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Arrowheadlines: Tyreek Hill’s thank you to Kansas City

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Chiefs headlines for Thursday, September 19

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill records thank you message for Chiefs fans | Kansas City Star

“I’m very thankful for being in a great city like Kansas City, because there ain’t no fans like Kansas City fans, I promise you that. We’ve got the greatest fans in the world,” he said.

“So y’all keep doing y’all thing. Y’all keep showing up, because we need y’all. I promise you, you all are more important than what you think you are. We love you. I’m telling you this right now, every guy wants to make a big play because we want to hear you guys scream. Every guy wants to take it 70 yards, I promise you that.”

Patrick Mahomes told Mecole Hardman: “Speed it up” | Yahoo Sports

Mahomes said that during Sunday’s win over the Raiders, he and Hardman misconnected when Hardman looked too concerned about faking out a defensive back on his route. Mahomes told Hardman just to run his route as fast as he could, and that would take care of things.

“I think it was just him finding the speed of the game,” Mahomes said, via the Kansas City Star. “He’s still a young guy, and it’s just his second game in the league. He realized that he has to be fast with his cuts. He kinda tried to sell it a little bit more with a nod, and he was open, but it was late, and the pressure was there. So I just told him, you have to speed it up. You have to play with that speed; use your speed. You saw him the rest of the game — he sped it up and made big plays for us.”

There’s No Good Way to Defend the Chiefs’ Offense—But the Ravens Have a Good Idea | SI.com

The $64,000 question is whether the Ravens will again commit to playing aggressively this way against Kansas City. Mahomes is a conundrum; a team can blitz him in hopes of making him play on its schedule, but he’s so mobile that the blitzes are liable to miss, leaving the quarterback with fewer defenders to worry about downfield. This is what happened in that December matchup.

But just rushing four and playing more traditional seven-man coverages can also be perilous because most offensive designs are built around exploiting seven-man coverage, and Kansas City’s designs are some of football’s sharpest. The only other option would be to rush three and drop eight into coverage, which more teams are doing, especially with the increased popularity of empty-backfield formations on offense. (The Chiefs are in the upper-third of the league for empty set usage.) But just rushing three really invites Mahomes to extend plays. Though who’s to say that isn’t better, since it can force the well-designed Chiefs offense into a more randomized mode?

NFL picks 2019, Week 3: Experts think the Chiefs can be the first to slow down Lamar Jackson and the Ravens | SB Nation

Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson absolutely has to be fun

Mahomes threw 50 touchdowns last season on his way to becoming the NFL MVP. Yet somehow, he’s blowing away his 2018 numbers so far.

He’s averaging 410.5 passing yards per game and is on pace for 56 touchdowns. The Chiefs rolled through the Jaguars and the Raiders in the first two weeks, but the difficulty level is going to be much higher with the Ravens coming to town.

Jackson is also on pace for 56 passing touchdowns after running roughshod on the Dolphins and Cardinals in the first two weeks. He’s averaging 298 passing yards with 63 rushing yards per game, to boot.

The Chiefs have the homefield advantage this week. The Ravens have a defense that’s No. 2 in the NFL right now and is allowing 1.8 yards per rushing attempt.

It’s the heavyweight bout of Week 3 and our expert panel is taking Kansas City to roll on to 3-0. I’m the only one who has decided to be the class clown by picking the Ravens. Even our very Good Dog of the week, Bennett, is taking the Chiefs.

Lamar Jackson, Ravens have the NFL’s best offense right now | NFL.com

Your latest Game of the Century this week will feature one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL right now, a group that seems nearly impossible to defend. And that team is going up against the Kansas City Chiefs.

You read that correctly: The Baltimore Ravens have the most balanced and dangerous offense right now.

Don’t take this as a slight against the Chiefs. I always hate when you tell people you prefer one awesome thing to another awesome thing, and they take it to mean you believe the other awesome thing is washed. This is not the case. The Chiefs have a great offense, and I love them, as my fantasy lineup will attest. The truth is, I’m just really feeling the Ravens.

Fantasy Football Week 3 Rankings: Top Players and Matchups for All Positions | Bleacher Report

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs

Through two weeks, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has been one of the most dynamic and exciting players in the league. The dual-threat signal-caller dominated through the air in Week 1 and did it on the ground in Week 2.

