2021 NFL playoff predictions: Who will win hotly contested AFC North, NFC West? | NFL.com
(28 votes: Baldinger, Battista, Bergman, Bhanpuri, Blair, Brandt, Cersosimo, Chadiha, Filice, Goodbread, Grant, Hall, Hanzus, Jones-Drew, O’Hara, Parr, Patra, Pioli, Rank, Reuter, Rosenthal, Ross, Schein, Sessler, Shook, Smith, Thomas, Zierlein)
2. Las Vegas Raiders (+1800) | 1 vote: Carr
Why Jeffri Chadiha chose the Chiefs: The Chiefs have had the most explosive offense in football the last three years. The scary thing is their defense could be the best it’s been during the Patrick Mahomes era.
2021 NFL Predictions — 2021 AFC Win Total Picks, Odds, Playoff Picks, NFL Team Previews | DraftKings Nation
Kansas City Chiefs
Super Bowl: +500
2021 NFL MVP odds, picks: Why Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen are best bets, plus more award picks from CBS staff | CBS Sports
DeArdo: Patrick Mahomes (+500). It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since Mahomes’ MVP season. If he and his supporting cast are healthy, Mahomes should be in a position to win his second MVP award. With a 17 game season, Mahomes is among the favorites to break Peyton Manning’s single-season passing record.
Every NFL team’s biggest strength & weakness heading into the 2021 season | YardBarker
Kansas City Chiefs Weakness: Cornerbacks
Cornerback isn’t a problem area for the Chiefs, but they do have some unknown after letting veteran Bashaud Breeland walk in free agency. Charvarius Ward and L’Jarius Sneed are solid young contributors, but the team is counting on unproven talent behind them, including first-round retread Mike Hughes.
Recently Cut Chiefs RB Chooses Bucs Over Return to KC Practice Squad | Heavy.com
Following Tuesday’s roster cutdown frenzy, NFL teams began creating their practice squads, which are a total of 16 players. For the Kansas City Chiefs, there was one player they wanted back but missed out on — running back, Darwin Thompson. To make matters worse, he signed with the Chiefs’ Super Bowl foe, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, per Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star.
As a 2019 sixth-round pick for Kansas City, Thompson has accumulated 333 total yards (225 rushing, 108 receiving) during his first two seasons in the NFL, per Pro Football Reference. During three games this preseason, Thompson rushed 15 times for 72 yards while also collecting six passes for 25 yards.
Ranking the 8 Best NFL Free Agents Still on the Market Entering September | Bleacher Report
2. OT Mitchell Schwartz
The Kansas City Chiefs’ decision to move on from right tackle Mitchell Schwartz earlier this offseason was a bit surprising. While Schwartz missed 10 regular-season games and the playoffs with a back injury, he had never previously sat out a contest.
A first-team All-Pro in 2018, the 32-year-old should remain one of the league’s most reliable right tackles if healthy. While his back surgery may give some teams pause, Schwartz recently shared a workout video suggesting that he is at least close to 100 percent.
With 134 starts on his resume, he would be a tremendous fit for virtually any team in need of help at right tackle—except for perhaps Chicago.
Schwartz openly criticized Bears head coach Matt Nagy for his handling of Chicago’s quarterback competition, which could lead to an awkward situation if the team were to sign him.
A return to Kansas City to provide depth would make a lot of sense this late in the preseason, as the learning curve would be minimal. The Steelers would also be a logical landing spot. He would be a more proven option than Zach Banner, who has only two career starts.
Best Fits: Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers
Around the NFL
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians says ‘entire organization’ is vaccinated against COVID-19 | ESPN
“We’re 100% vaccinated — our entire organization — all the players, all the coaches, everybody,” said Arians, who has been a huge proponent of vaccinations but ultimately said it was the players’ choice.
The Atlanta Falcons were the first team to say they’ve reached 100% vaccination status.
“It’s something I wanted to do, trying to put the team [out of] harm’s [way],” said running back Leonard Fournette, who initially refused the vaccine. “People are still catching it, but it makes it a lot better to have the shot. We need every hand in here for these next couple big games we’ve got coming up.”
Mike Mayock: Raiders ‘need to be a playoff team this year’ | NFL.com
“Jon [Gruden] and I will both tell you that we feel like we need to be a playoff team this year, and I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” Mayock said Wednesday, per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “You guys are all going to put that in your headlines, and I understand it, but that’s what the expectation is. We think we’ve done the infrastructure work necessary to put us in position, and we’ve got to take care of business.”
NFL brings back social justice helmet decals, end zone stencils as part of Inspire Change platform | ESPN
“We are committed to Inspire Change and the social justice work that inspires change for the long term,” Anna Isaacson, NFL senior vice president of social responsibility, told The Associated Press.
The six messages players can choose from as part of the helmet decal program are: “End Racism,” “Stop Hate,” “It Takes All of Us,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Inspire Change” and “Say Their Stories.”
Raiders signing ex-Seahawks LB K.J. Wright to one-year deal | NFL.com
Wright wrote, “Thankful for every moment in these 10 years! From my brothers I played with, to the fans I played in front of, the amazing people I connected with in the city! Thank you Lord for this journey. Much love to all y’all for making my time very special here.”
Wright visited with the Raiders last month, and the club hoped to add the 32-year-old to its linebackers corps. With 11 days until Las Vegas opens its season on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens, the deal was finally struck.
Saints had some wild reasons for picking Jacksonville as site for Week 1 ‘home’ opener against Packers | CBS Sports
After deciding on Florida, the Saints had to choose a city.
According to NOLA.com, the team ruled out Miami because it’s a destination spot, which probably would have led to Packers fans taking over the stadium. As for Tampa Bay, a game there would mean playing in the Buccaneers stadium and if they had gone that route, there was a thought that Bucs fans might show up just to cheer against the Saints.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Brett Veach explains waiving promising players like Tim Ward
“Tim had a great camp,” Veach asserted. “In regard to his play and production, he can only line up there and play against the guy that is lined up against him. He took advantage of that — and certainly, other teams noticed. I know the Jets claimed him — and they were certainly up there on the waiver wire — so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were actually other teams that put in for him, too.”
While it’s a fair point that Ward’s production primarily came against second or third-string offensive tackles, he nonetheless played well — well enough to be a high priority to other teams that had more than 800 other recently-available players from which to choose.
So in addition to how well they perform on the field, there are other factors that contribute to a team’s decision to keep a particular player. Veach elaborated on some of them.
“It’s a combination of being committed to keeping 10 linemen and four tight ends,” noted Veach. “Saying, ‘Now moving forward, where are we and how can they contribute?’ Not just on game day, but on special teams. It was definitely a tough decision... It comes down to guys like [wide receiver] Daurice Fountain, guys like [tight end] Jody Fortson — and then [cornerback] Chris Lammons is another guy that is one of the better gunners in the league, too.”
A tweet to make you think
Really good eyes & feel from the rookie Trey Smith here. Once 91 hesitated, Smith picked up on a penetrator coming (E-T) & was ready to pick it up. You love to see it. pic.twitter.com/XMwYxvD6jo— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 2, 2021
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