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Arrowheadlines: Sunday’s game could prove pivotal in race for the AFC’s first seed

Chiefs headlines for Thursday, October 13

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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Sunday’s game will go a long way to deciding the AFC’s number 1 seed.

NFL Week 6 underdogs: Cowboys to deal Eagles first loss? Can Chiefs top Bills? | NFL.com

SPREAD: Chiefs +2.5

This one is truly a toss-up.

The AFC’s top two teams are set for a rematch of their Divisional Round thriller from last season, and both have a ton of positive momentum going for them. They’re both 4-1 and boast explosive offenses capable of outscoring any team in the NFL.

The Bills should have the edge. Buffalo’s defense has been one of the league’s early season revelations, ranking tied for first in points allowed, second against the run and fourth against the pass, and it’s not even fully healthy.

Kansas City, meanwhile, has struggled against the pass, ranking 24th, and just allowed Josh Jacobs to rack up 154 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries in Week 5.

But the potential psychological impact of the last meeting between these two teams matters. Buffalo dominated Kansas City in their regular-season matchup last year, then failed to replicate such a performance in the postseason, a loss that undoubtedly still stings the Bills.

Actor Eric Stonestreet shared a sweet story about meeting Chiefs rookie Isiah Pacheco | Kansas City Star

Stonestreet, who is a native of Kansas City, Kansas, and a two-time Emmy Award winner often wears the team’s colors, and regularly attends Chiefs games and training camp.

It was during the latter that he met Chiefs rookie running back Isiah Pacheco, and was a moment Stonestreet won’t soon forget. But that’s not because of Stonestreet being awed by Pacheco, the player.

Rather it was Pacheco’s kindness that stuck out to Stonestreet, who is one of the “Big Slick” co-hosts.

Stonestreet shared that story last week while visiting the “Rich Eisen Show.” “

Isaiah is going to be (part of) the one-two punch,” Stonestreet said. “I mean, that dude runs so hard and is such a sweet human being. I met him at training camp and introduced him to Lindsay’s boys, Reed and Everett, and he told them that every time you see me just know we’re family. We’re family now. Great kid. Great kid. Amazing story. If you haven’t done a dive on his story, very tragic, but great.”

Von Miller had some high praise for former Chiefs right tackle, Mitchell Schwartz

Prisco’s NFL Week 6 picks: Bills avenge playoff heartbreak vs. Chiefs, Eagles survive Cowboys to stay perfect | CBS Sports

Buffalo Bills (-3) at Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

This is the game of the week, and maybe the year. Both teams have high-flying offenses. The shootout between Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen will be a treat to watch. Will either be stopped? I doubt it. Let’s hope this is a classic like their playoff game last January, which was won by the Chiefs in overtime. The final 13 seconds cost the Bills a chance to get to the Super Bowl. This time, they win it late.

Pick: Bills 37, Chiefs 31

2022 NFL QB Power Rankings: Seahawks’ Geno Smith approaches top 15 as Russell Wilson slides ahead of Week 6 | CBS Sports

1 - Patrick Mahomes

Travis Kelce said it right when he called his QB the “Houdini of our era.” No matter the date, time or opponent, he finds a way to deliver, even if it means getting himself out of trouble. Don’t discount his title chances amid all the Bills hype.

3 teams that must trade for Panthers’ Brian Burns after Matt Rhule’s firing | Clutch Points

Kansas City Chiefs

On this defense, the pass rush is led by two proven veterans. 28-year-old defensive tackle Chris Jones and 29-year-old Frank Clark. The pair are playing elite-level football, but they aren’t playing at the same level as Burns.

A young edge duo of Burns and rookie George Karlaftis could become elite. The Chiefs have the draft capital to make it happen.

The Chiefs have 13 selections in next May’s draft. They are one of the few teams that could singlehandedly replenish the Panthers lack of assets. On their way to another Super Bowl run, they could be the perfect landing spot for Burns.

NFL QB Index, Week 6: 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo knocking on door of top 10 | NFL.com

1 - Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs · Year 6

2022 stats: 5 games | 66.7 pct | 1,398 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 15 pass TD | 2 INT | 92 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble

In Week 4, Josh Allen erased a 17-point deficit to tug his team to glory. On Monday night, Mahomes matched him, slowly breaking the Raiders with four methodical touchdown drives that found Travis Kelce at the end of each yellow brick road. In a post-Tyreek Hill universe, Mahomes spread 29 completions across nine teammates and spoke after about digging deep into the playbook — calls that hadn’t been used in practice — to carve out scoring drives of 13, 12, 11 and eight plays. With an NFL-leading 15 touchdowns, Mahomes has made it clear this newfangled Chiefs offense is up to the task.

Around the NFL

NFL’s eight most disappointing offseason trades and free-agent signings of 2022 | NFL.com

Russell Wilson

Denver Broncos · QB · Age: 33

Trade compensation: traded along with a fourth-round pick, for two first-round picks, two second-rounders, a fifth-rounder, QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant and DT Shelby Harris

New contract: five years, $245 million with $165 million guaranteed

I’m not sure anyone could’ve predicted what we’ve seen from Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson through the first five games of the season. Though they have no shortage of talent, the Broncos are averaging just 15 points per game (31st in the NFL), and it’s due to a plethora of mental errors, the offensive players not being on the same page and poor execution from Wilson. The veteran quarterback is on pace for the lowest passer rating (82.2) and completion percentage (59.2) of his career, and he has just four passing TDs this season. He’s also not making the off-schedule plays we were accustomed to seeing in Seattle.

Ravens’ David Ojabo debuts in practice after Achilles injury | ESPN

It appears that Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker David Ojabo won’t miss his entire rookie season after all.

In fact, the second-round pick could be on the field by midseason.

Just seven months after rupturing the Achilles tendon in his left foot on Michigan’s pro day, Ojabo practiced with the Ravens for the first time Wednesday. He was projected to be a top-15 selection in this year’s draft before suffering the devastating injury in March, which caused him to fall to the 45th overall pick.

The Ravens now have a 21-day window in which they can activate him off injured reserve.

Dolphins optimistic Tyreek Hill plays vs. Vikings, source says | NFL.com

The Miami Dolphins are optimistic that Pro Bowl wide receiver Tyreek Hill will play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings despite his left foot injury, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Hill was seen wearing a walking boot after Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets. Hill was injured when his foot was stepped on during the fourth quarter.

Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel said Hill would “get some work in” during Wednesday’s practice and would not be wearing the boot.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Film Review: How Patrick Mahomes has learned to help his offensive line

Protection problems

When the Raiders signed Chandler Jones to pair with Maxx Crosby this offseason, the goal was to be build around two elite pass rushers with tight man coverage behind them. Both Crosby and Jones are elite run defenders, which would allow the Raiders to give them advantageous pass-rushing situations. Both could win off the edge in every way. It would be a handful for teams to deal with both pass rushers for a simple reason: it’s hard to give help to two tackles and still be able to run a real passing offense.

Early in Monday’s game, the Chiefs felt the brunt of the conundrum Jones and Crosby presented. Tackles Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie both struggled to hold up in pass protection. Andy Reid wasn’t giving either guy much chip help — and in the first half, both were consistently losing.

For the past decade, Jones has been one of the league’s best pass rushers — but if you just judge him physically, you wouldn’t guess that. Jones has above-average strength, flexibility and explosion for the position, but no real dominant trait as an athlete. Jones has produced because he is smart — and is a technical pass rusher.

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