Kansas City Chiefs: Edge rusher
Kansas City spent its priority draft picks on the offensive line. The Chiefs traded for Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown with their first-round pick, then snagged Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey with a second-round pick. Pass-rusher was not addressed until the fourth round with the Chiefs’ selection of Florida State’s Joshua Kaindoh. Kaindoh can add quality depth, but it’s highly unlikely that he’ll become the No. 2 opposite Frank Clark that this defense needs.
The Chiefs’ second and third pass-rushers right now are Taco Charlton and Mike Danna. Though Charlton did post 10 pressures on just 51 pass-rush snaps last season, he was never close to that production in any of his first three seasons with larger samples. Danna, on the other hand, is a strong run-defender and quality rotational player, but his 7.8% pressure rate (according to Sports Info Solutions) is uninspiring.
As a head coach, Reid has seen 23 openers. His record is 15-8. He left the Eagles following 2012. His Week 1 record with the Eagles was 7-7. Since joining the Chiefs, Reid dominates openers. Home or away, doesn’t matter. Reid is 7-1 with a six-game winning streak filled with Mahomes highlights and high scores.
Speaking of Mahomes, he doesn’t miss in September. On Thursday, Colin Cowherd showed a graphic detailing the Michael Jordan of football’s (it’s true) stats during the first month of the season. He averages 330 passing yards, holds an undefeated 10-0 mark and has thrown 32 touchdowns without an interception.
Kansas City Chiefs
The early slate is tough: The Browns, Ravens, Chargers and Bills are four of their first five opponents. But K.C. can afford an early-year hiccup or two. It’s the latter stages that really benefit them. Here’s their lineup after a Week 12 bye: Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Steelers, Bengals, Broncos. That just screams for another cruise into the postseason.
Week 5: Bills at Chiefs
Two of the NFL’s most explosive offenses on the field in the same game? Yes, please. Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen going shot for shot with two of the most electrifying receiving corps in the NFL? Yes, please. Do you like offense? Yeah? You will love this game.
8 great QB matchups on the 2021 NFL schedule
Week 2: Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens. Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson might be the most thrilling quarterback matchup in the game today.
Week 2: Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys. Here’s hoping Dak Prescott will be healthy by the start of the season, because a matchup with Justin Herbert and the Chargers would be a lot of fun. Herbert had a breakout rookie season in Los Angeles last year, and could establish himself as a top-10 QB with a solid follow-up campaign.
Week 3: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams: Tom Brady’s GOAT case is stronger than ever after his seventh Super Bowl last year. The Rams have upgraded at QB with the trade for Matthew Stafford. After spending his entire career in Detroit, it will be fascinating to see what Stafford can do in LA.
Week 4: Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals. Who wouldn’t want to watch the last two No. 1 overall draft picks go head-to-head? This game will be all about Trevor Lawrence vs. Joe Burrow — assuming Burrow is healthy coming off knee surgery.
Week 5: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs. This is an AFC Championship Game rematch from last year pitting Mahomes against Josh Allen. Allen is one of the few young QBs in the league who can keep with Mahomes as a playmaker on his best days. The Bills will also hope their defense can do better than the 38 points they allowed against KC in the playoffs last season.
10) There will be 15 Super Bowl rematches in the 2021 season, including Super Bowl I (Packers at Chiefs in Week 9). The most recent Super Bowl matchup that will be rekindled is Patriots-Falcons (Week 11, when New England visits Atlanta on Thursday Night Football) from Super Bowl LI.
Around the NFL
Buzbee, in speaking to Fox 26 in Houston, said “some of the women did not feel like they were being respected” during their first three meetings with NFL investigators, which he told Fox led to him attending a fourth meeting between the league’s investigative group and his clients.
Buzbee told the television station that four of his clients met with the league’s lead investigator, Lisa Friel, and that he has “probably four more women who want to meet with the NFL” but is not sure whether he’s going to let them speak with the league’s investigators.
His father, Tom Brady Sr., is eyeing a different game, though — Week 4, when the Bucs travel to play the New England Patriots, marking his son’s return to Foxborough after leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl win in his first season in Tampa after 20 seasons with the Patriots.
“I saw the schedule come out last night, and I started salivating when I saw that we play the Patriots in the fourth game of the season and that we’re coming up here to make our record 4-0 after the fourth game,” Brady Sr. said on the “Zolak and Bertrand” radio show on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston on Thursday morning.
At least two last-place teams from 2020 will make the playoffs
This is a PSA to the eight teams who finished in last place in their respective divisions last season: This could be your year! Get excited (if you’re not already), fans of the Jets, Bengals, Jaguars, Broncos, Eagles, Lions, Falcons and 49ers.
At least one team has gone from worst to first, winning its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 16 of the last 18 seasons. Washington accomplished the feat in 2020. Then factor in that at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 17 of the last 18 seasons (Steelers and Washington did so in 2020). Finally, consider that since 1990 (31 straight seasons), at least four teams have made the playoffs every season after missing out on the postseason the year before.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Chiefs’ 2021 Schedule
Week 1 - vs. Cleveland Browns (Sept. 12, 3:25 PM, CBS)
I believe Cleveland will be among the most competitive teams to the Chiefs in the AFC this season. Their playoff appearance in 2020 proved they were an all-around team with good coaching. They’ve made significant improvements to their defense, and another year of experience can only help quarterback Baker Mayfield
All that said, the Chiefs aren’t losing the first game back inside a full-capacity Arrowhead Stadium. Plus, the Browns seem like a team that may not hit their stride until later in the campaign. WIN, 1-0.
A tweet to make you think
The Chiefs will potentially have two first round cornerbacks on the field next year.— Tom Childs (@tomchilds56) May 13, 2021
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