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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs-Patriots AFC title listed in top 10 games of 21st century

Chiefs headlines for Saturday, May 15

AFC Championship - New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The latest

Ranking the top 10 NFL games of the 21st century; will Bucs-Patriots Week 4 tilt eventually make this list? | CBS Sports

8. GOAT beats (baby) GOAT

Jan. 20, 2019: Patriots 37, Chiefs 31 (AFC Championship Game)

While it took a while to get going, the first-ever showdown between Mahomes and Brady lived up to the hype. After being held to just one score through three quarters of the 2018 AFC Championship Game, Mahomes led Kansas City on four fourth-quarter scoring drives. The Chiefs appeared to sew up a 28-24 win after Charvarius Ward picked off Brady with 1:01 left. But after an offsides penalty wiped out the pick, Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for 25 yards to set up Rex Burkhead’s go-ahead score with 39 seconds left.

Despite Mahomes’ late magic to force overtime, everyone seemed to know what was coming. The Patriots won the toss, and Brady methodically dissected Kansas City’s defense before hitting Gronkowski for 15 yards on a crucial third-and-10. Burkhead then finished off the Chiefs with a game-wining, 2-yard TD that put the Patriots in their third consecutive Super Bowl. The Patriots would go on to win their sixth and final Super Bowl of the Brady-Belichick era. Mahomes and the Chiefs would get their own ring one year later in Super Bowl LIV.

Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu explains why TD route by Buccaneers in Super Bowl surprised him | Kansas City Star

Mathieu revealed that the route surprised him because it was different than how Brown had run it up to that point of the season. In fact, it was different from how most receivers run that sort of route, Mathieu said.

Oh, and Mathieu didn’t hold back as he roasted the fan.

“Good route, Good throw... I never saw that on tape, some guys run inside and then back out. He switched it up, he won that rep. I can tell you never played this game & you def ain’t line up against two hall of famers. You’d probably (poop) on yourself knowing your daddy watching.”

Predicting 2021 NFL division winners: Here’s a look at all eight, with confidence level for each | CBS Sports

AFC West – Kansas City Chiefs

Confidence level: 9.5

Anything aside from a Patrick Mahomes injury and it is difficult not to fancy them the class of the NFL. They quadrupled down on their biggest need – offensive line – through the offseason via all three layers (free agency, trades and the draft), and Mahomes will be uber motivated to surpass even his own greatness coming off that Super Bowl loss. The last time he lost in January he came back and won it all the following year. If he had another 50-TD season would anyone flinch? The Chargers finally have the right people there to coach all of the defensive talent they have harnessed, and who doesn’t love Justin Herbert? They will emerge as a true challenger (unlike recent years when the AFC West race was over in October), but I just don’t see them getting over the hump yet, and they face some tough road games and a lot of cross-country travel (at Washington, at Baltimore, at Eagles, all within the first nine weeks, with a trip to Arrowhead tucked in there as well). Denver will challenge for the final wild-card spot with that defense, but not the division crown, with the Raiders still having a ton of work to do on that defense.

Five Things to Know About New Chiefs’ Cornerback Mike Hughes | The Mothership

2. He’s appeared in 24 games over the course of his young career.

Hughes made 24 appearances with seven starts during his three-year tenure with the Vikings, recording 13 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two interceptions.

Injuries have limited his time on the field, as he tore his ACL in Week 6 of his rookie campaign and battled a neck injury that caused him to miss all but four games in 2020. Now a member of the Chiefs, Hughes has an opportunity at a fresh start in Kansas City.

Former Chiefs wideout Kelvin Benjamin is trying out for Giants | Arrowhead Addict

Back in December of the 2018 season, Benjamin was finally released by the Buffalo Bills and Brett Veach decided to take a chance on him as a late season addition as the Chiefs general manager. He sat out his first game against the Baltimore Ravens as he was adjusting to the team, but he never earned significant playing time at all after that, with a maximum of 20 percent of the offensive snaps in his first real action on the field in red and gold. Benjamin finished his short stint in K.C. with 2 catches on 5 targets for 26 yards and a forgettable signing.

Around the NFL

Why the Cleveland Browns are legitimate Super Bowl threats in 2021: Seven reasons they could emerge in the AFC | ESPN

Baker Mayfield looks legit

Any offensive analysis is incomplete without a thorough look at the most important position in football: quarterback. And Mayfield is entering a critical season of his career.

The 2018 first overall pick has had his ups and downs, and Cleveland will need to decide whether or not he deserves an extremely expensive long-term contract extension. Mayfield will have no excuses this season, as he’ll benefit from arguably the league’s best supporting cast. If he plays good ball, Cleveland has a franchise quarterback and is a Super Bowl contender, while Mayfield becomes one of the richest players in the NFL. If he plays poorly, the Browns could go back to the drawing board next offseason.

Broncos cut right tackle Ja’Wuan James following torn Achilles |

James’ release comes after he was placed on the non-football injury list with the intention being not to pay him the $10.58 million he was due in salary because his injury occurred away from the team facility, Rapoport reported. “Expect James’ camp to fight it,” Rapoport added.

It’s a tumultuous end to James’ tenure in Denver in which he played only three games after signing a massive four-year, $51 million deal ahead of the 2019 season.

Fully vaccinated NFL players, staff can shed masks at team facilities | ESPN

The NFL’s health and safety department made the decision after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 mask guidelines for the United States on Thursday. People are considered fully vaccinated if 14 days have passed since their second shot of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or their single shot from Johnson & Johnson.

The league is encouraging but not requiring players to get vaccinated. Non-players are expected to be vaccinated unless they have a medical or religious exemption. Those who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to interact with players.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Rookie linebacker Nick Bolton is already building bonds with Chiefs teammates

Bolton presented himself as a humble player — one who cares about the relationships he builds with his teammates. This was clearest when he was asked about what he had accomplished with the Tigers.

“I’ve been around the group that came in with us — working with those guys every single day — and it was a blessing,” he recalled. “Life-long friendships with those guys. Those guys I call in and check on almost every day. So as I look back on it, that’s probably the biggest accomplishment: I’ve been around those guys, helping those guys try to get to their end goal as well.”

Now that he’s reached his own goal, Bolton said he’s already working on building relationships with his new teammates — some of whom he already knew from playing against them in college.

“I’m building a bond with those guys; I talk to them,” he said. “We all have the same spot. A couple of linebackers that came in, I’m kind of building a relationship with those guys as well. I also played against a couple of guys — a couple of Georgia guys, Tennessee’s Trey Smith — so I kind of played with those guys.”

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