A - Chiefs
That’s more like it. Kansas City got back on track offensively, with Patrick Mahomes finding open receivers all over the field throughout the evening en route to a five-touchdown performance. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill each had big nights, and Darrel Williams was a major factor in the passing game. The defense did its job, keeping Derek Carr and Co. in check for the competitive portion of the game.
The Chiefs’ problems are solved
The verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. If all you watched was last night’s game, you’d think to yourself that everybody had been making it all up. Mahomes and Andy Reid were downright responsible with how they moved the ball. No, they didn’t exactly commit to the run (this is Andy Reid, after all), but they did the next-best thing, which was throw it to their running backs. Darrel Williams had nine catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Mahomes took what was in front of him all night, content to move the ball in the shorter, midrange portion of the field to Williams and Travis Kelce. He found Tyreek Hill for two touchdowns that covered a grand total of nine yards. Of Kansas City’s 422 passing yards, 254 came after the catch, which was the second most by any NFL team in a game this season and the Chiefs’ second most since Mahomes joined the team in 2017.
That’s good news for bettors willing to take some risks. The Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers, who played in Week 9, look like contenders capable of withstanding adversity. The Chiefs offense finally broke out with a 41-point outing in a win over the Las Vegas Raiders, while the Packers used their championship-caliber defense to shut Russell Wilson out for the first time in his career. Both look like strong bets to lift the Lombardi Trophy at +1000 and +1100, respectively.
The Seahawks looked lost in that game and failed
Sunday will tell us a lot
There’s a huge catch-22 in the sports betting industry. We often want to see something with our eyes before we act on it. However, once we see that something happen, the value is often gone.
Kansas City had an impressive performance against the Raiders and there’s enough history to show us they can turn this around and be playing football in late January and February. However, was Sunday the real deal? It was just one game, after all.
The Chiefs host the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11. The Chiefs are 2-point home favorites over Dallas. If Kansas City can beat a legitimate contender like Dallas, that will legitimatize the idea that Kansas City is a real contender for the Super Bowl.
If Patrick Mahomes can keep up with a Cowboys offense that scored 43 points despite only going full throttle for a half of the game against Atlanta, the concerns about Kansas City’s offense will be gone. If the Chiefs defense can keep Dallas under control, their recent defensive performance will also be legitimatized.
Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
FPI chances to make the playoffs: 74.6%
After all the (mostly justifiable) panic about the start of their season, the Chiefs enter the playoff run atop the AFC West. Their victory Sunday night over the Raiders made them the only six-win team in the division, and more importantly, it gave us a familiar glimpse of big-play capabilities on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs might not prove as lethal as in previous years, but winning 60% of your games during a time of struggle is good enough to get to the playoffs.
Winner: Patrick Mahomes
I really don’t know if the Chiefs have what it takes to make another run in 2021, and trying to glean too much by destroying a hapless Raiders defense is fool’s gold — but still, when you throw for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns, you’re going to get noticed.
This was without a doubt the Chiefs’ best defensive performance of the year, and it’s no surprise that when they can actually slow another team, Mahomes can win them games.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Cameron Thomas DL
The large San Diego State rusher has 8.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss on the year. He’s the high-motor type with power the Chiefs need on the edge.
Around the NFL
San Francisco decided to reverse its course of homefield failure with some old-fashion pad cracking. From the first snap to the last, the 49ers played with more aggression and a greater sense of urgency, seizing the opportunity to make a statement on a national stage just eight days after a Colt McCoy-led team dominated them on their own turf. San Francisco ended its home-game drought with emphasis, flying around the field, delivering the blows on an every-down basis, and making sure to win at the point of attack on both sides of the ball. The strongest response the Rams mounted was from veteran Andrew Whitworth, who didn’t like that his team was being pushed around and ended up drawing a penalty. These 49ers looked nothing like the squad that lost at home to an injury-riddled Cardinals team last week. They need to be this team from here on out.
The team has a reserve fund that as of its latest financial disclosure in July was worth just under $400 million.
“We appreciate the interest that fans have expressed in our sixth stock offering,” Packers president Mark Murphy said Monday in a statement. “While we are not yet in a position to fully discuss the offering, we do have some initial information that we can share for fans to consider. We look forward to formally launching the offering tomorrow.”
The latest sale, which launches Tuesday, will offer 300,000 new shares for $300 apiece. No one may buy more than 200 shares, including shares purchased in the 1997 and 2011 sales. Information about how to purchase shares can be found on the team’s website, Packers.com.
The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year will not finish out his sophomore season.
Washington coach Ron Rivera said Monday that defensive end Chase Young will miss the remainder of the year due to a leg injury suffered in Sunday’s win. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Young suffered a torn ACL.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
2. The Chiefs haven’t forgotten how to dink and dunk
In the last few games, the Chiefs have shown flashes of being able to do what they have continued to say they were going to do: take what defenses are giving them, rather than trying to beat defensive alignments specifically engineered to limit Patrick Mahomes’ most dangerous tendencies. But until Sunday night, they’ve never been able to do it through an entire game this season.
This has been puzzling, since there was a time not too long ago that this is what the Kansas City offense was all about.
Whether this has been because Andy Reid and Eric Bieniemy have been unable to make effective play-calls after they have exhausted their pre-planned script to begin the game — or because their quarterback simply can’t bring himself to throw passes underneath or to the flats — isn’t really important. What is important is that the Chiefs finally managed to do it for four full quarters, proving to themselves (and the league’s defensive coordinators) that they can still overwhelm defenses without relying on home-run plays.
That means two things: that if opposing coordinators continue to try and take away the deep plays, the Chiefs can counter — but the coordinators will also have to at least consider playing Kansas City more honestly. Either way, it gives the Chiefs’ offense an advantage.
And this is not to say that the Chiefs will necessarily be as successful against other defenses as they were against the Raiders on Sunday night. But it’s one thing to have a theory about how to beat certain kinds of defenses — and yet another to have proof that your theory actually works