Buyers - Chiefs
The Chiefs are the defending champs and are once again in the thick of the Super Bowl conversation, so they should certainly be looking to add at the deadline. They already made a move to acquire Mecole Hardman from the Jets, but they should be on the prowl for more big-game hunting at the receiver position, especially if names like Mike Evans or Marquise Brown are on the block due to their looming free-agent statuses. Not only would that help them in their chances to repeat, but would be a strong building block for the offense going forward with Travis Kelce in his age-34 season.
Chiefs: WR Kendrick Bourne (from the New England Patriots)
Kansas City saved receiver Mecole Hardman from the New York Jets offense. But Hardman won’t save the Chiefs offense. They have left quarterback Patrick Mahomes with the worst supporting cast he’s ever had. It’s fair for GM Brett Veach to have faith that Andy Reid and Mahomes can win another Super Bowl without a top-flight receiver.
Tight end Travis Kelce is a reliable No. 1 option. But a receiver like Bourne could bring a unique element to this offense that it’s sorely lacking: a veteran playmaker who can generate yards after the catch. Bourne has long been an efficient option who has been underutilized either because of limited snaps (in San Francisco) or a limited offense (in New England). With the Chiefs, Bourne can truly reach his potential. —Henry McKenna
1 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7
2023 stats: 7 games | 69.5 pct | 2,017 pass yds | 7.6 ypa | 15 pass TD | 6 INT | 214 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 1 fumble
Mahomes is a master of improvisation, attempting 25 of his 42 passes more than 2.5 seconds after the snap against the Chargers on Sunday, racking up 322 yards and two touchdowns on such attempts, per Next Gen Stats. That element of his game is nothing new, but the rate at which he’s succeeding is truly awesome to witness. He threw an interception in the second quarter on what amounted to an arm punt, but otherwise, he was as sharp as can be, finding open targets all over the field and rarely missing them. The 424-yard, 4-touchdown day looked exactly as the stats suggest, and his connection with Travis Kelce remains about as reliable as death and taxes.
Kansas City Chiefs (-8) at Denver Broncos
These two met a few weeks ago in Kansas City and the Chiefs won that game, but it wasn’t easy. The Denver defense played well. That unit has made strides. Even so, the Chiefs offense got it cranked up last week. They will here as well. Chiefs take it behind another big Patrick Mahomes game.
Pick: Chiefs 30, Broncos 17
Kansas City Chiefs
Back-to-back Super Bowl champs.
It could be that easy for Kansas City, who already rivals Philadelphia as the team to beat this year and runs one of the most creative offenses in the league.
Henry isn’t his 2020 self anymore, when he bruised for 2,027 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
But handing him to coach Andy Reid would make the Chiefs’ offense unstoppable.
Patrick Mahomes: I’m just glad he’s on my team
Patrick Mahomes couldn’t be more appreciative of the unique partnership he shares with Kelce.
On Wednesday, talking about his connection with the tight end he stated, ”I think defenses and defensive coordinators are doing their best to cover him...There’s a reason he’s Travis Kelce, he finds a way to get himself open, versus man, versus zone, versus everything. I’m just glad he’s on my team, I’ll say that.”
Mahomes and Kelce have spent over six seasons together in which they have won the AFC West division in each season, three AFC championships, and two Super Bowls.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (+7.5)
If you’re thinking, “Wait, didn’t these teams just play?” you’d be correct. The Chiefs handed Denver a 19-8 loss on Thursday Night Football in Week 6. Now, two weeks later, they play again. This scheduling quirk might be just as dumb as no teams having a bye in Week 8.
This Chiefs defense has been legitimately impressive so far this season. Based on success rate and EPA per drive, this is easily the best that Kansas City’s defense has performed through seven weeks since Patrick Mahomes became the starter in 2018. The Chiefs are allowing just 13.7 points per game.
The Broncos got their second win of the season last week, and it’s possible that their defense, which played well against Kansas City two weeks ago, is showing signs of life. But I need to see more before I’m willing to take them in a spot like this.
The pick: Chiefs (-7.5)
Now that Swift has become virtually a regular at Arrowhead, what has happened to prices for the rest of the season?
With four games at Arrowhead Stadium remaining in the regular season, ticket prices have continued to rise at sellers such as Ticketmaster, StubHub and Overland Park-based Tickets For Less.
Part of it could be ongoing public interest in the celebrity couple. But the Chiefs are also riding a six-game winning streak, heading for a Super Bowl rematch and playing against conference and division rivals.
Around the NFL
Allen’s health and availability is, naturally, of upmost importance, something that has led to him rushing less. There is also a focus on the 27-year-old taking fewer hits in his sixth season.
In a 24-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night, there was another brief injury scare with his ongoing right shoulder injury, but he remained in the game and didn’t miss a snap.
“Took a little, little fall on it and felt a little funky about it, but you know, just trying to keep it warm and keep it loose,” Allen said after the game. “I’ll be sore for a couple of days, but we’ll be fine.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
With 6:32 left in the matchup — and the Chiefs leading 24-17 — Hardman whipped off a 50-yard punt return, putting the Chiefs in business at the Los Angeles 35-yard line. Six plays later, quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ 8-yard touchdown pass to running back Isiah Pacheco iced the game.
“It’s good to have him back,” Toub told reporters on Thursday. “He’s got a lot of juice out there. He’s obviously [got] a little bit more speed than we’ve had — and he’s got a lot of experience back there.”
While Toub acknowledged that wideouts Kadarius Toney (and Skyy Moore) will be standing behind Hardman on his depth chart, the kick returner job is his.
“He’s gonna be emphasized in practices from this point forward,” said Toub. “He’s a good catcher, you know. Is he the best catcher in the world? No. But he’s a good catcher — and he’s smart enough to know [that] if he’s out of position, [he should] let the damn thing go — you know what I mean?”
A tweet to make you think
J.J. Watt is spitting 100 percent facts about Patrick Mahomes! pic.twitter.com/YjbKK5Kdr2— Brad Henson Productions (@BradHensonPro) October 26, 2023