Overall score: 88.5
Why they’re here: There’s an easy case that no other quarterback in football is more preferable to have on your roster over the next three years than Patrick Mahomes, who is coupled with one of the league’s best head coaches in Andy Reid. The Chiefs’ outstanding front office led by GM Brett Veach is resourceful and willing to be bold when needed. This team is here to stay. — Yates
Biggest worry: Veach has some big-time decisions regarding the salary cap over the next two years, beginning with the 2022 expiring contracts of safety Tyrann Mathieu, offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and defensive tackle Jarran Reed. All three play premium positions at what is expected to be a very high level going forward, and all will want top dollar for their services. When looking down the road to 2023, receivers Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, along with safety Juan Thornhill, will be looking for their paydays as well. — Riddick
What could change for the better: Kansas City’s offensive line is set up for long-term success to keep Mahomes healthy. Free-agent addition Joe Thuney is one of the league’s most consistent performers, and the Chiefs would like to extend Brown after the season. Plus, the team is high on recent draft picks Creed Humphrey and Lucas Niang. — Fowler
Kansas City Chiefs · QB
Total points: 63 (1st: 16; 2nd: 7; 3rd: 1)
Jeffri Chadiha: Mahomes already has won everything imaginable. He’s got a Super Bowl victory, a Super Bowl MVP, a regular-season MVP and three Pro Bowl nods. He’s also revolutionized the position. Whether he’s utilizing that cannon right arm or dashing around the field to extend plays, Mahomes mesmerizes every time he takes the field. Now for the really unfair part: The dude doesn’t turn 26 until September. In other words, he’s only going to get better.
Kansas City Chiefs: Lofty Expectations
2020 Record: 14-2
This may be a simplistic take, but the Kansas City Chiefs should be optimistic because their recent track record warrants it.
Ever since Patrick Mahomes took over as the full-time starting quarterback, Kansas City has not missed an AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs have been to two Super Bowls, won one and watched Mahomes evolve into perhaps the best quarterback of his generation. However, high expectations were set even before Mahomes’ arrival.
Kansas City has been to the postseason seven times in eight seasons under head coach Andy Reid.
Most of last year’s Super Bowl roster is back, and the Chiefs may even feature an upgraded offensive line—Orlando Brown Jr., Joe Thuney, Austin Blythe and Kyle Long were added to the unit in the offseason. There’s virtually no reason for Chiefs fans to not be optimistic heading into camp.
As long as Kansas City can avoid the dreaded injury bug, it will be a factor in the AFC.
The Atlanta Falcons need to ship Dante Fowler off to Kansas City
The trade would be a win/win situation for both teams. The Chiefs would get Fowler for at least a year and the move would add depth to a defense that definitely needs it.
The Atlanta Falcons can save some money by trading away Fowler for a late-round pick or two while also opening up a spot for one of their younger guys to get more playing time; Marlon Davidson and John Cominsky could use the reps – besides it’s not like three sacks will be hard to replace.
People were thinking that the Dante Fowler signing was one of the league’s best a year ago but right now it’s looking like one of, if not the worst offseason signing of last year.
The Atlanta Falcons should just cut ties with Fowler and get something for him while they still can.
The U.S. finished on top of its first-round group with an undefeated record, and they will play in the quarterfinals on July 25th. Mahomes appeared on camera, being acknowledged by the many fans in attendance as he walked around the field sporting a mask as Sunday’s matchup got underway
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Last year, the offseason hype surrounding Kansas City Chiefs rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire was overwhelming. By the end of fantasy draft season, he had an ADP of sixth overall. The former LSU standout piled up 1,100 total yards and averaged 4.4 yards per carry, but his RB22 finish in point-per-reception scoring systems was considered a substantial disappointment.
Now, fantasy managers have soured somewhat on Edwards-Helaire, who’s being drafted as an RB2 on average. Given that he has a year of experience and will benefit from a “normal” offseason in 2021, there’s real rebound potential present.
Edwards-Helaire made improving his receiving chops a priority in the offseason after catching 36 passes as a rookie.
“It was seen that I can run the ball between the tackles, outside,” Edwards-Helaire told reporters. “That was kind of seen, so just being able to also get out, and not just routes out of the backfield but also spread out in the slot position and also the outside wideout position. So, just being able to expand my skill set was my thing.”
Per Pro Football Focus, the top running back in Andy Reid’s offense has cracked the top 10 in fantasy points 10 times since 2007. Edwards-Helaire absolutely possesses the talent to be the 11th. There’s a reason he was the first back drafted in 2020.
He’s a great target in Round 2 for teams that start their draft with a wide receiver or Travis Kelce.
Around the NFL
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” Barkley said with a smile at his annual Saquon Barkley Football ProCamp at West Essex High School when asked if he expected to be a full go at the start of camp.
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” he repeated. “Taking it day by day. Just listening to my body. Whenever I’m able to get out there, just make sure I’m 110 percent. Not just for ... my well-being, but just so I go out there and compete at a high level and show the world who Saquon is.”
Bears OLB Robert Quinn
CHI • DE • 94
It was just a year ago that Chicago rewarded Quinn’s Cowboys breakout with a five-year, $70M deal. Yes, you read that right. The Bears would be decimating their pass-rushing depth by dealing Quinn, 31, but would assuredly also welcome any chance to walk back their cap-crunching commitment. A trade this summer would net them $11.6M right off the bat. They currently have less than $6M free.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
In Week 7 of the 1968 season, the Oakland Raiders came into Municipal Stadium. They were nipping at the heels of the Chiefs, who stood in first place of the AFL’s Western Division. Going into the game, the Chiefs found themselves without a single healthy wide receiver. So Stram concocted a smash-mouth game plan built around the T formation, which consisted of three running backs, two tight ends and no wide receivers. (Today, we would call this a 32 personnel package).
Kansas City shoved the pigskin down Oakland’s throat, with 60 rushes for over 300 yards in a 24-10 victory.
The strategy worked. On the backs of Budde and the rest of the big boys up front, Kansas City shoved the pigskin down Oakland’s throat, with 60 rushes for over 300 yards in a 24-10 victory.
After the game, Budde’s fellow lineman Dave Hill told him, “It was the best game an offensive lineman can have.”
A tweet to make you think
8 figures stashed I was waiting for this day to come.— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) July 19, 2021
Peyton and Eli Manning will headline a Monday Night FootballMegaCast on ESPN2 and ESPN+ for three seasons through their new agreement. ESPN will produce it in conjunction with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions. It’s slated for 10 games each season, starting this year. pic.twitter.com/sYSdjzhn0I— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 19, 2021
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