DE Frank Clark · DT Chris Jones
The sack numbers dipped for Jones and Clark in 2020, but box-score scouting fails to fully acknowledge the disruptive impact created by the Chiefs’ pass-rush duo. Jones is a monstrous interior defender with heavy hands and sneaky quickness. He has the capacity to bully his way past interior blockers or rely on a few finesse maneuvers (arm-over) to win his one-on-one battles on the inside. Clark is a cat-quick pass rusher off the edge with a high-revving motor. He produces countless sacks off second and third effort, refusing to quit on plays. However, head coach Andy Reid said before the start of training camp that the Chiefs would “keep tabs” on Clark’s situation, as the seventh-year veteran is facing charges after being arrested twice in separate incidents this offseason.
11. Kansas City Chiefs over 12.5 wins (+105; bet $10 to win $20.50 total)
They’re favored in 16 of 17 games, and many of their toughest out-of-division opponents come to Arrowhead (versus Bills, Packers, Cowboys, Steelers).
Under Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs have gone 12-4, 12-4, 14-2. Can you find five losses on their schedule?
Kansas City Chiefs
Overall Team Rating: 90
Offense Rating: 96
Defense Rating: 78
Star Players: QB Patrick Mahomes II (99 overall rating); TE Travis Kelce (99); WR Tyreek Hill (98); SS Tyrann Mathieu (95); LE Chris Jones (90).
The Kansas City Chiefs don’t have a great defensive rating in this year’s game. But their 96-rated offense is the best in Madden 22—no other team has an offense rated higher than a 92. And it’s usually much more fun to play on offense than defense, right?
Kansas City is one of only two teams to have two players rated 99 (Mahomes and Kelce). Not only that, but it also has the 98-rated Hill at wide receiver. Like in past years, that trio is going to be difficult for players on defense to stop.
Mahomes’ 81 speed, 97 throw power, 96 throw under pressure and 98 throw on the run ratings make it so you can recreate some of the quarterback’s wild real-life plays in which he rolls out, extends a play and still finds a way to make things happen. With Kelce, Hill and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (84 rating) around Mahomes, this is a fun offense to use in Madden.
As long as Mahomes is in his prime, the Chiefs are going to be one of the best teams to take on to the virtual gridiron.
Chiefs at 49ers
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: KPIX, KCTV
49ers fans will get their first look at rookie quarterback Trey Lance, who by all accounts has had an impressive training camp thus far. Protection, however, has been in issue for the 49ers’ offense, as Lance was under heavy duress throughout a recent practice. Some of that pressure was a result of Lance holding the ball a bit too long, something he will look to correct on Saturday night.
Around the NFL
Guice was arrested last August in Loudoun County, Virginia, and charged with one count of strangulation and three counts of assault and battery, stemming from three separate domestic violence incidents involving his then-girlfriend early in 2020. He allegedly pushed the woman to the ground on three different occasions and was also accused of strangulation.
Washington released Guice two hours after he was arrested. He has not played in the NFL since.
Goff’s debut with Detroit in Friday night’s 16-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills didn’t get off to the start he wanted, a familiar sight for his detractors. Goff threw an incomplete pass intended for Tyrell Williams that Buffalo Bills linebacker Tyler Matakevich dropped, eliminating a takeaway on his first throw in a Lions uniform. On his next pass attempt, Goff never saw Bills edge rusher Gregory Rousseau coming as the rookie badly beat fellow first-round pick Penei Sewell (converted from left to right tackle) — resulting in a sack and a Lions three-and-out.
Things did get better for Goff on the next series, as he completed 7 of 8 passes for 56 yards on the drive — the highlight a 20-yard pass to Williams. Goff also had a 13-yard completion to Amon-Ra St. Brown nullified by an offensive holding penalty.
Lewis, 30, spent his final season with the Giants in 2020, racking up 115 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns on 29 attempts, and 127 receiving yards and a touchdown on 19 receptions.
Over his 10-year, 102-game career, which included stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots (who he won his championship ring with), Tennessee Titans, and the Giants, Lewis put up 2,425 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns on 567 attempts, and 1,408 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns on 191 receptions.
Bryce Callahan, Ronald Darby, Kyler Fuller and Patrick Surtain II
Am I cheating here by listing four cornerbacks? Yeah, I suppose. But there’s just such a glut of CB talent at Vic Fangio’s disposal, I’m not entirely sure how to sort it out. Adding Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby in free agency and Patrick Surtain II in the draft allows the Broncos flexibility to move Bryce Callahan inside. Running this model for win share with any combination of Callahan, Darby, Fuller and Surtain creates the fourth-highest projection for 2021. Last season, Callahan had the third-best PFF grade among NFL corners (84.1), while Surtain had the best coverage grade among all Power Five conference corners since 2018 (92.9). So yeah, when it comes to the Broncos ... Pick your duo!
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Safety Devon Key: There are very few open spots on this roster where an undrafted free agent might be able to win a job. Key might be locking one of them up as we speak. He’s been impressive enough in camp to get a substantial look with the first team. Watch for No. 24 on Saturday night. During any of the first three quarters of the game, he could be anywhere in the secondary or on special teams. If he continues to show his versatility — and look like he belongs — his will be one of the better stories of the preseason.
tackleend Chris Jones: Everyone has been talking (Jones included) about his move to the EDGE position — and the preparations he’s made for the job. He’s been unblockable in camp so far — and appears to be more motivated than ever. We might be looking at a future Defensive Player of the Year candidate. It starts on Saturday.
You’d think the news of tight end Nick Keizer retiring would boost Bell’s chances to make the team — but it has nothing to do with Keizer. It has everything to do with two young tight ends who have made plays throughout camp.
Noah Gray has looked as good as Chiefs players and staff advertised he would be. His route-running is exceptional for his position — but he’s also had impressive moments as a blocker. If Gray can hold up as a traditional, inline tight end who can block in the running game, Bell’s blocking skills won’t be necessary.
Bell doesn’t have a high ceiling as a receiver. His value to the team is his blocking ability — but if Gray can shoulder that, the team could be looking for more playmaking from their third tight end. Former wide receiver Jody Fortson could fill that need. In camp, he’s made all sorts of receptions, ranging from contested catches to open-field catch-and-runs that show off his speed.
Hoping for some kind of receiving impact, the Chiefs kept Ricky Seals-Jones all of last year. If Fortson continues to make plays through the preseason, the team might prefer to give that opportunity to Fortson instead of Bell.