Sanders suggested, quite strongly, that Baker prioritize winning games and personal growth more than anything, which meant signing with one club in particular.
“Why wouldn’t you go to someone [that’s winning] like Kansas City ... where you get to really see and experience winning?” Sanders said. “You’ve just come off some bull-junk, losing psychologically and emotionally and personally, and you’ve got to have some winning in your life.
“So my recommendation was, ‘Hey man, tell the kid to go sign with Kansas City.’”
And perhaps not coincidentally, Sanders suspects, Baker eventually reached an agreement to join Kansas City’s practice squad last Tuesday.
This contest has been billed as one of the must-watch games of the NFL’s 2020 season since the days right after the schedule dropped in the spring. Mahomes and Tom Brady are the obvious headliners (more on that below in the game’s Top Storylines) as it’s a matchup of the last two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski will be there, too, and while Kelce has taken the mantle of the NFL’s most productive tight end from Gronkowski in recent years, both are still capable of providing highlight-reel plays. The Bucs have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown; the Chiefs can counter with Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman and a whole lot of speed. Ronald Jones and rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire are the fifth and seventh-leading rushers in the NFL, respectively. There are almost too many dangerous playmakers in this game to keep track of.
Tom Brady is the Greatest Quarterback of All Time, but Patrick Mahomes is on his way there. No, it is not too early to talk about it. Mahomes is already one of the greatest athletes we have ever seen in American sports. He came up short in his first two meetings with Brady, including the post-2018 season AFC championship game that was an inflection point for the league, then won the third. The fourth will be Mahomes’s chance to even things up. And unless Brady switches conferences again, plays four more seasons, or meets the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, this will be the last time Brady and Mahomes face off in a game.
Mahomes is having the best season of his career, with 27 passing touchdowns to just two interceptions (neither of which were his fault). The Chiefs lead the league in points, offensive DVOA, and sheer confidence that they can score from anywhere on the field at any time. Kansas City is no longer just a well-oiled machine. They are software. Their speed and efficiency is effortless.
“We didn’t talk about it any more than any other play,” Abram said Thursday. “It’s just a correction that we came in on Monday and fixed.”
Though nobody from the team has singled out Abram as being responsible for allowing Travis Kelce to get so wide open, replays showed the aggressive second-year pro vacating the area when Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes took a few steps forward and looked as if he might try to run.
Abram said the most important thing he can do is to take the lesson of what went wrong to heart.
“The one thing I learned from it was that you can do your job the entire game and the one play you don’t do your job, it shows up,” he said. “It just happened to show up at a critical moment in the game.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers hold the best record in the NFL, remaining undefeated at 10-0, but not many people are ready to say they are better than the Kansas City Chiefs. Similar to what most believe, Chris Andrews — the South Point sportsbook director — believes the Chiefs are the NFL’s team to beat.
Andrews did admit that he has the Steelers as his second-best team in the NFL at this point in the season. At the same time, he believes Ben Roethlisberger should be in the MVP conversation behind Patrick Mahomes.
While Roethlisberger has performed well, he has been more efficient than productive if anything. The veteran quarterback has completed 67.1 percent of his throws for 2,534 yards, 24 touchdowns, and five interceptions on the season.
Eric Stokes CB
Kansas City gets L’Jarius Sneed back so it could become less of a need if he continues his development. Counting on Charvarius Ward and Rashad Fenton long-term seems like a house of cards.
Around the NFL
Following Dallas’ 41-16 loss — yes, it got out of hand quickly after McCarthy’s failed fake — the embattled Cowboys coach defended the decision to attempt a fake punt down four points with plenty of time to go in the fourth quarter.
“You won’t get anywhere if you’re thinking about negatives all the time,” McCarthy said. “Obviously it was a solid play call, it’s a good play design. Their gunner made a good play, came off of it. He put us in a high-low read for Cedrick.
“You never convert them obviously if you don’t call them and if you don’t believe in them. I clearly understood the situation when it was called.”
Why the Texans won
The Texans have righted the ship under Romeo Crennel, whose transition to head coach has been a lot easier thanks to the play of Deshaun Watson. The Texans quarterback was excellent against a putrid Lions secondary, throwing for four touchdowns — including two backbreaking ones to Will Fuller in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Houston ran for just 77 yards and 33 yards per carry, so it was up to Watson to carry the offense again. All Watson did was throw just eight incomplete passes while averaging 12.7 yards per attempt and finishing with a 150.4 passer rating — the fourth-highest all-time on Thanksgiving (minimum 20 attempts).
Watson has been having a career year, which has gone unnoticed thanks to the Texans front office and coaching problems. He got to show a national television audience he’s one of the game’s best quarterbacks on Thanksgiving.
Jackson is among the four latest Ravens players and one staff member to test positive on Thursday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Ravens now have had at least a dozen players test positive for the coronavirus this week.
This latest round of positive tests could threaten Sunday’s game between the Ravens and the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers, which already was postponed from Thursday night. Ravens coach John Harbaugh told players that they would not be allowed back to the team facility until Monday at the earliest in the interest of safety, a source said.
Baltimore is down to two healthy quarterbacks: backup Robert Griffin III and practice squad player Tyler Huntley. No. 3 quarterback Trace McSorley is currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
They join safety Deionte Thompson, who was placed on the list earlier this week.
“It appeared that there wasn’t much contact tracing with [Thompson],” coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday. “I think a lot of the timing had to do with it since we had the weekend off and that probably played in our favor. We feel good about where we’re at right now.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
“I’ve been through [an] ACL twice,” fellow safety Tyrann Mathieu told reporters on Wednesday. “I remember when I went through my ACL, it wasn’t until a year [or] two years after until I really began to feel like myself again.”
Mathieu seemed to be confirming what Reid had implied — that Thornhill needs more time to get back to his 2019 form, saying that he would counsel his young comrade to be patient.
“I think everybody’s body is different,” added Mathieu, “but I think the most important thing we all have to kind of understand is that patience. It’s going to take some time to get there — and there will be a lot of expectations from other people outside of you who want you to reach your destination quicker than [it’s] possible.”
From having been through a similar experience, Mathieu clearly feels badly that Thornhill hasn’t been seeing the same amount of work.
“Obviously it’s a challenge to begin a new role — a lesser role — to not be on the field as much, but he’s still the same guy. He’s still becoming a leader for us. He’s still very vocal on the field, on the sideline and the meeting rooms. And I think that’s all you can really ask for from a guy like that who is going through what he’s going through. He still has the same smile — has the same heart.”
We’re thankful for at least a few of these things, too.— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 26, 2020
Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Arrowhead Pride. pic.twitter.com/Njr6D4BzuQ