2019 record: 12-4
Odds to win AFC West: -450
After winning the Super Bowl last season, the Chiefs might be even better in 2020, and that’s because they’re bringing back nearly everyone. Even though Kansas City had two players opt out for the year, the Chiefs will still be returning 18 of 22 starters from last year’s team. As if that’s not enough, they have a coach in Andy Reid who has turned the rest of the division into his own personal punching bag. In his past 29 games against AFC West opponents, the Chiefs have gone 27-2. I think what I’m trying to say here is that If the Chiefs finish in last place this year, I will print out this story, sprinkle some salt on it and eat it with a small cup of nacho cheese. On a related note, I will only eat half the story if they finish in last because of an injury to Patrick Mahomes.
2018: Los Angeles Rams
2017: Philadelphia Eagles
2016: Atlanta Falcons
2014: Seattle Seahawks
2011: New York Giants
2010: Pittsburgh Steelers
2009: New Orleans Saints
2008: Pittsburgh Steelers
2007: New England Patriots
2006: Chicago Bears
2005: Pittsburgh Steelers
2004: Philadelphia Eagles
2003: Carolina Panthers
2001: New England Patriots and St. Louis Rams
2000: Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants
1999: Los Angeles Rams
1998: Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons
1997: Green Bay Packers
Take a bow, 2013 Seahawks and Broncos, you account for the only time since the 1996 season that both Super Bowl participants won their division the following year!
There are some really good teams on that list, and it’s fair to assume that all of them expected to at least win their division after making a Super Bowl. Right now it’s impossible to make a great argument against the Chiefs in the AFC West. But the Super Bowl hangover happens all the time. And we never see it coming.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Who’s on the hot seat? RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Why his seat is warm: The rookie running back isn’t in danger of being cut or permanently falling out of favor with a slow start. But the pressure is on to produce immediately after Damien Williams’ opt-out decision. The Chiefs have no other proven commodity they can plug into their featured back spot. More production from their running backs is a logical place for the Chiefs to grow their offense, and Edwards-Helaire is the logical player to provide it. — Adam Teicher
Darrel Williams: Yes, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is going to test the boundaries of value in an Andy Reid offense, but I’ve been curious to see who steps up as CEH’s tag-team partner. Williams is the clear No. 2 after two weeks of practices, making him a worthy late-round target in fantasy leagues. (The Around the NFL Podcast’s fifth annual Fantasy Extravaganza on Wednesday will have plenty more where that came from.)
In other Chiefs backup news, Chad Henne officially locked up the No. 2 job behind Patrick Mahomes, with Matt Moore possibly an option for one of the newly created veteran spots on a practice squad.
2. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
Reid was often criticized before last year for never winning a Super Bowl, but that’s a criticism that can no longer be used after the Chiefs claimed Super Bowl LIV over the 49ers. Over 21 seasons as a head coach between the Eagles and Chiefs, Reid has made the playoffs 15 teams and is widely known as an elite offensive mind. His .618 career winning percentage during the regular season trails few active coaches. Reid’s coaching tree is also acclaimed, including current head coaches John Harbaugh, Sean McDermott, Matt Nagy, Ron Rivera, and Doug Pederson.
Around the NFL
Baker lead the NFL in solo tackles in 2019 and for his career has 323 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 18 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and 14 passes defended, but has never had an interception in his NFL career.
Which makes this contract even more impressive, when you consider that the highest paid safety in NFL history has never had an interception.
Baker was a second round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft for the Cardinals and has made two Pro Bowls and been an All Pro one time in his first three seasons in the NFL.
Delpit was carted off the practice field, making him the latest Cleveland player to go down in what has been a tough training camp so far.
A second-round pick from national champion LSU, Delpit was competing for a starting job. The 6-foot-2, 213-pounder suffered the noncontact injury during warm-ups and pounded the ground in frustration before being taken inside the team’s facility.
Minutes after Delpit got hurt, cornerback Greedy Williams left the field accompanied by athletic trainers after a tackling drill. Williams has a shoulder injury.
“Over the past several months, we have collaborated with U.S. Bank Stadium partners, the NFL, the State of Minnesota and the City of Minneapolis to determine the best way to safely and responsibly host a limited number of fans at Vikings home games,” a Vikings statement read. “We have sought to balance the opportunity to provide fan access with the responsibility to adhere to public health and medical guidance in order to maintain the health and safety of fans, players, staff members and the broader community. Ultimately, public health is our top priority.
“Based on our conversations and the current Minnesota Department of Health guidelines that specify an indoor venue capacity of 250, we have determined it is not the right time to welcome fans back to U.S. Bank Stadium. As a result, the first two Vikings home games on Sunday, Sept. 13, and Sunday, Sept. 27, will be closed to the public. We will continue to work with the appropriate officials on our plans with the hope of bringing fans back in a safe manner later this season.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
“This offseason was a little different,” Jones explained. “I had a surplus of time to do a lot of things that I normally don’t get to do. Watching film was one of those. I just sat around the house and watched film and trained day in and day out. I was fortunate enough to have a team iPad to be able to watch film a lot and catch up on some things that I wouldn’t be able to see through OTAs or training camp.”
Before he can wreak havoc on the opposing team’s quarterback, Jones understands that the priority of the defense is to take control of the trenches and play the run well. He knows, because defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo emphasizes that element of the game.
“They make it clear on this defense, Spags sets the standard,” Jones stated. “The first thing we rely on is stopping the run and forcing them into passing situations. It’s a huge part of who we are and what we’re trying to establish as a defense. That’s mainly stopping the run, and on third down, let it loose.”
A tweet to make you think
In punter news! There is another set of punting brothers in the NFL: Punter Johnny Townsend is signing with the #Ravens, source said. He joins his brother Tommy, who is the punter for the #Chiefs. And that wraps up our punter update.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2020
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