Schefter was asked when Mahomes would get a “monster contract.”
“This offseason,” Schefter said. “After this year ends he’s eligible to sign his first long-term deal or his first second contract and he is expected at some point during the offseason to get a new deal done with the Chiefs that I would think, just guessing, is gonna be a deal in excess of $200 million over the course of that contract. “So let’s just say five years, $40-plus million.”
But Flowers and his defensive teammates also understand the challenge in front of them. The Chiefs are a high-octane offense with the reigning NFL MVP under center with plenty of explosive weapons at his disposal.
“Definitely defensively you want the best opponent, obviously, and to go out there and prepare well and put a great week together, just go out there with your brothers and accept the challenge,” he said. “So we understand the challenge that’s coming in. They have a very high-powered offensive scheme that can make a lot of explosive plays. I’m looking forward to it. I think we’re looking forward to it.”
1. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
Individual Rank: Bhanpuri: 1 | Blair: 1 | Filice: 1 | Parr: 1
2019 stats: 3 games | 71.9 pct | 1,195 pass yds | 10.5 ypa | 10 pass TD | 0 INT
Blair: This should be a rhetorical question, but I’m asking it literally: Can Patrick Mahomes be stopped? Consider Mahomes’ first touchdown pass of the day against the Ravens. With blitzing safety Chuck Clark in his face and Brandon Carr still on top of receiver Demarcus Robinson, Mahomes zipped an arcing pass from his back foot to the left corner of the end zone. Robinson separated from Carr and brought down the ball with one hand. Easy as pie. Mahomes’ very next pass attempt was an 83-yard touchdown to Mecole Hardman. Should we stop writing blurbs and just post highlights? No! Don’t take Patrick Mahomes for granted.
LOCK OF THE WEEK: Kansas City Chiefs 35, Detroit Lions 24
Don’t view this game as a litmus test for this improved Lions defense. Justin Coleman is playing like one of football’s best slot corners, while Darius “Big Play” Slay is living up to his name. Trey Flowers has started to make a bigger impact alongside A’Shawn Robinson on a rock-solid defensive line. But Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes in September make even quality defenses like those of the Jaguars and Ravens look foolish, and this week should be no different. The bigger question in this matchup is whether a sharper Matthew Stafford, who has been more willing to go down the field, can keep up in a shootout against a Chiefs pass defense that quietly ranks ninth in DVOA and ninth in PFF’s pass-coverage grades. This K.C. defense may only need to be average to earn home-field advantage in the AFC again, and the early signs are trending in that direction.
Reid, renowned for developing quarterbacks in his 21 seasons as a head coach with the Eagles and Chiefs and as an offensive assistant before that, won’t compare Mahomes with the previous quarterbacks he coached.
“I’ve been blessed to have some good ones,” Reid said in a conference-call interview. “I hate to ever compare guys. He’ll put his own mark on it when it’s all said and done. He a young guy that works his tail off.
TWO SLEEPER PLAYERS
Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: It’s really cool to think that the Chiefs rookie posted the fastest speed for a ball carrier so far this season, per Next Gen Stats. Part of reaching a top speed of 21.74 mph means having space (and little to no resistance), which Hardman had on that 83-yarder against the Ravens. NGS calculates 8.3 yards of separation when that pass arrives, and my computer vision adds that no defender got within 5 feet of him at any point after the catch all the way to the end zone. What’s more helpful in terms of strategy and predictive capacity: Hardman’s fit in Andy Reid’s offense, with Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball. I don’t know what play was called on that touchdown, and there is no way for me to assess how much of the playbook the rookie knows. But from what he’s shown in just over 150 snaps -- logging at least 63 percent of offensive snaps in each of K.C.’s three games -- Hardman has a lot of perfect-fit upside. On routes run more than 10 yards downfield, he’s had at least 5 feet of separation from the nearest defender when the ball reaches the target 27.5 percent of the time -- the fifth-highest rate in the NFL. And that doesn’t even include his holding-penalty-negated 72-yard TD against the Raiders (a defender was too close for that to count). In other words, Reid’s usage of Hardman is a coach creating and calling optimal plays to maximize the player’s strengths -- and the player is executing.
Around the league
Scenario 5: Carolina wins its next three games, and Allen plays so well that Rivera decides it’s best to ride with him for the rest of the season.
If Newton does get Wally Pipped, it would all but seal his fate in Carolina. It’d also raise interesting questions for the Panthers moving forward. Rolling with a quarterback who was an undrafted free agent is risky long term. You can count the number of successful undrafted QBs on two hands. (Oddly enough, the Panthers had one with Jake Delhomme.) And no matter how well Allen plays in stretches, history says he’s more likely to be Shaun Hill than Kurt Warner. Of course, Allen isn’t like most other undrafted QBs. After completing a historic career at Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, he was rated as the no. 1 pro-style QB in the 2014 recruiting class. Allen’s college career at Texas A&M got off to a hot start before he was replaced by Kyler Murray, transferred to Houston, and drifted into obscurity. But there’s no denying his raw ability.
This week the Baltimore Ravens quarterback took an even more empathic stance:
”I hate running,” Jackson said, via ESPN. “Only if I have to, but my job is to get the ball to the receivers, the tight ends, running backs. If I have to run, I’ll do it, but I’d rather just sit back and pass it. I like throwing touchdowns instead of running them.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
It’s important to understand something about Tyrann Mathieu: he is essentially creating a new position in the defense — and he’s playing a role that can change on any given snap. Identifying where he is supposed to be (and what he’s supposed to be doing) on any particular play is hard enough. Determining whether or not he was effective on that play — especially when he isn’t targeted — isn’t an easy task.
Through the first two weeks of the season, Mathieu’s role was often slanted towards assisting in the run game and playing in the curl/flat zones. Playing against two run-heavy teams that emphasized quick passing (and the run) basically forced Mathieu into this role — and he played well in it.
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