The Arizona Cardinals were able to see how far away they are.
The Kansas City Chiefs came into State Farm Stadium and won for the third time in less than a year as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Arizona Cardinals down 38-10.
The Cardinals found out how far away they are from competing in the NFL right now.
They did okay against the Chiefs first team, for a quarter and then it got out of control. Which showed, the Cardinals best against the Chiefs best may be something to watch; but if anything happens to the Cardinals top players, then it is going to be an awful year where they cannot compete.
That isn’t a surprise but it was a good eye opening experience for the Cardinals and Jonathan Gannon.
The other clear thing is, the offense without Kyler cannot function.
Conner on the rise
In the box score, rookie safety Chamarri Conner had what appeared to be an ordinary day — just three tackles and a pass breakup. But Conner, whom the Chiefs’ selected with a fourth-round pick, was one of the biggest surprises from Saturday’s game. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo utilized Conner in the first three quarters, giving him plenty of snaps to showcase his skills.
Conner was the nickel cornerback with the projected starters, a role where he blitzed on several snaps to create pressure on quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Clayton Tune. Such a blitz in the second quarter led to Conner deflecting Tune’s pass near the line of scrimmage.
When the Cardinals entered the red zone for the first time, Conner was in proper position while covering receiver Greg Dortch to force an incompletion near the corner of the end zone.
Conner, at this point, appears to be the third nickel cornerback behind L’Jarius Sneed, who didn’t play Saturday because of a sore knee, and Trent McDuffie.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Justyn Ross Continues to Impress During Comeback
Justyn Ross always displayed the talent to be an impact player at the professional level. But availability is always player’s best ability.
Unfortunately, significant injuries slowed Ross’ path to the NFL. The wide receiver seems to have finally reached the other side, with a chance to display his exceptional natural talent.
Going into the 2020 campaign, the 6’4”, 205-pound target looked like a future first-round lock. Instead, Ross required surgery to correct a congenital fusion condition of his neck and spine. He missed all of the season. Upon Ross’ return, he didn’t produce nearly as much with Clemson’s post-Trevor Lawrence issues at quarterback.
Pre-draft medical evaluations weren’t kind, either, because Ross went undrafted among the ‘22 class. He still seemed to land in the perfect situation when he signed a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Misfortune struck again. The rookie missed his entire first season after requiring foot surgery.
“ was a redshirt year that he probably didn’t want to have right with the injury. But he’s done a nice job,” head coach Andy Reid told reporters earlier this month. “He had a good off-season. And then he’s worked his tail off here. And he just needs to keep doing that. You know, it’s how you answer the bell every day and push through it. So, he’s got the right mindset to do that.”
In his first NFL preseason contest, Ross snagged two passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. He continued his progression in Week 2, caught a couple passes and showed how a big target can create separation.
Patrick Mahomes has solid backups. Shane Buechele sort of upstaged the Chiefs’ star quarterback by going a perfect 10-for-10 passing for 105 yards and scoring on a heady, 15-yard touchdown run to conclude a seven-play, 88-yard drive in the second quarter. The third-year QB went on to lead another long scoring drive (field goal) to end the first half, which concluded his perfect day after two series. Rookie wideout Rashee Rice was the main beneficiary of Buechele’s accurate day throwing the football by leading the team with eight receptions for 96 yards. While it was unexpected for Buechele, not veteran Blaine Gabbert, to be next QB in line after Mahomes’ day was done, the 25-year-old never flinched and made a good case of being the primary backup. Gabbert followed up Buechele’s performance with a nice one of his own, completing 7 of 8 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Andy Reid will be pleased knowing there are not one but two capable QBs behind Mahomes.
Wideouts are taking on greater significance in fantasy, especially as the NFL continues to be a passer’s league. As coaches scheme other ways to get the ball in their hands via sweeps or plays out of the backfield, they have more opportunities to pile up stats and become of greater value.
Your eyes should be on the top-tier receivers at the top of the draft before segueing into quality at running back that will be there later.
Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce should be tops at their position, even if the rushing threat of Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Lamar Jackson is alluring to some. Mahomes and Kelce have proven consistently excellent since 2018 and have earned drafters’ trust.
Around the NFL
Rodgers, 39, has participated in every training camp practice, but he watched from the sideline as backup Zach Wilson started the first three games. The four-time MVP will get a quick tuneup before the Jets face the Buffalo Bills in the Sept. 11 season opener on “Monday Night Football.”
The decision isn’t a surprise, as coach Robert Saleh indicated at the start of the preseason that playing Rodgers against the Giants was a possibility.
“I wouldn’t mind playing in the preseason,” Rodgers said recently. “I wouldn’t mind if Robert said, ‘Hey, we are going to go. Let’s do it.’”
Maxie Baughan, one of the most dominant linebackers of the 1960s, died Saturday at the age of 85.
Baughan forged his initial path of ferocity and athleticism with the Eagles, who drafted him in the second round of the 1960 NFL Draft and quickly installed him as a starter. He played five years in Philadelphia before a trade sent him to Los Angeles, where he finished out the other half of the decade with the Rams.
He split nine Pro Bowl campaigns between the two teams, falling short of the honor just once during the 1960s. Baughan, five times a second-team All-Pro and once a member of the first-team, was inducted into the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame in 2015 and is one of 12 semifinalists in the seniors category for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024.
Myles Jack admitted he had other ambitions before signing with the Philadelphia Eagles two weeks ago. Now, the veteran linebacker gets to fulfill them.
Jack has informed the Eagles he intends to retire after seven NFL seasons, per NFL Network. He signed with the team two weeks ago alongside Zach Cunningham to compete for the vacant starting linebacker job next to Nakobe Dean. While spending some of the first week with the Eagles at first team on the depth chart, Jack was relegated to second team — culminated by playing just 29 snaps and not entering the game until late in the second half of the Eagles’ tie with the Cleveland Browns.
When Jack spoke for the first time at training camp, the revealed he had ambitions of being an electrician or a plumber before being lured back into football by Budda Baker. Now, Jack can pursue that path.
“I like to work, I just couldn’t sit at home,” Jack said. “I’ve been blessed to make a lot of money. So I could just retire and sit at the house.
“But I’m too bored. My mind is too much. So I just want to be innovative. I don’t know, if a zombie apocalypse happens, I want to be able to build something or fix something.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
3. Clyde Edwards-Helaire isn’t going anywhere
In Pacheco’s absence, Edwards-Helaire got the bulk of Saturday night’s work with the first-team offense. And to be completely honest, he didn’t do a lot with that chance. He gained just 10 yards on four carries — and was called for a costly holding penalty.
After the preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints, there was speculation that the Chiefs were showcasing Edwards-Helaire for a potential trade — but I don’t buy it. This coaching staff likes him — and despite Saturday’s game, they trust him as Pacheco’s backup.
Now that some of the shine has worn off of Prince — and with Edwards-Helaire playing with the first team in the first two preseason games — I think it we should expect him to remain on the team in 2023.
A tweet to make you think
In all likelihood, neither Gabbert nor Buechele are going anywhere so there’s probably not much point in starting a debate.— Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief) August 20, 2023