1) AFC West
This might very well end up being the best division in football history. It’s filled with talented quarterbacks (the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, Broncos’ Russell Wilson, Chargers’ Justin Herbert and Raiders’ Derek Carr). It has two of the league’s most creative offensive coaches (Andy Reid and Josh McDaniels). The rosters have been significantly upgraded by a flurry of offseason acquisitions, including the arrival of Wilson, Broncos outside linebacker Randy Gregory, Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams and Chargers outside linebacker Khalil Mack. The Chiefs have owned this division — with six consecutive AFC West titles — but it wouldn’t be surprising to see any of these four teams taking this year’s crown.
10 - JuJu Smith-Schuster
Kansas City Chiefs · WR
Signed for: $3.25 million. Rank in annual average among WRs: 66th.
Smith-Schuster was a prove-it candidate last year but struggled to stay healthy in Pittsburgh. Joining Patrick Mahomes and a revamped receiver corps could get JuJu back on track. The Chiefs entered the offseason wanting to win more over the middle to make teams pay for playing two-high against Mahomes. That’s where the 25-year-old can butter his bread. Playing with Mahomes boosts the profile of most pass-catchers, and a big season could set up Smith-Schuster in what looks to be a down year for the free-agent market at receiver next offseason.
The Dolphins didn’t trade everything, but they did give up quite a bit to land the talented wideout. Miami ultimately acquired Hill after sending five draft picks to the Chiefs that included the 29th and 50th overall picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. The haul was more than worth it for McDaniel, who is chomping at the bit to roll out an offense this season that will feature Hill, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wideout Jaylen Waddle, tight end Mike Gesicki, and a stable of running backs that includes Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, Sony Michel and Myles Gaskin,
“I quite honestly thought he was one of the untouchable guys that you couldn’t get,” McDaniel said. “When (Grier) comes in and tells me that the Chiefs have talked to him, I said, ‘Chris, that’s one of the only non-quarterbacks where you do whatever it takes.’”
Robinson, 27, was a part of the Raiders roster cuts as the teams shrunk down from 90 players to 95 on Tuesday.
According to Silver & Black Pride’s Bill Williamson, the Raiders did Robinson a favor by releasing him.
“He was signed in the offseason to be a rotational receiver,” Williamson wrote. “However, the speedster didn’t do much in training camp and he was lost in the shuffle in a talented receiver room. The Raiders did Robinson a favor, cutting him now so he has a chance to catch on elsewhere. The roster is now at 85 players. It must be down to 53 players on Aug. 30.”
Robinson enters his sixth NFL season after playing for the Kansas City Chiefs the past five. In that time, Robinson totaled 145 receptions for 1,679 yards and 14 touchdowns. In his best season, Robinson produced 466 yards and three touchdowns on 45 receptions.
Patrick Mahomes and Brittany Matthews find ways to give back to Kansas City
Mahomes and Matthews are always looking to serve the community which they have grown from. For them, that means donating and helping out in every way.
For example, The Chiefs quarterback led a massive funding project alongside his wife to help out women’s soccer. Brittany Matthews is a co-owner of the KC NWSL pro women’s soccer team, and she decided to pave a new future for the sport and the Kansas City Area. Brittany Matthews has a net worth of $10 million.
Mahomes and his wife will lead a $70 million effort in building a new stadium for the club. The stadium will be located along Kansas City’s riverfront and has Mahomes and Matthews’ financial banking.
Additionally, Mahomes has a charitable organization called 15 and the Mahomies which he founded in 2019 to help lead “initiatives that focus on health, wellness, communities in need of resources and other charitable causes.”
That foundation has donated over $500,000 to various organizations across the Kansas City area including renovating Kansas City’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park to help add on an “all-inclusive play site.”
“I think the thing for me, and Brittany … we want to invest in this community as much as they have invested in us,” Mahomes revealed.
Around the NFL
“I’ve said this before, you can’t have enough good quarterbacks and good football players,” York told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. “I’m not going to get into roster discussions and what (general manager) John (Lynch) and (head coach) Kyle (Shanahan) want to do. But I will support them in sort of anything that they want to make this team as good as it can possibly be.
“I watched it with Joe (Montana) and Steve (Young) and I realize the salary cap is different today than having no salary cap. But we’ve said it before: We’re happy to keep Jimmy. We’re happy to have him on the roster. And if that’s the case, then that’s the case.”
Patriots: After a shaky start with two three-and-out drives, quarterback Mac Jones (4-of-8 for 61 yards) ended on a high note as he led an 81-yard touchdown drive. It was the type of confidence boost — albeit against the Panthers’ backups — that Jones & Co. needed after a training camp filled with “growing pains” as they adjust to a “new offense.” Jones looked uncomfortable early (his accuracy was off) before settling down on his third and final drive. A 7-yard completion to Nelson Agholor was critical to convert the first third down of the night, and then Jones hit Agholor with a 45-yard bomb down the left sideline. That deep ball is what players say should show up more in the revamped offense. Last season, 41% of Jones’ pass attempts thrown at least 20 yards downfield were overthrown or underthrown, an off-target mark that ranked 21st in the NFL (league average 36%). Also, Patriots receivers ranked 25th with only 1.6 yards of separation on deep balls, per NFL Next Gen Stats. So the Jones-to-Agholor long hookup sparks promise for the team. — Mike Reiss
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
2. Pass rush building on last week
One of Chiefs fans’ biggest concerns all offseason has been the pass rush. The unit did its best to make an excellent first impression in Preseason Week 1.
Rookie defensive end George Karlaftis led the team in pressures with four on 14 pass-rush attempts, per Pro Football Focus. One turned into a sack, and another registered as a quarterback hit. Defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton was the only other player with multiple pressures, earning three, with one of them being a quarterback hit.
In the fourth quarter, defensive end Malik Herring and defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth combined to take down the quarterback by collapsing the pocket in on him.
The best part is all of those players are either locks or contenders for the 53-man roster. It will be important to see that continue into Week 2 against a more formidable offensive line unit in Washington.
A tweet to make you think
I cannot believe the Chiefs haven't made this list at least once, let alone twice.https://t.co/4ofiVSqKa7— Tom Childs (@tomchilds56) August 19, 2022