2. Chiefs’ Andy Reid
Regular season: 207-128-1 (.618)
Postseason: 15-14 (.517)
Finally, Andy Reid got the reward his stellar career so thoroughly deserved. After going 130-93-1 with the Eagles for 14 years, but failing to capture a Lombardi Trophy, and after averaging nearly 11 wins per season in his first six years in charge of the Chiefs, Reid finally put it all together in his 21st season as an NFL head coach. In 2019, Reid’s Chiefs went 12-4 to push his record with the team to 77-35 (68.8 percent) before going on to win the Super Bowl. Reid’s resume is now complete. He’s won 61.8 percent of his games across his two coaching jobs. He’s seventh all-time in wins. He’s got his Super Bowl. And with Patrick Mahomes locked in as the team’s long-term starting quarterback, Reid is going to jump up the all-time wins leaderboard in the years to come and likely add more Lombardi Trophies to his cabinet.
It’s more than just the wins and now, playoff success. It’s also about how Reid’s teams win.
He’s the best offensive coach in the league. Sure, there’s an argument to be made that any team would be successful with Mahomes at quarterback, but it’s difficult to imagine another team having as much success with Mahomes that the Chiefs are enjoying through two full seasons. Together, Mahomes and Reid boast a near identical, but slightly better winning percentage (including the playoffs) than Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s winning percentage together. Without Reid, it’s impossible to imagine Mahomes becoming the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for 5,000-plus yards and 50-plus touchdowns in a single season in his first-ever season as an NFL starting quarterback. And let’s not forget that Reid enjoyed plenty of success with a game-manager type of quarterback in Alex Smith. He’s managed to win games with someone like Matt Moore as recently as this past season. There’s a reason Reid’s teams are almost always stellar on offense. It’s not always the quarterbacks. But it is always the coach. In Reid’s 21 seasons as a coach, his offenses have finished in the top 10 in points 13 times.
if Belichick retires before Reid, he’ll be replaced atop this list by Reid.
Top 10 coaches in the NFL— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 29, 2020
(According to @seanjwagner)
1. Bill Belichick
2. Andy Reid
3. John Harbaugh
4. Sean Payton
5. Kyle Shanahan
6. Sean McVay
7. Mike Tomlin
8. Pete Carroll
9. Doug Pederson
10. Mike Zimmer pic.twitter.com/JVVuns5Oj8
The CDC has recommended everyone wear masks in public to protect against the coronavirus, and some cities and states have made it a requirement. Not everyone is all-in on wearing face coverings, so one company is giving Kansas City residents extra motivation to mask up.
A company called Raygun is selling masks that say, “Help keep Patrick Mahomes safe: Wear a mask.”
It goes without saying that Kansas City Chiefs fans would want to keep the defending Super Bowl MVP and former NFL MVP safe.
KC, remember how happy you were after the Super Bowl?— RAYGUN (@RAYGUNshirts) June 22, 2020
well, now imagine if Mahomes got Covid & with diminished lung capacity couldn't repeat.
masks aren't just for YOU, they're for Mahomes, too! do your part.
new #raygun mask online, in KC tomorrow: https://t.co/nEvabsxHdI pic.twitter.com/SpkkCaOCH0
If the NFL adopts a reported idea of travel for road games, count Tyrann Mathieu out. The Kansas City Chiefs safety took to Twitter with a stern no Tuesday after a report by Pro Football Talk said that teams around the league were considering day-of travel for road games this season, rather than staying in hotels.
PFT’s Mike Florio cited a league source in reporting that teams were looking for ways around traveling amid the United States’ ongoing coronavirus containment.
As Florio noted in the report, going to and from locations on the day of road games is a concept that includes obvious issues. From time zones to weather, the idea has a couple of clear hurdles.
WR Jody Fortson
Fortson was one of the more impressive undrafted free agents from the Chiefs’ 2019 class. He really stood out during the final preseason game against Green Bay Packers, where he caught two passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. He also forced a fumble on special teams. The team seems to like his size and ability to box out defensive backs. In fact, he offers a skill set that is very different from what they already have on the roster at the receiver position.
Kansas City will always need receiver depth with their high-powered offense. With players like Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson set to become free agents in 2021, the Chiefs need to find a low-cost solution for the future. If Fortson can make a big jump in his second year with the team, he could potentially provide a solution to those departing free agents.
14. Kansas City Chiefs
Steve Spagnuolo’s unit took some time to find itself a year ago. But it was the Kansas City defense that helped spur the team’s season-ending nine-game winning streak (including playoffs). Safety Tyrann Mathieu was voted the team’s most valuable player but the defending champions need to get defensive tackle Chris Jones under contract
For as much as the Texans took advantage of mistakes made by Kansas City, the Chiefs did the same with the Texans, and more so by outscoring the Texans with 51 straight points. Of course, a loss like that will affect any team in any sport, but for the Texans, there is a lot to overcome within that loss. There was the fact the defense fell apart once Kansas City got on track, the offense couldn’t score points, and all in all, the decision making from the sidelines didn’t help, either.
If there ever was a team that imploded in front of a national audience, it was the Texans in that divisional round game, but the good thing about the 2020 regular season it is that everything is new and there is a fresh slate. The Texans are lucky to have Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt as two of the more notable leaders of the team, so that will be of great help.
Plus, the Texans can forget the past quickly as the season opener is held where that terrible loss happened, so the Houston Texans have a great chance to get over that hump and move forward with the new season.
