Right tackle: Mitchell Schwartz
Schwartz only just barely edged Lane Johnson in one of the tightest votes. Where Schwartz gained an advantage was in his reliability. Since entering the league in 2012, he’s never missed a game. Meanwhile, Johnson has missed 20 games in his seven-year career. Both players have been named first team All-Pro once, with Schwartz’s coming more recently. Again, it was close. Johnson was also deserving. But that doesn’t make Schwartz undeserving. He’s a worthy pick.
Regular-season record: 96-64-0 (.600)
Postseason record: 2-6 (.250)
Division titles: 5
Super Bowl losses: 0
Super Bowl wins: 0
Question for Chiefs fans: Would you trade in Kansas City’s gaudy regular-season mark for Denver’s Super Bowl years? Hitting the scene in 2013, coach Andy Reid has crafted six double-digit-win seasons, but just as many playoff fizzle-outs. It was understandable when the Chiefs couldn’t get past the Patriots and other foes with Alex Smith under center, but the possibilities are endless with Patrick Mahomes looking like a generational talent just three years into his NFL career. Reid rests in that inner circle of difference-making coaches, but his legacy is dogged by the lack of a Super Bowl title. Mahomes has come to Earth to change all that.
1. Eric Bieniemy
A former NFL running back, he should easily be among the most tantalizing options on the market. After overseeing the start of Adrian Peterson’s career as the Vikings’ RBs coach (2006-2010), Bieniemy spent two years with Colorado and then coached up Jamaal Charles as K.C.’s RBs coach (2013-2017), before helping guide Reid’s Chiefs to a record offensive output alongside MVP Patrick Mahomes in 2018, his first as the offensive coordinator. Like Doug Pederson, his experience as a game-planner under Reid should make him attractive -- and another fine addition to the growing Reid coaching tree.
Eric Bieniemy, Offensive Coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs
“I’ve been dreaming about this opportunity [to be a head coach] all my life,” Bieniemy told Peter King on his podcast this week. “I feel that I am ready. You want to make sure … that people can see how you command a room, how you approach the day-to-day business, how you command everything that’s taking place within that building, how you deal with people, how you handle each situation that comes up.”
Mahomes isn’t really a true running quarterback. He is more of a mobile QB with a big arm. He relies on the threat of his arm to open opportunities to run and not his running ability to open up passing.
That makes him closer to Warren Moon. Moon, like Mahomes, could run but he was better with his arm. Moon passed 4,000 passing yards four times in his career despite his career having an asterisk on it since he had so much time in the CFL.
Patrick Mahomes, QB Kansas City Chiefs
It has become apparent the league won’t simply counter Mahomes and force him into regression. He’s one of the next faces of the NFL because of his league-altering play, as well as his great personality.
“As long as you’re out there on the field and you have Pat Mahomes on your side, you’ve got a chance,” tight end Travis Kelce said.
Around the NFL
Garrett’s contract expires Jan. 14, but after Sunday’s 47-16 season-ending win over the Washington Redskins, Jerry Jones said he did not have a timetable for a decision. He did not seem to care that other teams, including those in his division, would have the chance to start their hiring processes before the Cowboys if he opts to move on from Garrett.
One Patriots player is already predicting the team will surprise some people in the playoffs, and they certainly have an opportunity to embrace the underdog role. Brady and New England’s offense have looked terrible for most of the season, which has led them to being counted out by many analysts and fans. As we have seen in the past, Brady typically embraces that talk. Expect him to do the same this year, though the Patriots will need a lot more than motivation and the underdog mentality to get back to the Super Bowl.
He’s taking the fight to the opponent every single play, like 2013 J.J. Watt. You’d need to cut out his heart or shoot him with an elephant gun to stop him. If everyone played with this level of raw, fevered intensity, the sport would ascend to another level closer to 22nd century football. When Sean McVay’s great grandchild is coaching the Northern California 49ers, every team in the league will have a Kittle at tight end. His rare combination of size, speed and power won’t be so rare at that point, which means a 2119 Kittle might bear closer resemblance to a 2019 Seth DeValve or Jesse James. No tight end can match the amazing red-zone prowess of Gronk in his prime, but Kittle boasts faster game speed and just as much physicality.
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The Chiefs haven’t lost a game since November 10. They were fortunate to get help from Miami in order to clinch a first-round bye. Obligatory: “Is this the year Andy Reid finally wins a Super Bowl? We’ll believe it when we see it.” — Brandon Lee Gowton
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