Ahead of the playoffs, Kelce was asked if the Buccaneers’ loss was still a motivation.
Kelce said he hasn’t forgotten.
“It’s in the back of my mind,” Kelce said. “For the most part, it’s a new year, man. You’ve got to focus on the things that you’ve got going on this season, how we’ve got to where we are and how we can keep striving to get better, every single game.
“But at the end of the day, that thought’s always in the back of our mind that, ‘Yeah, we’re on a goal to prove to ourselves that we are who we think we are, we are who we know we are,’ and that’s Super Bowl champs, man.
“And that’s just how you’ve got to roll. You can’t think about it, but just know that it’s in the back of your mind every time you go to work.”
For Mahomes, it’s not just an expensive hobby. For now he’s content with his current job as quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs ahead of the divisional round of the NFL playoffs on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills (6:30 p.m. ET, CBS), but Mahomes views these investments as internships of sorts in preparing him for his next job.
“This is just a start, honestly,” Mahomes said of his interest in pro sports ownership. “I want to invest in the Kansas City community, and I want to have something that my kids will be able to have once I’m gone. You buy into these great franchises that love Kansas City in the hope that one day you could become one of the majority owners of something. I don’t know what that is yet, but that’s the hope one day.
“I don’t think you’ve been able to see a football player be able to do that yet, but it’s definitely something I’ve looked into. It’s a long process, and getting to learn from some of these people that run great franchises now is definitely going to help me in the long run.”
29. Kansas City Chiefs
Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State
The Chiefs fixed their offensive line last offseason, but they still have issues on the other side of the ball. They ranked 30th in the NFL in yards per play allowed (5.9) and 31st in rushing yards allowed per carry (4.8) this season. They also had just 31 sacks, which ranked 29th. This is a defensive line that could use an infusion of young talent.
I like Thomas a lot because of his versatility — he lined up at both tackle and end for the Aztecs and created havoc at both spots. He had 11.5 sacks and a whopping 27 total tackles for loss in 2021. He’s powerful in the run game and has some bend as a pass-rusher. He’d be a menace for offensive tackles if he lined up next to Chris Jones.
Buffalo Bills (+2) at Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)
Kansas City Chiefs -1.5
This is a rematch from a game earlier this season that the Bills won on the Chiefs’ home field. The Bills and Chiefs are both coming off impressive victories. Both Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen lit up their opponents last week, but this is a big step up for both in terms of defenses. The Bills have the top-ranked defense in the league and built their pass rush in the offseason to beat Mahomes. The Chiefs defense isn’t as good, but it played much better over the course of the second half of the season. The Chiefs love to blitz, which will leave Allen free to run and make throws on the run. I think that will be the difference here. The Bills behind Allen will win a fun shootout for the ages.
Pick: Bills 34, Chiefs 33
Round 1 - Pick 29
Andrew Booth Jr. CB
The Chiefs are happy to end Booth’s fall to provide their secondary with a twitchy ball hawk on the outside.
More than food will be on the agenda. Attendees will be able to enjoy refreshments, live music, games for the whole family, barbecue demonstrations and tutorials
“After last year’s success, we are excited to once again host KCQ at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium,” Matt Kenny, Executive Vice President of Arrowhead Operations and Events for the Kansas City Chiefs, said in a statement. “KCQ celebrates award-winning barbecue from locations across the U.S. We are excited to partner with several barbecue pitmasters on this event and introduce new offerings to the BBQ capital, Kansas City.”
Admission is free for all ages, but you can buy a Pit Pass for all-you-can-eat barbecue, free drinks, private bathrooms and more.
Around the NFL
Tampa Bay recovered a fumble by Eagles punt returner Jalen Reagor near the Bucs’ sideline in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. Following the play, Arians stepped into the field and struck Adams on the helmet with an open left hand. Arians explained his actions by saying he was trying to prevent Adams from being penalized for pulling players out of the scrum.
“No, I’ve seen enough dumb (things). You can’t pull guys out of a pile. We just got a big play, great field position, and he’s trying to pull a guy out of a pile,” Arians said in a Monday news conference. “And I was trying to knock him off that guy so he didn’t get a penalty.”
Video of moment shows that Adams had already disengaged from the pile; it appeared to be more about admonishment than penalty prevention. Regardless of intent, Arians is $50K lighter as the club prepares for a Divisional Round home playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Falcons will trade WR Calvin Ridley to a contender
Ridley missed 12 games after stepping away from football to work on his mental health. But assuming he’s back in an NFL lineup in 2022 and is in a good space, several teams view him as a top-10 receiver. His market would be robust. Ridley is due a fifth-year option of $11.16 million next season.
“Atlanta is cash-strapped and needs pieces along the offensive line, so they could use the draft capital,” an NFC scout said.
What could the Falcons get in return? One league exec says a conditional second-round pick — which could turn into a first-rounder based on playing time — seems like a sweet spot for Ridley. That would allow the team to cover itself if he can’t play a full season. The Patriots, Saints and Dolphins are among receiver-needy teams that could covet a top pass-catcher like Ridley.
On Tuesday, when asked if he was confident he would play on Saturday, Garoppolo was somewhat non-committal.
“Yeah, we’ll feel it out throughout the week, but yeah, just feeling good right now,” he said.
Garoppolo was listed a full participant in Wednesday’s practice.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Since his arrival, Ingram has appeared in ten Kansas City games — two of them against the Steelers and another against the Los Angeles Chargers, with whom he put in nine seasons before becoming a free agent last spring. But he said that those matchups against his former teams — all victories — didn’t hold any special significance for him.
“To be honest, I haven’t really thought about it,” he said. “I came here to try and win a Super Bowl. That’s what my goals are set on. Beating them? That wasn’t a goal I had. It was another team on the schedule [and] we were trying to get a win, but I never put too much emphasis on it.”
Ingram said he’s been impressed with Spagnuolo.
“I think he’s a great leader. I think he’s a great coach — and I think most of all, he’s a player’s coach. He understands how to relate to players and how to be there for players — and that’s what I think is so good about it. He’s definitely always in there — no matter what’s going on. Even in practice, he’s always right there: hands-on. So that makes him a great coach.”
But he pushed back on the idea that his own role includes being a coach. In his mind, everyone on the team is learning from each other.
“I wouldn’t say I’m teaching anybody the game,” he insisted. “I feel like when you’re in a room — and when you’re at this level of football — everybody is learning from each other. It isn’t anybody just really teaching somebody. It’s everybody learning from each other — and all of us learning from the coach.”
A tweet to make you think
"I think I just really like winning."— Matt McMullen (@KCChiefs_Matt) January 19, 2022
- Patrick Mahomes when asked about the mindset needed to throw 5 TDs in 11 minutes