15. Isiah Pacheco · Kansas City Chiefs · Year 2
2023 stats: 3 games · 35 att · 155 rush yds · 4.4 ypc · 1 rush TD · 7 rec · 47 rec yds · 0 rec TDs · 0 fumbles lost
Pacheco has been a steady presence for the Chiefs’ offense. He scored his first touchdown of the season during Kansas City’s explosive performance in Week 3, punching in a 1-yard run right before halftime. He’s making a difference in the passing game, too. Pacheco already has seven receptions for 47 yards after posting 13 catches for 130 yards in his rookie campaign.
The Chiefs could have turned to several options with experience: Wide receivers Justin Watson and Kadarius Toney had returned punts. Running back Isiah Pacheco was the team’s primary kickoff return specialist last season.
Instead, Washington lined up at both spots in the 41-10 victory over the Bears, and the job appears to be his.
“I enjoyed everything about it,” Washington said of his Chiefs debut. “I’m just playing my role. For me to be able to get out there and get good field position, you can’t ask for more.”
Washington’s 23-yard return set the tone for the Chiefs’ first touchdown. His next two returns started possessions that ended with 10 points.
Hardman left this offseason for the New York Jets, which happens. There are no hard feelings between the two sides, and I’m sure when the two teams play this week, Hardman and his former teammates will show love for one another.
But, right now, Hardman isn’t the happiest with fans in general. Maybe he is talking about both fan bases or just one of the two, but he called them out on Twitter.
“I wish people would stop saying I be hurt a lot, that just shows who actually pay attention! Played every game for 3 years straight and had a freak injury half way through year 4. A injury where none of y’all don’t even have the slightest idea of what I dealt with when the injury occurred,” Hardman wrote on Twitter.
Kansas City Chiefs • Round 1 (Pick 31)
DL T’Vondre Sweat
Texas • Senior • 6 feet 4 • 362 pounds
The Chiefs gets an interior penetrator who’s been on the draft radar to help Chris Jones along their defensive line.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
The reigning MVP did more with less in the Chiefs’ sluggish 1-1 start, but he was back to his effortless production against the Bears. No one makes it look easier to go up and down the field. Andy Reid’s magician reigns supreme.
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Head coach Doug Pederson also said receiver Zay Jones (right knee) is a long shot to play in Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium. Pederson said Jones will make the trip to London with the team and could possibly play against the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Oct. 8.
Lloyd, the 27th overall pick in 2022, was injured in last Sunday’s 37-17 home loss to the Houston Texans. He has started every game this season and has 19 tackles and a fumble recovery. Second-year player Chad Muma likely will replace him in the lineup.
On Tuesday, musician J. Cole posted a letter written by Kaepernick addressed to Jets general manager Joe Douglas on social media. In this letter, Kaepernick requests not to take over Wilson’s post, but to be signed to the practice squad. Cole said Kaepernick initially didn’t want the letter released to the world, but Cole argued that everyone should know about his work ethic and his desire to play again.
Toward the end of last season, Clowney was quoted by Cleveland.com as saying the Browns were more worried about getting individual accolades for Myles Garrett than winning games.
The Browns sent Clowney home the next day and made him inactive for the final game.
“I got a lot of respect for a lot of those guys over there that I still consider friends,” Clowney said Wednesday. “If I had any bad blood, I don’t think I would have signed to go back there for two years in a row.”
Clowney played two seasons for the Browns, re-signing in 2022. He recorded 65 tackles and 11 sacks with the Browns.
“You’re all trying to get [Garrett] into the Hall of Fame instead of winning games,” Clowney was quoted as saying three days before the 2022 finale. “I don’t even think he notices. I ain’t trying to say it’s him. I try to get along with everybody I play with. Me and him don’t have a problem. It ain’t his fault, and it’s B.S., and I don’t have time for it.”
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Stopping the run
Entering the game, the Bears had struggled to establish the run, but with criticism over quarterback Justin Fields and the Bears coaching staff mounting, it was easy to assume that they would come out and try to establish the ground game early.
The Bears wanted to run on early downs and control the clock, but the Chiefs were ready.
The defense came out in a few different looks early to stop the run, and the linebackers were at the forefront.
KC in a modified Odd front. A 1-tech, 4i, and 5-tech with hands down. 54 playing the Joker role, 23 opposite on the strength side of the formation. 20 +22 EOL players as well. The DL pinches while 23 fires through the D gap and 22 comes hot off the other end as well. pic.twitter.com/BJPtK2jU2g— Caleb James (@CJScoobs) September 25, 2023
The Bears pack the line of scrimmage and come out with 13 personnel. To match this, the Chiefs come out in an odd front— with three down defensive linemen and Tranquill and Chenal lined up on the edges.
The Bears run a duo look, but Tranquill crashes through the D-gap and corrals the running back.
Having versatile athletic players in the unit like Tranquill has allowed Steve Spagnuolo to use creative looks— like the odd fronts and kept defenses guessing.
Chicago was searching for any way to run the ball and looked to run away from the strength of their formation a few times to catch the Chiefs off guard.