31. Kansas City Chiefs: RB De’Von Achane
I was *this* close to taking Rashee Rice here because he’s gotten better as the season has progressed and the Chiefs desperately need wide receivers. I would’ve also grabbed Sam LaPorta had he been available. But I decided to go with Achane who, when healthy, is special, even on an offense as electric as Miami’s. He has sprinter’s speed, is a change-of-pace from Isiah Pacheco, and can add something in the pass game too.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
PACKERS VS. CHIEFS
Spread: Packers +6
The Green Bay Packers have won three of their last four games behind good defense and consistent play from Jordan Love — a run that has put the Packers back in the NFC Wild Card picture.
You can pin at least two of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ three losses on poor wide receiver play, the team’s weakness all season. The Chiefs’ defense continues to perform at a top-five level, while Patrick Mahomes is still the best player in the league.
Kansas City is in the driver’s seat, but the surging Packers could give them a scare Sunday night.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 21, Packers 17
2 - Patrick Mahomes
Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7
2023 stats: 11 games | 68.1 pct | 2,917 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 21 pass TD | 9 INT | 305 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles
It was refreshing to see at least one of Mahomes’ receivers do their job on Sunday. Rashee Rice did it quite well, catching eight passes for 107 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown reception that put the game out of reach for the Raiders. Of course, Rice can’t produce if Mahomes isn’t there to deliver the football, and deliver he did, extending plays and finding open targets in his trademark fashion. In a season in which the Chiefs have been a bit unpredictable, their fans had to feel good about what the team did offensively after working through some early kinks. Mahomes was sharp, his teammates didn’t let him down (for once) and Kansas City was able to wipe away an early 14-0 deficit on the road, cruising to a 31-17 win.
The Dolphins and Chiefs played in Germany in Week 9 this season, and Hill said he didn’t feel the same love from Mahomes and Reid when he approached them that he did from some of his other former teammates, such as Travis Kelce.
“I felt great,” he said. “You can ask anybody—I’m the kinda person, I don’t give a f—k, I’m gonna tell you how I feel. If I f—k with you, I f—k with you. If you don’t f—k with me, that’s cool. You do your thing. I know how I feel about you though. I understand that you may feel some kind of way because of how things played out. I ain’t got no control about how you feel…. After the game though, Pat came up to me…”
While the Chiefs ended up winning a Super Bowl without him last season, they may regret the trade at this point.
This will be Patrick Mahomes’ first-ever game in Lambeau Field. Mahomes finished with 298 passing yards and two touchdowns in the win over the Raiders. It was his 66th career game with at least two touchdown passes, the most such games by a player in his first seven seasons in NFL history, according to NFL Communications. Dan Marino (65) previously held the record.
2. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
2023 stats: 2,917 passing yards, 21 TDs, 9 INTs, 70.2 QBR (305 rushing yards)
Current odds: +400
Only six players have ever won the MVP three times, a feat Mahomes could accomplish after taking home the award in 2018 and 2022. The Chiefs’ offense lacks the explosiveness it had a season ago, dropping from the league’s top unit in points scored per game to No. 11 (23.3 PPG) through 12 weeks, but that has often been the byproduct of Mahomes’ supporting cast. Kansas City’s receivers lead the league in drops (27), but Mahomes is still top four in passing touchdowns (21) and QBR (70.3) and ranks sixth among QBs in rushing yards (305).
The two-time Super Bowl-winning QB bounced back from a 21-17 loss to the Eagles by orchestrating a come-from-behind win over the Raiders — a team he’s beaten 10 times in his career — by throwing for 298 yards and two touchdowns.
Around the NFL
Describe the game in two words: Penalty fest. Penalties were not that that big of a deal for the Cowboys for a lot of the season, but through three quarters Thursday, they were flagged eight times for 122 yards. The season high in yards before Thursday was 107 (on 13 flags) in a Week 3 loss at the Arizona Cardinals. It wasn’t just a Cowboys thing. Clete Blakeman’s crew was just as officious against the Seahawks.
Troubling trend: Yes, Bland made history with his fifth pick-six of the season on Thanksgiving versus Washington, but he was targeted more by the Commanders than in any other game. Thursday was a continuation. In the first half, Seattle completed 6 of 7 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns when Bland was the nearest defender, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. His previous high in that category this season was 120 yards — which came last week against Washington. However, Bland came up with a key third-quarter pick of Smith to balance it all out, perhaps.
Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller turned himself in to police in a Dallas suburb on Thursday after he was charged in a warrant with domestic violence against the mother of his children, who is pregnant, police said.
Dallas police confirmed that the 34-year-old Miller surrendered to police in the suburb of Glenn Heights to face a charge of third-degree felony assault of a pregnant woman, which is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Miller was released from the DeSoto Regional Jail after posting bail in the amount of $5,000 on Thursday night, according to a DeSoto Police report obtained by NFL Media.
The alleged assault occurred on Wednesday, according to a police affidavit in which officers wrote that Miller twice put his hands on the neck of the woman, pulled out a chunk of her hair and threw her onto a couch. The woman was treated for minor injuries, including bruising on her neck, police said.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Injury situations for other AFC contenders
Even the most clever bettor in Vegas likely would not have pegged the combination of these other six teams to currently be holding a playoff position this late into the season. But that is the effect injuries can have on a season. Previous AFC heavyweights, the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, have been decimated by injuries all season, and their postseason hopes appear slim.
While the remaining six clubs each have injury concerns of their own, they have weathered the storm to this point of the season.
Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens have, for the most part, remained much healthier this season, which is a significant factor in their current position as the one seed in the AFC playoff standings. They currently have five players on IR, with perhaps no more significant injury than that of tight end Mark Andrews. There is currently an “outside chance” that Andrews will return this season. Andrews is quarterback Lamar Jackson’s favorite target and a significant loss for their offense.
Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jaguars are relatively healthy this late into the season. Two key contributors are on IR: offensive tackle Cam Robinson (knee) and wide receiver Jamal Agnew (shoulder/ribs). Both were recently placed on the IR list and could potentially return for the postseason, if not the end of the regular season.
A tweet to make you think
Offensive lineman responsible for the highest % of their team's allowed pressure:— Arjun Menon (@arjunmenon100) November 30, 2023
1. DEN OT Mike McGlinchey (35.1%)
2. DAL OT Terrence Steele (30.4%)
3. CIN OT Orlando Brown Jr (29.7%)
4. KC OT Donovan Smith (29.3%)
5. PIT OT Dan Moore Jr (25.9%)
6. CHI OT Darnell Wright (24.5%)