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Arrowheadlines: It’s down to Cam Netwon to keep the Chiefs-Patriots rivalry alive

Chiefs headlines for Saturday, October 3

NFL: Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

Your Week 4 NFL Matchup Guide: Can Cam Newton Keep the Pats-Chiefs Rivalry Alive? | The Ringer

Patrick Mahomes’s Chiefs vs. Tom Brady’s Patriots seemed like a classic rivalry, even if it existed for only two years. Now, though, we’ll get to see if this matchup still has its magic with Cam Newton under center in New England.

Keeping pace with the Chiefs is a tall order. Kansas City rebounded from a surprisingly sluggish showing against the Chargers in Week 2 to run ragged over the Ravens in Week 3 with four passing plays that went for more than 22 yards. Kansas City fielding the league’s best offense is no surprise, but the Chiefs defense has been surprisingly strong so far this season, too, ranking in the top 10 in points per drive allowed and allowing the fewest receiving yards in the league. The Chiefs looked particularly good last week on Monday Night Football, limiting Baltimore to just 97 yards in the first half, but Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will look to exploit holes that the Ravens couldn’t. Expect the Patriots to keep pace with the Chiefs better than Baltimore did—and even if they can’t, tune in to hear Tony Romo gush about Mahomes.

Patrick Mahomes Just Doesn’t Have Bad Games | Five Thirty Eight

Patrick Mahomes played the best game of his young career Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens. The Kansas City quarterback passed for 385 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions while rushing for a fifth TD, and he did it against a Baltimore team that boasted the best defense in football1 through two weeks of play. Mahomes’s Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) — ESPN’s signature metric that accounts for a quarterback’s value both passing and running the ball — was 97.7, tied for his career high.2

It’s no small thing to be on the receiving end of Mahomes’s best game. By halftime against Baltimore, he had become the fastest player to reach 10,000 regular-season passing yards in NFL history, two games quicker than Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner. Mahomes also extended his career record against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens to 3-0. Yet of all the superlatives that describe Mahomes’s already amazing career — the 2018 league MVP, the youngest QB to win Super Bowl MVP, the highest-paid player in the NFL with a contract worth almost half a billion dollars — perhaps the most incredible is this: Mahomes has never had a below-average game since entering the NFL.

QB Index, Week 4: How low will Carson Wentz go? | NFL.com

3 - Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs · Year 4

2020 stats: 3 games | 67.8 pct | 898 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 9 pass TD | 0 INT | 80 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 0 fumbles lost

I’m not going to rank him fourth again after he took exception to his placement on the Top 100 Players list, counting off four fingers and shrugging his shoulders during this past Monday night’s undressing of Baltimore’s defense. I’m beginning to think Mahomes is like Pedro Martinez. He just has more pitches in his repertoire than other superstar quarterbacks. In Week 3, he unveiled an underhanded cornhole toss to complement the typical array of touch passes which land as gently as a mosquito with sore feet.

How Bill Belichick constructed the perfect secondary to slow down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs | For The Win

It’s not just that the Patriots have a bunch of good defensive backs. It’s the diverse skill-sets Belichick has at his disposal that makes the secondary so unique. While some teams, including Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, chase prototypes at the cornerback position, the Pats have built their group of corners as if it were a basketball lineup. You have the quick guards (Jonathan Jones and Jason McCourty), the athletic wings (Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson) and a big man (JoeJuan Williams). Safety Devin McCourty acts as a coach on the field (it’s not a perfect metaphor) and Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips are the enforcers (is that hockey?).

OK, it’s a convoluted metaphor, but you get my point: Belichick has a defensive back to match up with any type of receiver a team can throw at them. The versatility has allowed the Patriots to do what no other Chiefs opponent has been able to do: Match up with Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins for a full 60 minutes and come out of the game with their dignity still intact.

Around the NFL

Josh Allen, sizzling Bills will be tested by upcoming schedule | ESPN

Starting with a road trip to play the Las Vegas Raiders (2-1) on Sunday (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS), the Bills face a tough task over the next six weeks against opponents with a combined record of 13-6 — and that includes the Jets (0-4) in Week 7. After the Raiders, Buffalo is at the Tennessee Titans (3-0), home against the Kansas City Chiefs (3-0), at the Jets and home against the New England Patriots (2-1) and Seattle Seahawks (3-0).

Adding to the Bills’ scheduling difficulty — they have the third most difficult remaining schedule according to ESPN’s NFL Football Power Index — Sunday’s trip to the desert marks Buffalo’s first trip to the West Coast since 2017 after traveling no farther west than Houston over the past two seasons.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen said the adjustment to a different time zone might bother some of the league’s more inexperienced teams, but Buffalo, which ranks No. 4 in total offense and 21st in total defense, believes its locker room is equipped to handle it.

NFL bold predictions, Week 4: Russell Wilson posts third 5-TD day | NFL.com

Marc Ross: Russell Wilson has been cooking up his MVP case in historic fashion this season by becoming the first QB in NFL history with at least four TD passes in each of his team’s first three games. In addition, he has set an NFL record for most TD passes to start a season, with 14 in those three games. Against a Dolphins pass defense that ranked 25th heading into Week 4, Russ cements Iron Chef status by setting another NFL record, becoming the first QB in history to throw for five TDs in three consecutive games.

San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle (knee) and receiver Deebo Samuel (foot) available for Philadelphia Eagles game | ESPN

Running back Jerick McKinnon will start for Mostert again, as well.

Kittle and Samuel, on the other hand, made it through the entire week of practice without any issue. Kittle was a full participant all three days and made it clear in his Thursday media session that he would return against the Eagles. Shanahan confirmed that on Friday, as Kittle does not even appear on the injury report.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Five things to watch as the Chiefs face the Patriots

1. The Patriots’ plan to slow down Mahomes

Belichick is as far from dumb as an NFL head coach could possibly be. So when he sits down to create a way to stop Mahomes and the Chiefs offense, he won’t be stealing much from the Baltimore Ravens’ game plan.

Instead, he’ll be fascinated with the effect that the Los Angeles Chargers’ defense had on Kansas City. The Chargers have blitzed less frequently than any other team; in their Week 2 matchup against the Chiefs, they rarely sent second-level players to get after Mahomes — instead trusting the four defensive linemen to create enough pressure. Their ability to cover with seven players — while also wreaking havoc in the pocket — disrupted Mahomes, forcing the Chiefs to pick up the win with an overtime field goal.

The Patriots will want to try a similar tactic. Their most dangerous pass-rushing threat this year has been second-year edge defender Chase Winovich. He has the 13th-most pressures in the NFL — including four quarterback hits and two other plays where he got in on a sack.

Besides Winovich, the Patriots rely on an interior defensive line consisting of Deatrich Wise Jr., Adam Butler and Lawrence Guy. If tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz can handle Winovich well, the Chiefs’ offensive line should be able to handle New England’s defensive front.

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