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Arrowheadlines: Mahomes ranked as NFL’s second-most clutch quarterback

Chiefs headlines for Friday, November 4

Kansas City Chiefs v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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NFL Clutch QB Index, Week 9 | CBS Sports

The rankings are based on all current qualified starting QBs, which is why you’ll only notice 30 QBs (sorry Sam Ehlinger and Kenny Pickett). It includes injured QBs who are still No. 1 on their team’s depth chart when healthy.

Week 9 Clutch QB Index


He has converted on 11-of-14 game-tying/go-ahead drive chances in the fourth quarter/OT, and his career passer rating in the fourth quarter/OT of a one-score game is 129.8. Both are the best career numbers of any current starting QB. He’s backed up the numbers with big plays late in victories over the Bills and Ravens this season.2

2 Patrick Mahomes — KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB

Mahomes has converted on at least 60% of his game-tying/go-ahead drive chances in both the regular season and the playoffs. The NFL average is just below 40%. His playoff rate is best in the NFL. Two late picks against the Colts and Bills this season were the only negative, but among players with larger sample sizes Mahomes is in his own stratosphere.

Bowen: ‘We Know What’s Coming at Us’ | Sports Illustrated

“Last year was last year,” Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen said Thursday. “We know there ain’t many games like that with the Chiefs. Very very rare. We caught them on the right day, right? We played well. They probably didn’t play up to their standard, obviously, and they know that.

“So, we’re ready for the challenge this week. We know what’s coming at us come Sunday.”

Eight weeks into the season, the Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) are one of two NFL teams that have piled up more than 400 total yards per game. Their average of 403.3 yards is second only to Buffalo (430.6) as is their average of 6.3 yards per play. Kansas City leads all offenses with an average of 24.4 first downs per contest and has converted a league-best 51.9 percent of its third-down opportunities.

The Chiefs are the only team in the league that averages better than 30 points per game (31.9, to be exact), the only one with at least 20 touchdown passes (even though they already have had their open date) and one of three that averages better than 290 passing yards per game.

Chiefs to lean on McDuffie after trading Fenton to Falcons | Yahoo! Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs showed overwhelming confidence in their group of rookie cornerbacks this week when they traded Rashad Fenton, one of their few veterans, to the Atlanta Falcons for a conditional draft pick.

The move left them with six cornerbacks on their depth chart, four of whom are rookies. Yet by this point in the season, the trio of Jaylen Watson, Joshua Williams and Nazeeh Johnson has played enough snaps that calling them rookies is a misnomer. The same can’t be said for first-round pick Trent McDuffie, who hurt his hamstring in the season opener in Arizona and has yet to touch the field for another regular-season game.

That will finally change when he suits up against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday night.

‘’It’s hard to tell (what he’s missed),’’ Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said Thursday. ‘’He’s been out there in this three-week window. He’s been practicing - some days have gone good, some days haven’t been so good. He had a good day yesterday. We hope he can go out and be the guy we thought he’d be when we got him.’’

Chiefs Prioritized Future Over Present at the Trade Deadline | Sports Illustrated

Tuesday marked the NFL trade deadline where deals were happening across the league. The Kansas City Chiefs made two of those moves — one the week before the deadline and one as the clock struck zero. Oddly enough, it’s still being determined precisely how much these moves impact the Chiefs this season. Instead, they were made more for the future.

It was Thursday morning when the news broke about the Chiefs’ first move. Kansas City traded for 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney to bolster their receiver room. Toney had struggled with injuries and never fit in with the new administration in New York. However, his talent has been evident when he’s been on the field. Coming to Kansas City should give Toney a fresh start and could help him live up to his draft slot.

Surrounding Patrick Mahomes with more talent is always a good idea, but it was strange to see this move happen considering how the wide receiver room has played over the last few weeks. Toney’s skill set is very similar to Mecole Hardman’s. They both are great with the ball in their hands and succeed on manufactured touches or “gadget” plays, but they still have ways to go in being polished as wide receivers.

The fit of Toney and Hardman on the field together could be more straightforward, though, when realizing that Hardman is a free agent in the offseason. Getting Toney suddenly makes more sense for the Chiefs, as he will be able to take over the gadget role when Hardman departs. Also, Toney is a more talented and better athlete who can work on becoming a true wide receiver for the rest of this year and heading into next year.

Is Marquez Valdes-Scantling a roster lock in 2023? | Arrowhead Addict

This upcoming offseason would be the best time to release MVS if the Chiefs wanted to. If Kansas City cuts MVS after June 1, 2023, they could save $9 million in 2023, but incur a $2 million dead cap in 2023 and 2024. All in all, they would have $21 million in added cap space between 2023 and 2024.

Would the Chiefs really release MVS after this season, all in the name of saving money? In the grand scheme of things, it would not be shocking.

