NFL Network’s David Carr explains why the Kansas City Chiefs are still the team to beat in the AFC playoffs.
Colin Cowherd knows everybody likes the shiny new toy on Christmas but Russell Wilson proved last night that the real value is in consistent game-winning performances. Patrick Mahomes hasn’t won the games that matter while Wilson quietly has his team poised for a deep playoff run.
“We just played good, sound football,” linebacker K.J. Wright said. “We read our keys, and they do a lot of stuff to get your eyes off, but we communicated really well. Mahomes is a good quarterback, but this defense can take really good football teams and make them look normal.”
SI.com’s Ben Baskin says the Seahawks’ win once again exposed the Chiefs’ porous defense.
No teams have ever hoisted the Lombardi with a defense as bad as the Chiefs have had so far this year. Of the 52 Super Bowl winners, 45 of them have had a top-10 defense. For all the talk about the last half-decade or so being The Era of Offense, it is as difficult as ever for a poor defensive team to make a run in the playoffs. The last five Super Bowl winners have had average defensive rank of 3.6. (2017 Eagles ranked fourth, ’16 Patriots first, ’15 Broncos fourth, ’14 Patriots eighth, ’13 Seahawks first.)
“I think I played decent but not good enough,” Ward said. “It was my first game, my debut at cornerback on defense. I was kind of nervous, but you can’t be nervous in the NFL. [Wilson and some of the Seahawks] have been to a couple of Super Bowls. They’re experienced and I’m kind of inexperienced. I’ve just got to grow within this next week, be ready for the Raiders when they call my number again.”
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
It’s clear the Chiefs need to find some talent at cornerback this offseason. That will be tough considering where they’ll be picking. Mullen is a little raw, but at 6’1 he has good length to play on the outside.
Broadcaster Al Michaels discusses how Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid kept Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles from retiring.
Around the league
The Steelers played their best game of the season but a confluence of events — some their own doing (a Stevan Ridley fumble and a fake punt from midfield on fourth-and-5 come to mind) and some completely out of their control. Which brings us to the Saints’ second drive of the game.
The Seattle Seahawks signed the head coach to a multi-year extension through 2021 on Monday afternoon. Carroll will earn more than $11 million per year, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in the league, a source told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
“It’s tough to go out like that,” Smith-Schuster said after the game. “I got tackled, I fumbled, game over. I was just trying to get down. They made a good play.”
The other issue for New England is Brady’s knee. The quarterback clearly doesn’t look right as he deals with a left knee injury.
Despite evidence to the contrary, Brady insisted Monday he feels “great.” He wouldn’t discuss the knee injury when asked specifically if he’s dealing with an MCL sprain.
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“Those happen to all quarterbacks—young or old. Some of it, I could put him in a better position to make plays, give him better calls there. He’ll take care of the rest of that. He knows. It’s no want-to of not starting fast and all that. I think it’s just kind of the way it’s laid there. I can help him with some of those things.”
The Chiefs have a 76 percent chance to win the one seed, a 5 percent chance to win the two seed — therefore an 81 percent chance for a first-round bye — a 5 percent chance to win the three seed, and a 13 percent chance to win the five seed.
Safety Ron Parker and cornerback Orlando Scandrick are not All-Pros. Neither player has played well enough this year to merit unquestioned playing time, so it should not have been a complete shock to anyone that both players were benched for Sunday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks.
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