Chiefs: It took one play -- Damien Williams’ wheel route catch-and-run -- to remind you of what he’s capable of in this offense. The play itself was a third-down call where Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins all drew close coverage, leaving Williams on a linebacker in space. It didn’t end well for that guy but great for Williams, who sped away for the score. With Carlos Hyde on the outs, Fantasy managers can corral Williams with a top-25 pick and Darwin Thompson with a Round 9-10 choice and theoretically lock up the Chiefs backfield.
“A lot of people in my area look up to me, so I feel like I’m a big role model back where I’m from,” said Pringle, who grew up in Tampa, Florida before attending Kansas State. “As long as I’m doing good, everybody back home is doing good and they have a positive mindset to make it out where I’m from.”
Hearing the cheers when he went into the end zone meant a great deal to the former Wildcat, who has plenty of supporters in the stands for every game at Arrowhead Stadium.
“I always hear them screaming out Wildcat when I run in and off the field, so it’s big to have those fans follow me from Kansas State to Kansas City,” Pringle said.
CB Herb Miller, Kansas City Chiefs: Preseason Performer
Because of the turnover within the Kansas City Chiefs cornerback group, Herb Miller will have an opportunity to play a significant number of snaps if he continues to stand out in the preseason.
Through two games, Miller has six tackles; an interception, which he returned 67 yards; a forced fumble; and two pass breakups. Typically, he’s around the football, which bodes well for his chances to make the 53-man cut.
Though Miller has shown ball skills, Steelers backup Joshua Dobbs completed a 40-yard pass to James Washington with the undrafted rookie in coverage.
In 2018, the Chiefs gave up 247 first downs through the air—by far the most in the league. Kansas City can’t afford to field a cornerback susceptible to big plays.
Miller’s preseason production should help him earn a spot on the roster, but he’s not a quality starter at this stage in his career. The Florida Atlantic product may take snaps in spot press-man duty, but quicker wideouts could beat him downfield.
2019 Projection: 12 tackles, 2 PD
A review of that class shows just how many from the 2012 class fit into that “what if” category. Even if not all of them were injury-related.
No. 3 overall pick Trent Richardson, Luck’s former teammate, is out of the league.
No. 5 pick Justin Blackmon played only 20 games in the NFL, displaying star traits before succumbing to legal issues and off-field troubles. His current whereabouts seem to be largely unknown.
No. 6 pick Morris Claiborne is looking to hook on with the Chiefs after an up-and-down career.
Four other first-rounders — Quinton Coples, Shea McClellin, A.J. Jenkins and David Wilson — all have been out of the league for multiple years.
No. 22 overall pick Brandon Weeden played one game for the Texans last year, and his last NFL start came in 2015. He’s currently not on an NFL roster.
Kansas City Chiefs: Sammy Watkins
He once looked promising, and of course, we want ties to Kansas City’s league-best offense. That said, Watkins hasn’t reached 600 yards since 2015 and averaged just 51.9 ypg with three touchdowns over 10 contests on the explosive Chiefs while dealing with his usual foot injuries last season. KC is loaded with weapons on offense, and even if something were to happen to Tyreek Hill, there’s a deep-threat replacement ready in second-round pick, Mecole Hardman.
Melvin Gordon’s prolonged holdout and Derwin James’ foot injury in L.A., Antonio Brown’s head-to-toe spectacle in Oakland, and a spinning turnstile of head coaches and quarterbacks in Denver all complicate efforts to unseat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.
Not that it’s status quo in KC. The Chiefs’ defensive makeover features new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and as many as eight new starters.
Patrick Mahomes, the MVP who threw for 5,000-plus yards and 50 touchdowns in his first season as a starter, never touched the ball in overtime of the AFC championship because Kansas City’s defenders couldn’t get off the field against the Patriots after New England won the coin toss.
That rendered the biggest breakout star of 2018 another sad spectator at Arrowhead Stadium as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick hoisted their ninth Lamar Hunt Trophy together.
“We were super close,” Mahomes said. “We fell just short.”
On Aug. 8, Raiders starting right guard Gabe Jackson suffered a knee injury in practice. Devey, a free-agent acquisition this offseason, is now slated to start at right guard in Week 1.
Last Oct. 7, Chiefs right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif suffered a major leg injury in a game against the Jaguars. Devey replaced him and started at right guard the next weekend at New England.
And then center Mitch Morse sustained a concussion at New England — so Devey replaced him and started the next game at center against Cincinnati.
“I kind of live my life in the NFL just trying to stay ready,” Devey, 31, said last week. “In this job, you make yourself valuable by being able to go in and do that whenever your number is called.”
Somebody is feeling very confident about the Kansas City Chiefs.
On Sunday, one bettor placed a total of $25,000 on the Chiefs at 6-1 to win Super Bowl LIV.
Kansas City reached the AFC Championship Game last season, losing 37-31 to the New England Patriots in overtime. Oddsmakers expect the two teams to compete for the conference title once again in 2019.
The Patriots (+650) are the betting favorites at Caesars Palace sportsbook to be Super Bowl champions, with the Chiefs (+700) following closely behind.
Around the league
Lamar Miller is done for the 2019 NFL season.
An MRI on Sunday confirmed the Texans’ starting running back suffered a torn ACL, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports, per a source. Miller was carted off the field during Houston’s first drive against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.
On the second offensive play of the game, Miller took a handoff from Deshaun Watson, ran right and was hit at the knees by Cowboys defensive tackle Maliek Collins for a loss. Miller went down in pain immediately, was tended to by trainers and then carted into the locker room.
There was such an unflappable expectation that Luck would be the next Manning that his place among the NFL’s all-time great quarterbacks was being discussed before his third season. It’s because we loved the narrative — all of us. The notion that the Colts could seamlessly transition from Manning to Luck seemed so innately unfair to non-Colts fans that the system almost seemed rigged. We haven’t seen such a serendipitous circumstance in sports since the San Antonio Spurs were gifted Tim Duncan in the 1997 NBA Draft to solidify their big man succession plans when David Robinson would eventually retire.
Antonio Brown needs a new helmet.
The Oakland Raiders wide receiver lost his second grievance, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source. Rapoport added that there are no further proceedings expected.
Brown’s hearing this past Friday involved the same independent arbitrator as his first hearing. The All-Pro wideout argued he should be given a one-year grace period to phase out using his helmet. Brown has not played in the preseason while dealing with the helmet issue and a foot injury.
Does this mean Brown will again be stuck between a helmet and a hard place? He has 30 million reasons not to be.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The starting defensive line was made up of defensive ends Frank Clark and Alex Okafor — and also tackles Chris Jones and Derrick Nnadi. There wasn’t much pressure on the first drive against the 49ers, but Jones made back to back great plays with a run stuff on third-down and a pass deflection on fourth-down deep in their own territory. The lack of penetration of the pocket on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo continued into the second drive, and allowed for some easy third-down conversions. They tried out a creative pass rushing package with Tanoh Kpassagnon inside for Nnadi — alongside blitzes by safety Dan Sorensen and linebacker Anthony Hitchens — but no one got home to disrupt the quarterback.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to see how running back Carlos Hyde will be on the team in September. By and large, he hasn’t been productive in the Chiefs offense — but that’s the only time he’s seeing the field. With so many tough decisions to make, why use a roster spot on a backup running back who can make no contribution elsewhere?
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