One difference for the Browns from the last time the two teams met will be the presence of linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah on the defense. The second-round pick is listed as a backup on the team’s depth chart, but he expects to have a prominent role in the opener as part of the team’s plan to deal with Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
“It’s not foreign to me to have some type of matchup that’s as such,” Owusu-Koramoah said, via Jeff Schudel of the Willoughby News-Herald. “I watched a lot of film, had to watch a lot of film to be able to be ready for a guy that’s as talented as him. So we’ll be ready. I’ll be ready and as a team we’re looking forward to game planning and correcting stuff. I’m expecting to have a big role — nickel, some base, stuff like that.”
1 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 5
2020 stats: 18 games | 66.1 pct | 5,590 pass yds | 7.9 ypa | 42 pass TD | 8 INT | 360 rush yds | 3 rush TD | 2 fumbles lost
He’s started for three seasons. He’s ranked no lower than the third-best quarterback in any of these seasons, and I’d have him top two in all three. Early Dan Marino is the only historical precedent here, and the Chiefs’ offseason focus on improving efficiency and the running game should only make him tougher to defend.
28. DT Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs
Chris Jones remains one of the game’s best interior defenders, though his sack total decreased from 15.5 in 2018 to 9.0 in 2019 to 7.5 last season. Sack production doesn’t tell the entire story. Jones finished second in pass-rushing grade among interior defenders last year, according to PFF. The two-time second-team All-Pro is still elite. He just needs a little more help from his surrounding cast.
The flags are available for a minimum $5.00 donation at numerous locations, including Kansas City area Hy-Vee locations and select street corners and public locations in the metro area. As a result of their popularity, the Chiefs have also started selling flags in Topeka, Kansas, and Springfield, Missouri benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Kansas and the Ozarks respectively. For those unable to make it to the city of fountains, or other distribution points in the area, flags can be found on the Chiefs’ official website for $10.00.
They revealed the limited edition flags on social media, with Mitch Holthus, renowned voice of the Chiefs’ radio broadcast, showing them off.
Liverpool – Kansas City Chiefs
Both had ever so slightly disappointing 2020/21 seasons for various reasons, but high-octane attacks built on lightning pace and a litany of game-breaking talents? Yeah, that’s about right.
What’s your top upset pick for Week 1?
Fowler: Man, Browns-Chiefs will be tremendous viewing. I can’t wait to see the revamped Browns defense. I’m just not sure many defenses can slow Kansas City in a packed Arrowhead Stadium with a revamped offensive line and the edge of last year’s ugly finish fueling Mahomes. The Browns might need 30 points to stay in this one.
Patrick Mahomes’s OL: Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown
Kansas City had an accomplished tackle duo of Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz but the cobbled interior underperformed. Fisher and Schwartz were released this offseason, and that ushered in a new age for the Chiefs offensive line. Brown (left tackle) was brought in via trade, and Thuney (guard) was signed to a market-setting deal in free agency. The team also added center Creed Humphrey and right guard Trey Smith via the draft while welcoming back injured right tackle Lucas Niang. It is an entirely new group, and moderate health would be an upgrade over what they experienced last season.
Over the past three seasons, the Chiefs have asked Mahomes to do a lot of the heavy lifting. The current version of the offensive line should be improved if allowed time to develop together.
West race will tighten, but Chiefs will not lose it
The Broncos and Chargers improved, perhaps significantly, and the Chiefs’ widely praised O-line overhaul involves three rookie or de facto rookie (after right tackle Lucas Niang’s 2020 opt-out) starters. Frank Clark may also be suspended after his two-arrest offseason. Kansas City still has the game’s best player, and the Patrick Mahomes-Travis Kelce-Tyreek Hill trio will still be enough to stave off Justin Herbert. It is impossible to trust Raiders personnel moves. Las Vegas’ O-line pivot may disrupt Derek Carr’s quiet progression. While three semi-live underdogs reside here, K.C. becomes the first team to win six straight AFC West titles.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Devin Lloyd LB
UTAH • JR • 6’3” / 235 LBS
Kansas City has bigger needs, but the board sets up in a way that makes Devin Lloyd irresistible.
Nick Capo originally joined the Chiefs in 2018 as the Director of Event Operations and enters his fourth season with the club in 2021. In his role, he works with team leadership on planning, directing and managing the day-to-day operations of events for the Kansas City Chiefs and GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, including football games, concerts and other special events. Capo provides operational support for key internal initiatives and special projects, which have included the team’s back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, as well as serving on the internal committee that launched Chiefs Fit, the team-themed state-of-the-art fitness, health and wellness center. Prior to joining the Chiefs, Capo served as Senior Director of Ballpark Operations and Events for the San Diego Padres and Petco Park (2014-17). Capo spent 10 years (2005-14) in Miami working in various managerial and director-level roles with both the Miami Dolphins and what is now Hard Rock Stadium, including overseeing the club’s premier fundraising event. He has worked a number of notable events in his career, including nine Super Bowls, the MLB All-Star Game, Wrestlemania XXVII and multiple major stadium concert tours. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. Nick and his wife Kollisa have three children, Chloe, Cole and Cash.
