According to Henderson, one minor fissure centered on the 2019 MVP race:
“Leading up to an October 2019 game at the Atlanta Falcons, Wilson’s fast start had made him one of the prime early-season contenders for MVP, an award he badly wanted to win. With the Baltimore Ravens and eventual winner Lamar Jackson on a bye, this was Wilson’s chance to pull ahead. He threw two touchdowns as the Seahawks jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead but attempted only five passes in the second half.
“Afterward, according to a source who spoke with the quarterback, Wilson was livid at how [head coach Pete] Carroll had taken his foot off the gas, believing it had cost him a chance to grab hold of the MVP race.”
There might have been underlying issues behind Wilson’s quest for an MVP. Henderson reported Seahawks general manager John Schneider scouted Patrick Mahomes ahead of the 2017 NFL draft and then Josh Allen in 2018.
Per Henderson, people around Wilson were “f—king pissed” the franchise would consider bringing in a potential successor.
After failing to earn the NFL’s highest individual honor in 2019, Wilson was again building an MVP candidacy thanks to Seattle’s 5-0 start in 2020. The team then dropped three of its next four games, and Wilson threw seven interceptions over that stretch.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: DL Gervon Dexter Sr., Florida
The Kansas City Chiefs defensive front could look drastically different a year from now and may require reinforcements.
Defensive tackles Derrick Nnadi and Khalen Saunders, as well as defensive end Carlos Dunlap, are free agents after this season. Frank Clark holds a $30.1 million salary-cap charge for the 2023 campaign, which means he won’t stay at that number. Four significant contributors may simply be gone after this season.
Florida’s Gervon Dexter Sr. could be the ideal replacement for Nnadi as the team’s 1-technique.
“Dexter is a strong run defender who plays with a great base to be hard to move against both one-on-one blocks and double-teams,” Holder stated. “He also has some power as a rusher to put centers on skates with a bull rush, but his pass-rushing arsenal is limited outside of that. Improving his get-off will go a long way toward elevating his draft stock.”
The 6’6”, 312-pound defensive tackle can physically overwhelm opposing centers and excels as a pass-rusher when he does so. His inclusion to the lineup would make him an ideal complementary piece to Chris Jones and create a hellacious tandem to block along the defensive interior.
4. George Karlaftis wins DROY
First of all, the “Furious George” nickname is *chef’s kiss* perfect.
The first-round pass rusher for the Chiefs is expected to have a solid role along this defense, which gives him a lane to beat the 20-1 odds and win Defensive Rookie of the Year. He had two sacks over the preseason and that is the type of statistic that is going to have voters’ attention.
He’ll be playing for a Chiefs team that will be a Super Bowl contender throughout the year and still boasts an offense that should be able to get up on teams early. That sets up a game script for him to be able to tee off against opposing quarterbacks and pump up his stats, especially with the likes of Chris Jones and Frank Clark garnering most of the attention. If he can disrupt the quarterback as he did at Purdue, the 6-foot-4, 275-pounder will have a national stage to state his case.
Kansas City is set to play in five primetime games this season, which is the maximum number a team can be given. That allows Karlaftis to have the entire NFL-viewing audience watching him. That’s something Aidan Hutchinson — the current betting favorite for this award — doesn’t have as the Lions are currently without a primetime game in 2022.
5 -Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 6
2021 stats: 17 games | 66.3 pct | 4,839 pass yds | 7.4 ypa | 37 pass TD | 13 INT | 381 rush yds | 2 rush TD | 9 fumbles
Ranking aside, there’s plenty of evidence to label Mahomes as the greatest quarterback around. He’s coming off an eye-of-the-beholder campaign that lured pundits and bar patrons alike into weekly debate over what was going on with Kansas City’s otherwise godlike quarterback. The offense went sluggish for stretches, lacking the electric juice of days gone by. Still, Mahomes threw for 37 scores (fourth-most in the league) and put up a stout 17:3 TD-to-INT ratio from Week 10 on. He dazzled in playoff wins over the Steelers and Bills, but the attack’s own demons rose up in a mistake-prone crumble job against the Bengals in the AFC title game. With Tyreek Hill out of the building, Mahomes and the Chiefs enter a new phase under Andy Reid. I can’t drum up a coach/quarterback duo I trust more to figure it out.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Chance to win Super Bowl LVII: 5.9%
Chance to make the playoffs: 54.6%
The Chiefs have been Super Bowl contenders since the moment quarterback Patrick Mahomes stepped onto the field in 2019. Since then, they’ve gone 50-11, won one Super Bowl, advanced to another and fell short in overtime of two AFC Championship Games. The bar for what represents an average season for the Chiefs is set incredibly — perhaps impossibly — high.
This seems like a retooling year after general manager Brett Veach & Co. traded away wideout Tyreek Hill and let safety Tyrann Mathieu leave in free agency, but the Chiefs might have a more complete roster than they did last season. Mahomes should have a handful of options in the passing game after adding JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore to replace Hill.
