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Arrowheadlines: Could the Chiefs help Zach Wilson?

Chiefs headlines for Friday, December 30

Jacksonville Jaguars v New York Jets Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

The latest

3 NFL Teams That Would Be Good Fits to Rehabilitate Zach Wilson | The 33rd Team

Kansas City Chiefs

There’s no long-term future here, as Patrick Mahomes’ MVP-caliber play has no end in sight. But this would be an ideal place for Wilson to learn and get well, as he’d be getting coached by the best in the business, and practicing alongside the league’s gold standard.

Here are the dots I’m connecting to this unlikely but tempting scenario: Andy Reid is attracted to high-end talent, no matter their past, at any position, and loves a quarterback project. Current backup Chad Henne is in his 15th season. If the Chiefs brought Wilson in to compete, maybe they like him enough to keep him as a No. 3 before they move on from Henne.

There’s not a great chance for Wilson to start – or play – in the near future, but there are places he could land and come out on the other side as a much better quarterback, and much more prepared to go win a starting job elsewhere.

I liked Wilson coming out of BYU, and nearly two arduous NFL seasons later, I’d like to see an upswing in his career. Whether New York is the best place for that to happen, and whether the Jets want to give him that runway, remains to be seen.

Week 17 NFL Picks Against the Spread | The Ringer

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5)

Advice to the Broncos: Try to hire the best head coach to replace Nathaniel Hackett. Don’t try to hire a Russell Wilson fixer. I expect the Broncos to take another shot with Wilson in 2023. But beyond that, who knows? Don’t get me wrong. Wilson’s play is a huge issue. But it’s not Denver’s only issue. Hackett’s game management was terrible. And the Broncos have shown no ability to correct their flaws. Frustration boiled over on the sideline last week with players going after each other. They haven’t just been a bad team: They’ve been a sloppy, undisciplined, disorganized team. Coaching can directly address those things, even if the quarterback play is bad.

As for the Chiefs, they’ve got plenty to play for. A win here combined with a Bills loss to the Bengals on Monday night would give Kansas City the no. 1 seed going into Week 18.

I don’t have many X’s and O’s reasons to believe this one will be close. But the Broncos defense is much better than it showed last week vs. the Rams, and maybe they get the classic, one-game interim coach bump? There’s no chance this ends well for me.

The pick: Broncos (+12.5)

Week 17 NFL game picks: Eagles clinch NFC’s No. 1 seed; Giants secure playoff berth | NFL.com

Kansas City Chiefs 41-20 Denver Broncos

On Tuesday’s episode of the Around the NFL Podcast, my old friend Andrew Hawkins noted that you can tell a lot about how a team felt about its previous coach based on how the players perform the week after he’s been let go. It’s just a guess here, but I don’t think Nathaniel Hackett was the Broncos’ biggest problem. Their quarterback is. (Also, most interim head coaches don’t have to face Patrick Mahomes in their first week on the job.)

Top 51 NFL free agents of 2023: Lamar Jackson, Roquan Smith, Geno Smith headline early rankings | NFL.com

5 - Orlando Brown

Kansas City Chiefs · OT · Age: 27

I’m not sure if left tackle is Brown’s best position, but an above-average starter with great physical traits will get paid, even if Chiefs fans haven’t always loved Brown. Kansas City offered Brown, who has played this season on the franchise tag, a big contract last offseason and figures to do the same again.

The Ringer’s 52 Favorite Sports Moments of 2022 | The Ringer

Thirteen Seconds That Changed Everything

Danny Heifetz: The Bills-Chiefs divisional-round playoff game redefined what it means to leave too much time on the clock.

With the league’s two most explosive offenses squaring off, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo’s Josh Allen delivered a combined 31 points after the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter.

With one minute and 54 seconds left in the game, Allen hit Gabe Davis for a 27-yard touchdown to give Buffalo a three-point lead.

Just 52 seconds later, Mahomes responded with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill, retaking the lead for the Chiefs. Then Allen hit Davis again for a 19-yard touchdown, once again giving the Bills a three-point lead. But this time the Bills left the Chiefs just 13 seconds to tie the game. Dejected Chiefs defenders sat on the bench, distraught and in disbelief. The Bills had finally slayed the dragon.