Around the NFL
Trick bag still full for Brady. Tom Brady opened his 2021 season going right back to Brady things. He put all sorts of different throws on display in leading the Bucs’ first TD drive, serving notice to the league that he not only still has the fastball, but a wide range of other pitches. A rifle-like throw to Rob Gronkowski into a tight window over the middle plainly had plus velocity. On the very next play, he dialed up a deep toss to Antonio Brown with drop-in-the-bucket touch and trajectory for a 28-yard strike. He finished, of course, with a classic Brady game-winning drive to set up kicker Ryan Succop for a game-winning 36-yard field goal. Notch another late comeback for the GOAT. He’s still Brady.
Dak comes out firing. You had to like how Dallas came out offensively, even though its first possession ended in a punt. Backed up near his goal line against what might well be the NFL’s best defensive front seven, Dak Prescott showed no ill effects from his ankle injury. Well-protected from his own end zone, he fired a deep strike with midseason touch, hitting a wide open Amari Cooper for 28 yards. It was a gutsy call from the Cowboys coaching staff, one that demonstrated not only the initial confidence in post-injury Prescott, but in the pass protection, as well. Mike McCarthy placed the game squarely in his hands wit
The Baltimore Ravens had their Thursday practice get very gloomy in a hurry as running back Gus Edwards and cornerback Marcus Peters both went down on back-to-back plays with what were feared be significant knee injuries. Baltimore ended their practice early because of the events and were hoping that the injuries were less severe than anticipated.
Unfortunately for the Ravens that isn’t the case, as Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that both Edwards and Peters tore their ACLs. It’s a massive blow to both the Baltimore offense and defense, as Edwards and Peters will miss the entirety of the 2021 season.
Officials at the Baton Rouge Zoo said in a release Thursday that the 20-month-old giraffe named Burreaux had died after developing a sudden onset of symptoms Tuesday, including a severe cough and overall agitation.
“The Zoo’s veterinary staff took immediate measures to help, including swiftly administering medications to stabilize,” the statement said. “As well, he underwent constant staff evaluation to optimize his chances of recovery. The Zoo’s team reached out to numerous zoological veterinarians throughout the nation — none of which had experienced a giraffe with comparable symptoms.”
8) Derek Carr enjoys best season yet
I recently had Carr on The Adam Schein Podcast for an in-depth conversation, and the Raiders quarterback was fantastic. I asked him about how he’s viewed in the court of public opinion, where I think he is significantly undervalued. Carr hears it, knows it, but solely cares about winning football games. The Raiders haven’t done enough of that lately, but don’t blame the quarterback. He’s been fantastic over the past two seasons, compiling a 48:17 TD-to-INT ratio and a 101.1 passer rating. There have been issues around Carr — like defense and coaching last season — but Las Vegas is just fine under center.
In our conversation, Carr expressed how much he digs this group of receivers, the addition of RB Kenyan Drake and obviously the genius of Darren Waller. This is going to be the most dominant year of Carr’s NFL tenure. I say he hits career-highs with 4,200 yards and 30 touchdowns.
“Le’Veon’s a guy I think we’re very familiar with obviously,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Thursday. “We’ve played against him so many times in so many highly competitive, emotional games. It was fun to have him in for the workout, he had a good workout. Practiced yesterday, did a good job. So, we’ll have a process with him. He’s excited, he’s learning and we’ll see where it goes.”
Harbaugh added “there’s a chance” Bell will be elevated to the active roster and play Monday against the Raiders.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
The Browns have no problem running the ball in obvious rushing situations. On first downs in 2020, they ran the ball on 61% of plays — while the NFL average is 50%. They earned 5.4 yards per carry on first down, which is a full yard better than league average. This points to how much they trust their offensive line to create run lanes for running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, no matter how much the defense expects it.
Browns' run O was very efficient last year. Combo of dominant OL + really good RBs#Chiefs DL needs to hold their ground on Sunday to help a depleted LB group from getting exposed trying to tackle guys like Chubb and Hunt. They won't be easy to bring down pic.twitter.com/jGSgPcepKx— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) September 9, 2021
The passing offense really benefitted from the rushing attack’s success. In personnel packages that suggest a run play — sets with multiple tight ends or multiple running backs, the Browns’ passing offense was at its most efficient. Those formations force defenses into their heavier, base formations — but also, play-action passes also become even more effective at drawing linebackers closer to the line of scrimmage. This results in bigger passing windows for Mayfield to throw into.