Chiefs headlines for Saturday, July 6th.
9) 2018 Kansas City Chiefs– Tom Blair
Record: 12-4; lost to Patriots in AFC Championship Game, 37-31.
— 1st in overall offense (425.6 ypg; No. 6 of decade)
— 1st in scoring (35.3 ppg; No. 2 of decade)
— 31st in overall defense (405.5 ypg)
— 24th in points allowed (26.3 ppg)
— 2nd in point differential (144)
Let’s get a little weird, guys! The Chiefs might be the least-balanced team here. The defense was terrible, and Kansas City lost a head-to-head regular-season matchup with the Rams, a legit contender for this list. And yet, Patrick Mahomes‘ debut season as a starter was so transformative — and meant so much to the game — that I had to find a way to include the team that made it possible. We will probably look back at Kansas City’s whirlwind 2018 as a turning point, with NFL history divided into pre- and post-Mahomes eras. And this is not just about the quarterback; yes, Mahomes is a singular talent, but it’s impossible to separate his MVP season from coach Andy Reid’s direction and the use of an exceedingly capable supporting cast around Mahomes on offense. I can acknowledge that I’m venturing into the weeds on this one; even so, it’s worth noting that for most of the year, the offense was more than capable of making up for the dreadful D, as evidenced by the robust point differential. The Chiefs might not make the cut here if I were taking a more cold-blooded, analytical tack — but a list of the best teams of the decade that does not include Mahomes is not a list I want any part of.
This is going to be scary.
In his lone season with Andy Reid and the Chiefs, 49% of Watkins’ targets came on slants and hitches. Watkins has been very efficient on hitch routes and was recently ranked by PFF as the fifth-best receiver on hitch routes, producing a passer rating of 96.3 when targeted on such route patterns. The Chiefs made an effort the get Watkins the ball in the underneath part of the field and let him work after the catch, as evidenced by the increased use of the slant pattern — Watkins averaged 5.9 yards after the catch per reception on such routes in 2018 which ranked tied 13th among receivers.
– Evan McPhillips
Sammy Watkins came into the league with the potential to become one of the league’s elite receivers. While injuries have slowed him down throughout his career, increased opportunity and playing with the reigning league MVP gives reason to believe that this will be the year that Watkins is able to recapture the magic of his 2015 season and remind the NFL just how dangerous he can be.
Around the League
At age 41, Tom Brady improves upon his 40 time at the NFL Combine
“Tedy is recovering well, and would like to thank the nurses, doctors and staff at Sturdy Memorial Hospital for all they have done. Tedy and his family thank you for your ongoing encouragement, and kindly ask for privacy at this time.”– Statement from the Bruschi family
For 2019 to be a successful season, the Colts MUST …– Adam Rank
— Advance to the AFC Championship Game.
The Super Bowl is a realistic goal for this team, as it should be with Andrew Luck at quarterback. But just getting back to the playoffs and playing better than you did against the Chiefs would be a huge start. That playoff loss was especially disappointing when you consider Andy Reid’s history in the playoffs. So go in there and make some noise.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
On Friday, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson had the opportunity to take one of these check rides — and it’s therefore our patriotic duty to share photos and videos from his experience.– John Dixon
Fuller should be better positioned to succeed with new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. He’ll be in a more zone-heavy scheme that should help his instincts and understanding of opponent concepts work better. I believe Fuller is primed to play closer to what he was in Washington than what we saw last year.
The same way Fuller should find more success this season under new leadership, Ward has more questions about how he’ll transition. Ward’s best reps happened in man coverage, getting to be physical at the line of scrimmage. He’ll be asked to play off coverage more, and his ability to process and transition from depth were concerns with his game. He’ll need to grow in those areas to be considered a quality starter.– Kent Swanson
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