His role increased not just because of Hill’s absence but because he knows more of the playbook.
”[The game] is getting slower,” Hardman said. “That comes with watching film, [getting] more practice and getting more comfortable in the offense itself and knowing what I need to do.”
But the deep ball is Hardman’s calling card. He caught a 42-yard touchdown on a post pattern last week against the Raiders and had a 72-yard score called back because of a penalty.
Mecole Hardman Jr. scored on an 83-yard reception against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and according to Next Gen Stats, Hardman got up to 21.74 mph, which is the fastest a ball carrier has run on any touchdown this season in the NFL.
Hardman led both teams in receiving with two receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. Hardman now has six receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie campaign with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Patrick Mahomes dropped back to pass, looked left and lured the entire defense that direction, then flicked the ball the other direction. Backup running back Darrel Williams had slipped out the back side and was open, taking the screen pass for a first down and clinching the Chiefs’ 3-0 start.
It wasn’t Andy Reid’s call, though. Or a brilliant move by offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
’’That was Pat’s play,’’ Reid said. ‘’He has the whole game plan and Saturday night we go through it and we hit those type of situations - ‘What would you like?’ - and we ask each quarterback what they would like if it was this situation. So, it’s a four-minute situation, third-and-10, and so that was his play for that situation, but that was already in the game plan.’’
Ogbah recorded two tackles (one solo), 1.5 sacks and one defended pass during Sunday’s 33-28 win over the Ravens.
Ogbah now has 2.5 sacks in three games. The 25-year-old appears to be thriving in his role as a rotational pass rusher and complement to Frank Clark and Alex Okafor. He’ll look to log another strong performance Week 4 against the Lions.
QUOTES TO NOTE
”When you’re defending a screen, everybody’s got to be alert for the screen. That play’s really kind of a play that everybody on the defense is involved in, so [when] we kind of say, ‘Who’s responsible for a screen, we say, ‘Everybody.’ So like I said, back to the drawing board. We’ll look at it, see the things we’ve got to fix.” -- Ravens safety Tony Jefferson on defending the Chiefs’ running backs screens, which they ran for a late touchdown and a third-down conversion in the closing minutes
Shady finds the end zone TWICE
LeSean McCoy’s redemption tour is going pretty damn well in Kansas City. Reuniting with Andy Reid was probably the best thing that could have happened to the running back — and having an offense that is effective in the passing game, creating more opportunities for McCoy and the other RBs.
In his first game with the Chiefs, Shady ran for 81 yards on 10 carries. He had a dip in production in Week 2, getting just 23 yards on 11 carries. But, McCoy found his footing again on Sunday against the Ravens, recording 54 yards on 8 carries and his first touchdown in Kansas City.
1. SOLID STAFFORD
Stafford, who is in his 11th NFL season, hasn’t missed a start since the beginning of the 2011. He’s having a solid, if not spectacular, year with a 97.5 quarterback rating.
Stafford has completed 67 of 107 passes (62.6%) for six touchdowns and two interceptions. His touchdown percentage (5.6%) is the best since Stafford’s first full season in 2011 (6.2%). Stafford’s interception percentage (1.9%) is his lowest in three years.
In a 27-24 win at Philadelphia on Sunday, Stafford completed 18 of 32 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown.
Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson are must-start until Tyreek Hill returns
For the second week in a row Hardman and Robinson both scored touchdowns and will finish as top-25 receivers. Robinson made a spectacular one-handed catch in the end zone and finished with three catches for 43 yards. Hardman only caught two passes, but one of them went 83 yards for a touchdown, so two was plenty. Somehow Patrick Mahomes has been even better than he was in 2018 and you just need to start anyone catching passes from him. Well, except Sammy Watkins I guess.
Verdict: Don’t believe it.
I know this is counterintuitive. I don’t even feel comfortable saying it. But what these two receivers have done is not sustainable. And it’s really not likely that they continue this production, even until Hill returns.
Chiefs Rotation Surprises
Before the game, Chiefs reporters noted that the team was warming up with Darrel Williams as the starter, Darwin Thompson as the backup, and LeSean McCoy (who hobbled into the stadium a few hours earlier) behind them both. Those reports surely led to many last-minute lineup changes, but McCoy still got the start. The veteran carried the ball eight times for 54 yards and a touchdown while adding three catches for 26 yards and a score. Williams paced the backs with a 55 percent snap share, with McCoy playing on 37 percent of snaps and Thompson barely at all (just 8 percent of snaps). The much-anticipated Thompson breakout did not happen, and based on what we saw today, he remains firmly planted at fourth on the depth chart.
Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (available in 95 percent of fantasy leagues)
The second-year pro got the starting nod after Damien Williams (knee) was ruled out, with LeSean McCoy (ankle) still not 100 percent. Williams played 37 of the team’s 68 offensive snaps, touching the ball 14 times for 109 yards from scrimmage, with his longest run a 41-yard dash that saw his top speed reach almost 21 mph.
Around the league
Timing of Ramsey’s illness is sure to bring out a host of Ferris Bueller references.
Marrone was asked if he thought the illness was suspicious because of the corner’s trade request.
”I’m not getting into that,” Marrone said. “... If you’re sick, you’re sick -- what are you going to do?”
Ramsey requested a trade last week after a conflict with Tom Coughlin. The team has been reluctant to pull the trigger on a trade, asking for a boatload in return for the top young cover-corner in the NFL.
Perhaps the Jaguars hoped last Thursday’s win might make Ramsey have a change of heart and take back his trade request. The corner calling in sick Monday could signal that the situation remains untenable moving forward.
Olsen has every right to feel good about himself, too. After consecutive seasons spent battling a foot injury that forced him to miss 16 games and become almost obsolete in the offense, the three-time Pro Bowl selection is showing he still belongs in a discussion of the league’s elite tight ends.
In the past two games, Olsen’s 185 receiving yards ranks third among tight ends behind the Raiders’ Darren Waller (197) and the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce (196). His 16 receptions is tied for third behind Walker (19) and Kelce (14). His two touchdown catches is tied for second behind the Seahawks’ Will Dissly (3).
“I should have three,” Olsen said. “I should have caught the first one.”
1. The Bucs took a delay of game penalty and missed a game-winning FG
Tampa had the ball left with 13 seconds to go against the New York Giants. The Bucs were in field goal range after Jameis Winston connected with Mike Evans for a terrific 44-yard pass play.
Then head coach Bruce Arians inexplicably took a delay of game penalty to move the ball back five yards. Arians tried justifying it by saying he thought Matt Gay kicks better from longer distances?!
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The former Buffalo Bills running back had to leave the game in the third quarter when his ankle flared up.
“It just wasn’t right,” he said before assuring reporters he’d be ready to go next Sunday against the Detroit Lions. “As a competitor, most guys lie to try not to get off the field. I have another week to prepare for it, rehab and get better. This offense is amazing. I’m anxious to get back and play with them. It’s fun; football is fun again.”
McCoy said he had “no fear” that he’d miss Sunday’s game.
“Just rehab it up, get ready for next week.”
Harbaugh wasn’t about to apologize for his decisions on fourth down.
“I can just tell you analytically — like when you look at the numbers — it is not even close,” he told the media. “So you understand that in terms of percentages in terms of winning the game. I am just telling you that is what the analytics are.
“We believe in our offense and we are going to try to make as many first downs as we can,” he continued. “I think it led to a touchdown the very first time, did it not? We will keep doing that probably if it suits us. Whatever makes the most sense. We are not going into it blind. We got the numbers. We know what we are doing and that was the plan.”
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