15 - L’Jarius Sneed
L’Jarius Sneed was impressive in Week 1 when he was forced to take the field but an injury cost him some time this season. His play against the Saints was another feather in his cap.
“If you look at history and you look at the seasons tight ends have had, he’s got to have one of the best as far as catching the ball and being a playmaker on offense,” Mahomes said. “That speaks for itself.
“It’s truly a special season by a tight end and not just by a tight end but just a player, a game changer.”
Mahomes was standing up for a teammate, as he frequently does, but it’s also true Kelce may be headed where no tight end has gone before. He has 1,318 receiving yards and would break the NFL single-season record for a tight end by getting at least 60 yards on Sunday when the Chiefs play against the Atlanta Falcons at Arrowhead Stadium.
“That was the ol’ pickle juice, man,” Mahomes revealed. “You know, he was cramping up a little bit, so you gotta give him the pickle juice to get him back to the ‘cheetah,’ you know what I mean?
“Well, the pickle juice usually is before, like to try to keep you from cramping,” the MVP frontrunner continued. “I don’t know… might have to do with the sodium, I think. They try to keep you from cramping. I think he had… the full cramps already, so they had to use the full IV.”
I understand that the Pro Bowl is determined by fans, players, and coaches so everyone has an equal chance of making it. But let’s face it, it’s always been a popularity contest. Obviously, Frank Clark and the fact that he plays on the best team makes him more popular than Emmanuel Ogbah, a guy not many have heard of before.
You’d like to think that it would simply be a stat thing when players were picked instead of an arbitrary made-up reasons that everyone involved uses to vote guys in. If that were the case then the fact that Ogbah has four more sacks, five more tackles, and three more forced fumbles would be all anyone with a brain needs to know on who out of these two guys should be selected to this team that’s supposed to have the best players from the season.
Nothing against Frank Clark, but it’s straight-up silly that he got selected to the Pro-Bowl over Emmanuel Ogbah for the 2020 season. Hopefully, Ogbah uses this as some kind of tackling fuel and takes it out all over the Raiders and Bills to finish the season.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Gregory Rousseau EDGE
The Chiefs could stand to upgrade its pass rush and if Rousseau is sitting here he’d be hard to pass up. Rousseau opted out in 2020 and there are questions about how his talents translate to the next level, but it’s hard to overlook his 15.5 sacks in 2019, especially since he’s a converted WR.
“I really believe we’re looking at the greatest to ever do it right now in Patrick Mahomes...It’s insane. I do believe the Chiefs are far and away the best team in football, and I think they’re going to do something that hasn’t happened since the Patriots of [Super Bowl] XXXVIII and XXXIX - I do think they’re going to repeat...Kelce’s not going anywhere. Tyreek’s not going anywhere. Eric Bieniemy may be going somewhere hopefully at the end of this season, but they’re set up for a while. I hope people are cool with this, because it’s going to be this way for a while.”
Around the NFL
“I am aware of it,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “And I do plan to talk to JuJu. But we’re professionals. I doubt any of those antics and things of that nature are legitimate motivating factors as you step into professional stadiums. It’s about respect.”
The Steelers (11-3) dropped their third straight game Monday night, losing to a Cincinnati Bengals team playing without quarterback Joe Burrow. Before the game, Smith-Schuster did his usual dance routine on the Bengals’ midfield logo and posted it to social media platform TikTok with the caption: “They told to stop dancing and not be yourself so ...”
Ryan Tannehill is the NFL’s most underrated player
After the latest showing of extreme efficiency and production, it is time we start giving Ryan Tannehill the credit he deserves. On Sunday, Tannehill became the third player in NFL history with a passer rating of at least 145, three passing TDs and two rushing TDs in a single game, joining Jack Kemp (1960) and Michael Vick (2010).
Tannehill’s passer rating (110.4) is fourth-best in the league, and he is on pace to have the second-highest single-season passer rating in Titans/Oilers history — behind only his own mark from last season (117.5).
Tannehill is also sitting at 31 passing TDs, which trails only Hall of Famers George Blanda (36 in 1961) and Warren Moon (33 in 1990) for the most in a season in franchise history.
Sure, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers are the MVP frontrunners, and Tannehill’s teammate Derrick Henry gets the majority of the headlines, but after Sunday’s 46-25 drubbing of the Lions, the Titans now have more 40-point games (four) than any team in the NFL, and they’ve reached 10 wins for the first time since 2008. None of that happens without a quarterback playing at a very high level.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady got some good news Tuesday: He’ll have starting left tackle Donovan Smith back this week against the Detroit Lions.
Smith was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list last week, not due to a positive test, but because he was notified that a family member he had been in close contact with had tested positive for the virus, which forced him to miss Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
According to NFL rules, a player deemed a close contact can return to the team after five days of self-quarantining as long as the player continues to test negative.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Winning the first-round bye
As we explained last week, the Chiefs could have clinched the AFC’s first seed in Week 15 with a win against the Saints and losses by the Bills and Steelers. Only two of those things happened, which is why the Chiefs are not yet assured of obtaining the first seed.
Kansas City remains in control of its own destiny; it doesn’t need to have help from any other team to lock down the bye. Two wins to close the season will give the team a 15-1 record that no other team can match; no tiebreaker would come into play.
Should the Chiefs win just one of their last two games against the Falcons and Chargers, their record will be 14-2. No other AFC team can match that record because the other remaining contenders — the Steelers and the Bills — both already have three losses. Again, no tiebreaker needed.
Here’s how that all boils down: any Chiefs win — OR any loss by either the Steelers OR the Bills — guarantees Kansas City the top postseason seed.
In turn, that means that the Chiefs could easily lock up the first seed as early as Sunday.