“He’s not elite, but he is the starting left tackle on the most prolific offense,” said ESPN analyst Mike Tannenbaum, a former general manager with the Dolphins and Jets. “He’s a good athlete, not a great athlete. His strength is good, not great. He does everything just good enough. He’s a good player, [but] he’s not dominant. You don’t see those flash plays. But there’s a lot to like about his game. I’ve been around a lot worse left tackles than him.
“He’s been a guy that’s had a good career but will never probably live up to that first pick overall, kind of like Alex Smith. But I’m sure the Chiefs are still glad they have him. Of all of the things you have to worry about from a team-building standpoint, to know that you have a good left tackle, that’s one less spot that Brett [Veach, the Chiefs’ GM] and Andy [Reid, coach] have to worry about.”
“I remember it was hard to stop them,” Flores said of the Chiefs. “It’s still hard — it’s probably harder now. ... They’ve got a lot of great guys over there.
“They’ve got a little bit of a killer instinct. Mahomes has got it. (Travis) Kelce’s got it. (Tyrann) Mathieu, defensively, (Chris) Jones. When they smell blood in the water, they go after you.”
Flores is tasked with figuring out how to stop a team that boasts the league’s second- and third-best pass-catchers in terms of receiving yards. But that’s not all.
“Who do you want to put on (Sammy) Watkins? Who do you want to put on Mecole Hardman?” Flores responded when asked how his team might cover Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. “Who do you want to put on (Demarcus) Robinson? We’ve got to handle the backs, too. (Clyde Edwards-)Helaire’s a good back; Le’Veon Bell’s not a slouch, either.
1 - Kansas City Chiefs
Previous rank: No. 1
You could almost hear the disappointment in Al and Cris’ voices on Sunday Night Football: NBC slated the Chiefs in prime time to lay their latest prodigious whipping on an opponent — in this case, the Denver Broncos — but instead, viewers were treated to a more muted affair in Kansas City’s 22-16 win. Credit the Broncos’ stubborn defense for refusing to play the role of cannon fodder, and just be thankful you’re not the Chiefs’ upstairs replay guy who has to explain to Andy Reid why he wasn’t told to challenge the ruled incompletion on what would have been a touchdown catch by Tyreek Hill in the second quarter. The Chiefs clinched their sixth consecutive postseason appearance (tying a franchise record) and are one Raiders loss away from their fifth straight AFC West title. These guys are good.
1 Patrick Mahomes
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB
The only reason you might be even a little concerned (and we mean a little ) entering the playoffs is the fact he and the Chiefs have basically been playing half-hearted backyard ball for, like, half the year. Still, the talent here is unparalleled.
Last week: 1
Kansas City Chiefs
Biggest needs: Interior OL, WR, edge rusher
This week’s game: at Dolphins
Kansas City keeps winning, but we understand if Chiefs fans are itching to see more pass-rush production. The team has a league-low one sack since Week 11.
Around the NFL
Wentz was benched on Tuesday in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts, two days after he was pulled in a listless loss to the Green Bay Packers, the type of uninspiring game they’ve played weekly in 2020. Over the past few weeks, Wentz, who ranks 30th in passer rating and leads the NFL in interceptions, has graduated from being simply a bad quarterback into perhaps the biggest team-building problem in football. Now, I understand the gravity of that title—this is a league with Adam Gase in it—but problems like Gase can be quickly remedied by firing him and moving on. Wentz is not as easily dealt with, because the four-year $128 million extension he signed in 2019 has yet to kick in. If the Eagles wanted to cut him before March of next year, he’d cost around $60 million in dead salary cap—almost three times Aaron Rodgers’s 2020 cap hit. If they wait until after June 1, it will cost them $34 million in 2021 plus an additional $24 million in 2022.
Denver Broncos cornerback A.J. Bouye has been suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The NFL made the suspension official Wednesday with a statement, adding that Bouye would be “able to participate in offseason and preseason practices and games.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
1. Kansas City Chiefs (1st)
Well what do you know! Our persistence with the Chiefs staying at No. 1 was indeed a savvy move. This team is clearly the best in the business right now.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (2nd)
Pittsburgh’s version of the 2013 Chiefs finally lost to the quarterback of the... 2013 Chiefs.
3. Green Bay Packers (4th)
You’re right, Packers fans: Aaron Rodgers has no weapons — Devante Adams and Aaron Jones are just awful.
4. New Orleans Saints (3rd)
Like the Chiefs, all they do is win.
What's the best story you have as a Chiefs fan?— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 9, 2020