How much could a L’Jarius Sneed extension cost?
The projection: Three years, $52.5M ($35M guaranteed)
The “contract year” oftentimes leads to players setting themselves up well for sizable contracts, and that very well could ring true for Sneed as well. The fourth-year man has blossomed into one of the better defensive backs in all of football this season, after all. Not only is Sneed playing airtight coverage and shadowing opposing No. 1 receivers, but he’s also maintained a tremendous presence as a run defender. The Chiefs think the world of him, which is hard to disagree with.
Storyline to watch: The Chiefs have beaten the Raiders in 10 of 11 games with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. In only three of those victories was the final margin less than 14 points. Otherwise, they’ve been lopsided. So the question heading into this one is: Can the Raiders find a way to stay close and give themselves a chance to win by making plays late in the game? — Adam Teicher
Bold prediction: Raiders edge rusher Maxx Crosby, who has a career-high 13.5 sacks, will sack his “frenemy” Mahomes at least two times. The rivalry between the two has taken off the past two seasons, even as the Chiefs have dominated the series since Crosby and Mahomes first met in 2019. Crosby has sacked Mahomes four times and registered four QB hits in their past three meetings. — Paul Gutierrez
Stat to know: The Chiefs are seeking their ninth straight 10-win season, which would tie for third-longest streak in NFL history. It would also be Mahomes’ sixth straight 10-win campaign as a starting quarterback, which would break a tie for the third-longest streak in NFL history.
Keep Mahomes from going crazy:
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been a Raider killer. He is 10-1 against the Raiders since he became the Chiefs’ starter in 2017. His one blemish against the Silver and Black came at Arrowhead Stadium in 2020. Otherwise, he’s been brilliant against the Raiders. He earned the AFC offensive player of the week award against Las Vegas in a 31-17 Week 12 win at Allegiant Stadium.
The Chiefs are also still holding out hope of getting the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but Mahomes said Friday that the seeding is not as important as some believe it to be.
“Everything’s out in front of us. And everybody talks about the No. 1 seed, the No. 1 seed, the No. 1 seed. I’m like ‘I’ve been to the Super Bowl without it being the No. 1 seed before.’ So I think it’s just more about how can you find a way to win the game ahead of you and let the rest take care of itself.”
Raiders at Chiefs
“The Chiefs got back on track last week against the Patriots and now can push to get the top seed. They beat the Raiders earlier this year on the road, but the Raiders are a better defense now. The Chiefs win it, but it’s close.” — CBS Sports Senior NFL Analyst Pete Prisco on why the Chiefs will get past Las Vegas, but only by a field goal.
“(General manager) Chris (Grier) walks in and he’s like, ‘Hey, so I just got a call from the Chiefs talking about Tyreek Hill,’ “ McDaniel recalled.
The young coach immediately blurted out that whatever it took to cut a deal for Hill, it was worth the price.
Even if that meant sending away every good player on Miami’s roster.
“Once I did that I was like, ‘Well, this is pretty irresponsible. I better check the tape, “ McDaniel said. “It’s not like I was watching Tyreek. I thought he was untouchable.”
Around the NFL
Coach Robert Saleh announced Friday that Trevor Siemian will start Sunday against the Washington Commanders with Zach Wilson ruled out due to a concussion.
Wilson exited the team’s Week 15 loss to Miami and was replaced by Siemian.
Saleh added that Brett Rypien would work as the backup, and (obviously) Aaron Rodgers will not be the third/emergency quarterback.
Rodgers officially made the Jets’ first start of the season, not making it through the first drive before suffering an Achilles tear. Wilson has gone 4-7 as a starter. Tim Boyle made two starts before being released. Now it’s Siemian’s shot.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Underinflated footballs were under the microscope again Thursday after a report published following the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 15 win over the New England Patriots claimed kicking balls used in the first half were not up to standard.
“It was noticeably more pumped up, I guess, in the second half than the first half,” kicker Harrison Butker told a gaggle of reporters Thursday.
Mass Live reports the kicking balls used in the first half “were underinflated by two pounds,” and the issue was corrected after being pointed out to officials at halftime.
The perennial Pro Bowler missed his first kick of the season Sunday in Foxborough, attempting a 39-yard try on the team’s first offensive possession.
“I don’t know anything about it,” head coach Andy Reid said of the controversy, adding he was out of the loop until Thursday’s pre-availability briefing. “I’m not worried about all of that.”
The miscue marked Butker’s first miss since January 1, 2023, snapping a streak of 54 consecutive kicks converted.
A tweet to make you think
Today's game preview edition of our Arrowhead Pride Premier newsletter is free!— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) December 22, 2023
Check it out here: https://t.co/tR2Z4y62kg