The Chiefs' final four opposing quarterbacks: Bailey Zappe, Aidan O'Connell, Jake Browning, Easton Stick— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) December 11, 2023
What to know: The Chiefs lead the AFC West by one game over the Broncos after their loss to the Bills. They are the No. 3 seed over the Jaguars by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker.
There’s a new frontrunner in the AFC with the Baltimore Ravens leapfrogging the Kansas City Chiefs for the No. 2 spot. The Ravens have won three games in a row and seven of their last eight games. Kansas City has lost three of its last four games.
Here’s a look at the latest Super Bowl LVIII winner odds:
Kansas City Chiefs
Another slow start hurts offense: For the third consecutive game, the Chiefs found themselves in a pickle. The Chiefs trailed by double digits for the third consecutive game, a stretch where Kansas City has averaged just 9.0 points per game in the opening 30 minutes. The Chiefs have a -15-point differential in the first half over the last three games, part of the reason why wins are heard to come by (1-2 in that stretch). Fastest starts going forward are paramount.
4. Rookie safety Chamarri Conner hauled in his first interception as a professional.
Conner made one of the defensive plays of the game on Sunday, picking off Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen near midfield in the closing minutes of the second quarter. The play provided the Chiefs with tremendous field position that set up tailback Jerick McKinnon’s touchdown a bit later.
The former fourth-round pick played a season-high 53 percent of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps on Sunday, and he certainly didn’t waste his opportunity. In fact, Conner earned the second-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Chiefs defenders in the game.
PICK NO. 31: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: EDGE FELIX ANUDIKE-UZOMAH
Overall Rookie Grade: 52.0 (Rank: N/A)
Principal Opponent: Dion Dawkins
Week 14 Snaps: 6
Week 14 Grade: 30.4
Anudike-Uzomah played just six snaps against Buffalo. His only noteworthy play was losing contain on a Ty Johnson run, though he was bailed out by a nice tackle from Mike Edwards. Anudike-Uzomah has played just 46 snaps across his past eight games.
27. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5)
Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas
Another receiver? This makes it eight in Round 1, which would break the standing record of seven set in 2004. But this WR class is dominant, and the Chiefs obviously need one.
The Chiefs lead the NFL in dropped passes (29), and go-to tight end Travis Kelce is in his age-34 season. It’s time to upgrade the pass-catchers on the roster for Patrick Mahomes. Mitchell is a playmaker who moves the chains at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds. He also has 10 touchdowns on 51 catches (just one drop) this season and consistently comes up big in crucial moments for the Longhorns.
Around the NFL
The star signal-caller is undergoing surgery to repair the broken index finger on his right (throwing) hand and will miss the rest of the season, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported, per sources informed of the situation.
The team later confirmed that Herbert will be placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season.
It was the expected news after Herbert suffered the injury in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, but it underscores a traumatic Chargers season.
Easton Stick, who has appeared in two games in his career, including his relief appearance in Week 14, will start the balance of the campaign for the 5-8 Chargers. Stick’s first career start comes Thursday night against the Las Vegas Raiders on Prime Video.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Just as I did when he stepped in for Smith in Week 13 against the Green Bay Packers, I graded every one of Morris’ snaps. He did not disappoint.
Wanya Morris game grade vs Buffalo:— Caleb James (@CJScoobs) December 12, 2023
45 pass block snaps: 39 wins and 6 losses (80)%
17 run block snaps: 13 wins 4 losses (77%)
6 impact blocks
21 solo pass block wins
7 chip assisted blocks
3 QB hits
All in all, a darn good game for the rookie left tackle.
Morris was good in both the running game and passing game, winning 84% of his snaps. Considering that he had help from chip blocks on only seven passing plays, this is even more impressive. He won 21 solo pass-blocking snaps.
When evaluating offensive linemen, it is one thing to do your job. It is another to make a difference. So I consider impact blocks to be a key factor. These include pancakes, blitz pickups, key blocks in space or any other outstanding effort. Morris had six of these.
While he did allow four pressures (and three quarterback hits) it was against a seasoned defensive line; it was far from a disappointment. Morris still has areas in which he can improve — but against the Bills, he played his tail off.
A tweet to make you think
Patriots owner Robert Kraft reportedly decided to move on from coach Bill Belichick after the Week 10 loss to the Colts in Germany. Could a late-season hot streak spark a reversal? https://t.co/mXLjfcxBJx— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 13, 2023