I have written, conservatively, tens of thousands of words about the Chiefs since the start of the 2018 season—about Patrick Mahomes’s ability to make miracles look normal, or his ability to correct mistakes in mid-drive or mid-play. But no description can match seeing it for oneself.
A lead isn’t a lead against the Chiefs, and that’s why they are incredible to watch. They can feature any player they want, whether it’s Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, or whomever else, and score quickly and emphatically. They are the perfect offense.
5 - Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid · 12-1
Working for him: Staying on top the year after winning a Super Bowl is a difficult challenge — but the Chiefs, who head down the stretch with a strong hold on the No. 1 seed in the AFC, have largely met it.
Working against him: Voters tend to reward new coaches who spark an organizational turnaround (think Sean McVay in 2017 or Matt Nagy in 2018), which can lead them to bypass established names like Reid. This helps explain why Bill Belichick, one of the most successful coaches ever, hasn’t won the award since 2010. But don’t cry for Reid if he doesn’t win; not only has he already won this honor once (in 2002, with the Eagles), but he landed the hardware he really wanted last season: his first Super Bowl ring as a head coach.
New Orleans Saints 30, Kansas City Chiefs 27
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS) | Mercedes-Benz Superdome (New Orleans)
People are giving up on the Saints too quickly because of a bad (if overdue) loss. Despite missing Drew Brees for a month, the Saints have been a more complete team than the Chiefs all season, with more truly impressive wins. They are a proud team coming off an embarrassing loss and Sunday’s game means far more to them than the Chiefs, who can afford to lose and still get home-field advantage. The injury report will help make my pick here. The Chiefs could be down their top three tackles, while Taysom Hill’s limitations show up more each week. If Brees returns, I’m picking him to help Sean Payton’s Coach of the Year candidacy.
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints
Kansas City Chiefs -3
This is the game of the week. The Saints are coming off a bad loss to the Eagles but could have Drew Brees back for this one. The Chiefs are playing consecutive road games, which is tough, especially outside the division. But Patrick Mahomes will have success against the Saints defense on the fast track. Chiefs win it.
Pick: Chiefs 30, Saints 23
On the spot: Chiefs TE Travis Kelce . With or without Drew Brees on the field, the Saints still have a formidable defense. As a result, Kelce’s work over the middle will be even more valuable to Kansas City than it normally is.
Saints HC Sean Payton: Payton has a big decision to make; bring Drew Brees back and try to wrest a first-round bye back from Green Bay, or let him get as close to fully healthy as possible and likely punt on this game. I know what I’d do, but I’m not Payton.
The pick: Chiefs 33 Saints 24
Round 1 - Pick 32
Creed Humphrey OL
Creed Humphrey would lock down that starting center position for a decade-plus. Kansas City has gone bargain hunting for interior offensive linemen in recent years and it would be a spectacle to see them actually invest in that unit.
Around the NFL
6 - Emmanuel Ogbah
Miami Dolphins · DE
Contract: Two years, $15 million.
Ogbah makes at least one key play on a weekly basis. He is tied for 10th in the league in sacks with eight and in the top 15 in total disruptions with 43. His greatest impact has been in game-changing plays, with Ogbah forcing five turnovers via pressure, the third-most in the entire league behind only former Browns teammate Myles Garrett and Shaquil Barrett. A change of scenery has done Ogbah well, as he’s helping Miami become a stout defense — a big reason why the Dolphins are a surprising 8-5.
Jarvis Landry called Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters ”cowardly” after a video clip showed Peters apparently spitting at the Cleveland Browns wide receiver as he walked away Monday night.
“He’s a coward,” Landry said Thursday. “I think he knew that maybe behind my back he’d do things like that, but to my face, he wouldn’t. ... Now I know. Everybody knows the type of player he is, the type of person he is.”
Minshew said he’s not going to trash talk with defensive end Calais Campbell because he’s too nice. But when it comes to pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue ...
“Now Yannick’s going to be out for blood,” Minshew said Wednesday.
Ngakoue forced his way out of Jacksonville four months ago by repeatedly voicing his dissatisfaction with the Jaguars this year. In March, he announced on Twitter that he wasn’t going to sign a long-term deal with the Jaguars. A month later, he engaged in a heated Twitter exchange with Tony Khan, the son of Jaguars owner Shad Khan and the team’s senior vice president of football administration and technology.
The absences of offensive coordinator Greg Olson and rookie Henry Ruggs III were one thing, but the loss of Derek Carr early on added another layer of drama to the proceedings.
Had a few other plays gone the Raiders’ way, Marcus Mariota’s sensational night back in the spotlight could’ve had a much happier ending.
“To be truthful, it’s been a long journey. I’ve been through kind of everything,” Mariota said of his confidence after his performance. “From injuries to surgeries to mental, kind of just, lapses, the confidence thing. I just truly appreciate the Raiders and the entire organization for kind of helping me through that.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
“I mean, 100%,” said Mahomes. “Obviously, him being from Texas and then go into the Chargers, dealing with adversity there and then go into the Saints and just been consistently at the top of the game for year in and year out, it is truly special to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and to be able to consistently produce every single year.”
Brees’ historical year included a rather strong 2018 campaign, which saw him compete with Mahomes for MVP votes. Mahomes ultimately won the award in part thanks to his 50 passing touchdowns on the season.
“Hopefully we get to go up against him or I get to go up against him,” added Mahomes, “but if not, hopefully we’ll get the face him at some other time because you want to play against those great quarterbacks that you watched growing up that were kind of guys that you looked up to and the way they played the game.”
Jason Kelce passionately explains why winning takes precedent in the NFL over everything, including evaluating youth in a down season. pic.twitter.com/x9CyzqQ47e— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) December 16, 2020