week, but I talked to Coach — it was a brief conversation — and I was like, ‘OK,’” Suggs said of his talk with Reid. “I asked coach, ‘I just learned the hard way that a player like me just (doesn’t) fit in anywhere.’
“He was like, ‘Trust me, you’ll fit in here.
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