The NFL added a 17th game to the schedule to facilitate playing more games abroad, and it is reviewing Spain and Brazil as future hosts, one of them possibly for the 2024 season.
“It can be looked at as maybe arrogant. I like to look at it as ambitious, but we want to be the world’s team,” Donovan said. “We think the opportunity exists today for us to set a foothold that we are the world’s team, that people look at the Chiefs as an international representation of the NFL.”
went all the way back to 2002 on @TruMediaSports and it's a who's who of the best offenses in NFL history. And the 2022 Chiefs are right up there.— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) November 26, 2022
(also good lord 2007 Patriots) pic.twitter.com/zQpOmbcgdb
The 2022 Chiefs defense, however ... well it took a little bit of time. Due to the youth in the secondary and the inconsistencies that come with playing a bunch of young guys, the Chiefs struggled early on. Through the first eight weeks of the season in 2022, Kansas City’s defensive EPA allowed per play put them at 22nd in the entire NFL, per RBSDM. However, as the young guys got healthier and got more playing time, the Chiefs’ defense took a major turn towards the top of the league. From weeks nine through the end of the regular season, Kansas City’s defense jumped to tenth in the same metric, helping to balance the Chiefs out en route to another Super Bowl victory.
In 2023, the roles are reversed. That same young secondary that had to grow up in the fire? Yeah, they’re one of the best groups in the league. Per Sumer Sports, the Chiefs’ defense is fifth in the NFL in EPA/play and third in EPA allowed per pass and is coming off another stellar performance in Germany against the Miami Dolphins’ superpowered offense. DC Steve Spagnuolo is designing creative and fun pressures, while DT Chris Jones remains awesome. In a year where defenses seem to be taking back the reins from an offense-driven league, the Chiefs are near the top.
According to Sports Media Watch, the NFL’s second-ever International Series game in Germany drew a 4.8 average rating and 9.18 million viewers for the NFL Network broadcast on Sunday morning, which began at 9:30 a.m. ET. It is the most-watched morning game since the Dolphins and New York Jets drew 9.86 million viewers for their 2015 London game, and it is the most-watch morning game ever broadcast on NFL Network after the 5.5 million viewers who tuned into watch the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich last season.
Now one of the top defenses in the league, one stat in particular shows just how dominant Kansas City has been in crucial situations, especially on third downs.
According to Tony Holzman-Escareno, an NFL Senior Researcher, the Chiefs are only allowing 3.0 yards per play on third downs, which is the best mark of any defense since at least 2000.
There’s a three-man race for the 2023 NFL MVP Award as we hit the midpoint of the regular season, according to BetMGM. Here’s what you need to know:
31. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Chiefs: C
Anudike-Uzomah relies primarily on speed and a bull rush to get home, but he’ll struggle at times against NFL offensive tackles once they get their hands on him. That said, his burst and athleticism allow the Chiefs to scheme him into backfield by way of stunts and twists, and his high motor and sideline-to-sideline speed are all over the tape.
31. Kansas City Chiefs - Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
Time to cut the cuteness in Kansas City, as a receiving corps that was cobbled together has revealed itself to be inadequate for Patrick Mahomes. The 6-3, 187-pound Franklin would alter the complexion of the offense with his deep speed and knack for winning jump balls, though he’ll have to fill out his frame to hold up against NFL defensive backs.
Around the NFL
On Tuesday, head coach Mike Vrabel announced Levis is the starting quarterback moving forward. Ryan Tannehill will be the backup.
“We are going to go with Will,” Vrabel told reporters. “We think it’s the best opportunity for our football team right now. We’ll see where he’s (Ryan) at is at. We’ll progress through here this week. We think, hopeful (he’ll) be a backup for us and prepare as a starter. That’s where we are at right now. I shared that with the team and had a conversation with everyone involved. That’s how that will look like.”
Vrabel added, via Titans Insider: “There is clearly something there with Levis, and we want to prepare him and win with him.”
Asked Tuesday if Pickens has expressed frustration to him, coach Mike Tomlin laughed.
“Heck yeah, man,” Tomlin said at his weekly news conference. “He expresses frustration all the time. He wants to be significant. He wants to be a reason why we’re successful. Y’all don’t begrudge that. I want guys who want the football. I want guys who want to be central reasons why we’re successful and so that’s a non-issue to be quite honest with you.”
A day after the Steelers’ win against the Titans, social media sleuths took note as Pickens unfollowed the team on Instagram and deleted all references to the team and all posts except a highlight reel from April 2020 from his account. Some social media users also grabbed screenshots of a later-deleted Instagram Story that was captioned, “free me.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
In July, It was clear to me the team needed another interior defensive lineman.
I’m mostly worried about depth — especially if Jones goes down. To this point, he’s been remarkably healthy for his position, missing just eight games over seven seasons. And he was an Iron Man last season, playing a whopping 80% of available snaps. Before 2022, he had averaged 65%.
But Jones has just turned 29, which could lead to a greater chance of injury. If he misses time, the Chiefs might bring Danny Shelton up from the practice squad. Tershawn Wharton, Keondre Coburn, Derrick Nnadi and Shelton would arguably form the league’s worst group of defensive tackles. Without Jones, it would be almost impossible for Kansas City to stop the run or get pressure on passing plays. The team can’t afford for him to miss time.
The Chiefs traded for defensive tackle Neil Farrell just before the season. But Farrell has hardly been on the field, playing only 28 snaps in the two games he’s been active. Kansas City has also moved on from both Coburn and Shelton, making a thin position group even thinner. The Chiefs are currently 31st in expected points added and 26th in success rate against the run. They could use reinforcements in the middle of their defense. In 2022, the team signed defensive tackle Brandon Williams as insurance for the postseason — and another move like that would make sense.
A tweet to make you think
"That man's knees were in the second deck" pic.twitter.com/jOQVTBKZvk— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 7, 2023