1 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 6
2022 stats: 4 games | 66.4 pct | 1,106 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 11 pass TD | 2 INT | 64 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
When he’s on, Mahomes morphs into an on-field piece of art, flinging dead-on lasers through Cover 2 looks and generally appearing as an unfairly concocted video-game creation. Shrugging off a flat outing against the Colts, Kansas City’s offense was a logical bunch to struggle against a gnarly Tampa unit. Instead, Mahomes moved to 6-1 against top-ranked scoring defenses with a 41-point explosion that saw him dominate the enemy with grace and ease. Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson can outdo him on the ground, but this version of the Chiefs’ centerpiece sits atop the heap.
1 - Patrick Mahomes
His acrobatics are always a hoot, but he’s also protecting the ball quite well compared to the start of last season. Mahomes truly operates as if he’s playing another sport, taking any arm angle known to man to dish the ball out at the opportune time.
25 - Isiah Pacheco
Kansas City Chiefs · RB
Pacheco has provided some explosiveness to the Chiefs’ backfield. He’s an aggressive runner who takes advantage of the space created by the passing threat Patrick Mahomes poses to defenses.
Kansas City Chiefs: Edge Frank Clark
Frank Clark is 29 years old and coming off three consecutive Pro Bowls. The Chiefs did a lot to make sure he was surrounded by more talent coming off the edge this season. They drafted George Karlaftis and signed Carlos Dunlap.
However, Clark has become the weak link in the pass rush.
Chris Jones is still the most dangerous threat, as he’s arguably the league’s best inside pass-rusher not named Aaron Donald. He already has two sacks and leads the team with 10 pressures.
Dunlap and Karlaftis are second and third. The veteran and the rookie have taken advantage of their snaps.
Meanwhile, Clark has been barely visible in the pass rush while playing 69 percent of the defensive snaps. He has just six pressures and one sack while earning a PFF grade that has him ranked 100th out of 107 edge-rushers.
Trey Smith, RG, Kansas City Chiefs
In 2022, Smith has allowed no sacks, no quarterback hits, and just seven quarterback hurries in a passing game that obviously relies on quarterback improvisation and play extension. And while Smith is an excellent mauler in the run game, check out this :let the bodies hit the floor” rep against Buccaneers defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches on a Patrick Mahomes deep pass.
The Chiefs are much more diverse offensively this season, but there are times when you need to throw the fancy stuff out the window and just erase people on the way to a win. Smith is perfectly constructed to go both ways.
Kansas City Chiefs
The revamped AFC West does not appear to be as talented as we thought it would be, and that benefits the Chiefs. The Las Vegas Raiders had a tough time finding that first win, the Denver Broncos have been a major disappointment and the Chargers have started to fall apart due to injuries. That could set Kansas City up to win the division for the seventh-straight season. Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes is 22-3 in his career in division games. That’s the best record by any quarterback since 2000 (minimum of 10 games).
The Chiefs have a top-five offense, the No. 1 rushing defense in the league and a wide receiving corps that hasn’t reached its potential just yet. Keep an eye on rookies Skyy Moore at wide receiver and Isiah Pacheco at running back. Both could play larger roles as the Chiefs continue to march through the regular season.
The Chiefs have been contenders ever since Mahomes took over the starting job, and even with the loss of Tyreek Hill, that has not changed in 2022.
Around the NFL
“He is ready to be with his family after playing 11 seasons and it’s time to be a full-time dad and husband,” agent Joel Turner told ESPN.
“His wife and kids are still back home in Texas. They came out for the first game, went through the evacuation last week which the Tampa Bay organization hasn’t received near the credit they deserve for the way they handled [Hurricane Ian] — nothing but first class by the Glazer family, [general manager] Jason [Licht] and [coach] Todd [Bowles]. He doesn’t want to be separated from them anymore. He loves his wife and kids and wants to be with them.”
On Monday Night Football, a disturbance on the field caused a delay in the Rams-49ers game at Levi’s Stadium as security attempted to stop two protestors running towards the action with pink smoke bombs. After quickly detaining the female protestor, security was unable to put an immediate stop to the male protestor, but as he was getting onto the field that’s when two Los Angeles Rams players stepped in: Bobby Wagner and Takkarist McKinley.
Wagner and McKinley tackled the male protestor, but not before he got the attention he desired. That fan has now filed a police report with the Santa Clara Police Department, according to TMZ.
The fan who was leveled by Bobby Wagner after running onto the field during "Monday Night Football" this week has now filed a police report over the incident ... TMZ Sports has learned. https://t.co/Kw1cjqSY0N— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) October 5, 2022
It’s not clear if Wagner and/or McKinley would be facing any charges — should the police department take this seriously — or exactly what the fan would be able to get out of this report other than more attention for the cause that initially cause him and another protestor to run onto the field during Monday Night Football. Would the 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, security, or the Rams be responsible for anything in this case? That is unclear, even if it does sound ludicrous to believe that a fan running onto the field had no understanding that he could potentially be leveled ... either by security or a future Hall of Fame linebacker.
Charvarius Ward, 49ers
Charvarius Ward was the 49ers’ biggest offseason acquisition. He signed a three-year, $40.5 million contract (worth up to $42 million through incentives) with $26.62 million of guarantees. Ward has been everything the 49ers expected him to be on the league’s stingiest defense. The 49ers are ranked first in scoring defense (11.5 points per game), tied for first in total defense (234.5 yards per game) and second in pass defense (161.3 yards per game). It’s also the NFL’s top defense in PFF metrics.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Now that life without Hill is a reality, the expectations for Hardman are through the roof.
Having both players in the same offense always felt a little redundant, even though their skill sets do vary. With the path clear for Hardman as the premier speed threat in the offense, many expected to see his numbers and role increase dramatically. Instead, he’s having his worst start to a season since he’s been drafted.
With just 71 yds and a touchdown in four games, the results are not encouraging thus far. And there’s even more reason to be pessimistic about his future:
Skyy Moore stock up big after this week. Constantly got open all night. Should 100% be our 3rd WR going forward over Mecole and Watson pic.twitter.com/sZlk5esew3— ArrowheadConner (@ArrowheadConner) October 3, 2022
As Hardman heads into a “contract year,” the Chiefs have a decision to make on his future in Kansas City. Will they extend him and keep him in Kansas City long-term? Or is he the next receiver to walk away from the Chiefs in free agency?