Patrick Mahomes joined @cdotharrison on #TheDrive and explained that he regrets the way he reacted on the sideline following the offside call on Toney.— 610SportsKC (@610SportsKC) December 11, 2023
FULL INTERVIEW HERE: https://t.co/sxAe97qQni pic.twitter.com/Fv61ilbWR1
Even Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who’s lost playoff heartbreakers in this building, seemed to co-sign Mahomes’ beef.
“I originally thought it was on us,” Allen said. “It’s not a flag they usually call.”
Said another way, it’s a recent point of emphasis the Chiefs may not have sufficiently encountered or added to their offensive protocols. It also occurred a week after receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling was mugged deep in Packers territory, with the Chiefs driving to potentially tie the game, in the final minute of Kansas City’s loss at Green Bay. No flag for MVS.
Mahomes effectively bit his tongue on that one, but it’s also fairly understandable that his stack blew Sunday as his squad fell two games back in the overall AFC standings – behind the Baltimore Ravens and, potentially, the Miami Dolphins after Monday night – and faces the prospect of going on the road for a playoff game for the first time since he became QB1 in 2018. It’s also worth noting that the hue and cry against officiating seems to be building, whether it’s Mahomes, or Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, or Steelers pass rusher T.J. Watt, or Colts owner Jim Irsay, or ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky, or Pro Football Talk’s suggestion that Dean Blandino be rehired to revamp the officiating department, or social media’s (always reasonable) complaints on the matter.Yet this is also the obligatory time to point out that officiating a game played at the NFL’s speed is insanely difficult … even with the occasional help of replay … and even if Toney’s flag was thrown as he set sail for unrealized glory. And, like Brady before him, it also sure seems like Mahomes gets more than his share of calls that his peers wouldn’t.
Record: 8-5; Last Week: 5
As defeats pile up, the defending Super Bowl champs have lost some of the mystique that has made them a powerhouse in the AFC. The offense, in particular, has been maddeningly inconsistent, with drops and mental miscues disrupting Patrick Mahomes’ rhythm as a playmaker. Given their struggles, the Chiefs could be a one-and-done squad in the playoffs.
Add Now: S P.J. Williams
The Chiefs narrowly avoided losing safety Bryan Cook for the season. He was stretchered off the field in Week 13 with an ankle injury, but he avoided a broken ankle that could have ended his season. Regardless, he’s going to be gone for a while, and the Chiefs will need to add to their safety group.
P.J. Williams is still looking for a home after a rough 2022 season, but the 30-year-old has played in 89 games in seven seasons with the New Orleans Saints.
C - Chiefs
The Chiefs had an opportunity to win this game, but couldn’t get out of their own way. Travis Kelce caught a deep pass from Patrick Mahomes and the tight end lateraled the football to wideout Kadarius Toney, who ran it in for what was thought to be the go-ahead touchdown with just over a minute to play in regulation. However, Toney lined up offsides and erased the play altogether. Kansas City wide receivers continued to put the team behind the eight ball as the position group had a handful of drops and a key second-half turnover on top of the Toney infraction. That contributed to their sluggish start to this game, which found them playing from behind for the entire afternoon. The defense kept them within striking distance throughout the game, but the offense is still missing another reliable weapon outside of Kelce.
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Pivotal play: After the Titans made it a one-score game with 2:40 left, coach Mike Vrabel decided on a 2-point conversion attempt. Trailing by eight, Levis hit Hopkins to make it a six-point game, putting the Titans in position to go up by one point when Henry crossed the goal line with 1:49 left. One could argue that the call wound up being the difference in the game.
Under-the-radar stat that matters: The Titans’ red zone defense entered the week allowing opposing offenses to score touchdowns on an NFL-best 37% of their visits inside the 20-yard line. Miami’s 75% touchdown scoring rate in the red zone was best in the league, as well. The Dolphins’ first three trips inside Tennessee’s 5-yard line ended in just two field goals. The first drive was halted when defensive lineman TK McLendon Jr. recovered a fumble at Tennessee’s 2-yard line. The third trip was halted when Tua Tagovailoa was sacked on third down.
Why the Giants won
Have you heard of the quarterback named Tommy DeVito? In his fourth straight start, the fan-favorite rookie turned in the best performance of his young career, controlling the ball, threading the needle on a late touchdown throw and adding 70+ yards as a scrambler. Brian Daboll’s run-heavy attack got Saquon Barkley and Wan’Dale Robinson involved as well, and the latter showed impressive physicality working against a Packers secondary missing Jaire Alexander. Wink Martindale’s defensive front helped seal the deal, hitting Jordan Love eight times and forcing the QB into two turnovers.
The 49ers’ 28-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon, coupled with the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the New York Giants on Monday night, clinched a playoff berth for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad.
The 2023 campaign now marks the third straight season in which the 49ers have made the playoffs, the club’s longest postseason streak since 2011-2013 under Jim Harbaugh.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
2. Marquez Valdes-Scantling should be a healthy scratch for the rest of the season
Sunday’s game was just the latest in which the veteran wideout was mostly a non-factor. Considering he has only played with future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, it’s pretty impressive how mediocre he has been for his entire career.
The few moments where Valdes-Scantling is a factor are often negative plays. On Sunday, this was the case on a crucial third down in the second quarter. The Chiefs needed 12 yards. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes expected Valdes-Scantling to break off his route and sit in the zone’s soft spot — but the receiver continued flat across the field, leading to an incomplete pass that forced Kansas City to punt.
These sorts of errors are nothing new for Valdes-Scantling. (He also drew a false start penalty on Sunday). His lack of production — and mistake-ridden play — make him a liability that the Chiefs can no longer afford to put on the field.
While Valdes-Scantling has never been a consistent producer, he now looks like a guy who’s on his way out of the league.
A tweet to make you think
The Chiefs route to the #1 seed isn’t that far fetched.— Duncan Smart (@SmartoSaurusRex) December 12, 2023
1. Win out
2. Baltimore lose to SF & Miami
3. Miami lose to Dallas