Melvin Gordon has been a very familiar face for Kansas City Chiefs fans given his perennial presence in the AFC West for the past eight seasons. Whether he was with the San Diego-turned-L.A. Chargers or the Denver Broncos, Gordon was a recognizable rival twice each year.
On Monday, the Broncos decided to cut ties with the veteran running back, which brings up the question: Should the Chiefs make a move for Gordon? Just know that the answer should be “no”
For those who scoff at the very idea from the outset, Chiefs Kingdom should at least realize there are reasons to consider it—at least positionally. On Sunday, the Chiefs watched Clyde Edwards-Helaire leave with an ankle sprain and it’s quite possible that he ends up missing a decent amount of time. That leaves the backfield a little thin.
For those who want to see Ronald Jones activated on Sundays instead of left to rot among inactive players, it’s also true that the Chiefs haven’t been all that motivated to make that move. Some things just aren’t made public, and there’s something keeping Jones around but not involved.
Even if you like Jones, the truth is that the Chiefs put in a waiver claim for former Arizona Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin. While it failed due to their place in the claiming order, it signaled an interest on the part of the Chiefs’ front office in improving the backfield if the right candidate came along—even beyond the guys already on the roster like Jones or Wayne Gallman.
Hardman posted a photo on social media during the game asking for updates—because he broke his television while watching the action.
Just in case y’all thought I was lying I really did break my tv pic.twitter.com/1RyOdPyJim— Mecole Hardman Jr. (@MecoleHardman4) November 21, 2022
Hardman didn’t disclose the details of exactly what happened to his TV during the intense game, but it looks as if he got upset about something that transpired at SoFi Stadium.
The fourth-year pro will need to get used to watching the game from afar, as he will miss at least four games while on the IR.
Luckily for Hardman, the Chiefs rallied in the final minutes to secure the win. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected with tight end Travis Kelce for the winning 17-yard touchdown.
Chiefs players Chris Jones and Derrick Nnadi were helping make Thanksgiving special for Kansas City families on Monday.
Derrick Nnadi passed out about 150 Thanksgiving meals at the Boys and Girls Club in Independence.
The food came from Slap’s BBQ and included turkey, baked beans and potato casserole.
The defensive tackle also signed some autographs and took photos with fans.
“There are a lot of families during this time that don’t really have the necessities to have what they need to bring the family together just for a meal to sit down to, to be thankful for what they have, not worrying about things they don’t have, just more focusing things on what they do have — that’s just family, togetherness, unity,” Nnadi said.
The Derrick Nnadi Foundation helped fund the big meal giveaway.
Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones also helped hand out turkeys in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas City Dream Center put together the giveaway, where 200 families received turkeys.
Jones said he cherishes this time of year.
“Thanksgiving is always fun. You get to see family. I get to cheat my diet a little bit and enjoy that time in embracing the thankfulness and what I’m thankful for, and most importantly being around family,” Jones said.
This was the fifth year for the Thanksgiving meal giveaway.
Isiah Pacheco: Kansas City Chiefs · RB
Pacheco’s rostership percentage has climbed very slowly over the last month as I’ve repeatedly highlighted the need to ‘stache him. Well, the ‘stache window has closed and now he’s going to be expensive. On Sunday Night Football, in a game the Chiefs were mostly playing from behind, Pacheco took 15 carries for 107 rushing yards (that would be 7.1 yards per carry, my friends). Additionally, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was ruled out early with an ankle injury, leaving Pacheco and Jerick McKinnon to carry the full load for Kansas City. Most games down the stretch will feature a Chiefs lead more often than not, which will in return lead to a heavier slant in snaps and usage towards Pacheco. I’m not yet convinced that he can be the 2022 David Johnson (primarily because of how much the Chiefs lean on Patrick Mahomes), but if anyone in this week’s column could be ... I’d lean Pacheco. Also note that McKinnon is worth ‘staching just in case.
Around the NFL
With 78,427 fans in attendance for the NFL’s final international game of the season, the Niners (6-4) extended their win streak to three games and leaned heavily on wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel and running back Christian McCaffrey. The Cardinals fell to 4-7 as backup quarterback Colt McCoy started in place of the injured Kyler Murray for the second consecutive week.
The Niners moved to 4-0 against division rivals, including a Week 2 win over the Seattle Seahawks that gives San Francisco control of its playoff positioning.
For much of this season, the San Francisco 49ers have hovered in the gray area between NFC contender and pretender.
