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Arrowheadlines: Sunday’s game isn’t a must-win for the Chiefs

Chiefs headlines for Saturday, September 16

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Kansas City Chiefs Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The latest

Five NFL Teams Whose Seasons Are Already on the Line in Week 2 | Bleacher Report

Excluded from the list

Denver Broncos: Let’s give Russell Wilson and Sean Payton a little bit of time, especially with the rest of the AFC West generally starting slow out of the gate. The Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers all have pretty tough road games in Week 2, while Denver is at least at home for Washington. Even a loss wouldn’t signal the end of any hope for a successful season here.

Kansas City Chiefs: The defending Super Bowl champions definitely get the benefit of the doubt. And as I mentioned, much of the division is off to a slow start. You can’t rule out K.C., even with a loss in Jacksonville Sunday. The schedule eases a bit after this one as well.

Los Angeles Chargers: The Raiders were the only AFC West team that was victorious in Week 1, and they’re an underdog in Buffalo. The Chargers could lose in Tennessee Sunday and still potentially be in fine shape with Las Vegas coming to two in two weeks.

Jaguars vs Chiefs Week 2: Questions with Arrowhead Pride: What we learned about KC | Big Cat Country

Question 1: This week’s big storyline is the return of Chris Jones and Travis Kelce. Would you expect them to be 100% and back like they never left, or do you expect less-than-full workloads on Sunday?

Actually, I think you’ll find that the biggest story involving Travis Kelce is who he is rumoured to be dating.

I kid.

But seriously, I cannot begin to tell you how important it is that he is back from injury. There were worries that he would not be able to shake it off in time ahead of this game, but a full week of participation has him feeling 22 once again.

His absence was noticeable against the Lions. There was an obvious blank space in the offense that no one could fill. Noah Gray and Blake Bell certainly tried but emulating the greatest tight end of all time is no easy task. With Kelce back, I expect the offense to click once more — even if he is on a snap count.

NFL Week 2 bold predictions: Browns start 2-0 for first time in 30 years, Jaguars finally beat Patrick Mahomes | CBS Sports

1. Trevor Lawrence leads Jaguars to first win against Patrick Mahomes

Offense may even harder to come by for the Chiefs in Week 2 with the spotlight shining brightly on right tackle Jawaan Taylor’s habit of getting an extra head start before the snap. One would think referees will look to make an example out of him going forward this season.

On the Jaguars side of the equation, Jacksonville’s two latest number one overall draft picks are heating up. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has shaken off the cobwebs of having Urban Meyer as his first NFL head coach by playing like one of the league’s efficient passers.

NFL Week 2 picks, schedule, odds, injuries, fantasy tips | ESPN

Stat to know: The Chiefs are looking to avoid becoming only the fifth defending Super Bowl champion to start a season 0-2. Of the previous four, only one made the playoffs, but that just happened to be the 1993 Cowboys, who went on to win their second straight Super Bowl.

Matchup X factor: Jaguars offensive tackle Anton Harrison. The rookie posted a 71% pass block win rate in Week 1, fourth worst among tackles. If the Jaguars are going to keep up with the Chiefs’ offense, Lawrence is going to need better protection. — Walder

Around the NFL

Vikings RB Alexander Mattison calls out racial slurs directed to him on social media after loss to Eagles | NFL.com

Mattison, who is Black, revealed on an Instagram Story post that he was taunted through direct messages and in the comments sections on the social media platform for his performance in Minnesota’s 34-28 defeat Thursday at Philadelphia, where Mattison had one of the Vikings’ four fumbles. He urged the 60-plus users to “really reflect” on their words and how they could truly affect a person.

“Under my helmet, I am a human, a father, a son,” Mattison wrote. “This is sick.”

The Vikings said in a statement Friday they were “sickened” by the messages directed at Mattison.

“There simply is no room for racist words or actions in sports or society,” the team said.

Jets’ Aaron Rodgers to his doubters - ‘Watch what I do’ | ESPN

While acknowledging “some odds [are] stacked against me based on age,” the 39-year-old quarterback — the oldest player in the NFL — said he intends to prove the naysayers wrong.

“Give me the doubts, give me the timetables, give me all the things that you think can, should or will happen, because all I need is that one little extra percent of inspiration,” he said on “The Pat McAfee Show” — his first public comments since the injury.

“That’s all I need. So, give me your doubts, give me your prognostications and then watch what I do.”

Raiders WR Jakobi Meyers ruled out to concussion | ESPN

Las Vegas Raiders receiver Jakobi Meyers, who suffered a concussion in the season opener, will not play Sunday at the Buffalo Bills.

“Still going through the protocol,” Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said Friday in West Virginia, where the Raiders have practiced this week.

Meyers, who signed a three-year, $33 million free agent contract with the Raiders in March, has not practiced since taking a hit to the head from Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson during the Raiders’ game-sealing drive on Sunday.

Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy (hamstring) expected to play Sunday vs. Commanders | NFL.com

Jerry Jeudy, who suffered a hamstring injury in late August, is expected to make his season debut on Sunday against the Washington Commanders, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Friday’s edition of The Insiders on NFL+.

“It did seem like the Denver Broncos were really cautious with Jerry Jeudy,” Rapoport said. “I don’t think he could’ve gone last week, but maybe if he stretched it. But no, they held back. They said, you know what, we want this guy to be full strength. The fact that he was a full participant on Thursday is a very good sign for him being able to play on Sunday. … I imagine he’s gonna have a huge, huge impact in stretching this offense.”

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs News: Wide receivers look to fix drops vs. Jaguars in Week 2

Nine years ago — after suffering an embarrassing Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night FootballNew England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick created a new catchphrase for moving on by repeatedly insisting his squad was “on to Cincinnati.”

The Chiefs may be able to sympathize with the eventual Super Bowl XLIX Champion 2014 Patriots after dropping their season opener 21-20 to the Detroit Lions last week. A dreadful performance by the wide receiver corps takes a heavy share of the blame for the loss.

Heading into their Week 2 matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City’s pass catchers appear to be echoing Belichick’s example in responding to adversity.

“It’s been good,” wide receiver Skyy Moore said on Thursday of the week’s preparations. “We had a good practice yesterday [Wednesday]. We got to watch the film as soon as we came in on Tuesday — and we’re on to Jacksonville.”

Chiefs-Jaguars Week 2: Jags’ elevated passing attack to test Chiefs

Calvin Ridley is back

The team traded for suspended wide receiver Calvin Ridley last season, anticipating his reinstatement for 2023. He is back, and it didn’t take him long to cement himself as the team’s go-to option.

In Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts, Ridley saw 11 targets, catching eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Most of the damage came in the first half, but it was clear that Lawrence and Ridley’s connection is already at a high level.

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