Teams are getting better and better. White recently noticed a slight increase in total team ratings over the past decade.
“Players are just bigger, faster and stronger,” he explained. “When I’m grading guys out, it seems like one or two core guys on each team get better [each year], so the ratings slowly improve for good teams over time.”
That trend plays out in the list of the best teams of the past decade. Believe it or not, the 2020 Kansas City Chiefs are the highest-rated team in the history of White’s ratings. Before they were decimated by offensive line injuries, White’s number on K.C. was 110.5 – meaning they were more than 10% better than an average team.
But as you can imagine, crunching those numbers is a fluid situation.
“Last year’s Chiefs team was the highest [rating] since I started doing this,” White reported. “They were 110.5 at full strength. Thing is, I had to knock them down to 107.5 without the starting tackles. So my numbers had Tampa Bay (108.5) favored in the Super Bowl. And as we all know, the Chiefs closed as a 3-point favorite.”
Kansas City Chiefs
Clemson · WR
Draft slot: Round 5, No. 181 overall
There might not be a better situation for a fifth-round receiver to enter into. No. 1, Powell’s going to be catching passes from arguably the best quarterback in the league in one of the most explosive offenses in the league. No. 2, Andy Reid is going to need someone to step up as a complementary target to Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Co. Powell has a shot to be that guy as Kansas City looks to replace free-agent departure Sammy Watkins. He struggled to earn playing time during his first four years with the Tigers when he was buried on the depth chart behind future NFL draft picks like Mike Williams and Tee Higgins, among others, but he shined when he finally got his opportunity in 2020 (53 catches for 882 yards, seven TDs). This is a player on the rise.
32.Kansas City Chiefs — George Karlafitis, Edge, Purdue: Any Andy Reid team is going to always be looking at defensive linemen. George Karlafitis could be an option to upgrade the Chiefs’ pass rush.
With the bulk of free agency and the 2021 NFL draft officially behind us, it’s time to begin stacking teams up against each other with an eye toward next season. Our friends over at Touchdown Wire recently released their post-draft power rankings. Where the Chiefs were ranked is a bit of surprise. Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar has Kansas City falling just outside of the top five teams in the league.
Here’s a preview of what Farrar had to say about Kansas City post draft:
“The Chiefs’ injury-depleted offensive line was last seen exposing Patrick Mahomes to the best defensive game plan Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles ever put together. Tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz are off the roster in financial moves, but that may not have been just a couple of cap moves. Kansas City may be moving from a zone-based blocking system to more of a gap/counter/trap/pull set of concepts in which power is the order of the day. The 2020 signing of guard Kelechi Osemele may have presaged this transition, and the trade of their 2021 first-round pick for Ravens tackle Orlando Brown Jr. seems like the defining move.”
The Kansas City Chiefs and Arrowhead Events, the club’s special events arm, are hosting the eighth-annual GEHA Field at Arrowhead 5K at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 19. For the first time, the event will be a hybrid run/walk race, allowing participants the option to run in-person at the stadium or run virtually via the RaceJoy app on a route of their choice.
Runners and walkers who choose the in-person option will navigate their way through the parking lots around GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium before the race route will take them inside the home of the Chiefs to run through the concourse and around the field.
The virtual option gives participants throughout Chiefs Kingdom and around the world the ability to choose their own racecourse to complete the 5K by running or walking in their neighborhood, in a local park, on a nature trail, in their local gym or on their own treadmill.
Around the NFL
The Lions waived Johnson on Thursday, officially cutting ties with their 2018 second-round pick out of Auburn.
Johnson joins a suddenly crowded Eagles backfield that includes Miles Sanders, rookie Kenny Gainwell, Jordan Howard and Boston Scott. Sanders is expected to be the lead back, with the rest of the group competing for a spot in the rotation.
1) Patriots quarterback: Cam Newton vs. Mac Jones. After missing the playoffs with a sub-.500 record in 2020, the Patriots are hosting a quarterback competition between a former NFL MVP and a Tom Brady-wannabe. Although the odds would suggest Newton, who will turn 32 next week, is facing an uphill climb to retain his hold on the QB1 role following a disappointing season in which he posted an upside-down touchdown-to-interception ratio (8:10), we can’t forget the veteran did tally 12 rushing scores as the focal point of a power-based offense that has added some playmakers at tight end (Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry) and wide receiver (Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor). Jones, selected 15th overall in the draft, is a “connect the dots” passer with a polished skill set that ideally suits the Patriots’ system. Despite his inexperience (only 17 career starts), the Alabama standout seems well-positioned to win the job if he can quickly acclimate to the speed and complexity of the pro game. The rookie will get his chance — but Bill Belichick will make him earn it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Newton ends up winning out after showing he can play better in Year 2 in this system.
It’s a unique piece of sports history that has been with the seller, who wishes to remain anonymous, since the game on Oct. 14, 2001, when the New England Patriots played the San Diego Chargers.
The seller grew up in Rhode Island and has gone to Patriots games since the late 1970s with his family. He and three of his high school friends first bought season tickets in 1992 as college students and have kept the tickets to this day.
He’s a loyal fan of the Patriots and jokes that his wife almost divorced him 100 times because of how devoted he was to the Sunday games and tailgates with friends.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Including the Chiefs, seven NFL franchises have post-draft approval ratings of 99% or more. The others are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Washington Football Team.
Naturally, it’s not at all unusual for fans of most teams to feel optimistic at this point of the year; fans for eight other teams had approval ratings of 90% or more. But fans of some franchises are not nearly as happy as others. The Tennessee Titans (56%), Dallas Cowboys (49%), Green Bay Packers (32%) and Houston Texans (17%) had the lowest fan approval ratings.
37% of all fans believe the Chicago Bears had the best draft, followed by the Cleveland Browns (17%) and New York Jets (15%). Meanwhile, 32% of all fans thought the Houston Texans had the worst draft, followed by the Packers (22%) and Las Vegas Raiders (21%).
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