The Kansas City Chiefs are reportedly “having a discussion and are interested in reuniting” with edge-rusher Frank Clark after he was released by the Denver Broncos on Friday night, per The Athletic’s Dianna Russini.
According to that report, “Clark restructured his deal and gave up money along with incentives in order to get traded or released. That tells you how badly he wanted to get out of there.”
26. Kansas City Chiefs DT Chris Jones has a sack in eight consecutive games – three games shy of matching his own franchise record.
27. The Chiefs’ 16-game winning streak against the Denver Broncos is tied for the third longest in league history by one team over another. A win at Denver in Week 8 would allow Kansas City to match the second-longest such run of domination.28. The Dolphins’ 20-game run over the Buffalo Bills in the 1970s is the longest rule by one opponent over another.
3. Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed wasn’t targeted a single time on 31 coverage snaps.
Sneed logged a team-most 31 coverage snaps on Thursday night all without receiving a single target. The versatile cornerback is yielding a passer rating of just 75.3 when targeted this season, which is the sixth-best mark in the league among cornerbacks with 300+ total defensive snaps.
Elsewhere on defense, fellow cornerback Trent McDuffie yielded just two receptions for 12 yards on two targets while cornerback Jaylen Watson allowed only three catches for 23 yards on five targets.
As a group, the Chiefs’ nine passes defensed on Thursday night were the sixth-most for any team in a game this season.
Butker opened up about his big night during the post-game press conference, revealing his ability to convert even further distance.
“In warm-up, I made a 65-yarder with some room to spare, and Coach Toub loves banging big field goals at the end of the half or end of the game, but our offense is so good we normally get a short field goal or even score a touchdown,” said Butker. “So a 60 yarder, definitely a 61 yarder was in our range and going towards that tunnel, the wind was at my back. And you know, thankfully, it just went inside that left upright went through, and you know, it’s just something we practice, and we try to be the best we can leading up to the game so that when we get to the games, it just feels smooth and like we’re in a rhythm.”
4. Noah Fant, TE, Seattle Seahawks
Why this move makes sense: I wish Travis Kelce was still in his 20s and that we would never have to brace ourselves for life after him. Unfortunately, that is not how this all works out. Kelce has been great again this season, but it would be nice to put another receiving target out there in three tight end sets, instead of Blake Bell. Noah Fant could be a tremendous get for the Chiefs at the right price. A trio of Kelce, Fant, and Noah Gray could spell doom for any defense without tremendous pass-covering linebackers.
For Seattle, Fant was part of the package that they got for Russell Wilson. That trade package was a steal for Seattle, considering Wilson’s struggles in Denver, but moving Noah Fant wouldn’t affect their offense all that much. As it stands right now, Fant is playing around 50% of the snaps. He has yet to have a major impact on Seattle’s offense. Cutting your losses and accruing draft capital is not a bad idea.
Kelce’s appearance gave him just two words of dialogue as the punchline in a sketch poking fun at how the NFL world has attempted to cover the Kelce-Swift relationship and Swift’s impact on the league since beginning to appear at Chiefs games.
Pete Davidson plays Swift-obsessed sideline reporter “Kenny Ditullio” as other members of the SNL crew try to out-Swiftie each other as members of FOX NFL Sunday. Kenan Thompson’s portrayal of FOX host Curt Menefee slowly loses patience with Howie Long (Mikey Day), Jimmy Johnson (James Austin Johnson), Michael Strahan (Devon Walker) and Terry Bradshaw (Molly Kearney). Then, Kelce lands the final punchline.
Around the NFL
It was only a month ago that the Jets’ once-promising 2023 season seemed lost, with Aaron Rodgers sidelined by a torn Achilles, Zach Wilson struggling to show improvement in his stead and New York dropping two ugly losses to Dallas and New England.
But cut to Sunday, and after a surprising, come-from-behind 20-14 victory over the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles — their first-ever win in 13 tries over their NFC neighbors to the south — the Jets are entering their bye at 3-3.
New York isn’t just fine with .500 football, though. Despite Rodgers’ (likely) season-ending injury, the Jets still have playoff and Super Bowl aspirations.
“For me, it hasn’t changed since he’s been down. I don’t think it’s changed for anybody else,” defensive captain C.J. Mosley said after the win. “Has your goal changed? It shouldn’t have.”
Loser: DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans
This isn’t entirely the fault of DeAndre Hopkins, but he did decide to sign with the Tennessee Titans instead of other contenders during the offseason. Hopkins caught just one pass for 20 yards and it was the fifth time this season that he was held to fewer than 70 yards.
