5 Questions with Arrowhead Pride: Mahomes new weapons, early season dominance and getting past the frustration of the end of last season for the Chiefs | Revenge of the Birds (Arizona Cardinals SB Nation site)
1. Are you surprised that the Chiefs are -6 point favorites on the road to open the season?
Based on what we’ve seen historically from the Chiefs under Reid and Mahomes in September? Absolutely not. But based on how the Cardinals are also traditionally fast starters too? Then sure, I am a bit surprised. Despite the Chiefs’ dominance over the regular season during the Mahomes’ tenure, Kansas City has not been very good at covering the spread. As teams have been more conservative defensively and aggressive offensively, it has meant that the Chiefs have been in many close games over the last couple of years. I am surprised not to see that reflected in the odds.
Nazeeh Johnson, DB, Chiefs
Johnson was a stat-sheet filler at Marshall with 302 tackles, seven picks, and 19 pass breakups in five seasons. He can man the nickel corner spot. Free safety. Strong safety. He tackles well and plays with authority on every snap.
Chiefs are the most popular bet
Last season, Kansas City won 12 games and finished atop the AFC West. However, there were parts of that season where we felt like something was wrong with the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes was struggling against cover-2 defenses. Mahomes and the Chiefs figured things out as the season went along, winning two playoff games against the Steelers and Bills. However, they lost in the AFC championship game as sizable favorites. Over the offseason, Kansas City traded away Tyreek Hill. The rest of the AFC West improved.
The questions surrounding the Chiefs have been louder this offseason, but it doesn’t seem like bettors are particularly worried about Week 1. Kansas City is a 6-point favorite against the Arizona Cardinals. This line was just 3.5-points a few days ago, but Kansas City has received more bets and more money backing them than any other team in Week 1.
Beasley Answers Whether He’d Join Chiefs
Beasley took to Twitter on September 3 to answer a question regarding whether he would join the Chiefs. Beasley kept his answer to two words: “Probably not.”
Probably not…— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) September 3, 2022
The first game of the 2022 NFL regular season was between the Bills and Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football on September 8. The result was a 31-10 win for Buffalo, and fans were tweeting about Beasley during the game.
Smith-Schuster was an explosive draft pick for the Steelers in 2017 and had fond memories of his first NFL game. The veteran wideout discussed his recent conversation with rookie receiver Skyy Moore ahead of his debut on Sunday.
“A lot, a lot like I mean, I come to find out, you know, Skyy’s he’s a local Pittsburgh guy,” said Smith-Schuster. “But you know, those experiences I felt, you know, he’s going through the same thing this morning where we was talking about he was like, ‘Is it gonna be a different type of energy Week 1? I’m like, ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing, Skyy, you’re doing great.’ And I can say he’s super excited. He’s just, you know, happy to be here, and to get going.”
Around the NFL
A day after Cam Akers played only 12 snaps in the Los Angeles Rams’ season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills, coach Sean McVay said his running back needs to “maximize his [opportunities] when he gets them.”
“No matter who you’re talking about, you want to see guys do the little things the right way, compete with and without the ball,” McVay said. “There were some instances where there were some positive things and some things that he can do better, but we want to see just an increased level of urgency and accountability snap in and snap out from him.”
Akers had three carries for 0 yards Thursday night. Running back Darrell Henderson Jr. started the game, playing 54 snaps and running for 47 yards on 13 carries.
The news came from the team, which had engaged Jackson in talks for months and was frequently forced to answer inquiries related to the negotiations. Instead of coming to a triumphant agreement by the Friday deadline set by Jackson, the Ravens put out a statement before the clock struck noon.
“Despite best efforts on both sides, we were unable to reach a contract extension with Lamar Jackson,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in the statement. “We greatly appreciate how he has handled this process and we are excited about our team with Lamar leading the way. We will continue to work towards a long-term contract after the season, but for now we are looking forward to a successful 2022 campaign.”
According to ESPN Insider Field Yates, Markus Golden has agreed to a one-year extension worth up to $6.5 million with the Arizona Cardinals that will keep him in the desert through the 2023 season.
Golden, the Cardinals 2015 second-round selection out of Missouri, is coming off a great season as he led the team in sacks (11) while also making 48 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and causing havoc in the quarterback land with 44 pressures.
He spent a little over a season with the New York Giants (2019-20) before the Cardinals struck a deal to reacquire their proven pass rusher via trade midway through the 2020 season.
That’s because Allen Lazard was listed as doubtful for Sunday’s season opener at the Minnesota Vikings. Lazard did not practice at all this week because of an ankle injury he suffered the previous week. He said Friday that it occurred when a defensive tackle stepped on it in practice.
When asked whether he considered it an injury that could keep him out multiple weeks, Lazard on Friday said: “I can’t see past tomorrow,” before adding, “Nah, I’ll be straight, though.”
If Lazard can’t go, then veteran Sammy Watkins, who signed with the Packers in the offseason in attempt to jump-start his career, could become Rodgers’ No. 1 target. After a slow start to camp, Rodgers began to connect on plays with Watkins more and more as it went on.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
2. The pass rush plan
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will be a handful to deal with, both as a runner and a passer. The strategy to neutralize him has to start with the front four.
The Chiefs defensive ends need to be disciplined in their rush path, and you will notice it. Their rushes will be focused on containing Murray in the pocket, banking on the middle to collapse on Murray with the help of star defensive tackle Chris Jones. If he’s not getting all the way through, Jones’ height and ability to bat passes will still make Murray uncomfortable operating there.
That also means the other interior rusher will be important, taking advantage of a one-on-one situation that will happen when the center helps the other guard with Jones. The Chiefs have practiced with a few guys in that spot. Defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton is the first guy up, but defensive ends Mike Danna and rookie George Karlaftis could be wrecking balls to throw in there and maul a guard.
Overall, the pass rush needs to make things difficult on Murray, in order to help the newcomers in the secondary.
A tweet to make you think
Once a Coach, now the competition.— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 9, 2022
This Sunday, @PatrickMahomes faces off with former TTU coach, Kliff Kingsbury, in AZ