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Arrowheadlines: Ja’Marr Chase unimpressed by Chiefs secondary

Chiefs headlines for Friday, December 29

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Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The latest

Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase adds ‘fire to the fuel’ with digs at Chiefs | ESPN

The Bengals wide receiver started out saying nothing stood out about the Chiefs’ secondary, a sentiment he has shared about other teams. Then he said the reigning Super Bowl champs don’t have a lockdown cornerback like the Miami Dolphins’ Jalen Ramsey. Chase added that Kansas City safety Bryan Cook, who is on injured reserve, is not comparable to the Atlanta Falcons’ Jessie Bates III, who spent the first five years of his career with the Bengals.

When it was expressed that the comments could be perceived as shots at Cincinnati’s AFC rival, Chase seemed to embrace it.

“I’m just adding fire to the fuel,” Chase said. “They’re going to take this, run with it. Hope they put it in their locker.”

Why Tom Brady has confidence in Patrick Mahomes, KC Chiefs | Kansas City Star

Brady loved seeing Mahomes’ passion.

“There’s still a long way to go to determine who is the Super Bowl champ. There’s a lot of football left to be played,” Brady said. “I love seeing people dig deep. This is the first year I’ve really watched as a fan. And I’ve really enjoyed that aspect of it, too.

“You could see the fire in Patrick Mahomes (Monday). You could see the fire in Dak Prescott. You could see the fire in Deebo Samuel. You could see the fire in Lamar Jackson. These guys are competitive, they’re playing well and they’re giving themselves a great chance to win as they continue to go forward, and that’s what competitive football is all about.”

Aaron Rodgers defends Patrick Mahomes amid Kansas City Chiefs crisis | Marca

Backed by Rodgers

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers defended Mahomes on “The Pat McAfee Show,” acknowledging the challenges the Chiefs quarterback faces, including dropped passes by receivers.

“I would say it is mostly overreaction,” Rodgers said.

“To me, it seems like it’s tough right now. Because there’s not a lot of on-time throws, you know, Pat’s so good with the second reaction stuff.

“And even yesterday, he made just silly plays, where he’s extending, late throw, or moving up in the pocket pump, fake, making stuff happen. I just think there’s too much of that, they’re relying too much on that.”

Week 17 NFL picks: Cowboys unanimously chosen to beat Lions on Saturday night; Ravens defeat Dolphins | NFL.com

Why Tom is taking the Chiefs: OK, so the Chiefs looked very human against the Raiders in Week 16. What am I supposed to do, pick Patrick Mahomes to lose a second consecutive game in Arrowhead to a team starting a backup quarterback? I’m not there yet, not when Las Vegas needed a couple of fluky defensive scores and more rushing yards (157) than Cincinnati has managed in any game this season to upset K.C. Scenes of a Chiefs meltdown are perhaps easier to imagine than ever, but at this point, they are not something to plan for when picking games.

2023 NFL playoff picture: Here are the 14 teams projected to make postseason with Cowboys in wild-card spot | CBS Sports

3. (AFC West Champion)

Chiefs

Due to their loss in Week 16, the Chiefs (9-6) can no longer earn the top seed in the AFC, which means they’ll definitely be playing in the wild-card round this year. Right now, the computer has them playing the Bills in the opening round, which would definitely be must-see TV. And if anyone at the NFL is reading, feel free to give that game to CBS. Remaining schedule: Bengals, at Chargers

Taylor Swift gets seal of approval from Chiefs heiress set to inherit £12.2 billion | Mirror Online

“First of all, I think we’re all so excited to see two such phenomenal people happy,” Gracie shared. “I mean, it’s so easy for us to cheer for and for the entire world to cheer for because they’re wonderful for each other, and it’s just been so fun to watch this love story unfold.”

“She is wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, all of the things. It’s been so much fun to get to have her coming to Chiefs games.” Gracie also mentioned how Swift’s fame is drawing new fans to football, with the latest game on Christmas Day against the Las Vegas Raiders setting a viewership record.

