NFL rookie rankings at quarter pole of 2022 season: Jets duo holds top spots; Lions lead with three reps | NFL.com
17 - George Karlaftis
Kansas City Chiefs · DE
DRAFTED: Round 1, No. 30 overall
Karlaftis is getting better every week. He has flashed polish with his hand moves and the effort is excellent.
Week 15 NFL Picks Against the Spread | The Ringer
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (+14)
Patrick Mahomes threw three interceptions last week in a win over the Broncos, but he also made some incredible plays. On the season, Mahomes ranks first among all starting quarterbacks in EPA per pass play. Following an offseason in which they traded away Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs still have the best offense in the NFL.
The Texans were feisty last week against the Cowboys but couldn’t close the deal. I didn’t see much there that was sustainable. I don’t trust Kansas City’s defense, but Mahomes and company should go up and down the field in this game.
The pick: Chiefs (-14)
Bleacher Report’s Expert Week 15 NFL Picks | Bleacher Report
Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) at Houston Texans (1-11-1)
DraftKings Line: Chiefs -14
We must always think carefully about double-digit lines, especially when oddsmakers provide a two-plus-touchdown spread.
Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs went up 27-0 on the Denver Broncos but allowed their division rival back into the game with turnovers and poor pass coverage. Keep in mind that the Broncos have scored the fewest points per game this season.
Meanwhile, the Houston Texans went on the road and nearly upset the Dallas Cowboys (27-23). Sobleski can see them covering another double-digit spread this week.
“At this point...why not? A two-touchdown spread probably indicates a sucker’s bet since the Texans are the NFL’s worst team going against a league MVP candidate in Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Yet the Texans have found ways to keep games semi-close. Despite losing eight in a row, only two of those games came by more than 14 points.
“Furthermore, Houston is coming off one of its best performances of the season, albeit in another defeat to the Cowboys. No expectation exists of Houston actually being able to upset Kansas City. This choice is based purely on the spread and the Texans doing just enough to make it interesting.”
Consensus: Chiefs -14
Score Prediction: Chiefs 34, Texans 17
10 questions for stretch run of NFL regular season: Tom Brady to extend playoff streak? Miami to salvage year? | CBS Sports
Will Patrick Mahomes break single-season passing yards record?
Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL in passing yards (4,160) and passing touchdowns (33) this year, all while playing in his first season without now-Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill, his former WR1. Yet Mahomes is on pace to throw for 5,440 yards this season, which would be the third most in NFL history in a season, trailing only Hall of Famer Peyton Manning’s 2013 NFL MVP season (5,477) and Drew Brees’ 2011 season (5,476) in 2011.
Mahomes will face three teams that have been like his punching bags in the last four games: at the Texans in Week 15, vs. the Broncos in Week 16 and at the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 18. In order for Mahomes to break Manning’s record, he needs to average 330 passing yards per game over the last four, which would be only 10 more yards than his current league-leading mark of 320 passing yards per game. Mahomes will have ample opportunity to break the single-season passing yards record.
Agent’s Take: Lamar Jackson tops nine franchise tag candidates for 2023; projected tag salary at each position | CBS Sports
Orlando Brown Jr., OT, Chiefs
Brown rejected a reported six-year, $139 million deal with a $30.25 million signing bonus at the July 15 deadline for franchise players to sign long term. Instead, Brown is playing under a $16.662 million franchise tag. That’s because the deal was backloaded and too long for a 26-year-old Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle to accept. Cosmetically, Brown would have become the NFL’s highest paid offensive lineman at $23,166,667 per year because of a highly inflated last year of the contract.
The deal was really $95 million for five years since there was a $44 million salary in 2027 that Brown would never see. Brown probably hasn’t done anything this season to dissuade the Chiefs from putting a second franchise tag on him in 2023 for $19,994,440. This number is derived from the 20% raise provisions with franchise tags.
Around the NFL
Seahawks vs. 49ers score, takeaways: San Francisco clinches NFC West behind Brock Purdy, dominant defense | CBS Sports
Why the 49ers won
There’s plenty of credit to go around when it comes to San Francisco’s Thursday night win. Purdy wasn’t fazed on the road and fought through rib and oblique injuries, McCaffrey carried the offense — but what really stuck out about this game was the 49ers defense. That unit is the reason why San Francisco was victorious in Week 15, and is the reason why the 49ers are still a contender even with a third-string quarterback.
The Seahawks got to the red zone just once, and went 4 of 13 on third downs. That 49ers No. 1 run defense lived up to its billing, as Seattle rushed for just 70 yards. Nick Bosa and Co. made Smith uncomfortable, the linebackers were aggressive running sideline to sideline and the secondary was very much up to the task of covering D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Charvarius Ward deserves a shoutout for the job he did on Metcalf. They had a fun one-on-one battle all evening.
Baltimore Ravens’ Tyler Huntley out of concussion protocol | ESPN
Tyler Huntley has been cleared from the concussion protocol, which makes him the obvious choice to start at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens in Saturday’s game at Cleveland.
Huntley carries no injury designation for Saturday’s game, while Lamar Jackson, Baltimore’s No. 1 quarterback who hasn’t practiced since suffering a knee sprain on Dec. 4, has been ruled out.
“As far as injuries, I’m not going to really talk too much about that,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after Thursday’s practice. “I think it’s going to be straightforward when you see the injury report as far as who’s what. That’ll be our statement.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Running backs McKinnon and Pacheco are powering the Chiefs’ 1-2 punch
Journeyman Jerick McKinnon earned a big spin on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, recording 134 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in Kansas City’s 34-28 win.
“From a playing standpoint, really, there’s nothing that he can’t do,” head coach Andy Reid said of his Swiss Army tailback on Monday.
Kansas City clinched an eighth straight season with 10 more wins or more with the roller coaster win in Mile High.
“He’s like a dinosaur at that position,” said Reid. “You’re playing nine years in the National Football League. As a running back, those are dog years.”
Reid said that Pacheco is also making significant contributions off the field.
“The last couple of years here with us,” said the head coach, “he’s come out in a very positive way and shape for our team… I think if you talk to the players, they’ll talk about the leadership, how much they appreciate him.”
With early-season starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire now on the team’s injured reserve list, McKinnon and seventh-round rookie Isiah Pacheco have formed a formidable one-two punch, accounting for 612 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns over the last four games.
A tweet to make you think
“Please, keep calling the @Chiefs a ‘finesse’ team.” @pschrags pic.twitter.com/o3NvVXpu78— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) December 14, 2022
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