Rodgers was a +450 underdog to win the award before last week’s games, behind Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who had been the favorite since mid-November. But after Rodgers finished torching the Tennessee Titans on Sunday night in the snow, he moved past Mahomes to become the MVP favorite for the first time this season.
Rodgers is a -260 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, followed by Mahomes, whose odds drifted from -400 to +210 after Week 16.
14 - L’Jarius Sneed
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS CB
Kansas City sent L’Jarius Sneed after Matt Ryan a few times and that led to a sack. The rookie has been a versatile and capable performer for the defending Super Bowl champions, who also received good production from rookie linebacker Willie Gay as well.
So even if Mahomes, Kelce and other top players aren’t in the lineup against the Chargers, the Chiefs have some things to work on during practice.
“I’ve got to focus on fixing the things I made mistakes on during the game,” said Mahomes, who threw an interception against the Falcons, his fourth in the past three games. “There was a lot of reads, a lot of protection calls, a lot of adjustments at the line of scrimmage that I made wrong or that I didn’t make the right way that put us in bad positions and so I’ve got to focus on getting myself better to help out the team.
The Chiefs resided off the competitive radar for most of the 1970s and ‘80s. Peterson’s 1989 arrival restored the former AFL power to an upper-echelon AFC operation almost immediately. The ex-USFL champion exec built Super Bowl-caliber defenses during Marty Schottenheimer’s tenure, and the 1993 acquisitions of Joe Montana and Marcus Allen represented peak Chiefs relevance between Super Bowl IV and Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs made seven playoff berths in the ‘90s and built an all-time offensive line in the aughts. Playoff wins proved elusive during Peterson’s 20-year tenure, but he deserves credit for leading a revival effort.
Kansas City Chiefs
It’s been a weird season for the Chiefs. They often look unstoppable within games, but they haven’t won by more than one score since Week 8. Patrick Mahomes passes the eye test more than the analytics test late in the season. Clinching home-field advantage with a tight 17-14 win over the Falcons was typical. The line play on both sides of the ball was not what you’d expect from a 14-1 team — a return to health by right tackle Michell Schwartz, who is on injured reserve with a back injury, in time for the playoffs would be massive.
With all that said, they are still the most likely team to win the Super Bowl. Their best players may also have two weeks off. Andy Reid has a history of resting starters and has already indicated he could look to get some young players extra playing time. Don’t be surprised if Mahomes plays only a portion of the Week 17 game against the Chargers, if he plays at all.
Kansas City Chiefs
14-1 · .462
Biggest needs: Interior OL, WR, edge rusher
This week’s game: vs. Chargers
Round 1 - Pick 32
Joseph Ossai LB
Ossai might have the highest motor in this draft class and in K.C. he’ll give the
A four-team parlay, with a final leg of the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl, sold for $57,200 last week on PropSwap, a secondary market for sports bets that have already been placed.
The parlay was placed in August at Hollywood Casino in West Virginia. The first three legs — Braves to win the National League East, Lightning to win the Stanley Cup, and Storm to win the WNBA championship — have already cashed. If Kansas City wins the Super Bowl, the ticket will pay $171,360.
Around the NFL
Tomlin acknowledged the Steelers (12-3), who already have clinched a playoff spot and the AFC North title, may rest more starters Sunday, but as of now, Roethlisberger is the only one he named.
“It does not change our intentions, in terms of going to Cleveland this weekend,” Tomlin said. “Football is our game. Our job is winning. We intend to do our job. We intend to prepare with that mindset. And ultimately lead us to that destination. We’re not seeking comfort. We’re not grading ourselves on a curve.
“This game is on the schedule, and so the guys that will be on the field will represent us in the standard that is the Pittsburgh Steelers will be the standard.”
The NFL is preparing a COVID-19 contingency plan in which it temporarily promotes an official to work as a referee during the full slate of games Sunday, according to an NFL source.
The move is yet another twist in the league’s effort to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of referees and other crew members have been sidelined this season by COVID-19 protocols, but the league has been able to cover for them with other contingency plans. In Week 15, for example, it assigned referee John Hussey to handle two games — one on Thursday night and one on Monday night — to cover for referee Clay Martin. In Week 16, referee Adrian Hill worked games on Friday and Sunday after referee Shawn Smith was removed from the schedule.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
3. Buffalo Bills (3rd)
I’ve got a feeling that if the Chiefs end up facing the Bills in the AFC championship game, then a lot of people outside of Kansas City will be backing Buffalo for the win.
4. New Orleans Saints (4th)
Alvin Kamara’s Christmas Day domination highlights how well the Chiefs did in containing him.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10th) | This week’s high riser
I’m calling it now: Tom Brady is going to make a lot of noise in the playoffs.
Interesting point here from our @tomchilds56 on Buffalo… the Bills’ likely nationwide support, if they face the Chiefs, might be the very first sign of villainy in the Chiefs’ run. https://t.co/RONi3LEv5y— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) December 29, 2020