CBS revealed that their Christmas Day broadcast of Chiefs vs Raiders reached a peak of 37 million viewers, setting a new record for the network. Gracie Hunt, daughter of Chiefs co-owner and CEO Clark Hunt, expressed her joy at seeing so many young fans, particularly girls, taking an interest in football and supporting the Chiefs.

Around the NFL

Joe Flacco ‘so fortunate’ to be on playoff-bound Browns after three-TD night in win over Jets | NFL.com

With a chance to clinch a playoff spot on Thursday night, the 38-year-old started off scorching and burned the league’s second-ranked passing defense to finish with 309 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on 19-of-29 passing, helping power the Browns to a 37-20 win and their first postseason berth in three years.

“Man, it just felt like we were able to move the line of scrimmage early on in the game and move the ball down the field,” Flacco told NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo of the offense’s start. “Got our run game going early. Got Dave (David Njoku) the ball early on and let him break some tackles. That’s what he does best. We carried that first drive all the way through the first half, and that kind of propelled us.”

Flacco did all this in just his fifth start since joining Cleveland off the couch in November, with nearly all of it coming in a scintillating first-half display.

Bills’ Von Miller says assault allegations ‘100% false’ | ESPN

Miller spoke with media for the first time since the assault is alleged to have taken place on Nov. 29 in suburban Dallas during the team’s bye week. He turned himself in to the Glenn Heights (Texas) Police Department on Nov. 30 on an arrest warrant for a charge of third-degree felony assault of a pregnant woman. He was booked into the DeSoto Tri-City Jail that afternoon before being released on $5,000 bond.

“Obviously, there are things that I can’t talk about but everything that was out is completely wrong and blown out of proportion,” Miller said. “Me and my girlfriend, we have problems just like any other couple does but there has never been any of those things that was alleged against me. Hopefully, over time all of this stuff will get cleared up. Sometimes life just ... be life-ing. You’ve just got to keep pushing and keep moving. The people who know me and the people who have been around me know my character, they know who I am.”

Texans QB C.J. Stroud clears concussion protocol, set to start Week 17 vs. Titans | NFL.com

Stroud missed Houston’s last two games due to a Week 14 concussion suffered in a loss to the New York Jets. The Texans went 1-1 with veteran Case Keenum as the starter, including a 19-16 Week 15 win over the Titans.

The rookie resumed practicing this week, a good indicator he was on path to return, and was a full participant on Thursday who told reporters he was planning to start Sunday.

“It’s great being back,” Stroud said, via team transcript. “I missed it. I feel like everything that happened I don’t want to say happened for a reason, but it was kind of something that I guess God wanted me to go through. It was tough. It wasn’t easy, but my teammates held it down as best as they could, and I appreciate them for that. Now I’m back, and I’m happy to be here, and I’m happy to just do my job again.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs-Raiders: Lack of detail infected Patrick Mahomes in loss

The Ringer’s Sheil Kapadia puts the unit’s efficiency into context, comparing it to the rest of the Mahomes era. It was the latest and possibly most discouraging effort from the offense yet, but specifically the passing attack: Patrick Mahomes finished with an average of 5.3 yards gained over 44 pass attempts, the fourth-worst rate of his entire career.

The worst average Mahomes had ever had happened about a month ago when he produced 4.1 yards per attempt in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Chiefs’ offense was supported by 168 team rushing yards in that game; that was far from the case against the Raiders. All the onus was put on the pass game to move the ball.

Two back-breaking turnovers turning into touchdowns was just one part of the unit’s failures against Las Vegas. I looked at the Chiefs’ lack of detail in the passing game and how it contributed to the loss against the Raiders:

Missed throws

If you remove the passes by Mahomes caught behind the line of scrimmage, the quarterback completed only 56% of his passes against the Raiders. The gunslinger seemed to be off on multiple throws.

A tweet to make you think

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