By placing a winning bid of $140,000 in the All In Challenge, that person won a pair of front-row tickets at Arrowhead Stadium for a future Kansas City Chiefs game, a pair of pregame sideline passes, a pair of locker room club passes, a one-night hotel stay, a pair of round-trip airline tickets and the chance to meet Mahomes after the game.
He’ll also be giving them his autographed jersey and cleats. Plus, that fan will get to lead the team’s pregame ritual chop.
Damien Williams got the nod initially as my starting running back. He may be out there for the first snap in Week 1 out of respect for his Super Bowl heroics, and he won’t be relegated to a bit player. But it’s hard to imagine him out-snapping Clyde Edwards-Helaire over the course of the season. CEH (just roll with it) is too good on passing downs to stay off the field, and every down on an Andy Reid team is a passing down.
Only championship-caliber teams can pull off a move like bringing Sammy Watkins back at a reduced salary. Watkins doesn’t need to be an every-week performer to be very valuable to the offense.
“The more you watch it, the more it sucks,” Kittle said. “I will say that. It’s not like a dark cloud following me around. It is what it is, it happened. You gotta move on. I don’t know if I’ll use the loss as motivation, but there’s definitely a hunger there. I think that resonates with a lot of guys. I just wanna play football again.”
Ward wishes he could have that third down back.
“I wish I could have stayed more square,” he explained. “I would say that. How I practiced it, how we — it’s a certain play. It’s a route that they love doing. ... They ended up getting us in the right call because we were in Cover 3 during that play. I don’t know if they were expecting us to be in Cover 3 or what, but yeah, we probably could have made another call. That probably would have helped us out, but at the same time, it probably could have played out the same way.”
“I have no idea how that would happen,” Ward continued, “but regarding the situation, if I had stayed square, it wouldn’t have even been a play.”
1. Kansas City Chiefs
QB: Patrick Mahomes (99)
WR: Tyreek Hill (96)
You had to know who would be sitting at the top. The Kansas City Chiefs have the NFL’s best quarterback and a dynamic wide receiver who ranks as the fastest player in the league. The combination is deadly with 19 touchdowns together in two seasons (including playoffs).
There’s no reason to think Mahomes or Hill will see a drop-off at ages 24 and 26, respectively, this season. The NFL’s best duo will only be more dangerous with defenses focusing on what should be an improved Mecole Hardman and the addition of first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire at running back.
In an offense perfectly suited to their talents, the Chiefs playmakers are a given as the top duo in the league.
Cohen asked if that would really happen.
“I do, yeah, I think they’ll do it,” Buck said. “In fact I know they’ll do it. They are to the point now it’s pretty much a done deal. I think whoever is going to be at that control is going to have to be really good at their job and be realistic with how a crowd would react, depending on what just happened on the field.
“So it’s really important, and then on top of that they’re gonna put, they’re looking at ways to put virtual fans in the stands, so when you see a wide shot it looks like the stadium is jam packed and in fact, it’ll be empty.”
3) Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: The fit seems too good to be true. A three-down weapon provides a havoc-wreaking offense with one of the few pieces it still needed? That’ll play. Think of the one-on-one matchups against linebackers that Andy Reid will be able to exploit with this dynamo catching passes out of the backfield. Patrick Mahomes got exactly what he wanted, which is bad news for the rest of the league. Damien Williams, coming off a 133-yard, two-TD performance in the Super Bowl, has earned a role in the backfield, but Reid has said Edwards-Helaire is better than his star all-purpose back from his Eagles days, Brian Westbrook. If that’s true, it would be malpractice for him to not give CEH the bulk of the workload.
Eventually, Scott envisions Hardman being drafted proactively in all fantasy leagues. Unfortunately, that day isn’t here yet. For one thing, Sammy Watkins is still ahead of Hardman on the receiver hierarchy, and while he always seems to fail to meet expectations, he did show out during the playoffs. It might not show up on the stat sheet, but his presence on the field matters to the Chiefs.
Sure, Hardman’s propensity for the big play is great, but can you count on that continuing in any regular fashion? And will his workload ever match his ability?
With all that said, draft him with confidence in Best Ball — but hold your breath if selecting him in season-long.
Around the NFL
Baker and Dunbar are accused of partaking in a brazen, multi-person robbery at a party in Miramar on Wednesday night. According to an affidavit filed by a Miramar detective in Broward County Circuit Court, problems at the party surfaced when Baker was seen with a gun in his hand and “pointing it at one of the attendees.”