This season, Jackson has racked up 596 passing yards, 120 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

On Sunday, Jackson will face off against a Kansas City defense that has allowed 367.5 yards per game, 19th in the NFL. It won’t matter how Jackson chooses to attack the Chiefs defense; he should have a fair bit of success.

Making the matchup more favorable is the fact that Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense will be on the opposite sideline. This could very well turn into a shootout, which is great news for anyone with Jackson in their starting lineup.

Ravens’ Justin Tucker, Saints’ Wil Lutz lead NFL’s top 10 kickers | NFL.com

4 Harrison Butker

The Panthers attempted to stash Butker on their practice squad after the seventh-round pick failed to beat out veteran Graham Gano in the summer of 2017. The Chiefs swooped in for the steal two weeks later, when Cairo Santos went down with a groin injury. Butker was a hero from the start in Kansas City, winning his debut with a 43-yard field goal versus the Redskins in a Monday night nail-biter. He earned a lucrative five-year, $20 million contract extension after drilling a now-forgotten 39-yard field goal to send the AFC Championship Game to overtime last January. With a career mark of 90.4% on just 73 career field-goal attempts, Butker may just make a run at Tucker’s accuracy record over the next decade.

Top Fantasy Football Streaming Options for Week 3 | SI.com

Darwin Thompson, KC (vs BAL)

There was so much hype this summer among high-stakes owners surrounding the potential of the rookie RB out of Utah State playing in arguably the best offense in the NFL. However, the Chiefs acquired LeSean McCoy just days before the start of the regular season, burying Thompson on the depth chart. In Week 2, starting RB Damien Williams suffered a groin injury and McCoy injured his ankle. Now, both their respective statuses for Sunday’s tilt are in doubt. All owners need to monitor this situation very closely as Thompson could immediately be thrust into low-RB1, high-RB2 consideration should both Williams and McCoy both miss the Chiefs matchup with the Ravens.

Around the league

NFL Panic Index 2019: Somehow, we’re running out of starting quarterbacks | SB Nation

The Chargers are slipping back into bad habits

Panic index: The Chargers are pretty used to being here. Since 2015, they’ve started every season at 0-3 or 1-2, and in some of those cases (including last year) they turned things around. After starting 1-2 last season, the Chargers finished with a 12-4 record and made the playoffs. It’s not time to panic yet, but one has to wonder why they’re so sluggish to start so often.

Saints don’t name QB starter; no IR for Brees | ESPN

Payton continued to staunchly defend Bridgewater on Wednesday, pointing out that the offensive line play and penalties were the biggest culprits for New Orleans’ lack of success this past Sunday in a 27-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams after Brees left in the first quarter.

But he also indicated that Hill will be part of the game plan after he was used often in read-option packages last season.

”We’ll have the right plan relative to what those guys are doing,” said Payton, who acknowledged the Saints will have to monitor how much they are doing with Hill -- who has also been a core special-teams player over the past two years.

”Look, these guys have been here now two seasons,” Payton said. “It’s just kind of taking a step back and looking at the things we want to do with those guys in the game and putting that plan in place this week in practice.”

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Patrick Mahomes named AFC’s offensive player of the week for Week 2

Mahomes put together a 278-yard, 12-completion, four-touchdown second quarter as part of a 443-yard effort in the Chiefs’ 28-10 win over the Oakland Raiders.

Somewhat surprisingly, it is only Mahomes’ third AFC offensive player of the week award. Mahomes won the weekly award for Weeks 1 and 2 in 2018.

Heading into Week 3, Mahomes leads all passers with 821 yards and is in a three-way tie with seven passing touchdowns (CowboysDak Prescott and RavensLamar Jackson).

Left tackle Eric Fisher to undergo surgery on Thursday

Burkholder said that the team had consulted with Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia — an expert in the field — and that Fisher was already en route to Pennsylvania to have Meyers perform what Burkholder called a “core muscle repair” on Thursday.

As our in-house sports medicine expert Aaron Borgmann noted on Twitter, Fisher had the same procedure performed in 2014. Borgmann believes that the new procedure is likely on the opposite side — because once repaired, these injuries don’t typically become an issue again.

Borgmann also said that the injury would not necessarily end Fisher’s season.

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