Mahomes confirmed the superstition in a Monday Night Football interview with Eli and Payton Manning on ESPN this week. “I love a good superstition, but can’t you just do the same pre-game meal? Does it have to be the red underwear?” Eli Manning asked.
“First, my wife Brittany got them for me. So I’m not throwing y’all down, but I have to wear them,” he said. “At the same time, I threw them on that first season, we had a pretty good season that season.”
For those wondering about the state of the frequently donned underwear, Mahomes said he only wears them for game day, so they’re not worn down, and he also cleans them “once in a while.”
“I mean if we’re on a hot streak, I can’t wash them, you know? I’ve just got to keep it rolling,” he said. “As long as we’re winning, I’ll keep the superstition going.”
When these two teams met in Super Bowl LVII, the Chiefs won 38-35, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing another shootout and that’s mostly because the Chiefs have one of the best defenses in the NFL this year. No one can score on the Chiefs (they’ve given up the second-fewest points per game) and no one can pass on the Chiefs (they’ve surrendered the fourth-fewest passing yards per game).
The good news for the Eagles is that if they can’t throw the ball on the Chiefs, they can simply turn to their rushing attack, which is putting up nearly 130 yards per game. The biggest issue with the Eagles this year is that Jalen Hurts has looked hobbled, but he’ll be coming off a bye here, which means that his knee will have had two weeks to heal heading into this game.
The Chiefs are coming off a bye and I have NEVER picked against Andy Reid coming off a bye and I’m probably going to regret this immediately, but I like the Eagles in an upset (Reid is 21-3 in his regular-season career coming off a bye). If anyone can outsmart Reid coming off a bye, it’s Nick Sirianni, who knows all of Reid’s bye week secrets since he used to be on Reid’s coaching staff in Kanas City.
The pick: Eagles 27-24 over Chiefs
26. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Chiefs
Anudike-Uzomah is a high-motor rusher who may get sacks late in the down but he is not creating his own opportunities right now. When his initial rush is stopped, the rookie has to work on some moves to counter and get off blocks.
Projected biggest need: Offensive tackle
Expect to see wide receiver here? It’s definitely a need, but the Chiefs have invested consecutive second-round picks in Skyy Moore and Rashee Rice. The biggest upgrades are instead needed at offensive tackle, where Donovan Smith (30 years old) and Jawaan Taylor (11 penalties) have been question marks.
If a starter-caliber tackle is available at the end of Round 1 — someone like BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia — the Chiefs should grab a low-cost, long-term left tackle candidate after last offseason’s decision to sign a high-priced right tackle (Taylor) hasn’t totally worked out. Protecting quarterback Patrick Mahomes has always been the priority of GM Brett Veach, and that should continue in the spring. — Miller
Chris Jones: Leonard Taylor III
Chris Jones free agent rank: 1st overall, DT1
Leonard Taylor III NFL draft rank: 19th overall, DT2
Quality interior pass-rushers are hard to come by in the NFL, which is a big reason why Chris Jones is widely expected to be one of the most coveted free agents available this March after he and the Kansas City Chiefs couldn’t agree on a long-term contract.
Since entering the league in 2016, Jones’ 70.5 sacks are the fourth-most among all defenders regardless of position and trail only Aaron Donald when it comes to defensive tackles, according to StatMuse.
Part of the reason why the eight-year pro has been so productive is he has a great get-off, exemplified by his 1.68-second 10-yard split time at the NFL Combine, which ranks in the 86th percentile for the position, per MockDraftable.
While we don’t have that level of data on Leonard Taylor III yet, getting off the ball quickly is his calling card as well.
Jones and Taylor III are also similar in that they’re athletic enough to win with a few finesse moves as pass-rushers while also showcasing the strength to win with power.
Additionally, they can play the same position as both are best as 3-techniques in even fronts, and both can get penetration against the run with how fast they are off the line.
Where the 6’3” Taylor falls short—literally and figuratively—of the All-Pro is the latter has more length at 6’6”. However, Kansas City will be hard-pressed to find another interior pass-rusher who is as effective as Jones, so the Miami product might be its best and most realistic option of doing so via the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Adonai Mitchell WR
TEXAS • JR • 6’4” / 196 LBS
Mitchell, a Georgia transfer, is another in a long line of big, physical, fast, twitched-up WRs in this draft class. The Chiefs have had mixed results finding consistent play from their young WRs in a post-Tyreek world, but Mitchell has a chance to be really good, really early in his NFL career.
