Chiefs can’t overcome early stalls, late mistakes. Kansas City’s second-half woes have been well-established this year. Before managing last week’s season-high 17 points in their final two frames, the Chiefs were averaging a league-low 5.3 points per game in the second half in Weeks 1-11, per NFL Research. This time around, it was the first half that ultimately doomed them. A methodical pace from both teams meant Patrick Mahomes and Co. had just one drive in each of the first two quarters, but while both of those reached the red zone, neither found the end zone. Instead, the Chiefs stalled and traded two field goals for the Packers’ two touchdowns. Both of those halted possessions were surprisingly cut short by sacks — Kansas City allowed three in total after giving up just 14 all year. The Chiefs still had chances to win as the game went on, largely thanks to a few dazzling throws from Mahomes and Isiah Pacheco, gashing Green Bay for 123 yards and a score on 21 touches before his late ejection. However, a late interception where Skyy Moore looked lost on a fade at the first-down marker and a third-ranked scoring defense that looked as vulnerable as it has all year ensured the early eight-point swing was too much to make up.
It was also huge for the Packers’ playoff chances. A team that in late October was 2-5 now sits at 6-6 and — for now — in the final playoff spot in the NFC. Their playoff chances jumped all the way to 66%, according to ESPN Analytics, from 45% entering the game. A loss would have reduced the possibility to 37%.
Love didn’t just beat the Chiefs on Sunday, he beat their blitzes. He completed 10 of 13 passes with 3 touchdowns when Spagnuolo sent five or more pass-rushers. It gave Love 8 touchdown passes and zero interceptions this season against the blitz, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Only Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa has more touchdown passes (10) with an interception against the blitz this season.
Two years ago, Love managed just six completions in 17 pass attempts for a mere 30 yards against Kansas City’s pressure packages.
The Kansas City Chiefs are without their voice against the Green Bay Packers in Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season.
Long-time radio play-by-play announcer Mitch Holthus is set to break his 503-game streak of calling games after contracting COVID-19 ahead of the Sunday Night Football matchup.
The Kansas City Chiefs radio broadcast has featured Holthus for 30 straight seasons, starting in 1994.
The iconic voice of the Chiefs announced the news on Twitter Sunday ahead of the game. He reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday.
.Okay Kingdom it has been a challenging 60+hours. Early Friday morning I tested positive for Covid. 2023 protocol calls for 5 day quarantine. I appreciate EVERYONE who spent most of the day Friday trying to figure out how I could broadcast this game 2020 studio style & if it was…— Mitch Holthus (@mitchholthus) December 4, 2023
Taylor Swift was on hand at Lambeau Field to watch Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs in their Sunday night game against the Green Bay Packers.
In each of the previous games attended by Swift, the Chiefs won, but that changed Sunday night as the Packers held on for a 27-19 victory.
It was the fifth Chiefs game Swift has attended since the pop superstar and the four-time All-Pro tight end started their relationship. Kansas City is now 4-1 playing in front of Swift.
The 33-year-old Swift watched from a suite at Lambeau alongside Brittany Mahomes, the wife of Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Kelce had four catches for 81 yards.
Swift hadn’t attended a Chiefs game since an Oct. 22 triumph over the Los Angeles Chargers largely because of conflicts with her tour schedule, which is currently on a break. She first watched Kelce in person in a home victory over Chicago, then traveled to games at the New York Jets and Denver.
Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles, the wife of Green Bay safety Jonathan Owens, also was at the game.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3)
Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia (6-7, 340 pounds)
The Chiefs made a shaky investment in Jawaan Taylor at tackle after not re-signing Orlando Brown and they also know Donovan Smith is a makeshift solution on the left side. Mims is a nimble pass protector for his size who can also upgrade their run blocking to help Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith.
The 32 things we learned from Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season:
1. Sunday was a wild affair in the football universe, starting early with the controversial announcement of the College Football Playoff field. Thank the pigskin gods that the NFL’s postseason bracket isn’t constructed so, uh, subjectively? Nevertheless, it makes for a fun thought exercise regarding how that might work in 2023, given eight teams entered Week 13 with at least eight victories – suggesting the pros, as with the college ranks, have an unusual number of bona fide contenders this year.