MVS’ salary and cap hit drastically increase after 2022. For example, MVS’ cap hit increases from $4.88 million in 2022 to $11 million in 2023. His cap hit increases yet again in 2024 to $14 million. While the NFL salary cap will rise as well, MVS’ contract could limit the Chiefs financially in 2023 and 2024. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach is known for backloading players’ contracts, giving the team more financial flexibility in the present.

The question is whether MVS’ performance warrants his rising paycheck. He is clearly WR2 so far in 2022, with 369 receiving yards on 22 receptions. He is certainly stretching the field, as his 16.8 yards per reception lead the Chiefs. But he has not been a bell cow receiver either. His catch percentage is 57.9%, while wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster and tight end Travis Kelce both exceed 70%. There is still time this season to make changes, but MVS has some shortcomings on the field.

If releasing MVS meant keeping a more integral player or signing another one, then Veach needs to consider it. It would take the right situation for Veach to release MVS. But, it would be a sign of trust in Kansas City’s younger receiving corps or towards retaining Smith-Schuster beyond 2022. Chances are that MVS stays in Kansas City, but there are common-sense scenarios where he does not.

Around the NFL

NFL community mourns death of Pro Football Hall of Fame punter Ray Guy |

Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Guy — considered to be the greatest punter in NFL history — died Thursday morning.

Guy, the only punter in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, played his entire career for the Raiders franchise and was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time first-team All Pro.

Guy’s death prompted an outpouring of remembrance from the NFL and football community.

Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter:

“Fittingly, much was written when Ray Guy was enshrined in Canton about how his election as the first true punter created a ‘full roster’ of players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Too often overlooked, however, was the man behind his powerful right leg. Ray was a warm, humble Southern gentleman who represented the game, the Raiders organization and the Hall of Fame with dignity and class at all times. A truly gifted athlete, he could have been a star in Major League Baseball or pro basketball. Fans of the NFL thank Ray for choosing to focus on football.”

Thursday Night Football: Eagles stay unbeaten with 29-17 win over Texans | Pro Football Talk

The Philidelphia Eagles did what the Eagles needed to do Thursday night to stay unbeaten. They outscored the Texans 15-3 in the second half, intercepting Davis Mills twice, to get out of Houston with a 29-17 victory.

Philadelphia moved to 8-0 for the first time in team history, while Houston fell to 1-6-1. The Eagles weren’t overwhelming in gaining 360 yards to the Texans’ 303, but Javon Hargrave sacked Mills three times and James Bradberry and C.J. Gardner-Johnson each had an interception of Mills. It was Gardner-Johnson’s fifth interception of the season, with all of them coming in the past four games.

Houston reached the Philadelphia 21 with 2:17 remaining and a chance to cut the lead to a one-score game, while still holding all three timeouts. But Mills was picked by Bradberry at the Philadelphia 3.

By trading Bradley Chubb, the Russell Wilson Broncos admitted they aren’t close to a title | Yahoo! Sports

The Denver Broncos made an admission when they traded Bradley Chubb to the Miami Dolphins this week in an exchange for a first-round draft pick, among other compensation.

NFL teams aren’t forced to be honest with the media and their fan bases until it’s time to make a transaction. The message that the Broncos sent with the Chubb trade is simple: They aren’t nearly as close as they thought they were to winning a championship and it’s time to start considering the future again.

This season has been a disaster for the Broncos. Their trade for Russell Wilson, paired with a defense that appeared to be one of the deepest in the league, seemed to immediately put them in title contention. It was a necessary move in a division that features as much star talent as the AFC West, but they sit at 3-5 at the midpoint of the season. Winning a Super Bowl, or even going on a deep playoff run, would be incredibly unlikely at this point. So, it’s time to readjust and stock back up for the immediate future. The goal for the Wilson-led Broncos is to win it all — there’s still time for that to happen — but it’s not going to be this season.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Travis Kelce is continuing to grow more valuable to the Chiefs

If you were thinking that 33-year-old Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce might show signs of slowing down during the 2022 season, think again.

Kelce currently leads the team with 553 receiving yards, putting him on pace for 1,343 this season. That would be his second-best year — and easily give him his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season, setting another record for NFL tight ends. He has also seven receiving touchdowns, which leads not only the Chiefs but all NFL players (Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs also has seven). On that pace, he’ll have 17 this season — shattering his personal best of 11 touchdown catches in 2020.

And it’s not even because Tyreek Hill is gone. Through seven games last season, Kelce had 533 receiving yards. The rest of the team combined for 1,644 yards. This year, everyone-but-Kelce has 1,606 yards.

According to Kansas City tight ends coach Tom Melvin, we shouldn’t be surprised.

“You check the boxes with him,” the coach told reporters on Thursday. “How athletic he is, how smart he is, how well he takes care of his body, his outlook, his team perspective. He’s a competitor. So he’s got all those things going for him; it’s a conglomeration of everything building to where [he is today].”

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