A pass rush that seemed utterly dependent on Frank Clark and Chris Jones will get much-needed support Carlos Dunlap and first-round pick George Karlaftis. Reid found a handful of immediate starters in the 2021 draft, with potential stars on the offensive line and at linebacker. It won’t be quite as spectacular as it seemed during the shootouts of 2019, but Kansas City could be great in a more conventional way in 2022.
4 - Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals
of the 2021 season, Arizona looked like the best team in the NFL — and then the wheels fell off. The good news for the 2022 Cardinals is, it’s only Week 1. Even better: They’re at home.
The bad news: DeAndre Hopkins is out, due to a six-game suspension. Marquise Brown will have to replace him as quarterback Kyler Murray’s top receiver target, placing significant expectations on a player who is presumably still getting his feet underneath him in the desert after being traded there from Baltimore in a draft-night deal. Can Brown and Murray lean on their history working together as college teammates at Oklahoma?
The Kansas City Chiefs are one of the big, bad bullies of the AFC. Having been knocked down a peg by the eventual conference champion Cincinnati Bengals last postseason, they have every reason to come storming out of the gate in 2022. But like the Packers (see below), they are also entering unfamiliar territory in their first game without Tyreek Hill. A revamped receiving corps will need to step up in this one, especially if the Cardinals’ offense enjoys an early takeoff. Kansas City’s defense looms as a potential game-changing force, but I don’t think it’ll be quite enough to tip the scales in Week 1.
Give me the underdog Cardinals, who have their own point to prove after another disappointing finish and a tumultuous offseason.
Steven Ruiz: Maybe I’m wrong, but doesn’t it feel like the Chiefs are being undervalued as we head into the season? For the first time in like three years, Kansas City isn’t the obvious Super Bowl pick—I’m not sure the six-time defending AFC West champs are even the trendy pick in their own division. To get back at all those strawmen I just created, I’m going against the grain and predicting the Chiefs to win it all. So bold of me.
Now let’s take a look at the worst mascots in the NFL. With a low ranking of 2.20 out of 5, fans ranked K.C. Wolf of the Kansas City Chiefs as the worst. We don’t blame fans for voting this way – K.C. Wolf looks more like Goofy than a Werewolf.
Next is Gumbo of the New Orleans Saints, who received a mere 2.25 out of 5. Gumbo is a sweet Saint Bernard dog, and really not intimidating at all. What he lacks in fierceness, he makes up for in cuteness.
Other mascots voted the worst include the Los Angeles Chargers’ buff-Homer-Simpson-like Bolt Man (perhaps why the Chargers chose to retire Bolt Man when moving up the coast to Los Angeles), the Tennessee Titans’ racoon T-Rac (#4), and the Indianapolis Colts’ sapphire-colored horse Blue (#5).
Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid on Tuesday offered an apology to 5-year-old Ariel Young, the girl seriously injured in an alleged DWI-related crash in February 2021.
The attorney representing Reid in the case, J.R. Hobbs, said in a statement provided to KSHB 41 News that his client plans to enter a plea of guilty to charges of DWI causing a serious injury.
“He sincerely regrets his conduct and hopes and prays for the continued recovery of [Ariel Young],” the statement reads.
Around the NFL
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Two days after hinting that Zach Wilson could play in their season opener, the New York Jets announced Wednesday that the second-year quarterback will miss at least three games as he continues to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Jets coach Robert Saleh said Wilson won’t play until Week 4 “at the earliest” — a road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This means the Jets will open the season with Joe Flacco at quarterback, starting Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens — the team that drafted him in 2008.
The team has until Friday to solidify a contract extension with Lamar Jackson, and if the two sides can’t reach a deal before then, Jackson has asserted that he won’t re-open that door until after the season’s over.
“We’re still talking,” Jackson said about his ongoing discussions with the Ravens’ brass. “The week’s not over yet, but soon. Soon will probably be the deadline. Probably be cut off after this week.”
“We got to get him out of this league,” Parsons said of the 45-year-old Tom Brady, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “He’s been dominating this league too long. ... He wants to kill you. He wants to step on your throat like you’re a roach.”
It seemed like Parsons and other defenders got their wish this offseason when Brady announced he was retiring after 22 seasons.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
The real answers to these questions will begin to be revealed when the Chiefs take the field against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon — this time, without Hill, Byron Pringle, Demarcus Robinson, Darrel Williams (and others), but joined by new additions like Marquez Valdes-Scantling, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Ronald Jones and Isiah Pacheco.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everybody play together for a full game,” head coach Andy Reid told Kansas City reporters on Wednesday. “You just get a taste of it during preseason.”
Reid said that Mahomes has taken all the changes in stride.
“When we lost the receivers that we lost,” he noted, “he was excited, first of all, to get the new guys: Who was he going to have here? And then to take it and run with it once we signed them — literally take them to where he lives — and get going.”
Reid was referring to Mahomes inviting all of his pass-catchers to Texas during the first phase of the offseason program — which turned out to be a valuable experience for all the new players.
“He was very excited to get them in and get them going,” recalled Reid. “And that’s what he did.”
A tweet to make you think
"If Mahomes is going to have the career that we have been projecting, then I believe he is going to go SCORCHED EARTH this year! ... I believe Patrick Mahomes is going to have his best season this season."— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) September 7, 2022