Or not.

The Chiefs went on to win the overtime coin toss and drove down to score a touchdown, winning the game without the Bills touching the ball. A couple of months later, the league changed the overtime rules for the playoffs to ensure that both teams get to touch the ball at least once. While neither of these teams made it to the Super Bowl, this game literally changed the sport—and raised the bar for quarterbacking.

2023 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Texans, Colts and Panthers Draft Quarterbacks in Top 10 | SI

28. Kansas City Chiefs: Jared Verse, edge, Florida State

Given the potency of Kansas City’s high-powered offense, opponents are often in catch-up mode. In other words, the Chiefs can never have too many pass rushers. Verse made the jump from FCS-level Albany, and the explosive edge rusher has showed well in his first season with the Seminoles. He has 7.5 sacks and 14.5 TFLs in 11 games, including sacks in three of his past four games.

Around the NFL

Joe Burrow says Bengals beyond viewing Bills as litmus test | ESPN

The two teams are among the best in the NFL and are vying for the conference’s No. 1 playoff seed, which would mean home-field advantage throughout the postseason. In previous years, this might have been a good measuring stick for the Bengals.

But after the wave of success the last two seasons, Cincinnati is well aware of its status.

“We’ve beaten everybody,” Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said. “We know we can play against everybody. We’ve done it in the biggest of moments. Like I said, we’re treating every game the same. We’ve played everybody the last two years.”

Cowboys vs. Titans score, takeaways: Dak Prescott rebounds from sluggish first half to down gritty Tennessee | CBS Sports

Why the Cowboys won

The Cowboys were the more talented team on Thursday night, but we knew that coming into this matchup. It took awhile for that talent to show, as Prescott’s three first-half turnovers kept Tennessee in the game, and Dobbs orchestrated a few drives that resulted in points. Then, the fourth quarter happened.

Prescott led a 10-play, 75-yard drive which resulted in a touchdown on the first drive of the fourth quarter, and then a seven-play, 53-yard drive on the next possession that resulted in a Brett Maher field goal. That 10-0 fourth-quarter run was too much for Tennessee to overcome.

Thursday night didn’t show all that the Cowboys are capable of, but it says something about this team that they can rebound from early mistakes and finish games. That’s what contenders do.

Chargers’ Joey Bosa practices for first time since groin surgery | ESPN

“I’m feeling really good. It’s kind of revitalizing, honestly. This was something that really caused me a lot of pain and kind of stress throughout the last couple of years, and I’ve gotten to a point where I was used to it and I didn’t understand how much was really wrong,” Bosa said. “Obviously, it sucks to miss all this time, but its honestly something that I really, really needed to get done.”

Bosa, 27, explained that he’d dealt with nagging groin issues for two years before it tore completely in a 38-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 25.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Steve Spagnuolo discusses L’Jarius Sneed’s ability to shadow opposing teams’ top receivers

Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed has ascended from the flashy playmaker he was as a rookie to a legitimate starting cornerback that can do a little of everything. There is no better evidence of that being the case than the Chiefs’ 24-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Throughout the game, Sneed was assigned to follow and cover wide receiver DK Metcalf.

It’s something defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo planned to do as they prepared for the game, and he came away satisfied with the results. He shared his thoughts with reporters during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

“He did a good job, I really thought,” Spagnuolo noted. “[L’Jarius] is a competitor, and so is [Metcalf]; we felt like we needed to do that to get us going, I thought he did a really good job all game.”

Metcalf ended the game with 81 yards, catching seven of his nine targets. Those counting statistics will suggest Metcalf still had a consistent presence in the game — but not as much as you’d think. He created enough separation to complete a 35-yard play on the team’s only scoring drive through the first three quarters, but that was one of only three catches that resulted in a first down on Saturday afternoon.

“He had the one on the sideline, where the safety probably should’ve been over there a little bit sooner, probably shouldn’t have even had that one,” Spagnuolo said of the one big play Sneed allowed. “[L’Jarius] had a contested one on him on a shorter curl, but I thought the guys did a really good job as a group making [Metcalf] for them a focus, and making sure he didn’t wreck the game.”

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