One thing that has been shocking about Hopkins’ usage in Tennessee has been the lack of red zone work. According to TruMedia, Hopkins has just two receptions (on eight targets) for 12 yards in the red zone this season. Hopkins has not caught a touchdown and things might get a lot worse if Ryan Tannehill is forced to miss time due to an injury.
The Titans head into their Week 7 bye with a record of 2-4. It might be time for the Titans to consider trading Hopkins to a contender that could better utilize him.
WR MECOLE HARDMAN, NEW YORK JETS
Hardman signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the New York Jets in free agency after winning two Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs but now finds himself as a weekly healthy inactive following the emergence of Jets undrafted rookie wideout Xavier Gipson. Gipson has been far from a focal point of the Jets’ offense, with just one reception for four yards on the season, but has handled the jet-sweep and punt/kick return duties with his dynamic speed. Gipson was the Week 1 hero with a walk-off punt return against the Buffalo Bills in overtime.
Hardman was the explosive speedster with field-stretching ability as a rookie with the Chiefs in 2019, averaging more than 20 yards per reception and freeing things up underneath on go routes while also getting screen-game work. Plenty of teams could use a vertical threat who can also have touches manufactured for them on quick outs, and Hardman is clearly not going to be a New York Jet for much longer.
Wide receiver Deebo Samuel and running back Christian McCaffrey suffered shoulder and oblique/rib injuries, respectively, in the 19-17 loss. The injuries were significant enough that neither player was able to finish the game after departing.
Following the game, coach Kyle Shanahan was unsure of the extent of either injury, though both players will have further testing done Monday.
“We don’t know yet,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan added the rib designation to McCaffrey’s status after he was ruled out in the fourth quarter because of an oblique issue. McCaffrey initially departed in the third quarter but returned to the game for one play — a 6-yard run with just under 3 minutes left in the third — before heading to the sideline and then the locker room. The Niners ruled out his return with 10:58 to play.
Why the Bills won
Buffalo’s defense bent, but it didn’t break against the Giants. Sean McDermott’s defense stood tall in the red zone multiple times throughout the evening, including on the final play of the game where they were able to prevent Tyrod Taylor from connecting with Darren Waller for what would’ve been the game-winning touchdown. On the night, the Bills held the Giants without a touchdown on all five of their red zone trips. Yes, some of that was due to poor play/time management on the part of the Giants, but it was a solid effort by Buffalo’s defense in the red area as well.
Offensively, the Bills doubled down and truly leaned on their running game in the second half, especially during their 17-play touchdown drive where they ran the ball 12 times. That allowed the offense to stabilize and catch its footing for not only that possession but the ensuing double-digit play drive on their next possession that helped them gain control. James Cook rushed for 71 yards on a 5.1 yards per carry average while veteran Latavius Murray also churned 45 yards on the ground.
Harris has movement in his arms and legs, according to the Bills, and will undergo further testing at the hospital.
He gave a thumbs-up sign with his left hand as he was loaded into the ambulance.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said after the game that all of Harris’ scans so far have been good/normal, and that it is his understanding that Harris has full movement.
Harris was rushing the football on third-and-1 from the Buffalo 34-yard-line in the second quarter when he took a hit to the neck area into the back of Bills right guard O’Cyrus Torrence and Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke.
This football weekend has treated fans to some rarely-seen penalties.
One such penalty came from the slate of college games on Saturday. In the tilt between Georgia and Vanderbilt the Bulldogs offense ran a designed running play for tight end Brock Bowers. Not only was the talented TE injured on the play, but quarterback Carson Beck, who was one of his lead blockers on the play, was flagged for a holding penalty.
Then on Sunday between the Miami Dolphins and the Carolina Panthers, we saw a personal foul penalty for a headbutt after a play. That might not be a rare event, but the player flagged for it certainly is.
Because it was Panthers punter Johnny Hekker:
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
As Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid noted in his post-game press conference following the team’s 19-8 win over the Denver Broncos, wide receiver Justin Watson was dealing with an elbow injury following the game.
Early in the fourth quarter, Watson streaked down the right sideline with Denver defender Damarri Mathis in pursuit. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected with Watson in stride, but Watson could not bring the football in. Mathis dove for Watson shortly after the pass bounced off his hands, bringing him down to the ground on his left elbow. Watson briefly stayed on the ground, writhing in pain.
On Friday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed that Watson dislocated his elbow, noting that X-rays were negatives, but the Chiefs would have Watson undergo an MRI. That MRI revealed no structural damage, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. However, Watson could still miss the next few weeks.
A tweet to make you think
Annnnd all of a sudden the longest winning streak, and best record, in the NFL belongs to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.— nick wright (@getnickwright) October 15, 2023