NFL: wind of renewal at the Chiefs

NFL: winds of change among the Chiefs

BET À DAY

Even though the Chiefs have won their division championship for the past six seasons, some doubts have sprung up following major changes, including the departure of receiver Tyreek Hill. However, this team seems to have the gift of renewing itself.

Even if the team that we will see tomorrow night at work against the Chargers constantly drafts among the last, they continue to find players who can contribute quickly to all phases of the game.

In the face of Cardinals, Sunday, the Chiefs saw several rookies assert themselves. 

On offense, running back Isiah Pacheco, a distant seventh-round pick, showed his explosive potential by being the leader of his team on the ground, with 62 yards and a touchdown. He won four first plays and ate 5.2 yards per carry. 

Second-round receiver Skyy Moore was on just 19% of offensive plays but gained 30 yards on the only pass he was targeted for. We should see him more as the season progresses. He also played a key role on special teams, with 41 yards on four punt returns.

On defense, cornerback Trent McDuffie, chosen with one of the two first-round picks at the last auction, shone on his debut before injuring his leg. He covered for receivers in front of him to the point where no passes were thrown his way.

With their other first-round pick, the Chiefs got hold of defensive end George Karlaftis , which applied six pressures. Across the entire NFL, only the dangerous Maxx Crosby (Raiders) did better with seven pressures. 

Another seventh-round pick, cornerback Jaylen Watson, didn't look bad when he was called to bat in relief for McDuffie. In short, a whole vintage in perspective for the Chiefs!

A trend

In addition, the Chiefs were able to renew their bank of talent last year with center Creed Humphrey, guard Trey Smith and linebacker Nick Bolton, three quality starters. Thanks to two good years in the draft, an organization that must pay huge salaries to its veterans can stay at the top much more easily.

Facing the Chargers, the task does not look obvious. I even favored the Chargers for the division title at the end of the year, but, for now, hard to bet against Kansas City. The Chiefs are 11-2 in their last 13 prime-time games and they haven't lost in their last six home openers. Patrick Mahomes in September is 12-2 with 49 touchdown passes.

THURSDAY DUEL 

The forces involved 

Los Angeles Chargers 

  • Justin Herbert | Quarterback | 3 T, 0 INT, 279 yards
  • Austin Ekeler | Running back | 0 T, 36 yards
  • Mike Williams | Receiver | 0 T, 10 yards 

Kansas City Chiefs 

  • Patrick Mahomes | Quarterback | 5 T, 0 INT, 360 yards
  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire | Running back | 0 T, 42 yards
  • Travis Kelce | Receiver | 1 T, 121 yards

PLAYER TO WATCH 

Josh Palmer | Receiver, Chargers

The Chargers' 2021 third-round pick, Palmer is a native of Brampton, Ont. The Canadian receiver had a promising rookie season with 33 receptions for 353 yards and four touchdowns. Despite a modest first week this season (three receptions, five yards), the Chargers expect a lot from him alongside Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. With Allen's presence in doubt against the Chiefs due to a leg injury, Palmer could inherit plenty of opportunities.

MY PREDICTION

Chargers 31 – Chiefs 34

The State of Forces in the NFL – Week 2 

1. Buffalo Bills 1-0

  • Last Week: 2

Even playing an error-ridden first half, the Bills looked dominant against the defending champions. Josh Allen roughed up star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who called the quarterback a “drain” two years ago. Revenge is sweet…

2. Kansas City Chiefs 1-0

  • Last Week: 4

Patrick Mahomes became one of six players in history with at least six games of five or more touchdown passes. He achieved the feat in 64 starts. The other five (Brees, Brady, Manning, Roethlisberger and Marino) in his company took at least 240 games to get there.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-0

  • Last Week: 3

After all that noise surrounding Tom Brady for weeks, it is the defense of the Bucs who took care to remind that we should talk more about her. This shadow unit limited the Cowboys to their lowest point total since 2020. Another lineman, Donovan Smith, was injured.

