Tag Archives: Patrick Mahomes

2019 NFL Preview: AFC West

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

KEY ADDITIONS: S Tyrann Mathieu, DE Frank Clark, DE Alex Okafor, RB LeSean McCoy, RB Carlos Hyde, CB Morris Claiborne, CB Bashaud Breeland

KEY DEPARTURES: S Eric Berry, C Mitch Morse, CB Steven Nelson, DE Justin Houston, RB Kareem Hunt, CB Orlando Scandrick, WR Chris Conley, RB Spencer Ware, S Ron Parker, LB Dee Ford

DRAFT: 2nd round: WR Mecole Hardman, Georgia   S Juan Thornhill, Virginia   3rd round: DT Khalen Saunders, Western Illnois   6th round: CB Rashad Fenton, South Carolina   RB Darwin Thompson, Utah State   7th round: Nick Allegretti, Illinois

SUMMARY: Patrick Mahomes last year was nothing short of magical. In all my years watching this sport, Mahomes’ 2018 was right up there with the best I’ve witnessed. Incredible arm talent and more importantly, the patience and methodical nature of a war room maestro, Mahomes looked not like a season vet but an all-timer.

But now is a new year, a chance to reflect and to look forward. The Chiefs offense was among the league’s best which overshadowed a disastrous defense, a weakness that eventually revealed itself (2nd-last in total yardage). Many staples of the franchise left this offseason, including franchise safety Eric Berry and pass rusher Justin Houston. In a bizarre move, the Chiefs decided to move on from Dee Ford but then send a boatload of picks to Seattle for Frank Clark. I’m sorry but the difference between Ford and Clark is not a first, second, swap of thirds and a five year, $104 million contract. Few players ever live up to trades that lopsided and Clark isn’t even on the Mount Rushmore of his position. That’s the type of package you send for Khalil Mack, not Clark.

But that’s what Kansas City is rolling with. Backs LeSean McCoy and Carlos Hyde boost a run game that will need to make up the difference in Mahomes regression. I expect Mahomes to be great once again and among the league’s most efficient passers. Average and even above average players are not capable of Mahomes’ 2018. Only the truly gifted are. This guy’s for real.

But yes, there will be regression. I find it unlikely Kansas City repeats a 35 points per game pace but a rejuvenated defense with a new coordinator should make the Chiefs a more complete team, a unit who will have a chance to demonstrate it during a soft first-half schedule where Kansas City plays their toughest games at home. They also just signed star receiver Tyreek Hill to an extension.

Now, if they can just exercise those playoff demons.

FANTASY PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Damien Williams

I generally avoid players coming off career years because a regression to the mean often follows. It would be difficult for Mahomes or Tyreek to play better than they did last season. Kelce is a top-three tight end but also going as early as the second round and Watkins was unplayable last year. That leaves Williams. A few weeks ago, I was much more confident in this pick but in the last week, the Chiefs have added LeSean McCoy and Carlos Hyde to their running back group, likely reducing Williams workload. Still, Kansas City is full of offensive talent that’s highly sought after by fantasy players and Damien Williams is the one player that’s falling down draft boards. Williams will still get an overwhelming share of the targets in passing situations and McCoy and Hyde may play complimentary roles. Williams may not be the safest bet on the team but he offers the most bang for your buck.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 12-4

Week 1: @JAC   Week 2: @OAK   Week 3: vs BAL   Week 4: @DET   Week 5: vs. IND   Week 6: vs. HOU   Week 7: @DEN   Week 8: vs. GB   Week 9: vs. MIN   Week 10: @TEN   Week 11: vs. LAC   Week 12: BYE   Week 13: vs. OAK   Week 14: @NE   Week 15: vs. DEN   Week 16: @CHI   Week 17: vs. LAC

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

KEY ADDITIONS: QB Tyrod Taylor, LB Thomas Davis

KEY DEPARTURES: WR Tyrell Williams, CB Jason Verrett, S Jahleel Addae, DT Corey Liuget, TE Antonio Gates

DRAFT: 1st round: DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame   2nd round: S Nasir Adderley, Delaware   3rd round: OT Trey Pipkins, Sioux Falls   4th round: LB Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame   5th round: QB Easton Stick, North Dakota State   6th round: LB Emeke Egbule, Houston   7th round: Cortez Broughton, Cincinnati

SUMMARY: The Chargers were never able to put it together in San Diego but have been great since their move to L.A., going 9-7 and 12-4 since the relocation. It’s just unfortunate timing since Kansas City’s rebuild is now a full-powered racecar. The Chiefs have a ton of firepower and the defense should improve.  If the Chargers wanted a shot at a division crown, it was last year.

Melvin Gordon is holding out but the Chargers are right not to make a move. Gordon has averaged a sub-4.0 ypc three of his four years and only broached 1,000 once. That’s not elite production and therefore does not command an elite salary.

