7 - Kansas City Chiefs
Previous rank: No. 7
Looking for a bounceback candidate in Kansas City? How about defensive end Frank Clark, who dropped some serious weight in the offseason and looks much closer to the player who dominated the opposition in Kansas City’s march to Super Bowl LIV glory in 2020. Clark acknowledged to reporters this summer that he played with a ”gut” last season, extra lbs that affected his speed and agility. Add in some troubling off-the-field issues from last offseason, and Clark profiled as a cut candidate ahead of the new league year. Instead, the Chiefs stuck with their high-priced defender — restructuring his contract in March — and now could reap the benefits. Frank Clark playing with the eye of the tiger would be a massive lift for Steve Spagnuolo’s defense.
Kansas City Chiefs fans in Germany who look to get a feel for what the upcoming team will look like will now have the chance to do so through a partnership between the team and DAZN.
DAZN and the Chiefs are partnering up to broadcast three preseason games in Germany through the DAZN app, the two linear channels DAZN1 and DAZN2 and in all DAZN Bars.
The network will broadcast all three Chiefs preseason games in Germany.
Chicago Bears vs. Kansas City Chiefs on Aug. 13 at 7 p.m.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Washington Commanders on Aug. 20 at 10 p.m.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Packers on Aug 26 at 2 p.m.
Despite owning the division and entering the 2022 season with the shortest odds, it seems relatively no one is betting on the Kansas City Chiefs.
No, seriously. Don’t believe me? Here’s this:
Not only are Mahomes and the guys the least bet on team to win the AFC West, but they’re being doubled-up in bets.
For good reasons, though, right? Maybe it’s because KC offers the lowest return at +155, but the rest of the division kind of crept up on Andy Reid’s and are all likely to take a step forward this season.
The Raiders made the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and then proceeded to steal superstar wide receiver Davante Adams from Green Bay. Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson is getting ready to begin his Denver Broncos era. And it’s widely expected that Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers, who were a field goal away from the playoffs last year, will stake their claim as one of the AFC’s top teams in 2022.
Juju Smith-Schuster will be Patrick Mahomes’ second target
The Case: Virtually everyone who has visited Chiefs camp over the past week has made a version of the same comment: JuJu Smith-Schuster appears to be separating as the No. 1 wide receiver in Kansas City. While Marquez Valdes-Scantling was very good at OTAs and we’ve certainly seen our share of Skyy Moore and Mecole Hardman videos, it’s become apparent that Smith-Schuster leads the pack early in camp.
The Verdict: Believe it.
If you wanted to accuse me of confirmation bias, I wouldn’t argue. I’ve long believed in Smith-Schuster and had him in my top-20 when he first signed with the Chiefs, Thankfully the voters agree with me, and I think it’s because of the logic behind it. He’s the only receiver on this team with a good Fantasy season under his belt. In fact, he has three more than the rest of the receivers combined. If Smith-Schuster can stay healthy, he absolutely has top-12 upside.
Around the NFL
McVay’s extension also means a deal should be expected for general manager Les Snead.
“Les and I have always been a pair,” McVay said Tuesday, via ESPN’s Sarah Barshop. “We wanted to be able to announce that when both of us got (it) done. Mine is done. Les is in the process of that.”
Snead has been with the Rams for a decade, taking over as general manager when the team was still in St. Louis in 2012. He replaced Jeff Fisher with McVay in 2017, making McVay the youngest head coach in the NFL, and the two have enjoyed quite a run of success since then, including four playoff appearances in five years, two NFC titles and one Super Bowl triumph.
Last week, the NFL formally appealed Watson’s six-game suspension, which was handed down by the NFL’s disciplinary officer Sue. L Robinson earlier this month. At a league meeting called to formally approve the Denver Broncos’ new ownership group Tuesday, Goodell was asked why the NFL appealed Robinson’s decision and was seeking a suspension of at least a year for the Cleveland Browns quarterback.
“We’ve seen the evidence, she was very clear about the evidence, she reinforced the evidence,’’ Goodell said. “There were multiple violations that were egregious and it was predatory behavior.’’
2. Denver Broncos
The off-ball linebacker spot is one of the weaker areas on Denver’s roster, so Smith would be a logical addition for a team that loaded up this offseason by trading for Russell Wilson and is poised to make a Super Bowl run. Alexander Johnson began the year as Denver’s starting inside linebacker before suffering a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 6. He’s still a free agent, so it doesn’t seem like the Broncos have much interest in a reunion, leaving Jonas Griffith and Josey Jewell as its top two inside linebackers.
Smith would immediately jump above both of them on the depth chart and could be the final piece on defense to put them over the top. Smith in the middle of the defense with Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory coming off the edge, while the likes of corner Patrick Surtain II and safety Justin Simmons lurking in the secondary would make this a scary defense on a weekly basis.
That said, Denver would need to clear some salary cap space to create room for Smith, and there’s the question of whether or not they have the assets to actually acquire him after dealing with Wilson.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
He also earned the respect of solidified All-Pros like his teammate Chris Jones, who was asked about Humphrey following Monday’s training camp practice at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.
“He should’ve been an All-Pro last year,” the defensive tackle told reporters emphatically. “He was snubbed from that — [and they] snubbed him from his first Pro Bowl.”
2021’s first-team All-Pro center was Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles, followed by the Los Angeles Chargers’ Corey Linsley on the second team. On the AFC’s Pro Bowl team, Linsley and the Indianapolis Colts’ Ryan Kelly were chosen as the centers.
That may change in 2022 — but if it does, it won’t be because Humphrey was focused on those things.
“Yeah, I appreciate that from Chris,” Humphrey expressed to reporters on Monday. “Getting that praise from guys as good as him is pretty cool. To be honest, I don’t really try to think about those things during the season. I try to just focus on what I can do for the team — and how I can improve my game.”