Kansas City Chiefs: Edge-Rusher
The Kansas City Chiefs have won the AFC West each of the last six years and hosted four straight AFC Championship Games. But it’s been a rocky offseason for Patrick Mahomes and Co.
The team watched its top cornerback depart when Charvarius Ward signed with the 49ers, although first-round rookie Trent McDuffie can help fill that void. There was a massive hole at wide receiver after Tyreek Hill was traded, but Kansas City added veterans and rookies alike to address that in JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore.
With their second first-round pick this year, the Chiefs looked to strengthen the pass rush with the selection of Purdue’s George Karlaftis, Bleacher Report’s second-ranked edge-rusher and No. 8 prospect overall. Karlaftis is a talented youngster whom Derrik Klassen compared to former Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan, but that talent didn’t equate to big-time production in college—just 14 sacks total and 4.5 a year ago.
If that doesn’t change quickly, the Chiefs will have a problem. Only three teams had fewer sacks last year than Kansas City’s 31, and in an AFC West that now includes Russell Wilson in addition to Derek Carr and Justin Herbert, the inability to make quarterbacks uncomfortable is a recipe for disaster.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Arizona Cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET Sept. 11, CBS)
Point spread: Chiefs -3 (Chiefs favored to win by more than 3 points, otherwise Cardinals cover)
Moneyline: Chiefs -149 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $16.71 total); Cardinals +125 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $22.50 total)
Total scoring over/under: 53 points scored by both teams combined
Bills (-1.5) at Chiefs, Oct. 16: The last time these two teams were on the field together, they produced one of the all-time classics with Kansas City winning 42-36 in overtime after an insane final few minutes of regulation. The Bills and their fans have lived with that bad taste in their mouths ever since. This should be another wild one.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: LB WILLIE GAY JR.
The Chiefs took some time to adjust their defensive personnel last season and pivot away from underperforming players toward younger, more capable ones. Nick Bolton drew immediate praise as a rookie, but Gay has found it tougher to get his share of the limelight. His play hasn’t always been consistent, but he has excellent range and movement skills and allowed a solid 87.3 passer rating when targeted in 2021, some 20 points lower than the average pass thrown into a linebacker’s coverage.
Around the NFL
Unsurprisingly, Russell Wilson’s highly anticipated return to Seattle is on this list, given the shocking trade and all the success Wilson brought to the Seahawks franchise. According to VividSeats, this Monday Night Football ticket will be the hottest Seahawks home ticket since 2017.
Gore connected with a vicious right cross that stiffened Yaya Olorunsola, who fell unconscious onto the canvas in the fourth round of the co-main event of Gamebred Boxing 1 Saturday night in Jackson, Miss.
Gore (1-0, one knockout) landed a solid 1-2 combination and followed with a second right cross that turned out the lights on Orlorunsola.
Today was a great day!!!— Frank Gore (@frankgore) May 15, 2022
Want to thank my team for all the hard work‼️ pic.twitter.com/k5Y2n5Nhh7
The NFL’s third all-time leading rusher, Gore announced recently that his football days would officially be coming to a close soon.
Not long after that, the announcement was made that he would make his pro debut Saturday, which was also his 38th birthday.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Week 4: The Chiefs are underdogs against the Bucs on the road by 2.5 points (3-1).
Week 5: The Chiefs are favored to beat the Raiders at home by 4.5 points (4-1).
Week 6: The Chiefs are underdogs to beat the Bills at home by 1.5 points (4-2).
Week 7: The Chiefs are favored to beat the 49ers on the road by 1 point (5-2).
Week 8 — BYE WEEK
Week 9: The Chiefs are favored to beat the Titans at home by 5 points (6-2).
Week 10: The Chiefs are favored to beat the Jaguars at home by 10 points (7-2).
Week 11: The Chiefs are underdogs to beat the Chargers on the road by 1.5 points (7-3).
Week 12: The Chiefs are favored to beat the Rams at home by 2.5 points (8-3)