Sunday night’s Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets game was supposed to represent the first meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers, but Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon before even completing a pass in Week One.
“Obviously, it sucks for not only him and his team but for the entire league because he’s such a great player,” Mahomes said. “You want to play the teams at their best.”
The first Mahomes-Rodgers matchup was supposed to take place in Week Eight of the 2019 season, but Mahomes’ dislocated kneecap prevented him from playing, and Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to a 31-21 win at Arrowhead Stadium.
2. Patrick Mahomes · Kansas City Chiefs · Year 7
2023 stats: 3 games | 65.5 pct | 803 pass yds | 7.1 ypa | 7 pass TD | 2 INT | 103 rush yds | 0 rush TD | 0 fumbles
The win over the Bears was a classic Chiefs beatdown, and Mahomes was once again a central figure. His command of the offense was on full display all afternoon, effectively captured by one play in particular: an incredible, on-the-move, 37-yard throw to Justin Watson with the pass rush in Mahomes’ grill. The QB could do no wrong, working Chicago’s defense as if all 11 opponents were his marionettes. Skyy Moore, Rashee Rice, Watson, Travis Kelce and Jerick McKinnon all got involved in the passing game. They even pulled off their trademark inside forward toss for a touchdown. This was peak Chiefs, and near-peak Mahomes.
1. Patrick Mahomes
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QB
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.
Kansas City Chiefs
Free agent: Tennessee Titans DI Teair Tart
Tart is coming off a breakout 2022 season, earning a 73.1 grade with 26 quarterback pressures and 23 defensive stops. He’s a big, physical presence on the interior. Perhaps Tennessee decides to let him test free agency after making Jeffery Simmons one of the highest-paid players on the interior in the NFL this offseason. Tart has eight defensive stops and a 71.2 run-defense grade through Week 3.
Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets (+9.5)
Earlier this week, I implored the Jets to do something—anything—at quarterback. Then they signed Trevor Siemian to their practice squad. That’s not what I meant! I know there are hurdles that make it hard to bring in a new quarterback in the middle of the season. I acknowledge that adding someone new might not work out. But think about what well-run organizations would do in this spot. You’re telling me teams like the Eagles and 49ers would just sit on their hands and keep rolling with Zach Wilson? Of course not. They would be spending every waking minute exploring other options. Yet the Jets seem resigned to just throwing their season away.
The Chiefs took care of business against the Bears last week, and they should win big here. I can easily envision a scenario in which Kansas City is up 34-0 in the third quarter, but something is telling me to be careful. I still believe in this Jets defense. Maybe they keep it close. Or maybe I’m banging my head against my desk at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday night because I made such a stupid pick. Which one do you think is more likely?
The pick: Jets (+9.5)
Around the NFL
After going 0-7 against the Green Bay Packers as a member of the Chicago Bears, Montgomery rushed for a career-best three touchdowns to drive the Detroit Lions to a 34-20 win on Thursday Night Football.
“It definitely felt great,” Montgomery told reporters about getting his first win over the Packers. “You know I haven’t been able to do that, but to come here with the group of guys that I’m able to play with, it’s a blessing.”
Montgomery was the definition of a workhorse on Thursday, piling up 32 carries, which matched a career high and stand as the most for any player this season in the NFL.
Commenting for the first time on Namath’s scathing criticism, the embattled Wilson insisted he wasn’t upset by the comments.
“I mean, he’s passionate,” Wilson said Thursday, smiling. “He’s obviously one of the greats, so as an offense we’ve got to do everything we can to try to prove him wrong.”
Namath, 80, fed up with Wilson’s struggles, blasted the first-rounder on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN New York radio. He said that Wilson’s performance was “disgusting” and that he’s “seen enough of Zach Wilson,” predicting the third-year quarterback never will develop into a good player.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Since he’s returned to the lineup after a lengthy contract dispute, it’s been hard to find any indication that has had trouble jumping right back into the swing of things. On Thursday, Chiefs defensive line coach Joe Cullen said it was no surprise to the team that Jones returned ready to roll.
“We stayed in great touch with Chris,” said Cullen. “Chris is going to come back in great shape. And that’s what he did.”
Cullen went on to say that Jones’ commitment to staying in shape was evident in his first game back against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“You know, the thing that was evident in the Jacksonville game,” said Cullen. “The weather was 100 — they said 117, whatever it was on the field — but the thing that stuck out the most is the second-to-last play of the game on defense. Chris had the sack with Felix [Anudike-Uzomah], but that rush looked stronger than the first sack he had earlier in the game. And so that means he was in pretty good shape.”
A tweet to make you think
"Everything here is about winning."— Matt McMullen (@KCChiefs_Matt) September 28, 2023
Really liked this answer from Drue Tranquill when asked about his experience in Kansas City so far. Says a lot about the culture in the building. pic.twitter.com/QzYssN8R3j