Patrick Mahomes is widely viewed as the best quarterback in the league, but he only comes in sixth by PFF grades. Statistically, Mahomes is on another level this year, leading the league in yards (1,195) and touchdowns (10). However, even though he hasn’t thrown an interception, he’s made a few bad decisions. PFF currently has Mahomes ranked 19th in turnover-worthy plays, meaning he hasn’t done a great job taking care of the ball. Ultimately, Brady’s ability to make big plays while keeping the ball out of harm’s way makes him the best in the league, even in this unparalleled age of quarterbacking.
The betting odds on Mahomes winning this year’s MVP Award dropped to 1/1 this week, according to BetOnline. He was the favorite last week at 2/1. Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson climbed up as the second favorite at 5/1, followed by Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott and New England quarterback Tom Brady at 7/1.
The Chiefs also have one of the leading favorites for offensive rookie of the year with receiver Mecole Hardman at 16/1. New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is the favorite at 2/1. Hardman ranks as the No. 8 overall betting favorite and third-ranked wide receiver. Only Washington’s Terry McLaurin (9/1) and Baltimore’s Marquise Brown (14/1) have better odds than Hardman.
2. Chiefs (3-0)
I cannot wait for the Chiefs and Patriots to face off in Week 14. Between now and then, it’s quite possible that no one will stop Kansas City. The Chiefs have scored 25 points or more in 24 games and counting going back to last season, the longest such stretch in NFL history. Patrick Mahomes, meanwhile, is taking quarterback play to an entirely new level in his second season as the starter, following up on his MVP campaign by averaging nearly 400 yards and more than three touchdown passes per game. Impressively, Andy Reid and the Chiefs have compensated for the absence of injured receiver Tyreek Hill to the point that he hasn’t really been missed, with players like Demarcus Robinson (10 catches, 215 yards, three scores on 12 targets), Mecole Hardman (six catches, 158 yards and two scores on 12 targets) and LeSean McCoy (196 yards from scrimmage and two scores on 36 touches) taking on increased roles. More good news for K.C.: New coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defense already looks better than the leaky unit the Chiefs fielded in 2018, ranking 14th in the NFL in points allowed after finishing last season in 24th.
Andy Reid knows. With last weekend’s victory, the Chiefs coach passed Chuck Noll for sixth place on the NFL’s list of the all-time winningest coaches. Including the postseason, Reid has won 210 games.
One game he hasn’t won: The Super Bowl.
Reid has always struck me as a man with keen real-world perspective, displaying a firm handle on what’s most important in life and how sports squares with it. That’s one reason his players typically respect him to the hilt, as LeSean McCoy, reunited with Reid, reminded me while chatting at his locker on Sunday.
But Reid is still a competitive coach and in this business to win the biggest prize. No matter whether he admits it or not, it has to bug him to some degree to have come so close – including five NFC title game appearances and a Super Bowl loss with the Eagles – only to fall short.
1) LeSean McCoy, Chiefs: The 31-year-old running back has reunited with Andy Reid, and it feels so good! McCoy has the knowledge and play-making ability to be a real asset in an already good Chiefs’ offense, and that’s exactly what he’s been since signing with Kansas City after the Bills released him last month. With Patrick Mahomes carrying the load, McCoy is more dangerous between the tackles and as a receiver out of the backfield. Through three games, McCoy is averaging 5.4 yards per carry (tying his career high) and has gotten into the end zone twice -- something he did just three times all last season. McCoy got the start in Week 3 in place of injured starter Damien Williams before tweaking an ankle injury that caused him to exit the game in the fourth quarter, but he’s expected to play in Week 4.
9) LeSean McCoy, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
McCoy had reached a crossroads in Buffalo, averaging a paltry 3.2 yards per carry behind a threadbare 2018 offensive line which featured several starters no longer in the league as the 2019 season commenced. The Bills did McCoy a favor when they dumped his salary at final cuts, allowing the 31-year-old to return to the bountiful backfield of Andy Reid, where screen plays and pitches have spawned open prairie land for two decades. Exploiting the spacing and suspense element in Reid’s high-flying offense, McCoy is hurdling cornerbacks in the rain and dancing into the end zone as Kansas City’s leading rusher.
With Damien Williams, the starter for the first two weeks of the season, out with a knee injury, in stepped LeSean McCoy, who was battling an ankle injury.
“I truly am thankful for the opportunity to contribute to this offense,” McCoy said. “I’m just happy to be here and help out in any way possible.”
McCoy certainly helped the Chiefs defeat the Baltimore Ravens 33-28 in Week 3. Amassing 80 total yards while playing 38% of the snaps, he scored two touchdowns and had a 25-yard-run, on which he hurdled cornerback Brandon Carr.
More troubling than the Chiefs’ speed, Flowers said, is the way they “attack your initial instinct” with misdirection plays that amplify their athletic ability. Because they’re so fast, they’re able to break big plays by making defenders hesitate or take one false step the wrong way.
“Just a bunch of guys out there that every single play I think that’s where you just see that dynamic or that explosive type of offensive production,” Patricia said. “From a points standpoint, I think that’s where you see it because they can just get vertical so quickly.”
Kerryon Johnson vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Johnson has not been all that efficient this season, as his 2.6 yards per rush average proves it. He is seeing plenty of volume though, and he’s on the field for 65 percent of the offensive snaps. I’d keep him in your starting lineup against the Chiefs, who just allowed three touchdowns and over 35 fantasy points to Mark Ingram.
Around the league
Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone announced Wednesday night that Ramsey is flying to Nashville, Tenn., for the birth of his second child.
”Months ago in the offseason, Jalen notified me that he was expecting the birth of his second child in late September,” Marrone said in a statement. “We spoke about this recently and again today after practice and decided that it was best for Jalen to fly to Nashville tonight after meetings to be with his family during the birth of their daughter. He will return to the team when he’s ready, and we will provide an update at that time.”
Marrone did not specify a time in which he expects Ramsey to return to the team and did not say if he anticipates having the star cornerback available for his team’s Sunday showdown in Denver against the Broncos.
Gordon had previously planned to return at some point in October, but circumstances have changed and Gordon senses the best way to show his value is on the field, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
He must report no later than Nov. 29 to play in 2019 and accrue credit for this season toward becoming a free agent in the offseason.
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But we shouldn’t let ourselves get carried away. Statistical projections made three games into a 16-game season rarely match the eventual reality — but even with that caveat, Mahomes clearly hasn’t been regressing the way so many predicted he would.
It might prove difficult for Mahomes to maintain the pace he has set in victories against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. But it’s a more credible scenario than another projection that’s out there — that the New England Patriots will post “historic” defensive numbers this year based on what they did in their victories against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.
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