If you’re interested in UFC 249, watch the video above from MMA Fighting to learn all the storylines headed in.
1) Kansas City Chiefs
Receiving corps: A+ | Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce (TE), Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, Ricky Seals-Jones (TE)
The quick-strike offense plays off Hill and Kelce, a pair of perennial Pro Bowlers and the focal points of opposing game plans. Against all odds, the Chiefs maintained their depth this offseason, agreeing to new deals with Watkins and Robinson — a pair of secondary receivers capable of sailing past 100 yards when the coverage is slanted toward Hill and Kelce. The speedy Hardman is an intriguing wild card after amassing 1,426 all-purpose yards as a rookie.
8) Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West)
Yes, the Broncos and Raiders will field remarkably better rosters than they did last year, and the Chargers definitely should be among the league’s more formidable squads. But the Chiefs are returning almost every key player from a Super Bowl-winning roster and are led by the NFL’s best quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. That should spell success in the AFC West again — with a second straight Super Bowl appearance seeming likely.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs (first round, 32nd pick)
Edwards-Helaire is particularly well-suited for the passing attack. The former Tigers star is one of the best receiving backs in this class, an effective route runner who can separate underneath and catch the ball reliably. He’ll have plenty of opportunities for one-on-one coverage as defenses focus on Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, and Mecole Hardman, and, as Reid said after the draft, CEH can be a mismatch creator. “As many times as you get single coverage with linebackers on that backside … it gives you some nice matchups potentially,” Reid said. Edwards-Helaire thrives in space because he has the ability to cut on a dime and accelerate away from defenders. “Once you get him out in the screen game and one-on-one with a linebacker, it’s going to be tough to tackle this kid in space,” said Willie Davis, a Chiefs area scout.
Notice that the Broncos pressure percentage allowed did improve a little year over year. Unfortunately for us, the Kansas City Chiefs went from a team allowing pressure at one of the highest rates in the league in 2018 (tied for 31st) to one of the better teams in the league at protecting the QB (12th). I will be curious to track this in 2020 and beyond to see how things change year over year.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
They haven’t done much this offseason, but just keeping the brunt of the team together makes them the favorite. Hey, they do have Patrick Mahomes.
It’s an interesting experience, according to Super Bowl champion Demone Harris. The Kansas City Chiefs’ backup defensive end and graduate of Bishop Timon-St. Jude and University at Buffalo is going through OTAs even though he’s still in Buffalo.
“We all get on a Zoom call and just briefly go over installs,” said Harris, who is in his second week of OTAs. “A lot of it is two hours a day, four days a week. We all just get in there and install.”
Take the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, for example. They’re in the AFC West, so they have three games each against the Broncos, Chargers, and Raiders. This year, the AFC West plays against the AFC East and NFC South, so the Chiefs will also take on the Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Falcons, Panthers, Saints and Buccaneers. And finally, because the Chiefs won their division, they’ll also play the division winners from the AFC North (Ravens) and AFC South (Texans). That’s their full 16-game schedule.
In continuation of the team’s long-standing policy, the taxpayers of Jackson County, Missouri, will have a presale opportunity to purchase single-game tickets for the 2020 season from 8 – 10 a.m. on Friday. For the first time, the Jackson County taxpayer presale will take place online only, and purchasers must use a credit card with a billing zip code within Jackson County to participate. The Arrowhead Stadium Ticket Office will not be open for any walk-up sales.
Townsend explained his outlook on punting with Sports Illustrated’s “All Gators.”
“I approach punting with a completely different mind-set than any other punter in the league and any other punter in college. I have a very aggressive mind-set, I think I am more of a dog,” Townsend told the website.
Around the NFL
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami has a capacity of 65,000, but the Dolphins’ plan means that no more than 15,000 fans will be in attendance at any given time. Entrances are being altered so only half the doors will be open, requiring fans to stand in lines six feet apart upon entering the venue.
“There were just some minor discussions with that but nothing substantial throughout the draft or prior to the draft,” Caldwell said on the podcast. “I think the mindset is that we’re going to go forward with Leonard on the team. I had a good talk with him on Friday. I know Coach [Doug] Marrone has had some discussion with him.
“He seems to be in great shape and mental frame of mind, and we feel that he’ll have a great season this year.”
Miami’s rookie quarterback will wear No. 1, the team announced. Tagovailoa was selected fifth overall last month out of Alabama, where he wore No. 13.
The Dolphins retired that number in 2003 in honor of Hall of Famer Dan Marino. Tagovailoa said shortly after being drafted he wasn’t worried about what number he’d wear. He’ll don a number that hasn’t been worn by a Dolphins QB before, according to Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
“I think they were on the 10-yard line,” Mathieu recalled. “They were like going in the end zone — and Rivers, he’s not in the huddle, but he’s kind of like standing off to the side. He’s looking at me and Frank Clark, and he’s like, ‘Hey, Frank Clark! Hey 32! They gave you all all that money, when are you guys going to make a play?’”
“So it just so happens that come back next series and I picked him off, so that was pretty cool.”
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