The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened odds to win Super Bowl LIV in early January. The Chiefs had the second-best odds at 7-1, with the Rams as the favorite at 6-1. However, in the weeks since, Kansas City has shifted to the 6-1 favorite there and at multiple other Las Vegas sportsbooks.
But after the Buffalo Wild Wings talk and a visit to the campus, combined with the NCAA’s decision to keep Zuerlein from going to a Division I school, the kicker picked the Griffons because of their indoor facility, constructed thanks to the Chiefs hosting preseason camp there, and the field. “He came to Missouri Western, a lot of people say because of our indoor facility there,” former Missouri Western coach Jerry Partridge said. “But he came because he liked our old field. It didn’t have a crown. It was flat.”
2018 record: 12-4
Reason for optimism: Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs have a quarterback who can help keep them near the top of the division standings and the conference for the foreseeable future. -- Adam Teicher
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes accepts the AP NFL Most Valuable Player award after a stellar 2018 season.
There was little drama with the 2018 NFL awards. Patrick Mahomes, who had long been the favorite to take home MVP honors, did just that on the Saturday night before the Super Bowl. That’s not the only award he won, either. Mahomes was also named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. About the only real suspense was which first-year player would win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. Saquon Barkley edged out Baker Mayfield — and will get a new chain as a result. There were a lot of awards announced on Super Bowl Eve. Here’s who won each:
The Kansas City Chiefs made a run at hiring Arizona State’s Antonio Pierce as its linebackers coach, according to NFL Network’s Alex Marvez. Pierce, however, is staying put in Tempe. ASU’s linebackers coach and recruiting director tweeted his affirmation to the university on Sunday, stating he was “10 toes deep” at his current position.
NFL fans were essentially looking for a redo of the NFC and AFC Championship Games, as the common theme was the thought of how good a Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints game could have been. Then again, the Patriots vs. Rams matchup was also expected to be high-scoring, so we should be careful what we wish for. Here’s a look at some of the best Twitter reactions of fans asking for the Chiefs, the Saints, Mahomes or all three wrapped into one tweet.
Record: 12-4 (.480)
Biggest needs: CB, S, edge rusher
There’s a new defensive coordinator -- Steve Spagnuolo -- and potentially a new look in the back seven. The secondary needs the most work, but edge rusher moves up the list if Dee Ford is allowed to walk.
Around the league
The Rams and Patriots just set a record, playing the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history. There were just three points scored in the first half and three more in the third quarter as Super Bowl LIII entered the fourth quarter tied 3-3. Then the Patriots offense exploded, putting up 10 points and completely shutting down the Rams offense to finish the game with a 13-3 win and their sixth Super Bowl title.
“I wasn’t focused on [winning the MVP],” Edelman told CBS’s Jim Nantz on the victors’ podium following New England’s 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. “I was just trying to go out and have a good week of practice and do my job. Sometimes the cookie crumbles that way.”
The 29-year-old — who has played in four Super Bowls for the Patriots — had nine receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns in their 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl last season, which helped him move up the list significantly. Gronkowski had six receptions in the Super Bowl in 2016, and two in 2012.
However, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reported the Giants are “under the impression that the Raiders still were checking on two other potential sites.” The NFL and the San Francisco 49ers must approve the move.
Now how was Burkhead, a running back, the beneficiary of this call? Well, according to the referees, this was because Burkhead had just caught the ball and had not yet established himself as a runner, something we mainly hear about when it comes to quarterbacks. NFL players are having NONE OF IT.
The first-year head coach of the Bears was named the 2018 AP NFL Coach of the Year at the NFL Honors award show on Saturday. He received 24 of 50 votes to win the award, with other notable vote-getters including Anthony Lynn of the Chargers (10), Frank Reich of the Colts (8) and Nagy’s mentor, Andy Reid of the Chiefs (5). Nagy now joins the likes of George Halas, Mike Ditka, Dick Jauron and Lovie Smith as Bears coaches who have won the award.
Allen was slated to be a free agent after this season and had interviewed for the vacant Miami Dolphins head coaching job earlier this year. Allen’s name had also been thrown around as a potential candidate for defensive coordinator on Zac Taylor’s Cincinnati Bengals staff.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Now that fan who flashed the laser has been “identified, apprehended, banned from Arrowhead Stadium for life and soon will face charges from the Kansas City district attorney,” per ESPN insider Adam Schefter.
Mahomes, 23, received 41 of a possible 50 votes from the Associated Press to win the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees received the other nine. Mahomes is the youngest player to ever win the MVP award in the Super Bowl era.
“It was very simple for me,” Robinson told me. “I didn’t like the idea of playing way up in Detroit in the cold. I signed when the Chiefs’ franchise was the Dallas Texans, and it was warmer to play in Dallas — and much closer to my hometown of Baton Rouge.”
Over a 17-year career, former Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez missed just two games. After his rookie season in 1997, he started all but two games. He had a streak of 211 consecutive games with a reception — the longest such streak for any tight end, and second only to wide receivers Jerry Rice and Larry Fitzgerald.
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