NFL projections and unit grades for 2021: Mike Clay’s best, worst offenses and defenses, plus ranking all 32 teams | ESPN
Projected highest-scoring teams
Kansas City Chiefs: 477 points
The Chiefs top this category for the third consecutive season. In 2019, they were projected for 469 and scored 451. Last season, they were projected for 470 and scored 473. Offensive line turnover and a lack of wide receiver depth are concerns, but when you have Patrick Mahomes under center — not to mention Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill as targets — you are going to score a ton of points.
3 reasons Cleveland Browns defense can win against Chiefs | Dawg Pound Daily
Cleveland Browns edge rushers: Garrett and Clowney
We’ve been waiting for these two special bookends to the Browns defensive front, Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney to play a game together. What a better way, then in front of agitated Chiefs fans at Arrowhead Stadium, for these two Browns to get their record-breaking season started. Folks, it’s going to be special to watch.
For the last several years, we were all watching for what Garrett was going to do each down. When would he get his sack? When would he stop being double-teamed by the opponent?
With Clowney now on the line, there go those double teams all day on Garrett.
If Garrett and Clowney make a splash, as I expect they do in a week against the Chiefs, then the Browns have an excellent chance at picking up the win.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes attended Texas Tech’s comeback win over Houston | Chiefs Wire
Mahomes was out supporting Texas Tech HC Matt Wells and his latest group of student-athletes from Lubbock, Texas as they faced off against the Houston Cougars. Mahomes was even spotted chopping it up on the sideline with Wells ahead of the game.
Mahomes’ presence wasn’t just great for the optics of the program, but he might have legitimately provided his alma mater with some good luck.
The game got off to a rocky start for the Red Raiders, allowing a 16-play opening touchdown drive to Houston. By halftime, the Cougars would have a two-touchdown lead over Texas Tech.
Mahomes is no stranger to being down two touchdowns, especially in high-leverage situations. He’s 4-2 when trailing by two or more scores during playoffs. After the half, the Red Raiders took a page out of Mahomes’ playbook. After a quick score and pick-six, they evened the score. Houston’s quarterback started pressing and making mistakes, which the Red Raiders continued to capitalize on.
Texas Tech would go on to win the game 38-21, marking their fourth consecutive win against Houston.
Chiefs Journeyman Among Best Feel-Good Stories on NFL Cutdown Day | Heavy.com
Fortson entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2019. His first and only stop in the NFL has been with the Chiefs, where he has been signed, released, and then re-signed to the practice squad every season leading up to 2021.
The biggest reason for Fortson making the active roster this year — a position change. This offseason he made the transition from wide receiver to tight end, and while it was a bumpy road at first, Fortson’s position change has worked out in his favor and has the organization on his side.
“Coming out here, he had some rough OTA days. You know, he was still kind of transitioning to that tight end position, and there were practices out here in the spring where the assignments weren’t right,” Kansas City general manager Brett Veach said of Fortson’s transition. “He’s always had good hands. When we had him at receiver, he was a tough guy to cover. Wanted to find a place we could really utilize him. He’s got the size and skillset, in regard to mismatches. Moving to tight end, and all of a sudden, the terminology was different as he mentioned yesterday, the three-point-stance was different, and then at OTA’s, he had a couple rough weeks where all of a sudden, the head was spinning and he was running the wrong routes and all of a sudden dropping balls, which is very uncharacteristic of Jody [Fortson].
Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce: Which should you take in Round 1? | Pro Football Network
Kelce provides the biggest positional advantage in fantasy football
We know nothing in fantasy football is more valuable than an elite running back. However, we are not particularly good at knowing who those elite running backs are and if they will actually stay healthy.
What we do know with a high degree of certainty is that Kelce is the best TE in fantasy football. Kelce’s 20.8 ppg was 3.3 ppg more than Darren Waller, 5.2 ppg more than George Kittle, and over 8.5 ppg better than both Mark Andrews and T.J. Hockenson last season. With that being said, Hill was 5.3 ppg better than the WR12, Tyler Lockett.
Both of these pass catchers enjoy passes being thrown to them by the NFL’s top QB, Patrick Mahomes. While you can’t go wrong with either, how do you decide whether to draft Kelce or Hill?
Around the NFL
Cowboys G Zack Martin tests positive for COVID-19, will not play in season opener vs. Bucs | NFL.com
Head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Sunday that guard Zack Martin has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play against the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night.
Third-year talent Connor McGovern , who filled in for Martin when he missed time with a concussion last season, is expected to start in his place.
Backup G Brandon Knight will also be added to the reserve/COVID-19 list after being deemed as a close contact. Martin and Knight join receiver Noah Brown on the list.
Tom Brady reveals he contracted COVID-19 shortly after Bucs’ SBLV championship boat parade | NFL.com
The future Hall of Fame quarterback then shared a message of caution regarding the challenges he suspects teams around the league will face in terms of dealing with the virus this season.
“I think it’s going to be challenging this year,” Brady said. “I actually think it’s going to play more of a factor this year than last year, just because of the way what we’re doing now and what the stadium is going to look like and what the travel is going to look like and the people in the building and the fans.
“It’s not like last year, although we’re getting tested like last year. It’s going to be, I definitely think guys are going to be out at different points and we’ve just got to deal with it.”
Former Pittsburgh Steelers player, longtime broadcaster Tunch Ilkin dies at 63 | ESPN
He announced in June that he was retiring from his Steelers broadcasting duties to focus on his treatment.
A two-time Pro Bowl lineman, Ilkin was announced as part of a four-member 2021 class to be inducted in the Steelers’ Hall of Honor later this year.
“We are heartbroken by the passing of Tunch Ilkin. He was a man of faith who dedicated his entire life to being a devout Christian and family man,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. “His passion for the game of football was evident in his every day life. As a player, he fought his way through tough times of being cut and injured, but continued to make an impact as a leader of our offensive line and made two Pro Bowls.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Priest Holmes: the engine of the Chiefs’ original high-power offense
In 2004, Holmes rushed for 892 yards and 14 touchdowns through eight games — a blistering pace that was on pace for career bests in both yards and touchdowns. But against the Buccaneers in Week 9, a knee injury ended his season.
Holmes returned to the field in 2005. It was clear from the beginning he wasn’t the same player Chiefs fans had grown accustomed to seeing — but he still had a nose for the end zone and was effective through the first seven games of the year, averaging 64.4 yards per game and scoring seven touchdowns. Still, his yards per attempt had fallen to a career-low of 3.8.
In late October, he suffered a spinal cord injury after being tackled by San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman — effectively ending an era of Chiefs football. Holmes would miss the 2006 season entirely. In 2007’s fourth game, he suffered a neck injury against the Indianapolis Colts. Three days later, Holmes announced his retirement at the age of 34. f Holmes had suffered six injuries through his career: three to his knee, two to his neck and spine and one to his hip.
Still, only nine NFL players have rushed for 20 or more touchdowns in a season. Only two players have done it twice: Emmitt Smith and Priest Holmes.
A tweet to make you think
Creed Humphrey this preseason:— PFF (@PFF) September 5, 2021
♦️ 44 pass-blocking snaps
♦️ 0 pressures allowed pic.twitter.com/RyDRdCSNps
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