4 - Creed Humphrey
Humphrey does everything that is asked of him. He is able to seal backside pursuit, get out on a pull assignment or work to the second level. The rookie plays with great strength and has been an aid to Trey Smith next to him.
11 - Trey Smith
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS OG
Smith really struggled with Washington’s front. He blew some assignments and allowed a lot of pressure on Patrick Mahomes. The rookie tandem of Creed Humphrey and Smith has exceeded expectations this season.
According to the NFLPA’s public salary cap report, the Chiefs have just $1.7 million in cap space available. This accounts for all of their contracts, including the most recent one in WR Josh Gordon’s $600K cap hit. When you see players like former Chiefs DE Emmanuel Ogbah or Jaguars DE Josh Allen mentioned as trade candidates for Kansas City, know that they can’t afford them without a corresponding move to create cap space.
Through six weeks, Jones’ positional grade overall is 79.7, with a 78.3 passing grade and a 65.0 running grade. (He also got a 72.6 grade for his work as a pass blocker, likely from Jakobi Meyers’ passing attempts.) Jones’ overall grade is 14th-best in the NFL.
As a point of comparison, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ overall grade is 78.2, Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford’s is 78.2 and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ is 77.2. All three quarterbacks are graded lower on the season than Jones.
There are a handful of reasons Gordon did not get more looks on Sunday.
First, in practice last week, the Chiefs were preparing for WFT with several new starters on offense. Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was lost to IR with an MCL injury, left guard Joe Thuney was questionable with a broken hand, and Mike Remmers took the starting right tackle position from Lucas Niang. Thuney ended up starting in the game, but did not practice until Friday, meaning the Chiefs had three new starters running with the 1’s in practice for most of the week.
Josh Gordon’s absence makes a bit more sense when looking back at Week 6.
There just wasn’t a lot of time to integrate Gordon into a big chunk of the offense.
Kansas City Chiefs
They easily cruised back from an early deficit once they locked in, but they’re still way too loose with the football. Patrick Mahomes can never be counted out, but he’s also become a near-lock for some potential turnovers.
Taking a step back
Kansas City Chiefs · QB
Mahomes’ greatest strength is his ability to make so many plays off-schedule — but his proclivity for making those plays can also get him into trouble. When you watch Mahomes, he doesn’t have great footwork or mechanics. While his out-of-this-world talent has lifted the Chiefs to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, the downside of his game is starting to catch up to him, as evidenced by his eight interceptions (and one fumble lost) this season, including seven picks in his last four games. Two of those INTs are on Tyreek Hill, but Mahomes hasn’t been completely in-sync with his playmakers early in the 2021 season. I feel like Andy Reid is hesitant to rein Mahomes in because, despite the recent struggles, the Chiefs’ offense can be incredibly efficient and nearly unstoppable when Mahomes is in rhythm. It’s similar to facing Brett Favre; defenses knew he was going to give them three or four real opportunities to make a play, but he’d also give his own weapons 20 opportunities of their own. It’s part of the brilliance, and why the Chiefs are so fun to watch. So while Mahomes’ poor output slides him into the middle of the pack when it comes to quarterback play, it’s tough to say any specific thing needs to change.
Thomas missed Week 5 with a left foot injury, then returned for a Week 6 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, only to exit in the second quarter with a right ankle injury. Thomas will miss a minimum of three games under NFL rules governing players placed on injured reserve after Sept. 1. That means the club will be without it’s starting blindside protector for QB Daniel Jones for upcoming games against the Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders. Thomas would then have a bye week to further recover before returning, at the earliest, for a Week 11 game against the talented pass rushers of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Kansas City Chiefs: Raiders allow rivals to land Hall of Famer
Shortly after the 1962 season began, the Dallas Texans sent their previous starting quarterback — Cotton Davidson — to the Raiders. Len Dawson’s Dallas arrival made Davidson expendable, and the Raiders sent their future rivals their 1963 first-round pick for the then-30-year-old QB. After playing in Week 1 with the Texans, Davidson started 13 games for the Raiders. They went 1-13, giving the eventual AFL champion Texans the No. 1 overall pick in the December draft. Dallas chose Buck Buchanan, who became an anchor for two Chiefs Super Bowl defenses. The imposing defensive tackle played 13 Chiefs seasons on his way to the Hall of Fame.
Around the NFL
The Cleveland Browns do not believe quarterback Baker Mayfield’s left shoulder injury will end his season or require immediate surgery at this point, a league source told ESPN.
Mayfield, however, is still waiting on a second opinion from his own doctor. That doctor is expected to review his MRI scans later Tuesday.
Mayfield initially suffered the shoulder injury — a partially torn labrum — on Sept 19 while attempting to make a tackle after an interception. He continued to play through it, wearing a harness on the shoulder for support. But Mayfield aggravated the shoulder injury Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
“I don’t know who the tackle is who I’m going against, but I’m (going to) kill him. I’m (going to) kill him and the other guy too on the other side, and I’m going to play extremely well, and I’m going to make plays for my team, and, yeah, I’m (going to) set us up to win this game for sure,” said Miller, who also noted he’ll be looking to outplay Browns star pass rusher Myles Garrett.
Knox caught three passes for 25 yards in the game. The former high school quarterback and Bills third-round pick in 2019 also threw a successful 2-point conversion pass to quarterback Josh Allen in the third quarter despite having already suffered the injury.
“Huge shoutout to Dawson,” Allen said. “I was trying to call the play off — I was shaking my hands at [offensive coordinator Brian Daboll] like, ‘Don’t call it, we can’t do it.’ And [Knox] looked at me and said, ‘I got it. I’ll get it to ya.’ So, to put your body on the line like that and grit through it, that was a big-time play and that’s awesome when a teammate is willing to do that, and that’s why we love him.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Can the Chiefs afford him?
Prior to him being cut, the answer had been no. There had been some buzz that the Texans might have leaked the news to try and spur a trade offer from another team (as we saw with Stephone Gilmore), but they officially announced the move on Tuesday.
If multiple teams are in play to sign him, we could expect a one-year deal for him to still be relatively low — in the range of $1-2 million. The Chiefs — with $2.4 million in cap space — could afford that, but they would have to be creative.
However, if there isn’t a lot of competition to sign him — and Mercilus is motivated to come to Kansas City — he could probably be persuaded to sign a veteran salary benefit deal, which would be based on Mercilus’ NFL minimum salary of $1.08 million. Pro-rated for the remainder of the season, this would cost the Chiefs around $640,000 against the cap — something they can definitely afford — and they’d be able to give Mercilus a $137,500 signing bonus with no additional cap consequences.