Currently, Kelce comes into Week 14 with 1,114 receiving yards, which is good for second-most in the league and only five yards behind Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf (1,119 receiving yards) for the top spot. That’s essentially a reception separating the two for the league lead and, by looking at Kelce’s remaining road, the Chiefs tight end may have an easier path the rest of the way.
Kansas City’s remaining four opponents (Dolphins, Saints, Falcons, Chargers) are allowing 252.55 receiving yards per game combined this season. Meanwhile, the Seahawks’ opponents over the last month (Jets, Washington, Rams, 49ers) are giving up a combined average of 242.3 receiving yards per game. This also isn’t mentioning that Metcalf will likely get All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey during Seattle’s Week 16 matchup with the Rams while Kelce has the luxury of having Tyreek Hill opening things up for him over the middle of the field. With all that in mind, Kelce has a great shot at making history here.
The 31-year-old not only could be the first-ever tight end to lead the league in receiving yards, but he’s also on pace to break George Kittle’s single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history. Back in 2018, the 49ers tight end set the record with 1,377 receiving. If Kelce continues at his current pace, he’s projected to finish with 1,485 receiving yards this season.
4. Andy Reid
Eight years into his rebound job, Reid has used the Chiefs gig to substantially elevate his stature. The ex-Eagles boss has become a no-doubt Hall of Famer, and he made a long-suffering franchise the NFL’s premier squad. The Chiefs went 2-14 in 2012; under Reid in 2013, they finished 11-5. Reid has morphed from a West Coast Offense-based coach to a malleable offensive maestro during his Kansas City stay, and for all Patrick Mahomes has done for Reid, the 22nd-year coach running the show has aided the MVP considerably. Reid will move into the top five in career wins next season, one he may enter with two Super Bowl rings.
What to know for fantasy: Due for a spike in production? Based on the location of carries, Dolphins running back Myles Gaskin’s production as a rusher is 26.6% below expectations, the second-worst rate of all qualifiers.
Betting nugget: Miami has covered in seven of its past eight games. It is 18-6 against the spread (ATS) since its Week 5 bye last season, the best mark in the league over that time.
Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 27, Dolphins 17
Wolfe’s pick: Chiefs 24, Dolphins 20
FPI prediction: KC, 76.4% (by an average of 9.6 points)
Eric Bieniemy, offensive coordinator, Kansas City Chiefs
Some team is going to get itself a fine head coach. One totally unscientific guess as to why he’s still out there? Bieniemy has made the rounds and interviewed a bunch of places. That might lead an owner to wonder if they are missing out on a reason why one of their competitors did not hire Bieniemy. It’s ridiculous, of course. But this is merely an effort to get inside the heads of those who let him go back to Kansas City twice now. Look at how incredibly fun the Chiefs’ offense is. How many times does Andy Reid have to tell reporters and fellow coaches that the creative roots of that system are firmly planted in the mind of Bieniemy?
Eric Bieniemy, Chiefs offensive coordinator: The 51-year-old former Colorado and NFL running back has two decades of coaching experience. He’s been Patrick Mahomes’ OC for his NFL MVP winning season, then the Super Bowl-winning season, and he’s about to oversee a second NFL MVP award for Mahomes. He should be the top candidate for a handful of openings.
Around the NFL
Adams described his relationship with his former coach as “solid” and said he’d shake his hand if Gase approaches him pregame Sunday.
“I don’t hate Adam Gase,” he said. “I have no problem with Adam Gase. I just feel he didn’t handle certain situations well as a head coach. That’s just my opinion. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, just like you guys are. Everybody’s entitled to an opinion, and that’s the world we live in. But like I said, I have no hate towards Adam.”
After the game, the questioning began, starting with whether Belichick would switch to Stidham behind center next week. Belichick flatly told reporters he wouldn’t, stating that “Cam is our quarterback.” Newton, the 31-year-old former league MVP, signed a one-year deal this offseason that initially seemed ingenious. But even as Newton’s struggles have been at the forefront of the Patriots shortcomings this year, there are issues across the roster that will need to be addressed—the offensive flaws don’t solely rest with Newton. New England has not succeeded in evaluating young receiver talent over the past decade, and the current crop has underwhelmed. Former first-round pick N’Keal Harry (three catches, 49 yards), Damiere Byrd (five catches, 48 yards), and Jakobi Meyers (four catches, 47 yards) helmed the Patriots’ passing game Thursday, as they have most of the year with veteran Julian Edelman injured. Additionally, the offensive line has been inconsistent and has been hampered by injuries throughout the year, and a lack of cohesion is still apparent even at this stage in the year. New England’s defense was perhaps among the most heavily impacted groups when players opted out during the offseason, too.
“I sometimes wonder if that was just a bad dream I had,” Irsay recalled Tuesday. “It’s just very, very, very difficult.”
A few weeks shy of his 30th birthday and coming off a season in which he’d earned his fourth Pro Bowl selection and been named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year after leading the Colts to a road playoff victory, Luck stunned his bosses — and, soon after, the football world — with the news that he’d abruptly chosen to walk away. At the time, just a couple of weeks before the start of the 2019 NFL season, Irsay seemed hopeful that Luck’s decision wouldn’t prove to be a permanent one. In a press conference announcing the move, Irsay referenced Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods as athletes who’d made successful comebacks after stepping away and said of Luck doing something similar: “I don’t rule it out.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Outside of Daniel Sorensen, no other player has moved throughout Steve Spagnuolo’s defense quite as much as L’Jarius Sneed. Sneed started this season on the boundary, moved inside to nickel cornerback, and has even lined up in the box next to Anthony Hitchens in some run fits over the past two weeks.
Sneed’s experience as a safety at Louisiana Tech University during his senior year definitely caught Spagnuolo and Sam Madison’s eye during the 2020 draft process, and it may come in handy this week if Mathieu is unavailable. Sneed could comfortably play deep in split-safety coverage calls, drop into hook zones as a robber and is comfortable in the slot or the box. Those are the positions that Mathieu has occupied most during his time in Kansas City, and Sneed may be a natural fit there.
However, moving Sneed around may force some other moves. If Spagnuolo opts for Sneed to play more in the box snaps in the nickel, Juan Thornhill likely comes on the field earlier than he has in recent games as a deep safety. If Spagnuolo opts to replace Mathieu’s role over the past two weeks with Sneed, the Chiefs could opt to bring Rashad Fenton into the slot role, keeping Thornhill as simply a deep dime safety.
Playing with two 99s on the same offense >>> pic.twitter.com/YLfJEKmTH9— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) December 11, 2020