9. Travis Kelce moved up the charts in franchise history.
Kelce hauled in five catches for 68 yards, including a 22-yard grab that ignited the Chiefs’ game-sealing drive. It helped him move up in the all-time record books, too, as Kelce passed Priest Holmes for the third-most scrimmage yards in franchise history (8,515).
Only Tony Gonzalez (10,954) and Jamaal Charles (9,717) tallied more.
“I think I’m just trying to give our guys some chances,” Mahomes said. “It was close — Mecole almost had a chance. He kind of got pulled up there at the end. He tried to run underneath it and make a play happen. Those are the chances you take when you take a deep shot — sometimes you want to go for that deep shot, get that 60-yard touchdown or whatever it is; or you could have a 20-yard completion over the middle.
“It’s that risk-reward factor.”
Took the risk. Didn’t get the reward.
2) The Patrick Mahomes slump is real: We’ve moved past the point of wondering when the Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback is going to return to his typical form and dominate the NFL again. There is something legitimately off about Mahomes, and it’s a source of concern for those within the Chiefs organization. He’s thrown two touchdown passes and two interceptions in his last three games. He’s averaged 215.7 passing yards in those contests and accounted for all of 166 passing yards in Sunday’s 13-7 win over Green Bay. Overall, the Chiefs have scored just 36 points in their last three outings. The upside is, they’ve won two of those (against the Giants and Packers). The downside is, those victories came against teams led by quarterbacks named Daniel Jones and Jordan Love. There have been so many issues with the Chiefs’ offense — from shaky offensive tackles to defenses containing Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to a league-high 19 turnovers — that it’s been easy to assume this unit has been dragging Mahomes down. That isn’t the case anymore. He’s literally playing the worst football of his career. He’s missing open receivers, failing to take opportunities for checkdowns when they arise and, most importantly, looking as joyless as he’s ever appeared on a football field at this level. The Chiefs have been good enough to survive lately with him slumping. The reality is, they aren’t going to beat the best teams in the league unless their quarterback starts performing at a high level again.
This season has been an unquestionably different story, with the 26-year-old posting numbers right around NFL average or even below, leaving the Chiefs wondering what it will take for them to get into the postseason, let alone do any damage once there.
“Their greatest asset has become their greatest weakness, and that’s Patrick Mahomes,” Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowler Greg Jennings said on FS1’s “First Things First.” ”The miscues, not only in the throwing but the reads, his inability to just throw to the open receiver. We saw [tight end] Travis Kelce and the frustration. ‘Dude, what is going on?’”
The Raiders and Chargers have showed enough progress to warrant decent buzz for a divisional crown, though some execs believe they are too erratic to be trusted. The two teams are tied atop the division at 5-3. Las Vegas’ defense has climbed to respectable status, improving from 25th to 13th in total defense over the first eight weeks. And it has two upcoming matchups with the Chiefs, whom it played tough in last year’s series split. But the Raiders also have the eighth-toughest strength of schedule remaining, compared to 13th for the Chiefs and 29th for the Chargers.
18 - Kansas City Chiefs
Biggest needs: OT, CB, S
Week 10 opponent: at Raiders
CG: The acquisitions of Orlando Brown, Mike Hughes and Melvin Ingram have blown a sizeable hole in the Chiefs’ third-day selections. Currently, they’re sitting out Rounds 5-6, which will make it harder to trade up to address needs.
Around the NFL
T.J. Watt loves those bright lights of prime time. Watt bested his earlier Week 6 prime-time performance (which included two sacks) by recording three sacks Monday night, pulling within a half sack of league leader Myles Garrett. Watt finished with seven tackles and was a presence that required constant attention from the Bears, who took a half to realize they needed to dedicate more than a single blocker to the game-wrecking edge rusher. Watt’s early success helped the Steelers build a lead that stood until late in the fourth quarter and ultimately helped Pittsburgh win its fourth straight. He’s worth the money, of course, and extra preparation from each opposing offense he’ll face in the weeks ahead. He’s also worth your attention every time he takes the field for a night game.
The Seahawks’ star quarterback was officially cleared for a full return Monday after missing four weeks with a finger injury, the team announced via a statement from Wilson’s doctor.
“On October 7, 2021, Russell Wilson sustained severe injuries to the middle finger of his right (throwing) hand during a game,” Dr. Steve Shin said in a statement. “He had immediate surgery the following day in the form of a repair of a fracture-dislocation of his proximal interphalangeal joint and an extensor tendon rupture (mallet finger). Although this was uncharted territory (I have never in my career seen such a severe injury to the throwing hand of an NFL quarterback), I have also never encountered a player so committed to his postoperative therapy and with so much conviction to return to the same, if not better, level of performance as he had pre-injury.
“I am absolutely amazed at his progress, so much so that I can now confidently clear him for full return to play without reservation.”
Arnette’s release was also be motivated by off-field issues. Over the weekend, a social media post emerged showing Arnette brandishing a firearm and threatening to kill an unknown person. He also faces two lawsuits stemming from incidents in Las Vegas.
Raiders’ general manager Mike Mayock told reporters on Monday morning that it was a “painful decision” to cut Arnette, but the team won’t tolerate a player threatening the life of someone.
On Friday, Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said the team was aware of a lawsuit filed against Arnette stemming from a car accident last year near the team’s Henderson, Nevada facility.
“After I got hit pretty hard, I didn’t really know what was going on. I thought he had the ball. It’s my job to try to make the tackle. That was pretty much it,” Jones said in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI’s “Merloni and Fauria” program.
“Obviously, when you get up and see the ball is actually down the field a little bit more — it’s just a bang-bang play. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody or anything like that. I was just trying to tackle him and make the play, because I didn’t really know what was going on.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
3. The running game continues to be peculiar
With Mahomes struggling to air it out, the Chiefs have sporadically leaned into the running game to keep drives alive. Unfortunately, sporadically is the operative word here. Several times on Sunday, the Chiefs abandoned the run at moments when attacking the Packers on the ground seemed prudent.
During a sequence in the third quarter, running back Derrick Gore ripped off a 7-yard run on first down. Rather than feeding him the ball with three yards to gain, the Chiefs threw two incomplete passes and were forced to punt.
With a 13-0 lead and 8:55 to go in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs had the ball at their own 5-yard line. Mahomes handed off to Darrel Williams on first down for a loss of a yard. With their next two plays, the Chiefs tried to force the ball deep downfield to Hill. Both passes fell incomplete, and the Chiefs punted from their own 4-yard line. The drive only managed to run 53 seconds off the clock.
Many fans are clamoring for the Chiefs to feature their power running game prominently in the offense. However, regardless of how often it’s featured, when it’s featured could be just as vital to turning things around offensively.