Kansas City (4-1) at Buffalo (4-0)
With this game now on Monday, the biggest winner here is the Chiefs. Before the schedule change, the Chiefs were going to have to play on Sunday in Week 5, then fly to Buffalo on just three full days of rest for a Thursday game. Instead, the Chiefs will now be getting SEVEN full days of rest, which means they’re going to have a full week to lick the wounds they sustained in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders. On the other hand, the Bills will be coming into this game after playing on a Tuesday against the Titans.
Is it fair that the Chiefs are getting extra rest? I have no idea what’s fair in these corona times, but I do know that I’d much rather be in Kansas City’s situation. Also, if you give Andy Reid a few extra days to cook something up offensively, he almost always takes advantage of it. Not only is the Chiefs coach nearly unbeatable off a bye, but he also has a pretty solid record on “Monday Night Football.” Since being hired by the Chiefs in 2013, Reid is 6-0 vs. AFC teams on Monday night, including 4-0 with Patrick Mahomes.
The pick: Chiefs 30-27 over Bills
Kansas City Chiefs: Sunday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders was a major surprise. Coach Andy Reid has dominated the rivalry since coming to Kansas City. Raiders QB Derek Carr had been 0-6 playing at Arrowhead Stadium. For Vegas to come in and score 40 to pull off the win was a big upset, ending a 13-game winning streak, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Chiefs are the best team in the AFC.
“We’ll learn from it,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said after the loss. “We won’t ever forget this day.”
The Chiefs went into Baltimore and beat the Ravens by two scores. They handled New England, albeit without Cam Newton, with little problem. They stand at 4-1 and remain a step ahead of everyone else in the NFL because of Patrick Mahomes. He’s the equalizer if any other part of the team slips. Next week’s game against a surprising AFC contender, the Buffalo Bills, will be fun to watch.
But when Mahomes appeared on “KCSP 610 Sports Radio” this week, he threw out a number ... saying he strongly believes he can hit 83 yards in the air!!!
“I’ve never seen Josh throw a football but I know how far I can throw it … but I know it’s pretty far.”
“I think I can get it anywhere from 80 to 83 yards,” Mahomes added.
For the record, 83 yards is an INSANE NUMBER — further than any QB threw a football during the 17 years the NFL had a distance competition in the NFL QB Challenge.
Which raises the question: Are the Chiefs asking Mahomes to do too much?
ESPN NFL analyst and former quarterback Dan Orlovsky argues yes, citing the fact that the franchise has grown too comfortable with Mahomes saving the day.
“The reality is, yes – they’ve become too dependent on Patrick Mahomes. Patrick makes these inexplicable plays, and they’ve just become so reliant on that.”
1. Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)
3. Seattle Seahawks (5-0)
4. Green Bay Packers (4-0)
5. Buffalo Bills (4-0)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0)
Is the Chiefs’ superiority in the AFC West eroding?
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have exerted unchallenged control of their division over the past two seasons thanks in large part to the team’s dominant air attack. With Mahomes throwing to the likes of Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, and a host of various playmakers, Kansas City’s divisional rivals have struggled to keep pace with the Chiefs’ faster, far more explosive, and higher-scoring offensive units. Coming into Sunday’s matchup with the Raiders, Mahomes and Co. were carrying a 12-1 record against divisional opponents dating back to the start of 2018. It’s felt a little bit like the Chiefs have been flying F-15s while the rest of the division works with propeller-driven biplanes.
Around the NFL
3) Josh Allen has taken giant strides forward so far this season. Tuesday night wasn’t one of them. Allen’s two touchdowns were matched by a pair of crippling interceptions (though the first was hardly on him) and he was held in check on the ground. The Bills’ first loss was a blowout and Allen will likely take some heat. But Allen has still put together one of the most impressive seasons so far as quarterbacks are concerned, despite Tuesday. This is one game. In an NFL in which overreactions are the norm and one week feels like a season until the next one comes, perhaps it will be difficult for some to see past a stumble amid an unconventional outing. Oh well. Allen’s season thus far has been more outstanding that underwhelming. How he rebounds in an impending showdown on Monday vs. Patrick Mahomes will be telling, however.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the team owed Bell another $6 million in guaranteed base salary this season. Pelissero added that Bell’s $8 million base salary for 2021 was guaranteed for injury only, and noted that the contract was “virtually impossible” to move despite New York’s best efforts.
Suddenly available, Quinn would be a welcome addition to Seattle’s coaching staff. While it’s unlikely Pete Carroll would fire Norton midseason (if at all), Quinn could have a positive impact in any sort of consulting or advisory role. Gus Bradley, who was far less successful than Quinn during his time as Jaguars head coach, has since returned to being one of the league’s best defensive coordinators with the Chargers. It isn’t unreasonable to expect Quinn to have a similarly positive impact, wherever he lands.
Putting two and two together, with Quinn unemployed and the Seahawks unable to string together decent defensive performances, one could lead themselves to believe Seattle as Quinn’s best landing spot. What could have been a roadblock for that move is not a concern, with the Seahawks and Falcons already having played this year. (It’s frowned upon for a fired coach to go midseason to a new team scheduled to play their former employer.) However, while a connection does make sense between Quinn and Seattle, it does not appear to be something Carroll has considered—yet.
Blank addressed the media Monday and was asked if the 35-year-old Ryan is the quarterback into the future.
“I love Matt, much like I love Dan, I love Thomas,’’ Blank said. “Matt’s been a franchise leader for us, great quarterback; one of the leading quarterbacks in the last 13 years in the NFL. I hope he’s going to be part of our plans going forward. But that will be a decision that I won’t make.
“Matt has the ability to play at a very high level, even at this age. Whether that’s going to continue or not, I’m not sure. I appreciate his willingness to consider doing that and the level at what he’s played for us for 13 years, which has been incredible. So we’ll have to see. But then again, that’s going to be a decision, at the end of the day, that part of it will be up to the player; part of it will be up to the coaching staff. And whether or not Matt can keep himself together. God willing, he’ll be able to do that and play at the level that he’s capable of playing at.’’
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
“I don’t know if we learn more, but it’s definitely a learning experience,” he said. “Being able to go out there and not play our best football and not get a win, I think it’ll make guys come out this week with a different mentality — and we’ll be able to go out there and find a way to get a win.”
Mahomes said that he wasn’t worried about playing the upcoming road game against the Buffalo Bills at a bizarre time: 4 p.m. (Arrowhead Time) on Monday.
“We knew going into this season that stuff was going to get moved around; we knew that obviously there were going to be some positive tests,” he explained. “So just having that mentality of just being ready to go every single day; I think the team that has that mentality for the whole season will be the team that ends up winning at the end.”
The #Patriots and #Chiefs also had no new positives from Monday's COVID-19 testing, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 13, 2020
If all stays on track, New England planning to return to practice field Wednesday following its unexpected bye.