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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs vs Raiders named one of the NFL’s top rivalries

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Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, June 17

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Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The latest

NFL’s top 10 divisional rivalries: Cowboys-Eagles, Packers-Bears battle for top spot on all-time list | CBS Sports

4. Chiefs vs. Raiders

Overall series lead: Chiefs, 67-53-2

Playoff series lead: Chiefs, 2-1

Longest winning streak: 9 (Chiefs, 2003-07)

It didn’t take long for the Raiders and Chiefs to become bitter rivals after both teams broke into the AFL in 1960. By 1966, the teams were competing to become the first to represent the AFL in the Super Bowl. The Chiefs, after splitting their season series with the Raiders, captured the AFL title that season before falling to the Packers in Super Bowl I. The Raiders followed suit the following year, defeating the Chiefs twice during the regular season before falling to Green Bay in Super Bowl II. The Chiefs finally did win the big one in 1969, defeating the Vikings in the last game before the AFL-NFL merger.

Thirty Years of Shenanigans, Fun and Inspiration: An Inside Look at the Man Behind the Wolf | The Mothership

KC Wolf is an extension of who Meers is.

“I read one time that if you ask a man his occupation, you’ll find out how he pays his bills, but if you ask him his preoccupation, then you’ll discover the passion of his life,” Meers said. “My occupation is a mascot – I pay my bills running around in a costume – but my preoccupation and what I’m truly passionate about are my faith, my family and using my life to make a positive impact in this world that I live in. That’s what I try and focus on each and every day.”

Time for the Seahawks to be bold and acquire Chris Jones from the Chiefs | Field Gulls (Seattle Seahawks SB Nation site)

Since 2016, Jones has been right there with DeForest Buckner as the best defensive tackle in the NFL behind Aaron Donald. Here’s how the three compare:

Donald: 53 sacks, 215 hurries, 145 QB hits, 71 knockdowns, 276 pressures, 56 TFLs, and 13 forced fumbles.

Buckner: 28.5 sacks, 116 hurries, 86 QB hits, 48 knockdowns, 155 pressures, 23 TFLs, and 3 forced fumbles.

Jones: 33 sacks, 118 hurries, 67 QB hits, 39 knockdowns, 157 pressures, 18 TFLs, and 6 forced fumbles.

There is the question of why Kansas City would be inclined to deal an elite defender ahead of his age-26 season. With less than a month to strike a long-term deal with Jones before he plays out 2020 on the franchise tag, reports suggest the two sides haven’t spoken in three months. They’re pressed up against the cap already, with under $5 million in space (though an extension with Jones would likely lower his ‘20 cap hit), and have Patrick Mahomes’ mega-extension still to come. As Nate Taylor of The Athletic wrote in April, “Mahomes’ deal will happen, and the team will do its best to retain Jones.” Having already given long-term deals to several key players, there appears to be at least some hesitation to add a Jones extension to the books.

Ranking the Top 7 Pass-Rushing Duos Heading into 2020 NFL Season | Bleacher Report

5. Frank Clark and Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs

Frank Clark and Chris Jones accumulated a combined 17 sacks in 2019.

Barring a trade, the Chiefs will have Jones for at least another term on the franchise tag. He’s been the team’s sack leader over the last two seasons and ranked third in the NFL for the 2018 campaign. Because of his recent production, the Pro Bowl defensive tackle has emerged as one of the premier interior pass-rushers across the league.

The Chiefs parted ways with Justin Houston (released) and Dee Ford (traded to the San Francisco 49ers) during the 2019 offseason. The front office acquired Frank Clark, who provided immediate impact under the team’s new defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo. He logged eight sacks.

Since 2018, Jones and Clark have put offensive lines on notice, ranking sixth and tied for 11th, respectively, in sacks. The two pass-rushers registered 27 quarterback pressures apiece last year.

While no one knows if Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano can optimize his talented edge-rushers, we saw Clark and Jones put together a solid campaign under Spagnuolo. The Chiefs will field a top inside-outside pass-rushing pair in 2020.

10 Looming Contract Situations That Will Have a Significant Impact on the NFL | SI

2. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Another reason why I think the Prescott deal should get done sooner rather than later: Patrick Mahomes is going to break the way we think of NFL contracts and will likely lift all boats in the process. ESPN is reporting that the reigning Super Bowl MVP’s deal will be in excess of $200 million (Matt Ryan currently holds the top “total money” slot at $150 million). Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has wisely been banging the drum for years for a quarterback contract that is anchored to the total percentage of a rising salary cap. Now that Kirk Cousins has crossed the barrier for nontraditional contracts (in his case, by fully guaranteeing the whole amount), the runway has been paved for other alternative solutions, even if nothing quite as bold has been suggested since. Mahomes is a generational talent who, startlingly, hasn’t come close to peaking and has the best offensive mind in football as his head coach. I’m sure if his contract stipulations were “I’m going to submit a blank check to you the day before the season starts every year” there would be 31 other teams willing to sign on for that. As a 2017 first-round pick, he was not eligible for a new deal until this offseason. So now the Chiefs will have to take care of him.

3 dark horse candidates to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2020 | Clutch Points

3. Willie Gay Jr.

Current odds to win Defensive Rookie of the Year: +2500 (according to Bovada)

As the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t had an active offseason thus far, partly due to their current financial situation. Altogether, the Chiefs were able to retain 20 of their 22 starters from a season ago.