2. Put the San Francisco 49ers No. 1 in my NFL CFP after they dismembered the Philadelphia Eagles 42-19 at Lincoln Financial Field in a much-hyped – if highly disappointing – rematch of last season’s NFC championship game.
14. I acknowledge no AFC teams have yet been picked for this NFL CFP – my committee and rules, not yours. But an invite will be issued to the defending Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs. Anyone else going to bring Taylor Swift to the party and drive up our ratings?
The Chiefs are 2-3 over their last five games while averaging 19.4 points per clip. This is the best defense of the Patrick Mahomes era, but the offense isn’t delivering. More concerning, Mahomes and the offense haven’t played well in clutch situations over that stretch. The Chiefs have an easy schedule the rest of the way, but they could use a solid fourth quarter in a tight game to reassure themselves before the playoffs.
Odds: To make playoffs: 99.2 percent | To earn bye: 24.3 percent | To win Super Bowl: 13.9 percent
Around the NFL
He’s done it again!
At age 30, Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans has the 1,000-yard mark for a 10th straight season to start an NFL career. It’s a record that he owns exclusively dating back to last season when he reached nine straight seasons of 1,000 yards receiving dating back to 2014 – the year Evans entered the league as Tampa Bay’s first round pick with the seventh overall selection.
Evans came into Sunday’s game against the Panthers needing 150 receiving yards to reach 1,000 yards. And had five catches for 144 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown before catching a 11-yard pass to surpass 1,000 yards in 2023.
Up next for Evans will be to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice’s mark of 11 straight seasons with 1,000 yards receiving at any point in a career. He can do that with another 1,000-yard season in 2024. It’s a record that’s been on his mind for some time now.
“I think about. It’s right there, so I’m gonna definitely try to go get that,” Evans told KPRC 2 Houston’s Ari Alexander at his youth football camp over the summer. “I’m already one of one right now. I hope I can pass the great Jerry Rice and his record. Obviously, nobody will pass his records probably, like ever, total. But that 1,000-yard streak record would be cool to have.”
Why were DiSandro, Greenlaw ejected?
Officials ejected DiSandro and Greenlaw in the third quarter of Sunday’s 49ers-Eagles game following a brief altercation on the sideline.
Greenlaw was flagged for slamming Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith to the ground out of bounds. DiSandro stepped in between Greenlaw and Smith, pushing the two apart. He appeared to exchange words with the 49ers’ defender, who then made contact with DiSandro’s face as he aggressively pointed at him.
Both were ejected shortly thereafter.
Greenlaw had a game-high seven tackles when he was disqualified from the game.
Tempers are flaring between the 49ers and Eagles in Philly. pic.twitter.com/rnylqh4pWY— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 3, 2023
Who is ‘Big Dom’
DiSandro’s official title is the Eagles’ senior adviser to the GM/chief security officer. He “oversees all safety and security matters for players, coaches, and executives,” according to the team website.
He also “directs security at the team’s training complex, is responsible for security measures related to team travel and logistics and provides education on the NFL’s personal conduct policy.”
DiSandro is in his 25th season with Philadelphia.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
“Just being able to think like a quarterback,” Rice identified, “and knowing where the soft spots are on the field so you can get open for them.”
Such skills are not new to Rice, but he knows that pairing with the NFL’s most recognizable player puts them on a higher profile display.
“Personally,” he continued, “I feel like I’ve always been able to think how I’ve been thinking. Since I have such a great quarterback, it kind of works well matching with his game. They call it ‘Patrick Friendly,’ but I’ve always had a good feel for the zones. It just so happens that I get to do it with Pat. He knows where I need to be, and I know where I need to be.”
Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy spoke to the media before practice on Thursday. The veteran coach believes Rice is now at a point in the season where he has run the team’s plays enough to start putting his own spin on them.
“He’s probably come along right where we need him to,” stated Nagy. “No wide receiver, no quarterback, no player in general wants to play like a robot. When you are learning the offense, you probably feel like you are because you’re trying to understand. When you look at a playbook and you see a line in the playbook, you want to run it like that.
“The more and more you start running plays, you have less robot to you — and he’s just having more plays which allows him to say, ‘Okay hey, I’ve run this play seven times, and now I can put my little feel to it.’”