Post-draft ranking: 1
On the hot seat: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Edwards-Helaire is most likely in his final season with the Chiefs and could be playing for his career as well. He hasn’t proved worthy of the first-round pick the Chiefs used on him in 2020 and has been passed on the depth chart by Isiah Pacheco, a 2022 seventh-round pick. The Chiefs declined the fifth-year option on Edwards-Helaire’s contract, and he will need to play well in the opportunities he gets to earn a contract with another team for 2024. — Adam Teicher
Kansas City Chiefs in midseason form? The reigning Super Bowl champs torched the Cards 38-10, and MVP Patrick Mahomes was K.C.’s lowest-rated passer Saturday with a 109.0 rating. The Chiefs’ updated offensive line allowed exactly zero quarterback hits even as the team put the ball in the air 38 times.
Travis Kelce is awesome, essentially a top-five wide receiver, and with little reason to expect lesser results this season. Still, I admit I tend to wait at tight end until after Round 10, since so many of the choices after the first several are so similar. Streaming is a solid option here. I like the value of the Houston Texans’ Dalton Schultz, Chicago Bears’ Cole Kmet and Rams’ Tyler Higbee, and I think most are undervaluing the Titans’ Chigoziem Okonkwo, whom I select as a second tight end in case the breakout talk is real.
Chiefs: Isiah Pacheco’s high-energy production during their latest title run ensures he’ll get the first crack at the RB1 gig, even coming off offseason surgery, with the trusty Jerick McKinnon cycling in as a passing-down specialist.
Kansas City Chiefs: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
It’s time for the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs to move on from 2020 first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
While the LSU product has had some bright moments for the Chiefs, they’ve been few and far between. He’s struggled to stay healthy and lost the starting job to Isiah Pacheco.
Pacheco and receiving back Jerick McKinnon sit atop the depth chart, leaving Kansas City with a battle for RB3.
The Chiefs have Super Bowl aspirations again this season and need to maximize their roster wherever possible. Their third running back needs to be a special teams contributor, and Edwards-Helaire hasn’t recorded a single special teams snap.
The 24-year-old is also just average as a backfield option. He’s continued to show his lack of vision and burst this preseason, averaging less than 3.0 yards per carry in two games.
A back with more upside who is also willing to play special teams—such as La’Mical Perine or undrafted rookie Deneric Prince—deserves to make the roster over Edwards-Helaire.
Billy Joel may be known as a huge fan of New York and its sports teams, but he made a crowd full of Kansas City Chiefs fans happy Saturday night when he walked on stage to sing a duet with Stevie Nicks.
The Piano Man wore a huge grin … and a Kansas City Chiefs hat.
Fans in the audience at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium posted photos on social media.
“Billy Joel is a Chiefs Fan!”
“Billy Joel and his band brought the Chief’s Spirit to Arrowhead singing with Stevie Nicks last night!! Gracious and real performance! Proud to be a part of @Chiefs Kingdom!”
“Billy Joel really focused on Kansas City and Chiefs in his program which was so cool!”
Analysis and Expectations
The Chiefs are getting close to a decade of dominance atop the AFC West. They’ve won the division crown each of the past seven seasons, and they’re in a good spot to possibly win their eighth in a row during the 2023 campaign.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is an overwhelming favorite to win the AFC West (-165 to do so; bet $165 to win $100). No other team in the division has better odds to capture the title than +340 (which belongs to the Chargers).
During their seven-year reign atop the AFC West, the Chiefs have lost more than four games in a season only twice during that span. They didn’t last year, when they went 14-3 to secure the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC.
It should come as little surprise that Kansas City is also the betting favorite to win both the AFC title (+350) and Super Bowl championship (+600). After all, Mahomes is coming off a 2022 season in which he was named NFL MVP and Super Bowl LVII MVP, as the 27-year-old QB continues to power the franchise to great heights.
The Chiefs have reached at least the AFC Championship Game in each of the past five seasons. They would likely be a bit disappointed if they don’t get back there, although the conference is loaded with tough competition, most notably the Bills and Bengals.
But for Kansas City, it’s likely again Super Bowl or bust. Head coach Andy Reid has helped establish a championship culture for the franchise, and with the talent on its 2023 roster, it has high expectations for the upcoming season.
Rashee Rice, wide receiver, Chiefs: Rice shined against the Cardinals on Saturday, leading the Chiefs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (96). “I’ve got a lot of trust in him that he’ll make those catches in tough spaces,” Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes said of Rice following the 38-10 victory.
The Chiefs offense can be difficult to learn for a rookie wideout, but the second-round pick out of SMU is ahead of schedule and already developing chemistry with Mahomes. Kansas City should give the 23-year-old a more prominent role.
Around the NFL
The Indianapolis Colts have given Taylor permission to seek a trade, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Monday. Conversations regarding potential landing spots are ongoing, with the Colts informing several player personnel executives of Taylor’s availability via trade, per Rapoport.
Indy is expected to want more than the San Francisco 49ers received from the Carolina Panthers for Christian McCaffrey, which was second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-round selections, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported. So, initiating a trade won’t come easy for Taylor and Co.
One of the most peculiar NFL records — or “stupid” if you ask the irreverent Washington Commanders — came to a close in dramatic and emotional fashion.
The Baltimore Ravens’ 24-game preseason win streak ended Monday night in a 29-28 loss to the Commanders, who erupted in celebration on the field and on the sideline.
Joey Slye’s 49-yard field goal with 9 seconds remaining handed Baltimore its first loss in the preseason since 2015, which was three years before the team drafted Lamar Jackson. The winning drive was kept alive when Ravens cornerback Corey Mayfield Jr. was called for pass interference on fourth-and-11 with 1:04 left in the game.
“The thing about something like that — I just told our guys — you’re proud of it and you appreciate it,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “But the thing that you’re proud of is all those games are mostly like that.”
Harbaugh later added, “It’s one of these things you look at and you go, ‘Wow, how did that happen? How did something like that take place?’ It’s pretty remarkable. What are the odds?”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Sneed’s injury timeline
The cornerback suffered a concussion in the first quarter of the AFC Championship, but passed through concussion protocol to play in Super Bowl LVII. But in the week before the championship game, Sneed appeared on the injury report as a limited participant with a knee injury.
On the field, however, Sneed’s injury did not appear to limit him; he played every defensive snap in the championship game. No offseason surgical procedure or intervention was reported. We also don’t know whether Sneed’s current issue is with the same knee that was bothering him at the end of last season.
While Sneed was held out of minicamp with knee swelling, it was reported at that time that he would be ready for training camp — and he was. But he participated only in camp’s first week of practice before being held out once again.
On August 15, head coach Andy Reid said that Sneed would be back for the season.
“We’re just – again — taking that slow,” said Reid, “but yeah: we’ll get him back sooner [rather] than later.”
A tweet to make you think
Andy Reid said Isiah Pacheco will no longer work in a yellow, non-contact jersey, a positive sign for him ahead of the Sept. 7 season opener against the Lions.— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) August 21, 2023
Reid also acknowledged that the Chiefs will keep either 6 or 7 receivers on their initial 53-man roster.