QB. Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Age: 24
Were you expecting someone else? Thirty-one starts into his made-for-cinema career, Patrick Mahomes appears to harbor no weakness, topping his 50-touchdown MVP frolic of 2018 with a Super Bowl title one season later. Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson spin a special brand of brilliance, but Mahomes looms today as the most complete-package quarterback of our time. Emitting downfield laser fire and flair-drenched sidearm spells with ease, Mahomes scans defenders with the eyes of a hawk and remains underrated in one key category: physical toughness. The beating heart of the Chiefs played through a laundry list of concerning injuries last autumn to reach the promised land and cap off a torrid, two-year run that all but redefined what we feel about the most important position in sports.
Week 15 at Saints
Opponent win total: O/U 10.5
Prediction: After that stunning loss to the Dolphins in Miami, Kansas City is foaming at the mouth to get back onto the field and face the Saints. They look much more like themselves in this game as Mahomes goes head-to-head with future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees in what many are pegging to be a potential Super Bowl LV preview. Saints receiver Michael Thomas is clutch for New Orleans, but his late game-tying touchdown is overshadowed by Patrick Mahomes running a two-minute drill to perfection to set up the game-winning field goal. Chiefs win 33-30.
Projected record: 11-3
14. Montana magic ends skid at Mile High
Oct. 17, 1994
The stage was set. Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Joe Montana and John Elway facing off with Elway never having lost to the Chiefs in Denver. Kansas City’s losing streak at Mile High Stadium was 11, and when Elway took it in himself to give the Broncos a 28-24 lead with 1:22 remaining, he looked poised to make it an even dozen.
The Chiefs were 75 yards from the end zone and needed a touchdown. They needed the type of drive Elway always seemed to produce against KC. But Montana reversed the fortune, and his 5-yard pass to Willie Davis, who tip-toed inside the front pylon with 8 seconds remaining, was the winner in a 31-28 outcome that stands among the greatest regular-season victories in team history.
“It was the best regular-season game I can remember,” announcer Al Michaels told The Star’s Randy Covitz in 2013.
However, Sharpe added that Mahomes may not be considered as a great clutch player he is consistently at his peak.
“The thing with Patrick Mahomes is that guess what. He very rarely finds himself in a situation where he needs to be clutch. Because he’s normally clutch throughout the entirety of the game and he doesn’t find himself in those predicaments. But when he does. He my buddy. He’s the best quarterback in football. He’s the best player in football. There’s no question about that.”
Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers fans will certainly not debate that having witnessed it first hand. Sharpe summed up by reiterating, “I disagree with that. I think DeShaun Watson is unbelievable, but I do not believe he is more clutch than Patrick Mahomes.”
5. Kansas City Chiefs Sign DE Taco Charlton
Charlton’s quick start with the Dolphins suggested he might have needed a change in scenery after an unproductive tenure with the Cowboys. Now under Clark’s wing again, he could show flashes similar to his solid stretch last year.
In 2019, Emmanuel Ogbah, the 32nd pick from the 2016 draft, had some success rushing the passer under Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, logging 5.5 sacks in 10 games. Kansas City didn’t retain him, which left a rotational role open for Charlton.
Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Jones’ contract
The Chiefs have retained most of their Super Bowl roster. One question that remains unanswered is Jones’ contract, as the star defensive tackle was franchised but has yet to agree to a long-term deal. Kansas City has several other defensive tackle options, but none comes close to Jones’ dominance, with 24.5 sacks over the last two seasons. The hope is that the two parties can get the contract situation ironed out before training camp.
Landing Mac McClung was a pretty solid grab for Patrick Ewing and Georgetown, but the athletic point guard has decided to finish his college career elsewhere after two seasons in DC.
After a recommendation from former Red Raider Patrick Mahomes, McClung decided to transfer to Texas Tech, ending up in Lubbock despite interest from schools like Auburn and BYU. Tech was still on his final list of eight, though, so this wasn’t out of nowhere.
Around the NFL
Jones reiterated his primary objective is producing and remaining with the Packers.
“I’m really not looking at the market, I’m just focused on myself,” Jones said. “I feel like I can play at a really high level and elite level for a very long time, so I’m just going to do what I can and hopefully that leads to me being a Packer for life. That’s my goal.”
NFL owners won’t vote this week on two rule proposals that would have established “sky judge” positions for the 2020 season, a source told ESPN.
There is still a possibility, however, that the league will stage an experiment that would allow for expanded communication between replay assistants in the booth and referees on the field.
The decision was largely a matter of semantics. Neither of the two rule proposals, one to establish a booth umpire and the other to create a senior technology advisor to the referee, were expected to pass. Submitted jointly by the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers, they were not endorsed by the league’s competition committee.
6 Phillip Lindsay
Denver Broncos · RB
Runs of 10-plus yards: 22. 10-plus run pct: 9.8. 15-plus mph pct: 21.4. Lindsay’s second season wasn’t as prosperous as his first, but he still broke 1,011 yards despite playing with three different quarterbacks and watching his team’s veteran receiving presence get traded away in the middle of the season. Were opponents trained on Lindsay? Sure, but he still racked up 48 runs of 15-plus mph in 2019, an enduring indicator of his explosiveness, even amid less-than-ideal circumstances. Lindsay likely won’t see the 224 carries he received in 2019, thanks to the addition of Melvin Gordon, but his explosiveness should remain, which is the most important factor playing in his favour.
The need for a spring developmental league has been massive, and it’s a pet peeve of mine that I have been writing about for years in this space and others. The support for it runs deep among owners and within the NFL’s football operations department, with studies for various models going in for years. And, if anything, the confluence of Covid and the shrinking population of African American head coaches and GMs has shown us that it is needed more now than ever. Getting the owners to invest in their own people has been a difficult chore, and with the economy slowed, it might be a non-starter for them now. But it shouldn’t be.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
46. WR D.J. Chark
Another strong candidate here is Fred Warner (who Matt and Craig both went with), but if I’m going to start banging the drum for the Chiefs taking offense early and often every year, I’m kicking it off here. Warner made this conviction rather difficult to adhere to, especially since I had him in the top 50 in my draft rankings, but Chark is no slouch either. The wide receiver is coming off a breakout sophomore year that saw him surpass 1,000 receiving yards with shaky quarterback play. Chark would fit in nicely as a vertical threat that has the ability to develop into much more as a receiver — including a chance to play some at the X spot.
A tweet to make you think
On 3rd and 15 Patrick Mahomes has a QBR of 95.5... the rest of the NFL QBR average is 6.0 #ChiefsKingdom— McKenzie Nelson (@McKenzieMNelson) May 27, 2020
Follow Arrowhead Pride on Social Media
Facebook Page: Click here to like our page
AP Instagram: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Twitter: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Editor-in-Chief: Pete Sweeney: Follow @pgsween
610 Sports Twitter: Follow @610SportsKC