Furthermore, I’m not entirely convinced the Chiefs offense has to regress the way most people seem to think it will. This will be Mahomes’ second season as a starter and his third season in the offense. Isn’t there a chance he’s now had the chance to master the offense after learning it the past couple seasons? Isn’t there a chance he’s going to get even better? Most quarterbacks don’t peak in Year 1 or 2. They usually peak only after they acquire enough experience to know what’s coming on the other side of the ball. As Tom Brady said a couple years ago, ”I have the answers to the test now.” There’s no way Mahomes had all the answers to the test in Year 2. He might not have all the answers in Year 3, but he should have more answers than he did a season ago.
You might think that predicting the Chiefs to make the Super Bowl isn’t bold, but at this point in the Patriots’ dynasty, picking any team other than the Patriots to win the AFC qualifies as a bold prediction. The final prediction is that the Chiefs topple the Galactic Empire and then go win the whole damn thing two weeks later.
West: Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs feared that star wide receiver Tyreek Hill would be suspended this offseason, and traded up within the second round of the draft to select a potential replacement in Mecole Hardman. Hill was instead fully cleared to play this season, and between Hill, Hardman and former top-five pick Sammy Watkins, the Chiefs have one of the most explosive receiving corps in football. Mahomes might not throw 40-plus touchdown passes this year, but he will still keep this team in the Super Bowl hunt.
After adding defensive end Frank Clark and others, the Chiefs should be slightly better on defense than the unit that gave up 27 points per game last year.
Passing defense: D
Jordan Lucas’ interception of DeShone Kizer set up the Chiefs with a short-field touchdown. Morris Claiborne had a beautiful pass breakup in the end zone. But on the same series, Mark Fields had a tough go, committing penalties for pass interference and hands to the face.
They were two of the three defensive penalties on the drive that started after Marcus Marshall lost a fumble. Later in the second quarter, Fields committed another pass interference infraction in the end zone to set up a touchdown.
Green Bay Packers 27, Kansas City Chiefs 20
Judging just by the fact that Carlos Hyde was even playing in the Chiefs’ Week 4 preseason outing against the Packers, it’s a safe wager he was running for his job. Likely in need of a big night, Hyde really didn’t find daylight. With the likes of starter Damien Williams, Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson all safely on the bench, Hyde started the game and ended it with 29 yards on eight carries, averaging 3.6 yards a tote with a long of nine and no catches on one target. Hyde, who split last season with the Browns and Jaguars following four years for the 49ers, might well have seen his last carries for K.C.
Maybe that sounds like a small thing, but do you remember last season? The Chiefs had plenty of problems defensively, so tackling was sometimes overlooked, but the Chiefs gave away too many yards, particularly within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage.
The Chiefs missed eight tackles in the AFC Championship loss to the Patriots, according to Pro Football Focus, and even with all the roster turnover seven of those misses were by players who are back.
Overall, PFF graded the Chiefs 17th in tackling last year.
In this preseason, PFF graded the Chiefs as first overall entering Thursday’s games.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
What will Patrick Mahomes do for his league MVP encore? Even if his numbers aren’t quite as ridiculous as they were last season, the chances are that he will remain sufficiently spectacular to keep the Chiefs at top-contender status. The NFL’s decision not to suspend Tyreek Hill means the league’s most dynamic big-play pass-catching threat remains available to Mahomes and the Chiefs all season.
Kansas City Chiefs RB Carlos Hyde
A second-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, Carlos Hyde was a relatively steady, relatively productive running back as recently as 2017. In 2016 and 2017 in San Francisco, he compiled 2,439 yards from scrimmage and scored 17 touchdowns while averaging a solid 4.2 yards per attempt.
But the former Ohio State star couldn’t stick last season in either Cleveland or Jacksonville, and now it looks as though he’ll be looking for a new team for the fourth time in an 18-month span.
ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher reported Monday that Hyde was again working exclusively with backups in Kansas City Chiefs practice, while Damien Williams, Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams all received some first-team reps.
That’s been the case for some time, and Hyde didn’t help himself by gaining just 55 yards on 16 carries in the preseason. Williams, Williams and Thompson all saw action prior to Hyde in Kansas City’s unofficial dress rehearsal last week.
He’ll likely be released in the coming hours, and then the question will be how much he has left as he approaches his 29th birthday.
This season, Jaylen, a safety for the Los Angeles Chargers and Sammy, a wide receiver with the Kansas City Chiefs, will square off twice as AFC West division rivals. The matchup was set to occur last season, but Jaylen tore his ACL about three weeks before the Chargers hosted the Chiefs in the 2018 season opener.
“I think he’s going to have an opportunity to actually play on the field and get some snaps against me,” Sammy said. “So hopefully I can, you know, crack him or something.”
This might be stretching the concept of a complete sentence, but several names work as picture captions, like Herm Winningham, D.K. Metcalf, Adam Eaton, Mookie Betts, Stefon Diggs, or Chris Mills.
Imagine a picture of a certain Braves pitcher working the griddle, with the caption “Max Fried.”
Your quiet friend finally opens his mouth: Breeland Speaks!
At the family reunion when picking teams, Adam Gotsis.
Around the league
Heading into 2019, Miller sees Chubb’s star about to shoot across the NFL sky.
”He’s a totally different player,” Miller said Wednesday, via the team’s official website. “... He’s going to have the same jersey number on, but he’s going to look totally different. He’s been working on a lot of stuff. I’m excited for him.”
Chubb has looked unblockable during limited preseason reps, displaying counter-moves he didn’t own last season that will make him a dangerous weapon for Vic Fangio to deploy. Chubb already had the speed and power to give offensive tackles fits, now, with a full offseason to refine his game the sophomore is primed to explode.
Sam Darnold’s rookie season didn’t exactly go according to plan. The third overall pick got off to a disastrous start for the Jets, and that’s not just a reference to the first play of his career. Darnold completed just 55 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and 14 picks in his first nine games before being sidelined for most of November with a foot injury. By the time the rookie quarterback returned to the lineup in early December, it was clear the 3-9 Jets were in the middle of another lost season; with Darnold back under center for the team’s final four games, New York limped to a final 4-12 record, and the season culminated in the dismissal of head coach Todd Bowles and his staff.
After weeks of speculation, the Miami Dolphins have finally announced their Week 1 quarterback.
”I found out before you guys,” Fitzpatrick told reporters after the game. “Just a quick conversation with coach Flo. He’s been great throughout the whole process. Not just with starters, non-starters, whatever. Just in terms of being upfront and just letting guys know how he sees things and what he feels.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The defense is playing with a new energy
Even with the starters on the sidelines for the whole game, it’s clear that the Chiefs defense has a new energy and attitude. The players and coaches have talked about it ever since OTAs — and there have been hints of it in previous exhibition games — but to me, it was on full display throughout Thursday’s game. The defensive players on the field may have been from the bottom of the roster, but they attacked on every play. They were tough against the run — and stingy against the pass.
Sure... there were moments when the execution was sloppy. That’s to be expected from depth players. But this new attitude and energy isn’t there just when Frank Clark or Tyrann Mathieu are on the field. It’s been infused through the entire roster.
Will that result in an improved defense? Only the regular season will tell. But I can’t wait to see it.
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