Future HOFer Antonio Gates is gone for the Bolts, meaning Hunter Henry has extra responsibility this season.

Keenan Allen is one of the league’s best route runners and the Bolts are lucky to have Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson in the backfield during Gordon’s absence. The Chargers return most of their starters from a top-ten defensive unit, though Derwin James’ season is up in the air.

The team will go where Rivers does. Philip is looking to improve his playoff win:children ratio and has had a renaissance the last few seasons. He’s been reliable. Does he have another year in him? And how many wins can coach Anthony Lynn steal?

FANTASY PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Philip Rivers

Rivers isn’t a Hall of Fame quarterback but he is an above average regular season passer. He’s thrown for minimums of 4,286 yards and 28 touchdowns each of the last six campaigns. His usage will likely go up during Gordon’s holdout. I got Rivers in the 15th round in one of my drafts following an 11th place finish last year. He’s a steal who can spot in as a starter on a regular basis.

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 10-6

Week 1: vs. IND   Week 2: @DET   Week 3: vs. HOU   Week 4: @MIA   Week 5: vs. DEN   Week 6: vs. PIT   Week 7: @TEN   Week 8: @CHI   Week 9: vs. GB   Week 10: @OAK   Week 11: vs. KC   Week 12: BYE   Week 13: @DEN   WEEK 14: @JAC   Week 15: vs. MIN   Week 16: vs. OAK   Week 17: @KC

DENVER BRONCOS

KEY ADDITIONS: OT Ja’Wuan James, CB Kareem Jackson, CB Bryce Callahan, RB Theo Riddick

KEY DEPARTURES: C Matt Paradis, CB Bradley Roby, G Billy Turner, G Max Garcia, LB Shaquil Barrett, LB Brandon Marshall, LB Shane Ray

DRAFT: 1st round: TE Noah Fant, Iowa   2nd round: OT Dalton Risner, Kansas State   QB Drew Lock, Missouri   3rd round: DT Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State   5th round: LB Justin Hollins, Oregon   6th round: WR Juwann Winfree, Colorado

SUMMARY: Things could go poorly for Denver fast, facing Chicago, Green Bay and the Chargers in their first five games but with tough games come opportunities to prove oneself. I’m very interested by new coach Vic Fangio and what he plans to do with this squad. The Bears defense last year reminded Chicago of their glory days. Can Fangio utilize Von, Chubb and company to similar standards?

And what of Joe Flacco’s retirement tour? Does he has a little fire left in him?

And is Lindsay a one-hit wonder or a true starter?

How does Emmanuel Sanders return from his Achilles?

There’s just a lot of questions for this team and the only sure thing is that Noah Fant is going to catch a lot of drags from Flacco.

FANTASY PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Phillip Lindsay

I could have put Fant here given the quip above but Lindsay was a great get for my fantasy squads last year. Lindsay was one of nine backs over 1,000 in 2018 on a 5.4 clip. That clip is unsustainable and Lindsay seems destined to regress if only Joe Flacco weren’t his quarterback. I project Joe to be basic nourishment at most and starvation at worst. The worse Flacco plays, the more opportunity for Lindsay. Who do you got your money on? Lindsay or Joe?

SCHEDULE     PROJECTED RECORD: 7-9

Week 1: @OAK   Week 2: vs. CHI   Week 3: @GB   Week 4: vs. JAC   Week 5: @LAC   Week 6: vs. TEN   Week 7: vs. KC   Week 8: @IND   Week 9: vs. CLE   Week 10: BYE   Week 11: @MIN   Week 12: @BUF   Week 13: vs. LAC   Week 14: @HOU   Week 15: @KC   Week 16: vs. DET   Week 17: vs. OAK

OAKLAND RAIDERS

KEY ADDITIONS: WR Antonio Brown, OT Trent Brown, WR Tyrell Williams, S LaMarcus Joyner, LB Vontaze Burfict

KEY DEPARTURES: TE Jared Cook, OT Donald Penn, RB Marshawn Lynch, S Reggie Nelson, WR Martavis Bryant, WR Seth Roberts

DRAFT: 1st round: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson   RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama   S Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State   2nd round: CB Trayvon Mullen, Clemson   4th round: DE Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan   CB Isaiah Johnson, Houston   TE Foster Moreau, LSU   5th round: WR Hunter Renfrow, Clemson   7th round: DE Quinton Bell, Prairie View

SUMMARY: I will have a feature upcoming about the Antonio Brown saga in Oakland so I’m not going to spend time discussing it here. Just know as of this morning, Brown is no longer a member of the Oakland Raiders.

Oakland went all in on free agency this season, splurging more than $150 million on tackle Trent Brown, receiver Tyrell Williams and safety LaMarcus Joyner. That is a ton of money to put into three players and it seems favorable that one if not all of those contracts age poorly.

