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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs to wear white jerseys in Super Bowl 57

Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, February 1

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

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Chiefs preview their Super Bowl jersey. But what color will the pants be? Red or White?

Donna Kelce, mother of Jason and Travis, on Super Bowl LVII | Sports Illustrated

This year, that kind of trip wasn’t possible. She looked into flying private in order to attend both conference championship games. It wouldn’t work out, unless she missed the majority of each. So she chose Philadelphia, then watched the Chiefs game from a local bar after the Eagles win. But she won’t have to choose again on Feb. 12. That’s her problem. And it’s a good one, mostly.

She’ll wear the jersey someone made for her a few years ago, the one split between Eagles and Chiefs. She chooses to look at it like this: Her boys, at their respective cores, are competitors. Both took their losses, Travis more often because big brother could overpower him. Now, as the brothers make NFL history, she can’t think of a more appropriate way for that ethos to play out on the largest stage imaginable. Her heart will break for whoever loses. But there’s a flipside to that, too. One of them is gonna win.

10 Quick Facts Following the Chiefs’ AFC Championship Game Victory Over Cincinnati | Upon Further Review | The Mothership

7. The Chiefs’ rookie class as a whole was tremendous.

Watson and Williams were just two of several rookies to make a significant impact on Sunday. In fact, the following players all made major contributions: tailback Isiah Pacheco (85 yards from scrimmage), cornerback Trent McDuffie (6 tackles, 1 tackle-for-loss and 2 pass breakups), defensive end George Karlaftis (a sack), safety Bryan Cook (4 tackles, 1 pass breakup) and wide receiver Skyy Moore (a 29-yard punt return that set up the game-winning drive).

The Chiefs put considerable faith in their rookie class in the biggest game of the season on Sunday night, and the guys collectively came through.

32 things we learned with Super bowl 2023 on tap: Subplots galore | USA Today

7. Travis Kelce made a bit more history Sunday. He now owns the second-most receiving yards (1,467) in playoff history. He was already second on the receptions leaderboard (127). Both are postseason records for tight ends and trail only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice overall.

8. Kelce also scored Sunday, giving him 15 TD catches in his playoff career. He’s tied with Rob Gronkowski for the most among tight ends and trails only Rice (22) overall.

9. Kelce and Mahomes have now teamed up for 13 playoff TDs. Only Gronkowski and Tom Brady (15) have more.

Super Bowl 2023: Five early bold predictions for Chiefs vs. Eagles, including a surprise MVP candidate | CBS Sports

Travis Kelce throws a touchdown

The Chiefs star tight end was certainly on one after the AFC Championship Game victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. “Burrowhead, my ass!” Our prediction is that Kelce will throw a touchdown to Kadarius Toney in the red zone — a little “special” against Philly, if you will. Kelce is a versatile red zone threat that can both find the gaps in zone coverage or take a shovel pass right up the middle for the score. Expect something creative from Coach Reid in the red zone in Super Bowl LVII.

Kelce has attempted just one career pass in the playoffs. That attempt went for a 2-yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL trends that will carry into 2023 season: Invest heavily in the offensive line, be aggressive, and more | CBS Sports

Last year, I highlighted the league’s growing propensity to go for it on fourth down, pass on first down, and prioritize YAC. Those trends aren’t going anywhere. To touch on them briefly here — teams are still noticeably more aggressive on fourth down than they were even five to 10 years ago. That’s good.

The Bengals and Chiefs finished third and fourth, respectively, in first-down pass rate during the regular season. Eight of the 14 playoff teams were in the top 10 in first-down pass rate and first-down pass rate in one-score game scenarios. If the NFL is a copycat league, other teams need to mimic what the best teams are doing, and one of those things is passing it more frequently than they run it on first down, even if the game is close.

And YAC is here to stay for a while. The Chiefs finished with the most total YAC during the regular season. The 49ers had the best YAC-per-reception average. The Chiefs were second in that category, while the Eagles were fifth and Bengals were 11th despite Ja’Marr Chase missing four contests.

Around the NFL

Texans hire DeMeco Ryans as Head Coach, 49ers defensive coordinator returns to Houston | Battle Red Blog | Houston Texans SB Nation site)

According to sources, the Texans are hiring former linebacker and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans as the team’s newest head coach.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Ryans and the Texans have agreed to a six-year contract.

Texans officials met with Ryans for a second time today after the 49ers lost the NFC Championship to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ryans was the defensive coordinator for the 49ers for two seasons, leading them to the NFC Championship in each season and to the No. 1 ranked defense this past season.

QBs Tyler Huntley, Trevor Lawrence, Derek Carr to Pro Bowl | ESPN

The Baltimore Ravens announced Tuesday that they’re sending a quarterback to the Pro Bowl.

No, it is not Lamar Jackson. It’s — surprise — Tyler Huntley.

A fourth alternate, Huntley was added to replace Josh Allen (elbow injury), becoming one of the most unlikely participants ever in the Pro Bowl.

The Ravens’ Tyler Huntley has thrown the fewest touchdown passes for any quarterback who was then selected to a Pro Bowl that same season.

Huntley threw two touchdown passes this season, the fewest by far for a quarterback selected to the Pro Bowl since the 1970 merger, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The previous low was six touchdown passes by the Philadelphia Eagles’ Mike Boryla in 1975. In filling in for the injured Jackson for six games, Huntley passed for a total of 658 yards, which ranked 48th in the NFL this season.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

How the Chiefs won the AFC Championship in March — when no one was looking

But against the Buccaneers in that Super Bowl — and during the 2021 season — the team hit a wall. While the roster still had elite players at the top, the bottom of the roster was too weak for players at the top to counteract.

None of this is a criticism of the front office. The team’s strategy had led to a Super Bowl win. But unfortunately, a team can’t live that way forever.

That’s why the Chiefs traded Hill. It had nothing to do with his talent — or even what it would have cost to retain him. He was phenomenal in 2022, revitalizing the Miami Dolphins’ offense with his all-time gravity and speed. His sheer presence can make an offense efficient — simply because of the way opposing teams must adjust to him. The Chiefs could have justified paying Hill what he was worth.

But the team chose a different path. It gambled that Andy Reid and Mahomes could continue to make the offense succeed without Hill, allowing the team to use the assets gained through the trade — Hill’s salary and the draft picks the team received in trade — to build the roster along the margins. Flexibility, youth, and depth would be emphasized.

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