However, one of the two starters they lost in free agency was Reggie Ragland. But in the 2020 NFL Draft, Kansas City replaced Ragland when they took Willie Gay Jr. with the No. 63 pick in the second round.

During his time at Mississippi State, Gay flashed a ton of upside as a sideline-to-sideline linebacker. Meanwhile, he also excelled in coverage situations and has room for improvement in that area of his game. Seeing that he could be a starter in Steve Spagnuolo’s defense, Gay could surprise some people in 2020.

Ranking the eight NFL divisions by quarterback: NFC South claims No. 1 | NFL.com

3) AFC West

Denver Broncos: Drew Lock

Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes

Las Vegas Raiders: Derek Carr

Los Angeles Chargers: Tyrod Taylor/Justin Herbert

Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL bar none. He’s the best player in the league. He’s the best player in sports. So yeah, his presence alone raises this division higher than some might have anticipated. That said, I also like the other quarterbacks in his division. I’ve always been a Carr supporter and believe he will lead the Raiders to at least nine wins this year. Lock really showed a lot in his five starts as a rookie last December. And this offseason, John Elway smartly snagged the 23-year-old QB another proven backfield commodity in free agency (Melvin Gordon) and a pair of dangerous wideouts in the draft (Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler). I expect big things from Lock this year. I’m a huge fan of Taylor, who figures to begin the season as the Chargers’ starting signal-caller. In fact, I expect the Bolts to bounce back and make the playoffs with Taylor’s smarts, accuracy, athleticism and ability to spread the ball around. And I’m kind of obsessed with Herbert. I loved that draft pick for Los Angeles’ long-term prospects. It might not happen immediately, but Herbert’s going to be a star in this league.

Marc Sessler’s 10 favorite coaches: Parcells, Schottenheimer inspired | NFL.com

Marty Schottenheimer

Cleveland Browns (1984–88), Kansas City Chiefs (1989–1998), Washington Redskins (2001), San Diego Chargers (2002–06)

My favorite coaches speak from the heart and point to something noble. I don’t cozy up to emotionless technocrats, but instead to those who made me want to punch a hole through my childhood bedroom wall when they spoke about the task at hand.

Schottenheimer was that man to the core, flipping a switch within me when I first heard him tell a flock of Browns players in the eerie silence before kickoff: “There’s a gleam, men. There’s a gleam. Let’s get the gleam.”

My middle school mind was unsure of what the statement meant, but it seemed to indicate something precious and unchanging from a better time. As a young Browns fan, my loyalty to Schottenheimer doubled and tripled with every season — through excruciating playoff defeats, too — until he suddenly resigned following the 1988 campaign.

There’s a lingering sadness around Schottenheimer never reaching the Super Bowl during otherwise successful runs in Cleveland (44-27), Kansas City (101-58-1) and San Diego (47-33). Canton remains elusive sans a title, but Schottenheimer makes my Hall of Fame for the coach he was — and for the heartfelt drumbeat he brought to the role.

Around the NFL

Buccaneers unveil first look at Tom Brady in uniform | NFL.com

Less than 24 hours after Tom Brady *politely* put in a request to his new employer, Tampa Bay quickly answered its new franchise QB’s call to release the first look at Brady in every iteration of the Bucs’ uniform.

How the XFL came crashing down, and what its collapse means for the future of spring football | ESPN

The league averaged 1.9 million television viewers per game and generated nearly $20 million in gross revenues in 2020, according to court filings. It had projected $46 million in gross revenues for the 10-game season, each data point exceeding internal expectations, according to sources.

“The end was frustrating but mostly because it was like, ‘Damn it, this was going to work,’” said Eric Galko, the XFL’s former director of player personnel. “That’s what I think most everyone felt throughout the league. If you talked to anybody in the XFL, they would be shocked to know that we weren’t going to do this for a long time. Not because we were misled by anyone, but because the evidence was there.”

Lamar Jackson revealed as Madden NFL 21 cover athlete | NFL.com

“With style and swag uniquely his own, reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson dazzles on the new Madden NFL 21 cover as he does against the opposition on gameday,” EA Sports wrote on its Madden website. “Dynamic agility and blazing speed make the Baltimore Ravens superstar QB untouchable in the open field. The face of a fearless new generation of rising NFL stars, Jackson has changed the game.”

Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas to host 2021 NFL Pro Bowl | ESPN

The 2021 Pro Bowl will be held in Las Vegas, the NFL announced Tuesday.

Allegiant Stadium, the new home of the Raiders, will host the Pro Bowl on Jan. 31. The event will air on ESPN, ABC and ESPN Deportes.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Seven video game-like performances from Chiefs history

1985 — Stephone Paige vs. San Diego Chargers

Stat line: 8 receptions, 309 receiving yards and two touchdown catches

A disappointing 1985 campaign was coming to an end as the 5-10 Chiefs hosted the 8-7 San Diego Chargers for the season finale. Third-year wide receiver Stephone Paige had good outings in previous weeks— but nothing like what he did to the Chargers secondary that day.

It started early with a 56-yard touchdown catch to give the Chiefs an early 7-0 advantage. As the Chiefs lengthened their lead before halftime when they found Paige again for an 84-yard score. The Chargers got back in the game late in the second half — but Paige’s big plays kept the lead secure. He finished with an average of 38.6 yards per reception, leading Kansas City to a 38-34 win.

Paige’s 309 receiving yards that day is the third-most by any player in NFL history.

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