On Monday night, they loudly proclaimed they are, in fact, a team to be feared.
All three phases finally came together in a thrashing of the Arizona Cardinals. The 6-4 Niners have won three in a row and are 4-0 in the NFC West.
On paper, many observers have viewed the Niners as a real threat in the NFC all season but many were still waiting for that all to gel. And though the Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers and Cardinals aren’t exactly challenging opponents, the Niners handled each with relative ease.
Now that their weeklong trip to Colorado and Mexico City is over, the Niners head home for the holidays, playing five of their final seven games at Levi’s Stadium and none outside the Pacific time zone.
San Francisco won seven of nine to close last season before making a run to the NFC Championship Game. As November nears its end, the Niners look ready to do it again.
The jarring thing is how quickly and firmly he said “no.”
Still sporting eye black, Zach Wilson stood before reporters and cameras underneath Gillette Stadium on Sunday evening for the customary postgame interview session. His New York Jets had just lost 10-3 on a last-second punt return touchdown from New England Patriots rookie Marcus Jones, a thrilling finish for the home team and their chilly fans but another close Jets loss to their supposed rival, the second in less than a month.
New York had scored three points. Three.
Wilson had completed just 9 of 22 pass attempts for 77 yards, and was sacked four times. If there was any silver lining to an otherwise terrible performance for the second-year player, it’s that he at least didn’t turn the ball over, with no interceptions and no lost fumbles. Though even there he was lucky: Patriots veteran safety Devin McCourty, who rarely makes such mistakes and picked off Wilson twice in their game last month, dropped a gift-wrapped turnover in the final minute of the first half when Wilson floated a ball over the middle of the field.
But in an era when the NFL has calibrated the rules to maximize yards and scoring, if your defense holds an offense — even one that has been as rocky as New England’s this season — to just three points, your team should be sailing to an easy win.
And if your defense holds an offense to three points and you, as the leader of the offense, can’t find a way to put more than three on the board, your only reaction should be profuse apologizing to your teammates.
Those guys on defense, they did their job.
Zach Wilson did not.
And yet there he was, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft, the alleged face of the franchise, in front of a Jets-logoed backdrop and wearing a Jets-logoed winter hat, dismissing any idea that he hadn’t pulled his weight.
“As an offense, you guys were only able to score three points, the defense only lets up three points, do you feel like you let the defense down at all?” Wilson was asked.
“No. No,” Wilson said immediately, scratching his nose and turning away from the reporter.
Prior to his being traded to the Los Angeles Rams, quarterback Matthew Stafford was missing a piece of hardware - a Super Bowl trophy. In his first year as a Ram he grabbed the prize, helping the team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
Now, though, it’s one year later and Los Angeles has struggled mightily. A 27-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints was the Rams’ fourth loss in a row and raises questions about the future of Stafford’s career.
On Monday, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport discussed what lies ahead for Stafford and the Rams on Pat McAfee’s show.
“I don’t know what his decision is going to be,” Rapoport said. “I think he will be back, but I don’t know. I think the health of the team overall goes into it ...’’
Health, or a lack thereof, has been a major talking point for a Rams team that has struggled to stay healthy. They are down multiple offensive lineman, star receiver Cooper Kupp is on IR and even Stafford himself has battled injuries.
Stafford turns 35 in February of 2023, and for a quarterback who has been as beat up as he has over the years there is a lot of mileage on his body. Pair that with a team that may be seeing its window slam shut in real time, and yes, the idea of retirement is at least worthy of speculation.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
As of this writing, the 24-year-old remains on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, but the deadline is coming up on Wednesday, November 23. Niang has spent the first 11 weeks of the season on the PUP list after rupturing his patella tendon in Week 17 last season.
During his weekly Monday Zoom press conference, head coach Andy Reid sounded optimistic about activating Niang.
“I’ll talk to (general manager) Brett [Veach],” he said. “I haven’t talked to Brett today, but we’ll talk on that and just see where we’re at with that. But he’s made some nice progress over the last couple of weeks.
“And I’m not telling you he’d be the starter, but I think he’s ready to get in, probably, the two-deep. We’ll have to talk to the kid, too.”
The only position of consideration for Niang is right tackle, which is currently manned by Andrew Wylie. It does not sound Wylie will lose his job when Niang is activated.
Drafted by the Chiefs in the third round in 2020, Niang opted to sit out his rookie season during the coronavirus pandemic. He appeared in 12 games for the Chiefs in 2021, starting nine at right tackle before the injury.