On Wednesday, ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi compared Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes to Jordan while introducing an “Upon Further Review” segment on “SportsCenter.”
“Can you be the reigning Super Bowl MVP, a former league MVP, the best player in your sport, who is also the highest paid and still be overlooked in the current MVP race,” Negandhi asked. “That seems to be the case from Patrick Lavon Mahomes. Call it the ‘Jordan Effect.’ Everyone knew Michael Jordan was the best player year in and year out, yet future Hall of Famers like Charles Barkley and Karl Malone took MVP honors during MJ’s reign. And speaking of dominance, I know it’s the Jets but Mahomes this weekend, made a five-touchdown, 400-yard performance look way too easy.”
As part of the club’s ongoing efforts to Inspire Change in Chiefs Kingdom, the Kansas City Chiefs, along with its players and community partners, have launched a new educational program called “Kingdom United”– a youth-focused diversity and inclusion initiative designed to promote racial equality. This commitment builds upon the club’s current multi-year relationship and education efforts involving City Year Kansas City and Kansas City Public Schools.
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
This year’s All-Pro race at quarterback—and likely the MVP race—has a few legitimate candidates.
But through the first half of the season, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes gets a slight edge Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers.
While Wilson has more touchdown passes (26) and Matt Ryan has more passing yards (2,462), Mahomes has been the best combination of prolific, reliable and capable of producing jaw-dropping plays. It’s easy to overlook just how good Mahomes has been—and yes, MVP fatigue may play a factor in overlooking him.
We’re used to seeing greatness from Mahomes, but he’s been as good as he’s ever been in 2020. He ranks second in passing with 2,315 yards. He’s also thrown 21 touchdown passes with only one interception, He’s been sacked only 10 times through eight games and has added 165 yards and two scores on the ground.
With a passer rating of 115.0, Mahomes trails only Wilson among full-time starters. That will be a new career high if it holds through the season.
Picking between Mahomes and Wilson was the toughest decision out of any position, but Mahomes’ five fewer interceptions pushed him over the line.
2 - Patrick Mahomes
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB
With each passing week, it gets harder not to make Mahomes and Russ co-leaders of this list. This guy is seriously on pace for 42 touchdowns and just two picks, and he’s barely even unleashed his arm for a string of consecutive games.
Last week: 2
Carolina Panthers at Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5)
The Panthers have lost three straight and now must travel to play one of the best teams in the league. The Chiefs will have an offensive explosion again here against the Carolina defense. Even with Christian McCaffrey likely back, it won’t matter. Chiefs big.
Pick: Chiefs 37, Panthers 21
4 Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 1
2020 stats: 8 games | 121 att | 572 rush yds | 4.7 ypc | 2 rush TDs | 25 rec | 204 rec yds | 0 rec TDs
The Chiefs ran the ball all of 20 times against the New York Jets, as Andy Reid gave Patrick Mahomes the go-ahead to let it fly on Gregg Williams’ unit. This week, against a grittier Panthers squad, I’d expect Clyde Edwards-Helaire to get more than nine touches in a more balanced approach.
Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire: Edwards-Helaire’s touches have dropped considerably the last two weeks. That might be by design, to keep him fresh later into the season, but there is such a thing as too much rest, particularly for a team’s feature back.
The pick: Chiefs 34 Panthers 21
Jaycee Horn LB
Jaycee Horn was a member of my initial 2021 mock draft in May. He has the ability to be taken on Day 1 but the flashes have to become more consistent. He was a lockdown cornerback against Auburn and Bo Nix.