Baker, according to a witness whose name has been redacted, directed other attendees to take money and valuables from people at the party. Dunbar, the witness recalls, assisted Baker in taking these items. Another witness told police that at a different party two days earlier, Baker and Dunbar had lost about $70,000. This information, if verified, is potentially significant. It could help prosecutors argue that Baker and Dunbar had a motive: recoup their losses.
“When the 2020 football season begins this fall, Buffalo has four night games scheduled which could potentially be shown on the giant outdoor screens at the drive-in, in a social distancing friendly environment, if we were granted permission by the league,” wrote the business page. “We would also be able to show the Buffalo at Denver game on December 20, if the start time, which is currently TBD, were to be designated at 4:00 PM or later.”
Drew Lock and Jerry Jeudy
No team in the NFL intrigues me more than the Broncos. I can just as easily envision Denver floundering to a 5-11 finish as I can picture them challenging seriously for a playoff spot. What’s obvious is that they’re gambling on Lock as their quarterback. He already has Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant, but John Elway went out and got him the most NFL-ready wide receiver in this year’s class in Jeudy. Lock showed promise in going 4-1 last season, with only a snowy loss to Kansas City standing out as poor performance. If Lock and Jeudy can get on the same page quickly, the Broncos would have a group of receiving threats that could rival that of the Chiefs, and Denver would also have its quarterback of the future.
“The G-est thing Mike Tomlin ever did, he handed me an envelope after that,” Harrison said on Barstool’s “Going Deep” podcast. “I’m not going to say what, but he handed me an envelope after that.”
Harrison initially was fined $75,000 for the hit — the most, he said, that he was ever fined (the NFL later reduced it to $50,000). Massaquoi suffered a concussion as a result of the head-to-head hit, which was not flagged in the game.
“Listen, on everything I love, on my daddy’s grave, I hit that man with about 50 percent of what I had, and I just hit him because I wanted him to let loose of the ball,” Harrison said on the podcast. “If I had knew they was gonna fine me $75,000, I would have tried to kill him.”
Parry is, in my estimation, one of the best referees in recent NFL history. He didn’t think twice when he correctly flagged Tom Brady for intentional grounding in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVI. He ref’d a crew in Super Bowl LIII that had as flawless a Super Bowl as you’ll find, especially considering the pressure of the missed pass interference between the Rams and Saints looming over the officials.
He nearly laughs me off the phone when I tell him about the officials’ role in home-field advantage.
“I don’t remember one sporting event in 35-plus years of officiating where that entered my mind,” Parry says. “We don’t care. We don’t care who’s playing, we don’t care where we’re playing. When the game kicks off there are 22 players on the field, they’re wearing two different colors, there are numbers, and you’re so focused on the task at hand that you lose sight that No. 9 is Drew Brees or No. 99 is this guy. To say that part of our thought process is to make 70,000 people in the home stadium fairly pleased with our efforts doesn’t exist.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
“Here’s a pretty cool story — the draft was on Thursday,” Westbrook told McAfee. “At some point during the draft, either Brett Veach or Andy Reid said to a local newspaper or TV station that this kid, Edwards-Helaire, is better than Brian Westbrook.
“He got picked in the draft Thursday night. Friday morning, I get a call on my phone from Brett Veach. And I am like, ‘What does Brett Veach want?’ I hadn’t heard the comments at that point. He said, ‘I’m just calling to let you know we weren’t saying that. That’s not what we were saying. We were saying that he has a lot of Brian Westbrook in him — and Andy wants to talk to you.’
“So about five minutes later, Andy calls, and I have nothing but love for Andy Reid and Brett Veach and those guys out there, spent so much time with them. And we’re kind of chopping it up. 15 minutes in, he’s like listen, ‘Just want you to know, I would never compare players. That’s not my thing.’”
A tweet to make you think
After Patrick Mahomes' 4th quarter INT in Super Bowl LIV, the 49ers had a 94% chance to win according to ESPN.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 15, 2020
Mahomes was 5-0 when trailing by double-digits last season, including postseason, the most wins without a loss in a season in NFL history, per @EliasSports. https://t.co/EJU3HfLrNV pic.twitter.com/5mFNgtqUSL
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