3. Tailback Jerick McKinnon had a month of December to remember.
McKinnon has been on an absolute tear lately, tallying a league-most six total touchdowns in his last four games. Only the Los Angeles Rams’ Cam Akers – who also has six scores since Week 13 – has matched McKinnon’s production during that stretch.
Those six total scores include at least one receiving touchdown in each of the last four games, matching the longest steak for any running back since 1970. His five receiving scores during the month of December marked the most in a calendar month for any running back since Chiefs’ tailback Jamaal Charles did so in December of the 2013 season.
According to ESPN’s NFL lead insider, Adam Schefter, the Denver Broncos have named Jerry Rosburg as the interim Head Coach. As we know, the Broncos fired Nathaniel Hackett earlier this morning and now have named the man who helped him with game management as the man who will lead this team these final two weeks.
Sources: Broncos players were just informed that senior assistant coach Jerry Rosburg, whom Nathaniel Hackett hired during the season to aid him in clock management strategy, is now taking over as the Broncos’ interim head coach, effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/WJ8BFXlg3k— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 26, 2022
Rosburg was brought in earlier this season after Hackett struggled with game management and other simple tasks that a Head Coach is meant to deal with. Those struggles seemed to go away after his hiring before the other issues with Hackett began to pop up, but his addition was beneficial to this team. Now, the veteran coach/advisor will lead the Broncos and likely continue to serve as an advisor while also picking up the duties Hackett had remaining after losing a few throughout the season.
Joe Burrow is the No. 2 betting favorite at +700, followed by Josh Allen (+800) and Jalen Hurts (+1000). No one else besides Justin Herbert and Justin Jefferson has odds better than +15000.
Peter King of NBC Sports has Mahomes atop his MVP list in his weekly Football Morning in America column, but he sees the race as being closer than the odds suggest, with Hurts as his No. 2 candidate.
“Mahomes and Hurts are still jockeying for position in my eyes,” King wrote. “It’s really close. The last two weeks will matter.”
Darnell Washington TE
GEORGIA • JR • 6’7” / 270 LBS
Arik Gilbert was the Georgia tight end to watch coming into the season, but it’s been Washington who has gotten scouts’ attention. He’s listed at 6-7, 265 pounds (he actually plays bigger than that), and while he’s growing into his role as a receiver, he’s essentially another offensive tackle when he’s inline. Basically, he’d serve two roles in Kansas City: receiver in a high-powered offense and an extra blocker.
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Per Brian Costello of the New York Post, White was cleared by doctors Monday and will start Sunday’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Head coach Robert Saleh confirmed the news to reporters, adding Joe Flacco will serve as the backup and Zach Wilson will be inactive.
White has missed the past two games after suffering three fractured ribs in a Dec. 11 loss to the Buffalo Bills. He told reporters five days later that he spoke to almost 10 doctors in an attempt to find one who would clear him to play, but none of them would do it.
Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. pumped his fist while bouncing in a Santa hat, as head coach Brandon Staley put his arm around owner Dean Spanos and presented him with a game ball.
“I’ve been hoping to give him a game ball since I got here,” Staley hollered. “He’s been patient. He’s invested in this team. He’s brought all of us together ... game ball, playoff appearance — Dean Spanos.”
Spanos, Staley and the Bolts had plenty to celebrate in the visitors locker room at Lucas Oil Field after dismantling the downtrodden Indianapolis Colts 20-3 on Monday night.
For the first time since 2018, the Chargers will return to the postseason, having clinched a playoff berth after improving to 9-6, with two games remaining in the regular season.
Tagovailoa, who missed Weeks 5-6 due to a concussion, told doctors on Monday he was feeling concussion-like symptoms, McDaniel added.
McDaniel said he was uncertain when Tagovailoa suffered a potential concussion during the team’s 26-20 loss on Sunday to the Green Bay Packers. McDaniel also said it was uncertain at this point if Tagovailoa had indeed suffered a concussion, but he has symptoms.
Video has circulated on social media of a first-half play in which Tagovailoa was hit from behind below the waist while completing a throw. During the tackle, Tagovailoa was spun to the turf and the back of his head hit the ground. Tagovailoa went 9 of 12 for 229 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions in the first half of Sunday’s game. In the second half, he went 7 of 13 for 81 yards with zero touchdowns and three interceptions.
This is not the first time this season Tagovailoa has entered the league’s concussion protocol.
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The Seahawks scored just 10 points — the lowest number since Week 2 — and it took them nearly 58 minutes of game time to reach even that. On their first 10 possessions, they managed only a field goal. Seattle quarterback Geno Smith turned in the worst passer rating and second-lowest completion rate of his otherwise sparkling season.
In his opening postgame statement, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid was ready with a shout-out for his defensive unit — specifically the rookie defensive backs Trent McDuffie, Bryan Cook and Jaylen Watson.
“I thought overall our defense had just a great day,” Reid declared to reporters. “Some of those young guys — 21, 6, 35 — those guys played their tails off. [Linebacker Nick] Bolton had another big day with 17 tackles. The defensive line was extraordinary. I know it was an emotional game for Frank Clark, having played there... he did a nice job.”
Among all the position groups he could have mentioned, Reid chose the defensive secondary for a reason: it was noticeable how fast the linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks were flying around to make tackles and pass breakups. Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. earned a tackle for loss and two passes defended — while safety Juan Thornhill sealed the game with an end-zone interception.