As for season outlook, I can’t say I’ve seen anything to flip my stance. Three first rounders is nice but the likely misuse of those picks, especially Ferrell at four when he was projected much later, bothers me.

Carr was my 2016 MVP choice back when fourth-quarter comebacks were his daily supper but since that leg injury, he hasn’t found the same form. He’s been mediocre while soaking up a sizable portion of Oakland’s cap space. If the Raiders want to go anywhere before Vegas, he needs to get back on track. 19 touchdowns on a cap hit of $20+ the next three years isn’t going to cut it.

At the end of a bumpy road, Oakland is outmatched by better management and athletes in their own division. Improvement? Likely. Playoffs? Rather dim. A road schedule featuring Minnesota, Green Bay and Houston is just brutal.

Also, their defense was hot garbage last year and I haven’t seen enough improvements to think they’ll be a spring chicken now.

FANTASY PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Hunter Renfrow

I do not like putting high draft stock in rookies. With the exception of Saquon Barkley last year, most rookies going in early rounds struggle to meet expectations. Josh Jacobs is not an outstanding back prospect when compared to draftees in year’s past. Jacobs wasn’t a standout at Alabama. His usage rate will be high but in this case I’m concerned about the quality of that usage. With Antonio Brown’s departure, acquisition Tyrell Williams moves to the #1 spot. That’s not great for an offense who’s already thin at receiver. However, Renfrow was a standout slot receiver at Clemson and is now in position to move into that slot in Oakland. He’s going undrafted so there’s no need to take him in your draft but keep your eye on him.

SCHEDULE   PROJECTED RECORD: 6-10

Week 1: vs. DEN   Week 2: vs. KC   Week 3: @MIN   Week 4: @IND   Week 5: vs. CHI   Week 6: BYE   Week 7: @GB   Week 8: @HOU   Week 9: vs. DET   Week 10: vs. LAC   Week 11: vs. CIN   Week 12: @NYJ   Week 13: @KC   Week 14: vs. TEN   Week 15: vs. JAC   Week 16: @LAC   Week 17: @DEN

AFC NORTH   AFC EAST  AFC SOUTH   NFC NORTH  NFC WEST   NFC EAST   NFC SOUTH   Playoff Predictions   Preseason Power Rankings

 

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Tim Sports Report for NFL Week 2

Top 5

  1. QB Patrick Mahomes 23/28 for 326, 6 TDs, 154.8 rating @PIT

That was quite something. The Steelers defense is atrocious and it’s important to try and keep that performance within that frame. That said, to do that in National Football League in your third professional start is brilliant.

2. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 27/33 for 402, 4 TDs, INT, 144.4 rating vs. PHI

Back-to-back showings for Mr. Fitzmagic. It is not often that a player gets on my Top 5 twice in a row but what Mr. Fitzpatrick is doing right now is truly special. That postgame presser was hilarious.

3. QB Blake Bortles 29/45 for 376, 4 TDs, INT, 111.0 rating vs. NE

After bashing Bortles in my power rankings, he went off. Against a bad defense, sure, but it’s still New England and I will still give him a tip of the hat.

4. LB Darius Leonard 19 tackles, 15 solo, sack, forced fumble @WSH

That is a eye-opening stat line for a rookie linebacker.

5. RB Matt Breida 11 carries for 138, TD, 3 receptions for 21 vs. DET

It’s Breida’s backfield to lose after this. Morris seems to be a veteran journeyman more than a starter.

Worst of the Worst

5. QB Sam Bradford 17/27 for 90, INT, 53.0 rating @LAR

My favorite punching bag is an easy jab for me. I don’t feel bad throwing them this guy’s way.

4. New York Giants on Sunday Night Football

What was that? The Giants looked like disheveled man coming out of a highway wreck. Eli was dumping it off to Saquon nearly every play. The Giants offensive line looked like a sand castle.

3. Second tie in two weeks

I’m unsure what the basis was for shrinking the overtime clock to ten minutes but I’d like to kindly remind NFL leadership that no one wants to see tie football games.

2. Kicking

Is hard, apparently. Plenty of kickers cost their teams games this week, bringing us to…

  1. K Zane Gonzalez

What a dumpster fire this guy was. Two missed extra points and two field goal tries on top of it. This guy couldn’t kick a flame off a cupcake. It was only another scene of a Brown Browning all over himself.

Steelers Recap

The Steelers defense is like a paper towel trying to prevent a running faucet from hitting the sink below. They could not do anything against Mahomes. Mahomes is playing excellent pigskin right now, sure, but it looked easy for him. Gifting the opposition 21 points before you start playing isn’t a recipe for success either.

Tampa Bay feels like a must-win but I’m not hitting the panic button just yet. A loss on Monday would be a push to the edge.

Game of the Week: Chargers @ Rams

The Battle of Los Angeles should be a fun time. I’ll take the Rams at home but this could be a legitimate Super Bowl preview.

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