Buy: Saints DE Cameron Jordan
An all-time Saint, the perennial Pro Bowler wouldn’t be available without a huge push, but with New Orleans in dire need of both cash and picks, it’d be worth the Chiefs’ effort to give Chris Jones another relentless running mate for their title bid. Though pricey, Jordan would make for a Von Miller-esque addition down the stretch.
1 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 6
2022 stats: 7 games | 66.9 pct | 2,159 pass yds | 8.2 ypa | 20 pass TD | 5 INT | 113 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 2 fumbles
Amid a plague of league-wide mediocre play under center, Mahomes burns bright as something rare. His mind meld with Andy Reid has flipped the switch on a Chiefs offense that torched any lingering suspicion about a post-Tyreek Hill fadeaway on Sunday. In a convincing thrashing of San Francisco’s defense, Mahomes was most lethal with key drives on the line:
On third-and-20 in the third quarter, Mahomes — with his targets tied up downfield — hit Jerick McKinnon on a slippery screen that saw the back race for 34 yards. The Chiefs scored one play later to go up 28-16.
Leading 28-23 in the fourth quarter with K.C. facing a third-and-11, Mahomes unfurled a bullet through the skies for 57 yards to Marquez Valdes-Scantling that set the table for a back-breaking Chiefs touchdown.
Mahomes later iced the tilt with a third-and-6 strike to JuJu Smith-Schuster that went 45 yards to paydirt to put Kansas City ahead 44-23.
Months of offseason debate around MVS and JuJu meshing have been put to bed. Their chemistry with Mahomes grows weekly during a rousing campaign that has MVP honors written all over it if Kansas City’s Man of Steel can fend off this guy:
18. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (UP 10)
WR1: JuJu Smith-Schuster (71.7)
WR2: Marquez Valdes-Scantling (66.0)
WR3: Mecole Hardman (70.6)
The Chiefs’ receivers finally had a breakout game in Week 7, as both Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling went over 100 yards. And it was Hardman who scored three touchdowns in the win over the 49ers. It is not a star-studded group, but Kansas City’s receivers have played well this season.
Brandin Cooks appears destined to match Eric Dickerson’s record as the most-traded player in NFL history. The veteran receiver and current Houston Texan is once again at the center of trade rumors with the Nov. 1 trade deadline looming. The Chiefs, Packers, and Rams have inquired about a possible trade involving Cooks, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2.
The well-traveled Cooks has already been traded three times. The 29-year-old was traded from New Orleans to New England in 2017. He spent a year with the Patriots (helping New England advance to Super Bowl LII) before playing against them in Super Bowl LIII after being traded to Los Angeles in 2018. Cooks spent two years with the Rams before he was dealt to the Texans ahead of the 2020 season.
1 - Patrick Mahomes
The magician is back on top. He and Josh Allen are truly 1A and 1B, and the Bills star actually has the leg up when it comes to the ground game. But Mahomes’ unfazed influence on everyone around him is so apparent in Andy Reid’s offense, allowing the Chiefs to make scoring look easy whenever and however they’d like. (+1)
Chiefs defensive tackle Khalen Saunders was among the players who faked out the 49ers.
He retweeted Zack Eisen’s video and said the idea was the brainchild of special-teams coordinator Dave Toub, but Saunders added a twist.
“This is Toubs play, but i invented the switch foot, lol started as a joke and ended up gettin us 5 free yards and them outta fg range,” Saunders wrote.
Around the NFL
Both teams announced the terms of the trade Wednesday afternoon, pending Quinn passing a physical.
Quinn had been with the Bears since April 2020 when he signed a five-year, $70 million deal as a free agent. A league source confirmed with ESPN that the Bears are absorbing the bulk of Quinn’s 2022 salary.
“Obviously, part of the tough thing with this job and the position are the tough decisions you have to make,” Bears general manager Ryan Poles said. “I almost feel like there’s the emotional side, the human part of it that you know you’re affecting not only a man but his family. You’re kind of shaking that all up, and I don’t take that lightly at all and I’m sensitive to that. You also know that you’re tweaking the fibers of your locker room, and that’s a big deal, too.
Jones had missed three games due to a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 3, but returned for Week 7 against Chicago. While Jones was injured, backup QB Bailey Zappe started two games and won both, performing at a level which created questions over whether he could become the starting quarterback even after Jones returned from injury. Jones is officially healthy and no longer on the injury report as he’s been tabbed to retake the starting job over Zappe.
Following in the footsteps of coach Bill Belichick, who is known for holding his cards close to the chest, Jones himself avoiding confirming the news while talking to reporters Wednesday afternoon.
When directly asked whether he was going to start on Sunday, Jones responded, “I plan to start every game that I’ve ever played in, whether that was in peewee football or third-string at Alabama. I always try to prepare as the starter. Like I say, if it’s one snap or 70, I’ll be ready to go. That’s all you can do, right? You can’t really control anything else. I work really hard and put myself in position to do that, and yes, I think I deserve that.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Is Beckham worth the risk?
Given the evidence of reduced production in the season immediately following this injury — and the increased contract demand Beckham would require — it is questionable whether a team should focus on acquiring him.
While there have been several wide receivers who have returned to their previous production levels after recovering from this injury in previous seasons, few (if any) of them have been 30 (or older) upon their return — or have returned from a second ACL repair. And each has typically taken 1-2 seasons to regain their production.
And as we know, Reid’s Kansas City offense is also notoriously complicated.
A tweet to make you think
The Bills have Chiefs have 2 of the best offenses at earning first downs that we've ever seen.— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) October 25, 2022
The Chiefs having 4 of the top 8 seasons here is pretty incredible. Truly an all-time juggernaut. pic.twitter.com/TiBK7hhtgY