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Arrowheadlines: Titans head coach calls out refs for favorable call for Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce

Chiefs headlines for Tuesday, December 7

Kansas City Chiefs v Tennessee TItans Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The latest

Titans’ Mike Vrabel calls out refs over ruling on Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ incomplete pass | Clutch Points

During the game, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce caught a pass from star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. As Kelce was coming down and starting to run, he was tackled by Broncos cornerback Kyle Fuller, who knocked the ball out. The ruling on the field was that it was not a Kelce fumble, but an incomplete pass from Mahomes.

The Broncos challenged the call, only for the referees to uphold the call in favor of the Chiefs. It was a highly controversial call, and among those who disagreed with the call was Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who posted a savage reply to the official Twitter account of the NFL Officiating crew.

Tickets for Potential Postseason Games at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium Set to Go On Sale Next Week | The Mothership

Single-game tickets for a potential AFC Wild Card home game will go on sale to the public at noon on Monday, Dec. 13. Single-game Divisional and Championship game tickets will go on sale at a later date pending playoff standings. All tickets will be sold online at www.chiefs.com/tickets/.

In continuation of the club’s long-standing policy that honors the commitment of the residents of Jackson County, Missouri, Jackson County taxpayers will have a presale opportunity to purchase single-game postseason tickets from 8 to 10 a.m. on Monday, December 13. The Jackson County taxpayer presale will take place online only and purchasers must use a credit card with a billing zip code within Jackson County to participate.

Judging NFL Week 13 overreactions: Another MVP for Tom Brady? Could Mike Zimmer be fired soon? | ESPN

The Chiefs, after all that, will end up with the No. 1 seed in the AFC

The Chiefs won their fifth game in a row Sunday night, beating the division “rival” Broncos 22-9 to maintain a one-game lead over the Chargers in the AFC West. They’re allowing an average of 10.4 points per game during their current winning streak, and at 8-4, they’re in a four-way tie for the top spot in their conference.

If the Patriots win Monday, they’d take a half-game lead over Kansas City, Baltimore and Tennessee, but pending the outcome of that game, it’s a four-way tie.

The verdict: NOT AN OVERREACTION. Look, the Pats and Bills have to play each other twice, which ostensibly dampens the chances of both of those teams unless one of them wins both. The Ravens just lost to the Steelers and are still losing key players left and right. The Titans are as banged-up as anybody. Other than New England (which, again, could easily lose a tough road game Monday night), Kansas City looks the best of any of the AFC’s division leaders at this point in the season.

NFL Week 13 grades: Lions get an ‘A’ for shocking first win of the season, Eagles earn an ‘A’ for blowout win | CBS Sports

B+ Chiefs

They got a win, which they needed to pull even with three other teams for the top record in the AFC. The defense continued to look much improved, and had Teddy Bridgewater off balance all night. But that offensive explosion against the Raiders a few weeks back is looking more like an aberration. Good performance, but they need to be better going forward.

Crowded at the top: AFC playoff picture presents more questions than answers | Fox Sports

Kansas City Chiefs

The two-time defending AFC champs — not to mention winners of Super Bowl LIV — have had an interesting journey this season. They started the campaign looking sloppy on offense, disinterested on defense and prone to turnovers, with the result a 3-4 start.

Since then, though, they’ve won five straight, including a 22-9 thumping of the Broncos on Sunday, to climb to the top of the AFC West at 8-4.

The Chiefs have cleaned up the turnovers to a point, with star quarterback Patrick Mahomes tossing only two interceptions during the five-game winning streak after throwing 10 in the first seven games.

There still is an element of sloppiness to the offense, as illustrated by Tyreek Hill’s assist on Mahomes’ INT Sunday night.

