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Arrowheadlines: Patrick Mahomes accepts fine for outbursts towards officials

Chiefs headlines for Friday, December 22

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The latest

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes accepts penalty for blasting officials | ESPN

“I had outbursts on the sideline and everybody saw it on a big game, and so there’s going to be consequences to that,’’ said Mahomes, who was fined $50,000 by the NFL last week. “Now you’ve just got to live with those consequences, learn from it, become better from it and not try to let that happen again. But we kind of just kept it moving. That was a couple weeks ago now, and now we’re just focused on the Raiders and how we can do whatever we can to beat them.’’

Mahomes had been upset that wide receiver Kadarius Toney was penalized for being offside late in the fourth quarter, nullifying what would have been the go-ahead touchdown against the Bills. The Chiefs eventually turned the ball over on downs and the Bills ran out the clock.

Patrick Mahomes Admits He’s ‘a Little Disappointed’ to Play on Christmas | People

Speaking to Pro Football Talk, Mahomes, 28, said he’s “excited” to play the “standalone” game, which kicks off at 1 p.m. ET on Monday, because it will air as families are spending quality time together during the holiday.

“I mean, everybody’s gonna be just opening presents and getting the food in them, and then they’re going to be the happiest they possibly can be, and they’re gonna turn on and see the Kansas City Chiefs playing,” Mahomes told the outlet.

“So I’m excited about that,” Mahomes said, before admitting that he is a “little disappointed” that he won’t get to have that same experience with his own children, Sterling Skye and Patrick “Bronze” Lavon, and wife Brittany Mahomes on Christmas Day.

NFL QB Index, Week 16: Brock Purdy at No. 1 for first time; Baker Mayfield enters top 10 | NFL.com

3 - Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7

2023 stats: 14 games | 67.4 pct | 3,703 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 25 pass TD | 13 INT | 334 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 3 fumbles

Rookie Rashee Rice, is and should be, Mahomes’ go-to receiver at this point in the season. As has been the case for most of the season, Mahomes’ teammates did not hold up their end of the bargain at times on Sunday, save for Rice and Travis Kelce. But the Chiefs coaching staff deserves credit for scheming their way to 27 points against the Patriots. Mahomes did add two more picks to his season total, but the first was the result of a great play by Marte Mapu while the second wasn’t his fault at all; he threw a perfectly placed pass to Kadarius Toney, who bobbled the ball into the hands of Jahlani Tavai. The 2023 Chiefs aren’t as explosive as previous versions, but don’t blame Mahomes for that. He’s still just as good as ever.

2023 NFL playoff picture: Here are the 14 teams projected to make the postseason, with Bills-Chiefs in Round 1 | CBS Sports

3. (AFC West Champion)

Patrick Mahomes has never had to play a road playoff game in his career, but that could change if the computer’s projection holds up here. If the Chiefs (9-5) get the three-seed, they’ll host a wild-card game, and if they win that, there’s a very real chance they’ll he hitting the road for the divisional round. Remaining schedule: Raiders, Bengals, at Chargers.

Week 16 NFL picks: Bengals or Steelers in critical Saturday showdown? Ravens or 49ers on Christmas? | NFL.com

Why Gennaro is taking the Chiefs: Recent history tells us the Raiders are the perfect elixir to cure what ails the Chiefs’ offense. Since Patrick Mahomes took the starting reins in 2018, Kansas City is 10-1 against this AFC West rival, averaging a whopping 35.5 points per game. In fact, the Chiefs have scored at least 28 points in all 11 of those divisional bouts — an unequaled streak in league history for any team against one opponent — including last month’s 31-17 win in Las Vegas. But that latest result marks the only time the 2023 Chiefs have reached 28 points in a game since Week 7. After a 6-1 start to the season, the defending Super Bowl champions have gone 3-4 while averaging just 20.1 ppg (20th in the NFL during that span). Mahomes appears to be growing increasingly frustrated with his yakety sax receiving corps, and I just can’t see this offense suddenly flipping the switch, even with the Silver-and-Black salve coming to town. K.C. wins, but Antonio Pierce’s defense allows the Raiders to hang around.

