Sammy Watkins spent three years with Patrick Mahomes on the Chiefs, witnessing the star quarterback’s 50-touchdown MVP season, 2019 Super Bowl victory and follow-up AFC title run. But that doesn’t mean he’d take Mahomes over his current QB. Asked last month by teammate Randall Cobb if he’d rather have Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers, the new Packers wide receiver was clear: Rodgers, by a long shot.
“I’ve been with both of ‘em, and I’m gonna be honest,” Watkins said from the locker room. “I think Pat is unbelievably good. But A-Rod is on a whole different level.”
“It makes me calm,” he continued, “just to be in the huddle with him, just the way he carries himself.”
has a QB who has led his team to…— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) August 23, 2022
4 straight Championship Games
4 straight Division titles
4 straight 12+ win seasons
in his FIRST 4 YEARS AS A STARTER
ever caught as much shade in an offseason as Patrick Mahomes? pic.twitter.com/p2Da7WkWl5
30. George Karlaftis, EDGE, Chiefs
Karlaftis didn’t generate pressure with the same amount of volume as in the preseason opener, but he was damn good once again, recording a sack of Carson Wentz on an awesome speed-to-power bull rush that ended with a spin out of a double team. Karlaftis has gotten out to a hot start this preseason.
Western Michigan · WR
Drafted: Round 2, No. 54 overall
Best-case scenario: Moore gobbles up a lot of the targets that Tyreek Hill left behind when he was traded to the Dolphins. He quickly gains the trust of Patrick Mahomes and is featured in the middle of the field, working out of the slot. His depth of targets might be shallow, but it allows him to show off his excellent strength and make-you-miss ability after the catch.
Worst-case scenario: The Kansas City offense has a lot of new faces this season and the ball might get spread around, impacting the numbers of everyone not named Travis Kelce. I still believe Moore has a relatively high floor because Mahomes and Andy Reid have been so incredibly successful together.
Projected stats: 55 catches, 700 yards, 5 TDs.
Kansas City Chiefs: First-team offense fire
I know it’s the preseason, but man, Patrick Mahomes and Co. look good. On Kansas City’s first possession against Washington, the offense went 87 yards down the field on 12 plays, and Jody Fortson caught the first of his two touchdown passes. The next possession, the Chiefs went 82 yards down the field again on 12 plays, and Fortson caught his second touchdown pass.
Overall, Mahomes completed 12 of 19 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. People are wondering if the offense will take a hit without Tyreek Hill in the fold, but I’m sure Andy Reid will be just fine. I’m still interested to see what the running back rotation will look like, though.
Drake would add a much-needed punch to a Chiefs backfield currently led by Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, rookie Isiah Pacheco and veteran Ronald Jones. Bringing Drake into the fold would give the Chiefs a proven substitute in case Edwards-Helaire — who was sidelined seven games last season — misses more time with injuries. He would also provide another option in the passing game for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who lost several of his key wideouts (including All-Pro Tyreek Hill) this offseason.
Where should you draft Moore?
Moore has gotten positive attention at training camp, but the public sees Smith-Schuster as the heir apparent for Tyreek Hill. But even if JuJu becomes the WR1 in Kansas City, few think that he would get all of last year’s targets that went to Hill.
With Travis Kelce getting older, and the AFC West getting much tougher, the ball should makes its way into everyone’s hands. Moore has a chance to make an early impression and at his current ADP, it doesn’t hurt to take a risk on a top offense.
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Jackson has not played a snap in the preseason and missed Monday’s practice for undisclosed reasons. Tuesday’s news provides clarity to his situation and also means Los Angeles might be without one of its top defenders for the start of the regular season.
The Chargers meet the team that sent them to the offseason last season, the Las Vegas Raiders, in a divisional battle in Week 1 on Sept. 11. Jackson’s current timetable means he could be out until Week 3, though the shorter side of that window also leaves open the possibility of returning for the season opener. If Jackson does miss the first two games of the season, that would mean the Chargers would be forced to play two important divisional games (Week 2 includes a date with the Kansas City Chiefs) without Jackson in what is expected to be a highly competitive race for the AFC West crown.
The Washington Commanders placed defensive end Chase Young on the reserve/physically unable to perform list Tuesday, leaving him unavailable for the first four games of the season.
Young opened camp on the active/PUP list after tearing his right ACL and MCL in a Nov. 14 game vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Young underwent reconstructive surgery, lengthening his recovery time.
Washington made the move to get down to the required 80 players by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline. The Commanders also placed backup center Tyler Larsen (Achilles) on the same list as Young
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Noticeable examples have included rookie linebacker Nick Bolton, who had to sit behind veteran Anthony Hitchens until there was an injury last season. Or more recently, reserve defensive end Mike Danna starting over first-round pick George Karlaftis — or even linebacker Elijah Lee getting the nod as the starting SAM linebacker over rookie Leo Chenal.
While meeting with reporters before Monday’s practice at the Truman Sports Complex, Spagnuolo was asked about this tendency.
“I don’t know where that comes from,” he said bluntly.
While it’s easy to simplify it to the narrative it has become, Spagnuolo insisted it’s about which player truly earns the job through impressive practices and game tape.
“Here’s my thing with anybody and anything,” he said. “Take the rookie off of it. I believe you have to earn anything you get. Whether that’s rookies, whether that’s a new guy coming [in], whether it’s a new coach, you’ve got to earn [it]. That’s what this league is all about: you earn what you get.”
“You could earn it in a week because you dominated for a week — but [in] this business, you have to earn it. [In] any mentoring situation, things should be earned.”