If the clash above is forbidden, give me Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes squaring off against Aaron Rodgers -- a dazzling QB matchup we were supposed to get in prime time back in October, but Mahomes’ knee injury kept him sidelined for the Chiefs’ 31-24 home loss.
The Texans biggest weakness on defense is their secondary and that’s not a good weakness to have when you’re going up against Mahomes, who might throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns on Sunday. Also, let’s not forget that this game is giving us ANDY REID OFF THE BYE. As bad as Reid can be in the playoffs, he’s nearly unbeatable off the bye, going 18-3 in his coaching career in the postseason and regular season combined.
I think this game is a blowout waiting to happen. That being said, if a blowout does happen, no one should actually turn this game off early because it’s on CBS and everything on CBS is amazing. It’s the only channel I watch, except for the Smithsonian channel, which is surprisingly entertaining.
The pick: Chiefs 31-17 over Texans
Kansas City notably jumped even with the San Francisco 49ers for the second best odds in the NFL to win the Super Bowl. That could be thanks to New England being eliminated, theoretically creating an easier path throughout the AFC. They’ll be hosting a Texans team, that did impress in their comeback over Buffalo, but have been a bit inconsistent throughout the year. K.C., meanwhile, was getting hot right before hitting their bye, so this should be a rather tight contest between two extremely talented quarterbacks from the 2017 NFL Draft. Given how Deshaun Watson essentially willed Houston to the win over Buffalo, it may not be the worst idea to sprinkle something on those 30/1 odds and see if he can go on a magical run.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
But Mahomes did cut his interception rate in half (2.1 percent in 2018 to 1 percent in 2019) and many of his rate stats weren’t too far off his MVP season. It has been clear through the season, especially later in the season when he looked healthier, that Mahomes is still the same special quarterback we saw break records in 2018. He has incredible arm talent, capable of making throws that only a few other quarterbacks in NFL history could dream of making.
“I’m sure it will be brought up again,” Reid said. “I feel like it’s been brought up every year I’ve been in it. It gets talked about somewhere down at the owners meetings and the combine. I’m sure it will be brought up again.”
“I think that these guys really understand the opportunity in front of them,” O’Brien continued. “They understand what it’s going to take in Arrowhead Stadium against a great football team. We feel like we have a good football team, and we feel like if we have a good week of practice that we go up there – we’ll be in a very competitive ballgame. But I think these guys are very appreciative of the opportunity, and they’re going to do everything they can to try to take advantage of it.”
Around the NFL
Judge, 38, was the youngest of the seven known candidates mentioned for the Giants’ vacancy and has been mentored by Alabama coach Nick Saban and Patriots coach Bill Belichick. He is considered a no-nonsense guy who isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers with players if necessary.
A rule that allows two forward passes on one play, providing the first doesn’t go past the line of scrimmage. The purpose is to encourage creative trick plays without the risk of losing possession of a lateral or backward pass, which is a live ball if it hits the ground.
Rhule’s resume of demonstrated success was enough to convince Carolina to bring him in as a candidate for its opening, and his interview sealed the deal. As Rapoport noted, owner David Tepper met with Rhule and his family in Waco, Texas on Monday and made sure Rhule didn’t board his flight to New York for his scheduled interview with the Giants. He’ll instead be searching for homes in the Charlotte area as the new man selected to lead the Panthers, whose top two included Patriots OC Josh McDaniels.
Las Vegas Raiders
This is a spicy option, and one that won’t make the Carr family happy. There is plenty of buzz about the Raiders moving on from Derek Carr, especially with the outs available in his contract. Jon Gruden by some accounts doesn’t think this year went well enough to warrant Carr being locked in as the guy moving forward. Perhaps the Raiders decide to keep Carr around, avoid his cap hit and draft someone this year who they can groom behind Carr. Or maybe Brady becomes a free agent and the Raiders believe bringing him in at quarterback would sell a ton of tickets and give them a three-year plan for developing the next QB. It’s not hard to imagine Gruden loving the idea of Brady on the Raiders. It’s also not that hard to imagine Brady in the Silver and Black. The Raiders, like the Chargers, desperately need to sell some tickets in their new venue. No one would sell more tickets than Brady.
Watson, friend of the universe and beloved by the universe, somehow sensed that Neal was about to great white shark him from behind, and so he stepped forward juuuuuuuuuuuuust enough to neutralize 40, maybe 50 percent of Neal’s hit. Milano, the linebacker who had also gotten into the backfield, crashed into Watson at full speed from the other direction, but it didn’t matter. By that point, Watson had become atomic. He absorbed the blow from each defender, spun out of their grasps, and then scrambled out to his right. Multiple Bills gave pursuit. Watson scanned the field, found a target in third-string running back Taiwan Jones, then launched the ball at him as Buffalo defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (who is 6-foot-6 and 341 pounds) crashed into him.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Since he returned in Week 13, Fuller’s role has been minimized — but it has also changed. Before his injury, he lined up as a slot cornerback on 82% of his snaps. Following his return, that dropped to 35%. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been using him in a versatile fashion that takes advantage of his football intelligence and reliable tackling skills.
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