Week 16 NFL Picks Against the Spread | The Ringer

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-10)

The pick: Raiders (+10)

13 NFL Players Set to Hit Pay Dirt in 2024 Free Agency | The 33rd Team

CHRIS JONES, DT, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

After Chris Jones was a training camp holdout because of the lack of an extension on the $20 million-per-year contract he signed in 2020, the four-time All-Pro returned with a one-year deal for $19.5 million plus $5 million in potential incentives. Jones has 7.5 sacks but has been sackless the past four games and needs to reach 10 sacks to hit a $1.25 million incentive. He should collect $2 million in playing time incentives.

Jones is still highly productive — 26 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and 20 quarterback hits — but he’s behind his pace in sacks from last season when he tallied 15.5 sacks.

He was the Kansas City Chiefs’ second-round pick in 2016 and turns 30 in July. It’s questionable if the Chiefs would franchise him and then try to trade him rather than meet his demands for a contract close to Aaron Donald’s $31.5 million per year as the league’s highest-paid defensive tackle.

But would the Chiefs want to lose the best player on their fourth-ranked defense? Whether Jones stays in Kansas City or moves on, he will be in line for a big salary increase.

Around the NFL

Rams vs. Saints score, takeaways: Los Angeles stays hot, improves playoff hopes with ‘TNF’ win vs. New Orleans | CBS Sports

Why the Rams won

The Rams’ offense looked like the “Greatest Show on Turf” on Thursday night. In fact, the Rams could have scored a lot more points had they fared better than 3 of 6 in the red zone.

Los Angeles received another big game from Stafford, who went 24 of 34 for 328 yards and three touchdowns. Stafford now has 14 touchdowns and just one pick and has completed nearly 67 percent of his passes over his past five games. Not surprisingly, the Rams are 4-1 over that span and are 5-1 in their last six games.

Stafford’s success through the air was complemented by Williams, who rumbled for 104 yards while breaking the 1,000-yard barrier for the season despite missing four games. His 10-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter proved to be the game-winning score.

Seahawks’ Smith ‘hurt’ by MNF backup role, but ‘excited’ for Lock | ESPN

As for whether Smith will start Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville after missing the past two games with a groin injury?

“I would hope so,” he said Thursday.

Signs continue to point in that direction. Coach Pete Carroll sounded optimistic on Wednesday that Smith would return this week, and the quarterback has since been listed as a full participant in both of their practices.

“I feel pretty good,” Smith said. “Still getting better.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs News: Rashee Rice still learning as rookie season takes off

Rice’s rookie season has been an unquestioned success. Through 14 games, he has hauled in 68 catches for 754 yards, and a Chiefs’ rookie record seven receiving touchdowns. Speaking before Rice on Thursday, quarterback Patrick Mahomes praised the rookie for the extra work he has put in with veteran wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justin Watson and star tight end Travis Kelce. Mahomes challenged the rookie to step his game up even more.

“He’s still got a lot he can improve on,” the NFL’s biggest star declared, “which is crazy to say [because] he’s had such a great season. The little things that NFL receivers do — he’s got the explosiveness [and] he knows how to run the routes, but there’s nuance in how you run the routes [and] how you set one route up to run another one.

“I’ll say this: he’s taken from the veterans — from Marquez, from Justin Watson, from Travis — he listens, learns as much as he can, and tries to take that in. I think that’s why he’s gotten better and better as the season’s gone on.”

Rice agreed with his quarterback’s assessment.

“Truthfully speaking, everything,” he said of his targeted areas for improvement. “I’m young, and I feel like every time I’m out there, there’s vets on the field. Every time I’m out there, I’m looking to learn something from all those guys. If it’s the smallest thing — or even if it’s the biggest thing — I’m going to try to put it into my game as soon as possible.”

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