Kansas City Chiefs’ fifth straight win preserves lead in jumbled AFC West race | NFL.com

Kansas City Chiefs

8-4 · 1st in AFC West

The Good: The Chiefs have ripped off five straight wins in a fashion nobody would’ve predicted at the start of this year. Their defense has gone from being a liability to being a strength, as that unit has allowed just 56 points over the last five games. The major change has come in the pass rush, where Chris Jones has returned to being a dominant force at defensive tackle (after an ill-fated attempt at playing defensive end to start the year) and defensive ends Frank Clark and Melvin Ingram have been disruptive on the edge. The defense also has benefitted from an infusion of youth and athleticism, with safety Juan Thornhill and linebackers Willie Gay Jr. and Nick Bolton becoming true difference-makers in bigger roles. This defense was on pace to be historically bad through the first seven weeks of the season. Its turnaround has been nothing short of amazing.

NFL Week 13: Lions and Steelers win thrillers, while Teddy Bridgewater and Jimmy Garoppolo lose trust | NFL.com

Teddy Bridgewater undermining the Broncos in a rivalry game

Obviously, Kansas City continuing to win behind the strength of its defense is the most prominent big-picture story from Sunday’s Broncos-Chiefs bout. But if Denver could field even adequate quarterback play, this game would’ve been different. This season would’ve been different.

On a day when rookie running back Javonte Williams was simply breathtaking with 102 yards rushing and 76 receiving, Teddy Two Gloves’ two second-half picks were back-breakers. Both came on the Chiefs’ side of the field, and the latter was returned 75 yards for a game-clinching score.

With a well-rounded roster boasting young talent in various key spots, the Broncos are close. But they need a franchise quarterback — and depending on how the rest of this season plays out, maybe a new head coach, too.

Titans’ Mike Vrabel calls out refs over ruling on Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ incomplete pass | Clutch Points

During the game, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce caught a pass from star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. As Kelce was coming down and starting to run, he was tackled by Broncos cornerback Kyle Fuller, who knocked the ball out. The ruling on the field was that it was not a Kelce fumble, but an incomplete pass from Mahomes.

The Broncos challenged the call, only for the referees to uphold the call in favor of the Chiefs. It was a highly controversial call, and among those who disagreed with the call was Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel, who posted a savage reply to the official Twitter account of the NFL Officiating crew.

2022 NFL Mock Draft: Panthers, Steelers, Lions find QBs as four passers go in Round 1 | CBS Sports

Jahan Dotson WR

Kansas City

We’re going to keep mocking Dotson to the Chiefs until we will it into existence. Kansas City’s offense certainly appears too much closer to the group we’re used to seeing, and with only Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman under contract after the season, why not give them another athletic marvel? Dotson was electric this season for the Nittany Lions, and he threatens the defense at all three levels. He’s not going to break a lot of tackles but that assumes defenders are able to get their hands on him; he’s as fast as he is elusive, and a legit home run threat every time he touches the ball.

Around the NFL

New England Patriots throw just three passes, dominate on the ground in win over Buffalo Bills | ESPN

Overall, Jones was just 2-of-3 for 19 yards, while the Patriots ran for 222 yards on 46 carries.

“Just a crazy game to be a part of; it was just a weird day, but at the end of the day, you just get more points than the other team and it’s a great day,” Jones said. “I haven’t seen that much wind, probably ever. ...

“Hats off to the offensive line for doing what they did, knowing we were going to run the ball and just putting their nose in there every play and making it happen was incredible. I’ve never been a part of something like that.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Let’s not panic about the Chiefs’ offense — or get smug about the defense

Before we get too worked up about the Chiefs’ offense scoring just 16 points (let’s remember that six Kansas City points came from Daniel Sorensen’s 75-yard interception return), we should remember that only two NFL teams have allowed fewer points than the Broncos this season.

Perhaps even more to the point, we should note that the Broncos have allowed the league’s fourth-lowest opponent passer rating in 2021. During his career, Patrick Mahomes and his receivers have often torched well-regarded pass defenses — but through 12 games during his worst season as a starter, he’s played against five of the top 10.

And after NFL defensive coordinators have spent three seasons trying to figure out some way to stop Kansas City’s star quarterback, we shouldn’t be surprised that they have found a few ways to make him less effective — and when the Chiefs adjust to meet those approaches, it shouldn’t be shocking for Mahomes to go through an adjustment period. After all, he’s spent his whole career relying on his incredible football instincts and sheer physical talent; he’s essentially being asked to learn a whole new way of doing things.

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