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Arrowheadlines: The 49ers have traded for Christian McCaffrey — expected to play on Sunday

Chiefs headlines for Friday, October 21

Carolina Panthers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The latest

Panthers trading RB Christian McCaffrey to 49ers in exchange for host of draft picks |

The San Francisco 49ers are acquiring the dynamic dual-threat running back from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for a host of draft picks, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported late Thursday night.

In exchange for McCaffrey, the Panthers will receive a 2023 NFL Draft second-round pick, a 2023 third-rounder, a 2023 fourth-rounder and a 2024 fifth-round pick. Carolina and San Francisco subsequently announced the trade.

McCaffrey, who has already spoken with Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan and “team brass,” according to Rapoport, is scheduled to travel to his new home on Friday and if he plays Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, which he is expected to do, he’ll likely be used in a red zone package.

NFL week 7: Predictions, analysis, key matchups and stats for every game | Fox Sports

The 49ers will likely use a combination of players to try and limit Kelce’s touches. But with Talanoa Hufanga still in concussion protocol, the experienced Ward could be the main guy on Kelce. Ward missed the first four weeks of the regular season with a hamstring injury, then missed last week’s game against Atlanta with a hand injury that he suffered in Week 5 against the Panthers. Ward will wear a club to protect a healing broken bone in his left hand. However, he says he’ll be up to the challenge of trying to shut down Kelce.

Key Stat: San Francisco has won six straight home games, the longest active home winning streak in the NFL.

Prediction: Even though the 49ers are a tough out at home, the Chiefs are 14-1 in their past 15 non-conference games. With San Francisco still dealing with a rash of injuries to several frontline players, I’ll take the healthier team here.

Week 7 NFL Picks Against the Spread | The Ringer

Kansas City Chiefs at San Francisco 49ers (+2.5)

The 49ers defense was crushed by injuries last week. Per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, seven defensive starters either didn’t start or didn’t finish the game against the Falcons. In an important story that flew under the radar, safety Talanoa Hufanga reportedly cleared two concussion tests on Sunday, but he developed symptoms on Monday and did not pass a third test.

It would be fun to see a healthy 49ers defense go up against this Chiefs offense, and while they seem to be getting healthier, they’re probably going to have to rely on backups in some key spots once again in this game. As for Kansas City, I have no concerns after the loss last week to the Bills. That was a coin-flip game. The Chiefs offense still ranks first league-wide in EPA per drive by a pretty significant margin. I’ll take Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes to bounce back here in a rematch of Super Bowl LIV.

The pick: Chiefs (-2.5)

Chiefs are getting played differently without Tyreek Hill — whether it’s working or not | Kansas City Star

Not only are defenses challenging Mahomes with fewer zone looks, but they’re actually testing him with the most man coverage that any signal-caller has seen this year.

According to Pro Football Focus, the Chiefs entered Week 6 with opponents playing man coverage against them 43.3% of the time — the highest mark in the league.

That number didn’t drop following Sunday’s 24-20 home loss to Buffalo. According to data from Sports Info Solutions (SIS), the Chiefs had 15 combined passing attempts against primary man coverages (Cover 0, 1 and Man 2) compared to 16 versus primary zone looks (Cover 2 Zone, 3, 4, 6).

The staggering part about that total was how much Buffalo appeared to cater itself to the Chiefs; in the five previous weeks, Bills opponents had just 30 combined passing attempts while going against man coverage, as Buffalo ranked as one of the most zone-heavy teams in all of football.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid on Wednesday described what his offense has seen from defenses as “a huge mix,” while also acknowledging his team has faced more man looks lately.

NFL trade deadline: One move each contender can make to get over hump; should Bills land Christian McCaffrey? | CBS Sports

4. Chiefs (4-2) — Secondary help

Kansas City could use some help on defense as it sits 25th in the league in scoring, 27th in passing yards allowed and last in touchdown passes allowed through six weeks. Possible trade options here include Washington’s William Jackson III and Seattle’s Sidney Jones.

A former first-round pick, Jackson would bring considerable experience to the Chiefs’ backfield. He has 64 career starts between stints with the Bengals and Commanders. Jackson has also been a productive player, with 51 career passes defensed. Jackson is more proven, but the younger Jones may have more upside. He is coming off the most productive season of his career that saw him tally 66 tackles and 10 passes defensed.

Week 7 NFL game picks: Saints top Cardinals on Thursday night; Jaguars end Giants’ win streak |

Kansas City Chiefs 26-23 San Francisco 49ers

This is a dangerous game for the Chiefs, but not dangerous enough to pick them to lose two in a row. So much depends on the 49ers’ health. They’ve lost at least 10 starters at various points this season, though four of the best from that group (Nick Bosa, Trent Williams, Charvarius Ward and Mike McGlinchey) might return for this game. Can the 49ers still run on early downs? If they can and their defensive line can continue to get quick pressure against a Chiefs offensive line that has struggled to pass protect lately, an upset is in play.

Around the NFL

Frustrated Jets WR Eljiah Moore asks for trade; team has no plans to deal him |

New York Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore, who is frustrated with his usage and role with the team, has requested a trade, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday.

Rapoport added that the Jets have no plans to trade Moore.

Moore was not officially targeted a single time in Sunday’s win over the Packers, although one throw in his direction came on a play that was negated by penalty.

Following the game, Moore sent out a tweet that read: “If I say what I really wanna say … I’ll be the selfish guy … we winning.” Moore added: “Grateful! Huge blessing! All I ever wanted. [Bitter] sweet for me em but I’ll be solid. So I’ll just stay quiet. Just know I don’t understand either.”

The tweet later was deleted.

Saints vs. Cardinals score, takeaways: Arizona picks off New Orleans to snap home losing skid | CBS Sports

Why the Cardinals won

To put it simply, they were the better team. They were more complete on all sides of the ball and picked out the opposing team’s weaknesses and capitalized on them.

The Cardinals offense had a new-found spark with DeAndre Hopkins returning from his suspension. Hopkins finished the night with 10 receptions for 103 yards.

The defense deserves a lot of credit for the win, intercepting Andy Dalton three times. All players got involved, with Antonio Hamilton, Isaiah Simmons and Marco Williams all having interceptions.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Steve Spagnuolo, Nick Bolton welcome the return of Willie Gay Jr.

“It’s been good having [Gay] back in here,” said Nick Bolton, who had to manage bringing along more inexperienced players during Gay’s absence. “[Gay’s a] player that can play great football for us on defense — that’s kind of what it all is about. [Darius] Harris did a hell of a job of filling in for him. Willie’s a little different in terms of his speed and how we use him. So it will be good to have him back. I’m excited for him... it’s been great to get him back in the building.”

The Chiefs’ defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, agreed with Bolton’s take on Harris, who became the “next man up” at weak-side linebacker in Gay’s absence. Harris compiled 29 tackles (18 solo), 1.0 sack and one fumble recovery in his four spot starts.

“I will say this,” started Spagnuolo, “I thought Darius Harris did a nice job fitting in there. Everybody has their strengths and their weaknesses and their assets, and Darius brought his assets with how hard he plays and how cerebral he is, and he’s in the right place, and he works well with Nick.”

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