Around the NFL
The NFL has suspended Texans linebacker Denzel Perryman without pay for three games for repeated violation of player safety rules.
Perryman’s latest infraction was a helmet-to-helmet hit to Bengals star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase with 4:07 remaining in Sunday’s game, for which he received an unnecessary roughness penalty.
“You lowered your head and delivered a forcible blow to the shoulder and then the head/neck area of the receiver. You had unobstructed path to your opponent and the illegal contact could have been avoided,” NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote in his letter to Perryman.
The Bills fired offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey on Tuesday, the team announced. Quarterbacks coach Joe Brady will take over as the interim OC for Sean McDermott’s club.
Dorsey was elevated from his role as Bills passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2022 when Brian Daboll left to take the New York Giants head coaching job. In 28 games under Dorsey, the Bills continued to put up yards and points. In 2022, Buffalo ranked second in the NFL in yards and points. Through 10 games in 2023, the Bills sit seventh in yards and eighth in points.
Sitting at 5-5, the Bills’ offense has been inconsistent, unable to move the ball for stretches, lacking a reliable ground attack and struggling mightily with turnovers. Too often this season, the Bills’ offense looked like an amalgam of plays rather than a cogent plan.
Buffalo’s struggles have mostly come due to costly turnovers. The Bills turned the ball over four times (two INTs, two fumbles lost) on Monday night, with three pinned on quarterback Josh Allen. It marked the second game this season for Buffalo with four-plus giveaways. The Bills have 18 turnovers on the season, tied for the second-most in the NFL.
After sitting out the first two months of the NFL season, Jason Pierre-Paul is ready to make a return to the field and it looks like he’ll be doing that with the Saints.
CBS Sports HQ Senior NFL Insider Josina Anderson has reported that Pierre-Paul is planning to sign with New Orleans after working out with the team on Monday. The two-time Super Bowl winner had made it clear last week that he wanted to play this year and that he wanted to sign with a contender.
“I been training my ass off, even though I’m not on a team,” JPP told Anderson on Nov. 8. “I been looking at a lot of football lately, and I feel like I can still make a contender shift now.”
Although the Saints might be in the top tier of the NFC with teams like that Lions, Eagles and 49ers, they’re definitely a contender this week. They’re 5-5 heading into their Week 11 bye, which is good enough for first place in the NFC South.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
To play the slot, you have to be able to blitz. The Baltimore Ravens are making a living having safety/slot Kyle Hamilton blitz on different simulated pressures. Defensive backs have to be comfortable getting downhill, defeating blocks and getting to quarterbacks fast.
McDuffie is already one of the NFL’s best blitzers.
McDuffie has to be one of the better blitzers in the NFL. Chiefs get into a 5-0 with another S off the edge, OL goes 5-down with RB getting Reid, but watch McDuffie not give the blitz to Kirk, so Kirk has zero idea he's hot off that side, and the closing speed/hitting power pic.twitter.com/zKoVY2yCPl— Nate Christensen (@natech32) November 14, 2023
On this play, the Chiefs are showing a 5-0 front — that is, four down linemen with a linebacker who has walked into the A-Gap — but also present safety Justin Reid as a blitzer. The Minnesota Vikings check into a 5-0 protection; each blocker is supposed to block the guy closest to them. If the safety blitzes, the running back will block him. Otherwise, he’s watching for a back side slot defender — in this case, that’s McDuffie.
McDuffie disguises his blitz wonderfully. He stays at depth to make the offense believe he is going to drop into coverage; the quarterback doesn’t have the protection account for him. So when Reid blitzes, McDuffie gets a free run off the B-gap — and the quarterback has no idea he’s hot from that side.
McDuffie’s timing and speed are incredible. His ability to disguise what he’s going to do — and have the athleticism to close quickly — makes it easier for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to blitz. Fellow cornerback L’Jarius Sneed is also a good blitzer, but McDuffie has taken Kansas City’s pressure packages to another level.
A tweet to make you think
Respectfully, this question doesn’t need to be asked. You’re off .. live life! https://t.co/tnvhuA4Qol— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) November 14, 2023