4. Los Angeles Rams 0-1

  • Last Week: 1

It will clearly involve more receiver Allen Robinson on offense. Cooper Kupp's “one man show” is fantastic for poolers, but less so in terms of diversifying the attack. The holding of the offensive line is of considerable concern, but the team will bounce back.

5. Los Angeles Chargers 1-0

  • Last Week: 7

The Chargers' additions paid off big. Khalil Mack was in a rage with three quarterback sacks. Cornerback Bryce Callahan had an interception. Tight end Gerald Everett scored a touchdown. Meanwhile, we were treated to the same Justin Herbert.

6. Baltimore Ravens 1-0

  • Last Week: 9

Negotiations are therefore broken between the Ravens and their quarterback Lamar Jackson. The start of his bet on himself set the tone with three touchdown passes. On the other hand, bad luck continues with the loss of cornerback Kyle Fuller and tackle Ja'Wuan James for the season.

7. Minnesota Vikings 1-0

  • Last Week: 17

Justin Jefferson, entering his third season, has already claimed five games of 150 yards or more. The only other receiver in history who had more at 23 is none other than Randy Moss, with six. The defense also impressed against the Packers with four sacks.

8. Green Bay Packers 0-1

  • Last Week: 5

Receiver Allen Lazard was missing at the call, as did the two starting blockers. Still, the Packers lacked cohesion, enthusiasm and creativity. A quick reminder: they lost their opener 38-3 last year before finishing first in the conference.

9. Cincinnati Bengals 0-1

  • Last week: 6

Don't panic, Bengals fans! Admittedly, it was a tough first day at the office, but you have to believe the game to forget came out of Joe Burrow's system. The offensive line will obviously have to do better. There are never gifts in the North Division.

10. Philadelphia Eagles 1-0

  • Last Week: 12

Jalen Hurts has targeted new receiver AJ Brown 13 times (10 receptions), craving nine more targets than his second receiver. It's amazing how little Devonta Smith has been involved. Worrying point: The run defense allowed 181 yards (6.5 per carry).

11. New Orleans Saints 1-0

  • Last Week: 14

The Saints won, but it will be necessary to be much more convincing. The defense, which should be top notch this season, was unable to get a single sack from the quarterback. The attack languished in formaldehyde for three quarters and the offensive line experienced failures.

12. Miami Dolphins 1-0

  • Last Week: 16

Tua Tagovailoa didn't play a great game despite appearances, but still, he finds himself with a 4-0 career record against the Patriots. Ground play was limited to 2.8 yards per carry. This triumph is primarily defensive, but the attack has the potential to rise.

13. San Francisco 49ers 0-1

  • Last Week: 8

Trey Lance showed some flashes encouraging, but he also made many errors of judgment and vagueness. Unable to judge the youngster's performance in the fleet festival. The offensive line didn't hold the fort well, allowing 13 pressures against three- or four-man fronts. 

14. Pittsburgh Steelers 1-0

  • Last Week: 21

TJ Watt's injury will cause him to miss about six weeks and carrier Najee Harris has aggravated a foot injury. In short, the victory will have been costly. The attack does not look much more dynamic than last year and should once again be the drag of this team. 

15. Denver Broncos 0-1

  • Last Week: 11

Many blame Russell Wilson for the disaster in Seattle, but head coach Nathaniel Hackett handled the late game in disgraceful fashion. Why go get a quarterback at 245 million to take the ball away from him on a fourth down? Improvisation delirium! 

16. Tennessee Titans 0-1

  • Last Week: 10

Derrick Henry was limited to 82 rushing yards in the upset loss to the Giants. Of the Titans' six possessions in the second half, one was a touchdown and the other five were just 80 yards. At least the revelation of the day was rookie catcher Kyle Phillips.

17. Las Vegas Raiders 0-1

  • Last Week: 18

We expected better from the Raiders offense. Derek Carr was the victim of six sacks behind an offensive line that used three different combinations of players. Davante Adams had a strong start and the Raiders didn't play badly against the Chargers despite the result.

