9 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 5
2021 stats: 10 games | 65.8 pct | 2,940 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 25 pass TD | 10 INT | 227 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 5 fumbles
It feels good to write about Mahomes playing well again. While his turnover luck flipped and clearly played a factor, Mahomes was also on time all night against Las Vegas. The ball came out of his hand quickly, mitigating the Raiders’ pass rush. Those fast decisions allowed Travis Kelce to make plays in space and play with confidence. It’s felt this season like Mahomes has been trying to not only beat opponents but also live up to the impossible standard the Chiefs have set in the past three years. Perhaps this game helps the entire group relax.
The Kansas City Chiefs (+550) were the early favorite to win the 2022 Super Bowl, according to Caesars Sportsbook. The Green Bay Packers (+900), Buccaneers (+1100), Baltimore Ravens (+1200), Bills (+1200) and Rams (+1300) followed them. Obviously, things have changed since then. Here’s a breakdown of the 10 teams that currently own the best odds to win Super Bowl LVI, which will take place at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022.
t-1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +600
t-1. Buffalo Bills +600
3. Los Angeles Rams +800
4. Green Bay Packers +900
t-5. Dallas Cowboys +1000
t-5. Arizona Cardinals +1000
t-7. Tennessee Titans +1100
t-7. Kansas City Chiefs +1100
9. Baltimore Ravens +1300
10. New England Patriots +2500
Of course, one way Mahomes is particularly dangerous is when he uses his outstanding mobility and athleticism to extend plays. This may lead to the versatile Parsons having a role as a spy on him at times. He is one of the few players anywhere that is capable of running Mahomes down when he starts to freelance. It will be interesting to see how Dan Quinn tries to counter Mahomes, but the Cowboys look to be preparing for just that.
Because the Cowboys are facing Patrick Mahomes on Sunday, a segment of today’s practice will focus on scramble drills. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said it will be a major part of their preparation all week— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 17, 2021
Don’t expect this to be as good a game for Mahomes as the last one.
Dallas Cowboys 30-27 Kansas City Chiefs
I’d feel better making this pick if the Cowboys had Randy Gregory or DeMarcus Lawrence available, but try to take the long view here. Even if Kansas City’s offense is on its way back, there’s no chance I trust it more than this Dallas attack. The Cowboys’ weapons have dominated all year; the Chiefs were dominant for one game. The return of Michael Gallup — and possibly left tackle Tyron Smith this Sunday — makes the ‘Boys even more fearsome, and their defense has also been far better all season than the surging Chiefs’ unit.
When it comes to picks, the hardest decision to make is whether you evaluate a team based on the last week, the last month, the entire season or go even further back. The Chiefs present a particularly challenging case because of their track record, but there’s just no question the 2021 Cowboys have been a superior team on both sides of the ball. I believe Dallas is ready for a win like this.
4. (AFC West Champion)
The Chiefs threw a wrench in the AFC West race over the weekend with a blowout win over the Raiders. The Chiefs also might as well have thrown a wrench at the computer, because it’s having a hard time figuring out who’s going to win the division. The Chiefs have a 45.5% chance of winning the AFC West, which is the lowest projection for any division winner. The computer thinks the race is down to two teams with the Chargers (36.7%) being the only other competitor for the division title.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
Jan. 7, 1996, divisional round
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
This is the loss nobody saw coming. That includes the Chiefs, who were 13-3 in the regular season and the AFC’s top playoff seed. The Chiefs were 10.5-point favorites over the Colts and were already looking forward to an AFC Championship Game showdown with the Steelers. It never happened. The Chiefs were shocked first by the weather, with temperatures around 10 degrees, and then by the Colts, who won 10-7. The Chiefs missed three field goals, the last failure coming in the final minute. — Adam Teicher
Around the NFL
Why the Patriots won
The Patriots’ defense continues to be the backbone of this winning streak and its improved play over the last month-plus has raised the ceiling for this team exponentially. They were able to apply pressure on Ryan early and often, and from every which way. New England pressured Ryan on the outside with Matthew Judon and Kyle Van Noy both coming up with sacks along with up the middle of the line with tackle Davon Godchaux. In all, Ryan was sacked four times on the night and was hit a total of 12 times.
Those sacks also come up in timely spots. As we noted in the intro, one of the bigger blunders by Atlanta came on that botched red zone execution in the second quarter. On a third-and-1 from the Patriots 14, Kyle Van Noy was able to sack Ryan for a 13-yard loss, which ultimately sparked a meltdown that resulted in zero points. In the second half, that pressure then translated into turnovers as New England’s defense finished with four straight interceptions to end the game. Two were from Ryan while the final two picks came off of backups Josh Rosen and Feleipe Franks.
Saints coach Sean Payton tackled the subject during an appearance on Thursday’s The Dan Patrick Show and was honest in his assessment.
“I think it’s being over-officiated,” Payton said, via The Dan Patrick Show producer Andrew Perloff. “I don’t think any of us who discussed it [on the competition committee] saw it going where it is now.”
The Times reported Thursday that, according to Steven Ruiz — a former personal chef for the wide receiver — Brown had his girlfriend, model Cydney Moreau, reach out to Ruiz over the summer to obtain a fake vaccination card that said Brown had received the Johnson & Johnson shot. According to text messages provided by Ruiz, Moreau offered $500 for a fake card.
Ruiz said he was unable to acquire a fake card for Brown, according to the report, but he added that the wide receiver a few weeks later showed him ones he had for himself and Moreau that he said he had purchased. Brown reportedly was unwilling to get the vaccine because of possible side effects.
Ruiz said he went public with the accusation after Brown failed to pay $10,000 owed to him, according to the Times.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
To highlight how good Humphrey has been, he has only surrendered one sack in 506 pass-block snaps played this year. But that is only half of the story — he’s been better at run blocking, routinely blowing defenders off the ball at the point of attack. So much so that he has begun to garner national attention and even some rookie of the year buzz.
When he was asked about the success Humphrey has had so early in his career, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid explained that you never quite know how a rookie lineman will pan out when you draft them, especially at center.
“You come in, and you’ve got all this stuff dumped on you, the mental part of the game, and Creed has handled that,” said Reid. “Then, Trey (Smith) has brought a different style in there. He’s going to maul you and try to beat you up and that whole deal, so he does a nice job with that. There’s a physical presence to his game. Both of them have a ton of room to grow, but they’re sure doing a nice job right now.”
For Reid, one of the main things he’s noticed is that this group of linemen, especially Humphrey and Smith, have a mean streak in them.
“The ability to come off the ball and smack people, that ends up being important for the quarterback working things under center,” said Reid during his press conference on Wednesday. “The run game and the pass game have also been a plus, so it’s a bunch of stuff thrown in there. The more physical you can be upfront and the better you run the ball, in theory, the better your play-action should be.”
And it’s not just his coach who is taking notice of Creed’s stellar play. Arrowhead Pride advocate Peter Schrager named Humphrey one of his Week 10 “Fabulous Five” for literally throwing Las Vegas Raiders safety Dallin Leavitt five yards downfield like a rag doll.
A tweet to make you think
#Chiefs TE Travis Kelce on having the "Swagger" back:— Hayley Lewis (@HayleyLewisKSHB) November 18, 2021
"More having fun with the win...but when we play with that confidence, every single play, I feel like that's what changes it. We caught a groove last week and were trying to keep that going this week" #ChiefsKingdom