The Mahomes Rope-a-Dope: He had two interceptions and took two sacks—one of them for a 30-yard loss!—in the first quarter, as the Chiefs were down 10-0 in Miami early in the second quarter. Mahomes responded by putting up 21 points in less than 10 minutes (it was 30 unanswered points overall for the Chiefs, but nine came from special teams and defense and Mahomes doesn’t get credit for that charity).
While it wasn’t his best game, Patrick Mahomes still made several incredible plays that involved getting the ball to his playmakers. The Chiefs again received big contributions from Tyreek Hill (who had a 32-yard touchdown run and a 44-yard touchdown catch) and Travis Kelce, who caught eight passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs received scores from their offense, defense (on Chris Jones’ third quarter safety) and special teams on Mecole Hardman’s 67-yard punt return and Harrison Butker’s 44-yard field goal with 20 seconds left. Kansas City’s defense received another stellar performance from safety Tyrann Mathieu, whose second quarter interception of Tua Tagovailoa (the QB’s first career interception) set up the Chiefs go-ahead score. Mathieu, after recording two interceptions during the season’s first 10 games, now has four interceptions over the past three games.
Mahomes’ 30-yarder, however, fails to follow any such convention. He starts out in a fairly secure-looking pocket, then Emmanuel Ogbah and Jerome Baker shed their blocks simultaneously, and Mahomes decides to just run the hell away.
Mahomes seems to be gambling on a little change of direction on this backwards run being enough to squeeze around Baker and allow him to escape to the left, but as I suspect you all know from the fact that this play resulted in a 30-yard sack, this did not work at all. He was brought down on his own three-yard line:
Patrick Mahomes took a 30 YARD LOSS on this sack pic.twitter.com/pUgL0JM4Wv— Sporting News (@sportingnews) December 13, 2020
The New Orleans Saints are in no rush to bring back Drew Brees, and there’s still no timetable for when the quarterback might play again as he recovers from his 11 fractured ribs and punctured lung, league sources told ESPN.
Brees was hoping to return in Week 15 against the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Saints want to see their veteran quarterback make a full recovery, be able to throw without any limitations and have complete range of motion before they consider reinserting him into the starting lineup, according to sources.
Around the NFL
Hurts led the Eagles to a 24-21 win over the NFC-leading Saints, giving Philadelphia its most impressive performance of the season and keeping the squad’s longshot playoff hopes alive. And while Hurts’s final passing line—17-of-30 for 167 yards and a touchdown—doesn’t jump off the page, he was exactly the defibrillator the team needed. Hurts added 106 yards on the ground on 18 carries and led scoring drives on three of the team’s first five possessions. That Hurts did this against the no. 2 defense in the league and a squad that was in the pole position in the conference makes it all the more impressive, and should give Philly fans a sign of hope in an otherwise abysmal season.
Guenther, 49, was in the midst of his third season as defensive coordinator for the Raiders, but was sacked Sunday in the aftermath of a 44-27 defeat that was the Raiders third in the last four games. Las Vegas has allowed 35 or more points in all of those losses and on Sunday gave up more than 40 points for the third time this season.
That was apparently more than enough for coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock to move on.
The Raiders were 28th in the league in scoring defense coming into Sunday, their defense having become a huge problem as Las Vegas has fallen to 7-6 and its playoff aspirations are falling along the way.
“We’re not done yet,” said rookie defensive end Chase Young, who scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery. “I like to think, ‘What would Kobe [Bryant] do?’ He wouldn’t be smiling. He’d put his head down and keep working until he achieved what he wanted to achieve. ... That’s the vibe of the team right now. We’re not satisfied.”
The Lions’ star QB needed X-Rays on ribs after taking a hard shot from defensive tackle Kenny Clark late in the fourth quarter of a 31-24 loss. He was in the locker room for Detroit’s final drive and didn’t take questions afterward.
Interim coach Darrell Bevell told reporters it’s ”too early to tell” whether Stafford will miss time but also noted “it’s going to take something drastic” to keep him on the sidelines.
Bailey was wide left on his extra-point attempt after the Vikings’ first-quarter touchdown and and pushed three consecutive field goals to the right from 36, 54 and 46 yards out.
The Vikings kicker joins unfortunate company with his historically bad outing. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the last player with at least three missed field goals and a missed extra point without a make of either was John Aveni for Washington in 1961.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Sack Nation: Chris Jones was an absolute monster again this week, including a sack for a safety. Frank Clark also picked up a sack, as did Turk Wharton and Mike Danna. The defensive front seemed determined to make their presence felt to quiet the doubters, and for the most part, they delivered. Consistent pressure on Tua Tagovailoa was a big factor in this game, and it came from a variety of Chiefs defenders.
Tyreek Hill: When everything was going wrong for Patrick Mahomes, it was Hill who got the Chiefs on the board with a 32-yard touchdown run. Then they started connecting through the air, including a 44-yard touchdown pass.
Mike Danna: As mentioned above, Danna was part of a big day for the Chiefs pass rushers, but his individual effort deserves calling out as well. In addition to the sack, Danna had multiple tackles for loss, demonstrating tremendous technique and strength on the edge.
If you see me fighting a bear, help the bear. #EveryPlayCount— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) December 13, 2020