18. New York Giants 1-0

  • Last Week: 25

For the first time since 2016 , the Giants won their opener. At the risk of making fans dream too much, it was also the last year the club qualified for the playoffs. Saquon Barkley's 68-yard run was the Giants' longest play since Week 7, 2020.

19. Cleveland Browns 1-0

  • Last Week: 22

Speaking of which club was due, the Browns snapped an ugly 17-game season-opening winless streak. Kicker Cade York completed a game-winning field goal from 58 yards. The Browns made headlines when they drafted him in the fourth round in the spring.

20. Seattle Seahawks 1-0

  • Last Week: 28

The Seahawks were fired up against the Broncos. Still, after a hot start (17 in 18, 164 yards, 2 touchdowns) in the first half, Geno Smith came back to earth in the second half (6 in 10, 31 yards, 0 touchdown). The real Geno is probably the last 30 minutes.

21. Indianapolis Colts 0-0-1

  • Last Week: 15

It's been nine years since the Colts won an opener. However, the ground game with Jonathan Taylor worked really well against the Texans. Despite his 352 yards that give the illusion of a big game, Matt Ryan was not up to the task.

22. Washington Commanders 1-0

  • Last Week: 23

The Commanders got a good idea of ​​the roller coaster that awaits them with Carson Wentz. A dazzling start, followed by two bad interceptions and a good finish with two more touchdowns for a total of four. He responded well to adversity.

23. Chicago Bears 1-0

  • Last Week: 26

It will be exciting to see Justin Fields evolve under normal conditions. Under the deluge, he still completed five of his eight passes in the second half for 102 yards and two touchdowns. The defense for its part surprised by muzzling the 49ers. 

24. Dallas Cowboys 0-1

  • Last Week: 13

The Cowboys could not receive such a tile. Their quarterback Dak Prescott will be in recovery at least four weeks to treat his right hand injury. Already the attack was not rolling smoothly, it looks unsightly with Cooper Rush in his place.

25. New England Patriots 0-1

  • Last Week: 20

Bill Belichick believes two games were the difference in the loss to the Dolphins. He's not wrong, but the poor execution was far more prevalent than on the two games in question. Good news, however, Mac Jones is doing well with his back injury and should not miss any action.

26. Carolina Panthers 0-1

  • Last Week: 24

The Panthers had mentioned before the season that Christian McCaffrey's immense workload needed to be reduced somewhat. Okay, but their all-around carrier only touched the ball nine times before the last offensive sequence. It must remain the focal point.

27. Houston Texans 0-0-1

  • Last Week: 30

Overall, young quarterback Davis Mills had a strong game, but he didn't complete a pass in the fourth quarter and the offense only had 12 yards. Not for nothing did the 17-point lead melt away. It's part of the learning curve of a young team.

28. Arizona Cardinals 0-1

  • Last Week: 19

What a disastrous game for the Cardinals! They are a better team than this ranking indicates, but they had to be punished! The idea of ​​“blitzing” Patrick Mahomes excessively was doomed to failure, he who repeatedly butchered the defenses using this tactic. 

29. Detroit Lions 0-1

  • Last week: 29

History repeats itself: the Lions were combative as in 2021, losing by only three points against a superior team (Eagles). Where it's different is that rusher D'Andre Swift gained 144 yards, the first for the Lions in an opener since 1996.

30. Atlanta Falcons 0-1

  • Last Week: 31

The champions of epic fourth-quarter meltdowns strike again. This time, a 16-point lead turned into a loss. Since 2020, the Falcons have squandered three leads of at least 15 points in the fourth quarter. For the other 31 teams, it happened twice.

31. New York Jets 0-1

  • Last Week: 27

Hide the Jets in September! In this month of horrors for “Gang Green”, the counter now shows 13 defeats in a row. Joe Flacco was still very ordinary and the crowd is already calling for Mike White, waiting for Zach Wilson to return. That would be the least worst solution.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-1

  • Last Week: 32

Poor Jaguars! There were finally encouraging signs. The first overall pick of the last draft, Travon Walker, had a sack and an interception. On the other hand, Trevor Lawrence's lack of precision in the pay zone becomes disturbing.