Around the NFL
1) With their running game hobbled or sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols, the Packers needed Aaron Rodgers to do what Aaron Rodgers does. And, upon the brilliant right arm of the future Hall of Famer, Green Bay galloped easily to triumph on Thursday night. Rodgers started early, finding Davante Adams on a first-drive score and the Packers (6-2) rumbled and routed the 49ers (4-5) from there on out. Clocking out early in the blowout, Rodgers was near perfect and dominated as he should have against an opponent that struggled to find warm bodies. He had just six incompletions in 31 attempts, tossing for 305 yards, four touchdowns and looking every bit vintage Rodgers. He was 13-for-18 for 149 yards, three touchdowns, no picks and a 136.3 rating in the first half. And it somehow didn’t even seem or look that spectacular, it just looked like Rodgers going to work against an overwhelmed (and undermanned) opponent. Six Packers got balls, three had TDs in the opening 30. It was 21-3 at the half, but it was over. For Rodgers, it was easy like Sunday morning on a cool Thursday evening in Santa Clara.
The Las Vegas Raiders have been fined $500,000, coach Jon Gruden fined $150,000 and the franchise has been stripped of a 2021 sixth-round draft pick for COVID-19 violations related to offensive tackle Trent Brown’s positive test back in late October, according to Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson.
The escalated fines and the loss of a draft pick are the results of the Raiders being a repeat offender of the NFL’s COVID-19 policy. Back in Week 2, Gruden was fined $100,000 by the league for failing to appropriately wear a face covering during the team’s victory over the Saints. The Raiders were fined an additional $250,000.
Las Vegas has now lost more than $1.2 million for NFL COVID-related fines, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The Raiders have been fined $350,000 for a mask violation, $165,000 for mask-less players at a fundraiser, $50,000 for an unauthorized locker room visitor, and $650,000 for Brown’s situation.
6 - Russell Wilson
Seattle Seahawks · QB
There are plenty of reasons to consider Russell Wilson the front-runner for the MVP award, but we could start with the fact he’s pushed Seattle to the head of the NFC pack without a reliable defense or ground game. The Seahawks’ rushing attack has been decimated by injuries at the running back position, leaving Wilson to pick up the slack. After rushing for less than 400 yards in each of the last two seasons, the quarterback is on pace to finish 2020 with 594 rushing yards, which would be the second-highest rushing total of his career — a reminder of a time when his passing skills weren’t as developed as they are now.
Without Wilson, Seattle would average just 88.3 rushing yards per game, less than every team but the Bears (85.6) and Texans (84.9). The 32nd-ranked defense, meanwhile, had allowed the most yards in NFL history through a team’s first six games before firming up in Sunday’s win over San Francisco. It would be a shame if Wilson went on to be named MVP, only for the Seahawks to be felled in the playoffs because of their lack of balance.
“There’s a couple things out there, let’s call it a source close to Dolphins thinking, saying that we are auditioning Tua. I’m just going to tell you about my thinking. We brought Tua here because we believe in him, same as all the other draft picks. We believe in developing players ... and improving players on a daily basis,” Flores said. “That would be the opposite of giving someone a 10-game audition. That’s just my thinking on that, just so everybody’s clear.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that one factor that contributed to the Dolphins’ decision to name Tagovailoa as their starting quarterback in Week 7 over popular veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick was that Miami owns the Houston Texans’ first- and second-round picks in next year’s NFL draft.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
It was revealed earlier Thursday that Chiefs head athletic trainer and vice president Rick Burkholder had tested positive for the virus, so he could have been the individual with whom Jones was in close contact. We can’t say that with 100% certainty as of this writing, but it is worth noting that Jones has been listed on the injury report in receiving treatment for his injured groin since Week 4.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer chimed in Thursday evening, noting that the close contact happened away from the team’s facility.
Per source, Chiefs DT Chris Jones landed on the COVID-19 list because he was a close contact, not because of a positive test. That close contact, I'm told, happened outside the facility and away from the team.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 5, 2020
Kansas City plays Carolina on Sunday.
If Jones is classified as a “high-risk close contact,” he will need to be isolated from the team for five days, with the clock beginning the day after his exposure to the positive subject. That information is not available at the moment, so it is unclear if Jones will be available to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Jones would also obviously need to test negative for the virus.