5. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
Years covered: 2017-21
Win probability sacrificed on fourth-down errors: 16.1% (Rank: 5)
Difference in expected vs. actual fourth-down conversions: 0% (Rank: T-14)
Non-obvious fourth-down error rate: 21.1% (Rank: 5)
Most notable fourth-down call: In Week 14 of 2018, the Chiefs had fourth-and-9 at their 40 trailing the Ravens 24-17 with 1:29 left in the game. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was flushed from the pocket to his right by pressure. While on the run he threw the ball across his body back to the middle of the field and got an improbable 48-yard completion to wide receiver Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs went on to score the tying touchdown (also on fourth down) with 53 seconds left. They went on to win in overtime and the victory allowed the Chiefs to take the No. 1 seed into the AFC playoffs. — Adam Teicher
Sports Illustrated will reveal its 2021 Sportsperson of the Year on Tuesday during its awards ceremony.
While he may not win that particular honor, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been nominated for a Sports Illustrated Award: Best Dressed.
No. 4: Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
Projected finish: 11-6
The door was left open far too long for the Chiefs. Now they’re back. Benefitting from late season collapses from much of the AFC, Kansas City now finds itself with a beneficial back-end schedule and all the chances to make a run.
4. (AFC West Champion)
The Chiefs didn’t even play in Week 12, but they still took a huge jump in our rankings. Thanks to the Chargers’ loss to Denver, the Chiefs are now being projected as the winner in the AFC West. According to SportsLine, Kansas City has a 58% chance of winning the division, which is more than double the chance being given to the Chargers (26.9%).
9 Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 5
2021 stats: 11 games | 65.5 pct | 3,200 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 25 pass TD | 11 INT | 238 rush yds | 1 rush TD | 6 fumbles
I’m curious to see what adjustments Andy Reid, Bye-Week Maven has made. This first matchup of the season against the Broncos will be telling. There is no defense in the NFL that begs you to run more with its personnel and scheme. The Chiefs have the personnel to comply. Will they?
1998 Kansas City Chiefs
Like the 1995 Browns, these Chiefs received preseason Super Bowl buzz. They were fresh off a 13-3 season and their second No. 1 defensive ranking in three years. After a 4-1 start, the ‘98 Chiefs finished 7-9, effectively taking one of the NFL’s steadiest teams out of the mix for a while. The Chiefs lost six straight, bottoming out in an ugly 30-7 Monday night loss to the Broncos that featured a litany of late-game personal fouls. This season ended Marty Schottenheimer’s 10-year Kansas City tenure and led to popular backup Rich Gannon leaving for Oakland. The Chiefs did not make the playoffs in consecutive years again until Andy Reid’s arrival.
Denver Broncos 6-5 AT Kansas City Chiefs 7-4
WHERE: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City)
WHEN: 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 5 | NBC
UNDERDOG: Broncos +10
Those same Chargers were stymied by the Broncos in Week 12. Fangio’s defense took away big plays and challenged Herbert to engage with brilliant rookie cover man Pat Surtain II, who won the bout with two interceptions, including a 70-yard pick-six midway through the fourth quarter. Denver is getting to quarterbacks in a post-Von Miller world thanks to dudes named Malik Reed, Stephen Weatherly and McTelvin Agim. Only two teams allow fewer points per game than Denver (17.8), a figure backed up by real-life events as we saw this unit neutralize Dallas in a stunner a few weeks ago. The Chiefs are coming off a bye and playing sensational defense of their own. Chris Jones and the pass rush are the real story of Kansas City’s revival. The offense has put up more than 20 points only once since Week 7. The Chiefs are superior, but this spread is another example of how overvalued they are by our dear friends in the desert.
5. Creed Humphrey, C, Kansas City Chiefs
Stats: 11 starts, 97.3% pass block win rate
Drafted: No. 63 overall
Like Slater, Humphrey has had a high work rate right from the season opener (789 snaps), and while he has not been forced to work in pass protection in space, his 97.3% pass block win rate is best among the league’s linemen through Week 12’s games. He has surrendered one sack this season and has allowed more than one pressure in just two games.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Jahan Dotson WR
PENN STATE • SR • 5’11” / 184 LBS
Love this prospect-pairing. Dotson will be another speedster to take some of the downfield pressure off Tyreek Hill.
Around the NFL
Coach Pete Carroll told reporters on Wednesday that the Seahawks signed the 36-year-old Peterson to their practice squad as a potential reinforcement for their banged-up backfield.
“Excited to see if he can help us out and give us a little something,” Carroll said. “He’s a player that I’ve known forever — way back to his high-school days — and admired him tremendously over the years. Always disappointed we didn’t get him back in the day, but like I just told him, we finally got him. So I’m looking forward to seeing how he does and where he can fit in. He’s an incredible competitor and a great guy, so I’m anxious to give him a chance to get on the field with our boys.”
The Baltimore Ravens quarterback threw four interceptions against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and posted his worst single-game quarterback rating of the season (46.5) in a 16-10 escape of a win. And the 2019 NFL MVP is giving himself no pass for the performance.
“Bad passes, inaccurate, underthrown passes. That’s all I seen. Bad reads,” Jackson told reporters, via the team’s web site. “I looked like a rookie.
“Ain’t no excuses. I’m supposed to play Lamar ball and I didn’t. … That was just a bad performance. Four interceptions. Hope that never, ever happens again. Not ever.”
Brown has been out since suffering an ankle injury in Week 6 at the Philadelphia Eagles, but Wednesday, coach Bruce Arians said the wide receiver is actually dealing with a different injury than initially thought.
Arians had said Wednesday the seven-time Pro Bowler, who led the NFL in receiving yards in 2014 and 2017 and receptions in 2014 and 2015, is doubtful to play this week at the Atlanta Falcons.
“It was more a different injury than originally thought,” Arians said. “A sprain. There’s some issues in the heel — that’s what he’s having problems with.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
But safety Justin Simmons has been with the team for nine of those 11 Kansas City victories. And to him, it feels about like you’d expect it would.
“Yeah. It’s extremely personal,” he told reporters this week, per Mile High Report. “No matter what I say up here — no matter how good it sounds, bad it sounds.”
The Broncos are fresh off an upset 28-13 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers — a win that puts them in a position to take over the top spot in the AFC West with a victory in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night. But Simmons recognizes that this was also true three weeks ago, as the Broncos were preparing to play the Philadelphia Eagles following a stunning 30-16 road victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
“We can’t have a ‘Dallas Week,’” said Simmons. “We had a good game against Dallas — and we came back the next week and kind of laid an egg against Philly. They played well, too.”
So for Simmons and his teammates, nothing else matters.
“For us, it means a lot going into next week,” he said. “It’s going to be a really good game. Another statement game. No matter what happens, we have to find a way to leave Arrowhead with a win.”
A tweet to make you think
The Broncos blitz on 30.4% of their plays. Will the Chiefs even see half of this on Sunday?— Tom Childs (@tomchilds56) December 1, 2021