Around the NFL
I think Josh McDaniels does not get enough credit for his role in the Patriots’ structure, which has a chance to be rectified to some degree in 2020. Regardless, McDaniels will remain a viable head coaching candidate despite stiffing the Colts and have his choice of plum gigs that feature ready-to-win veteran quarterbacks. He also gets to work with a quarterback who represents the actual, delivered promise of the Tim Tebow selection McDaniels made as head coach of the Broncos back in 2010. Newton is impossible to defend as a runner and is devastating as a passer, which could stoke McDaniels’s creativity and allow him to run something closer to what he’d hoped during his first stint as a head coach.
It’s true that Jackson has played worse when trailing, but it’s not a significant difference. According to the regular-season splits at Pro Football Reference, he has posted a passer rating of 108.6 when his team has been in the lead, falling to 101.0 when it’s trailing. If we include the playoff losses, Jackson’s passer rating falls to 91.6 when the Ravens are behind, which is the 17th-best mark in football since the start of 2018. It’s just ahead of players like Tom Brady (89.8), Philip Rivers (89.7) and Jared Goff (87.5), so it’s not terrible.
This hasn’t been a problem for other running quarterbacks. Kaepernick, for one, posted a passer rating of 92.5 when the 49ers were in the lead and only dropped off to 86.0 once they were trailing. PFR only has those splits through 1994, but we can also find quarterbacks from the past who had far more significant drop-offs. Over the final five years of his career with a dominant 49ers team, Steve Young’s passer rating fell from 113.7 when leading to 93.2 when the Niners were trailing.
QB Drew Lock, Broncos
ROBINSON: The Broncos loaded up on offense in the offseason, selecting wide receivers in Rounds 1 and 2 of the draft — the first time that strategy has been employed since the Cardinals in 2003. Rookie WRs Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler — as well as two-time Pro Bowler Melvin Gordon, a free-agent signee — give Lock a shot to become their long-sought post-Peyton Manning solution at QB.
A 2019 second-rounder, Lock flashed in his five-start audition by leading the Broncos to a 4-1 finish. He threw seven touchdown passes and three interceptions, and his 309-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Texans turned heads. With only low-end backup Jeff Driskel behind Lock, the Broncos are not hedging their bet.
Lock is far from a sure thing, however. He averaged a pedestrian 6.5 yards per attempt, and, per NextGenStats, his average completed air yards figure (4.6) matched the NFL’s second-worst mark last season.
7 - T.Y. Hilton
Is Hilton a legit No. 1? Can the 5-foot-10, 183-pounder stay healthy? Is T.Y getting long in the tooth at age 30? Those are all valid questions, especially with the Colts in win-now mode, with a new quarterback at the helm in Philip Rivers. Indy needs the veteran to lead the receiving corps, with a pair of unproven youngsters (second-year man Parris Campbell and rookie Michael Pittman Jr.) likely to flank him in the starting lineup.
I’ve always been a T.Y. fan, and I love the Colts to bounce back and make the playoffs in 2020, but the pressure weighs heavy on No. 13, who just so happens to be in the final year of his contract. Will Chris Ballard let him hit the open market in 2021? Time to rejoin the 1,000-yard club, T.Y.
Christopher Yakacki , Impressio Inc. and CU Denver, $491,999: This group is looking to create unprecedented energy-dissipating helmet liners. This project is supported by partners including EOS, nTopology and Schutt helmet manufacturer.
Xenith Project Orbit, Detroit, $412,000: Xenith, which manufactures football equipment, seeks to bring together experts in a variety of fields to create a new solution for energy management and a best-in-class on-field experience for the athlete. It’s supported by partners including Rheon Labs, the University of Waterloo and BASF.
Eric Wagnac and Franck LeNaveaux, Kollide, Montreal, $238,545: This consortium combines the expertise of academic researchers and four Montreal-based companies (Kupol, Tactix, ShapeShift3D, Numalogics) to use their virtual design and 3D printing approach to create helmets customized to the player’s head, with a custom liner optimized to absorb and redirect impact.
Dr. Matthew Panzer, Topologica Inc., $223,047: Panzer and collaborators seek to use their foam meta-material to design a new energy absorbing layer in a football helmet that will minimize risk of concussion.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Strength of rivalry: Trending downward
I’m sure I’m not the only Chiefs fan who loved to hate former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. His on-field antics with referees and opposing players made it easy to root against the veteran gunslinger — but his never-give-up mentality and willingness to make any throw made him a respected rival, too. While the Chiefs have dominated the series recently, Rivers has still managed to come into Arrowhead and ruin a few games.
Now that he has signed with the Indianapolis Colts, it will be truly odd to see another quarterback take snaps for the Chargers in 2020. Once Los Angeles solidifies the quarterback position, they could be competitive — but Rivers’ absence will take a lot of the fun out of their games against the Chiefs.
Kent Swanson, lead film and draft analyst for SB Nation’s Arrowhead Pride joins Bailey and I to break down the Bucs’ most exciting matchup of the year.
Will Clyde Edwards-Helaire have an immediate impact in this offense?
Is zone pressure the key to slowing down Patrick Mahomes?
Should we expect a ton of points in this contest?
A tweet to make you think
Chris Jones is going to get criticized by some for wanting what he's worth after playing for much less. He's been a model professional in attitude and performance, and the Chiefs wouldn't have won the Super Bowl without him.— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) July 1, 2020
Hard to criticize him for wanting what he's earned.
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