“To much is given, much is required — and he understands that, so he doesn’t have room to change,” Hawkins told Yahoo Sports. “He has to stay humble, and he has to stay humble because of mom, Randi, is not gonna let him not stay humble, and I’m not gonna let him get too far and and his dad’s not, either … because as fast as you rose, you can fall even faster. It takes a little while to climb that tree, but you’ll always get down a lot faster.”
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes is only 23 years old and coming off of a season when he threw 50 touchdowns to 12 interceptions and led his team to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. It was also his first season as a starter. The Patriots saw just how talented Mahomes was up close and personal, and he’s only going to get better as he continues to grow as an NFL quarterback.
March 13 – The 2019 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m. New York time.
March 13 – Trading period for 2019 begins at 4:00 p.m. New York time.
Offensive lineman Jeff Allen simply tweeted: “Skip Shut up and enjoy the ride”
Shortly after the announcement, Bayless tweeted: “Patrick Mahomes, runaway NFL MVP, lost twice to Tom Brady this season. Brady threw for 182 yards in the 4th q vs KC at home and completed three straight 3rd-and-10s in overtime to keep Mahomes from even touching the football in KC two weeks ago.”
… And Franco Harris makes an Immaculate Reception, admired by Joe Greene, and JuJu ends up with the ball and he twinkle-toes across a table, and Odell Beckham goes out for a pass and Goodell tells Patrick Mahomes (yes, he’s in it) that Beckham is open, and Mahomes no-look-passes to Beckham, who reprises his one-hand end-zone catch against Dallas while landing on a table …
Logistics were fun. With the spot being taped in the middle of the playoffs, Ellis had some faux banquet rooms, with tight shots, built with the same décor as the L.A. venue. Mayfield flew to Boston and did his piece with Brady there. Mahomes flew to Orlando and did his piece with Wilson there, making a throw that was “caught” on the L.A. set by Beckham.
As defensive coordinators try to devise ways to slow down Goff, Mahomes, and the other offenses that have led the NFL’s points bonanza, they’ll likely study what Phillips and the pairing of Belichick and Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores used in the Super Bowl (and in the Pats’ case, the AFC championship game against Kansas City). They’ll find that there is no single schematic cheat code to unlock what those staffs did. In this era of offensive explosion, the biggest key to defensive success is being malleable enough to shape a defense for any given opponent—and aggressive enough to not allow efficiency machines like the Chiefs, Rams, and Patriots to ever get comfortable.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune and long-time NFL reporter Ed Werder, the Patriots are likely going to be getting the boot from the 2019 opener in favor of two completely different teams. This isn’t any conspiracy against the Patriots; the NFL is just thinking about doing something different because the league will be kicking off its 100th season in 2019.
With the Chiefs on the Patriots’ home schedule, the NFL could choose to have a rematch of the AFC title game for New England’s home opener. Of course, a game against the Steelers, Browns or Cowboys would also be fascinating.
Around the league
Barwin was released by the New York Giants on Monday after one season with the team. The 32-year-old linebacker started three of 15 games played for Big Blue in 2018. Barwin saw over 30 snaps a game in New York’s first five tests, but barely saw the field during the season’s final three-quarters.
“I am happy and fortunate to join the Cincinnati Bengals as head coach,” Taylor said in a statement released by the team one day after the Rams’ 13-3 loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. “This is a great organization with good people and a rich history, and I am excited to get started. I am looking to add to that history by setting high standards, and holding everyone here accountable to those standards. There is a lot of work to do, and this is Day 1. We’re going to attack every day with enthusiasm to get this team ready to go.”
“I feel great,” Rodgers said on NFL Network. “My body feels really good. Instead of getting surgery postseason, decided to kind of go through a different routine with my knee than I’ve done in the past, and I’m feeling really, really good. Got a concussion the last game, that’s cleared up. I’m feeling really good. I’m getting back into my workout routine, but the first month of the offseason is a lot about yoga and traveling.”
The news we’ve essentially known for weeks is now official: Miami’s new head coach is Brian Flores. The Dolphins announced the hire Monday, less than 24 hours after Flores’ Patriots defense befuddled Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams for four quarters in a 13-3 win in Super Bowl LIII.
If this is Gronkowski’s last game, it was a game that was a emblematic of his career. He’s earned a reputation of being a reliable target to make a play when the Patriots need it most, and on Sunday night, he made a crucial catch to set up running back Sony Michel’s two-yard touchdown run, the only touchdown of the game for either side. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had called the same play—Edelman works the middle of the field and Gronkowski runs a seam route—twice in a row before the big play where Gronkowski laid out for a 29-yard catch that put New England in the red zone for the first time. “I knew the ball was coming to me,” Gronkowski says. “I saw the coverage and it was the same coverage as the play before when we ran it.”
“I don’t even know if I had a vision for it, man,” Jason told NFL Network after the victory. “Last year, I spent the season in Cleveland. Didn’t win a football game. God is good. I couldn’t imagine I’d be sitting here after the 2018, 2019 season. Dev texted Bill [Belichick] in March and said ‘Two McCourtys are better than one.’ Tonight, I think Bill agrees. So I’m happy with it.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
PATRA: The NFL loves playoff rematches in the opener, and this one would bring everything to the table. The last two Chiefs-Pats games were marvelous showcases, each coming down to the wire. K.C. boasts regular season MVP Patrick Mahomes to pit against Tom Brady. Bill Belichick versus Andy Reid. The Pats’ Super Bowl-winning D against Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Dee Ford staying onside. The stories go on and on. Perhaps the NFL would rather save this tilt for later in the season, but if the league wants to kick off the 2019 campaign with a bang, it cannot go wrong with this matchup.
Jones and Hill are still under contract but are eligible to sign long-term extensions this offseason. Both players are coming off career years—Hill set Kansas City’s single-season receiving record with 1,479 yards and Jones finished third in the league in sacks with 15.5. Hill also had 13 total touchdowns on the season.
On Sunday night, San Francisco television news anchor Raj Mathai tweeted that the Raiders have reached an agreement with the San Francisco Giants to use their Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park) for their home games in 2019.
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