The most important disappointment this season isn’t the winless Colts … or New York Giants … City Meyer … Zach Wilson … or Seattle. It’s the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs.
As soon as upon a time, folks questioned in the event that they may very well be the primary NFL membership to go 20-0. Now they marvel no extra. Three weeks into the season, the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs … the defending AFC-champion Kansas Metropolis Chiefs … are 1-2 and final within the AFC West.
I do know, it’s three weeks. But it surely’s not too quickly to marvel what’s occurring. And what’s occurring is that the group that was purported to defend its convention title has misplaced three of its final 4 begins relationship to final season … and may’ve misplaced all 4.
So what’s mistaken? Effectively, protection is one response. There’s not sufficient of it. The Chiefs simply hemorrhaged 25 or extra factors for the fourth straight week, the primary time that’s occurred since 2008.
Turnovers are one other clarification. Too a lot of them. The Chiefs have six by way of three video games and rank 28th within the takeaway/turnover division at minus-2.
Then there’s all-everything quarterback Patrick Mahomes, extensively considered the platinum bar of at the moment’s quarterbacks. Every week in the past he threw his first profession interception in September. Every week in the past he additionally misplaced his first profession begin in September. Now he’s sitting on two September defeats and three interceptions, and possibly you marvel why that’s important.
Reply: He didn’t throw his third interception a 12 months in the past till mid-December, and he didn’t lose his second sport till January.
So what’s happening? It would merely be the dreaded Tremendous Bowl curse. Perhaps you don’t imagine in it, however I do. I belief its classes, and historical past tells us that NFL groups that lose a Tremendous Bowl one 12 months battle the following.
You possibly can look it up.
The Patriots broke the development once they bounced again in 2019, however that they had Tom Brady. They’re additionally the one Tremendous Bowl winner to repeat this milennium, they usually had Tom Brady then, too. Aside from that, you will need to return to the Nineties’ Buffalo Payments for Tremendous Bowl losers that broke the curse.
However since then? It’s all the time one thing that will get in the best way … except you’re Tom Brady.
After all, in a 17-game season it’s untimely to attract conclusions after three weeks. However there’s sufficient already to trigger Chiefs’ followers to fret. All I do know is that Kansas Metropolis is the place it hasn’t been since Mahomes took cost and simply misplaced to a Chargers’ group that conquered them as soon as final 12 months … might’ve (ought to’ve?) crushed them twice … and is its largest division menace.
“Perhaps a altering of the guard within the AFC West?” requested NBC analyst Chris Simms.
I don’t learn about that. What I do know is that the Chiefs aren’t the colossus they’re purported to be … and that’s information.
SUNDAY SCHOOL: FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED
1. The Rams are a legit Tremendous Bowl menace. No shock there. They’re in a Tremendous Bowl-or-bust mode. However they didn’t simply beat defending Tremendous Bowl champions Tampa Bay and Tom Brady. They ended a 10-game successful streak, relationship to final 12 months, and held the Bucs to 24 factors … and, sure, that may be a large deal. Tampa Bay eclipsed 30 in its final 9 wins, together with Tremendous Bowl LV. Granted, the Rams beat Tampa Brady final 12 months, too. However this was totally different and never as a result of it occurred with Matthew Stafford, not Jared Goff; however as a result of this was a beatdown, with the Bucs’ protection shredded. Corridor-of-Fame quarterback and CBS analyst Troy Aikman had it proper when he mentioned, “The Rams made an announcement.” Count on these two to fulfill once more in January.
2. Brandon Staley has guts. He’s the Chargers’ rookie head coach, and he’s like nobody the franchise employed the previous three many years. Why? He’s aggressive, afraid of completely nothing. He proved it on the game-clinching drive in a season-opening defeat of Washington and underscored it Sunday when he gambled on a crucial fourth-down name with below a minute left. The sport was tied, and it wasn’t simply fourth down. It was fourth-and-9 on the Chiefs’ 35. However Staley didn’t hesitate. He put his belief in quarterback Justin Herbert, and the remaining you already know.
3. The AFC East could also be a sport of solitaire. It’s Buffalo vs. the sphere. Miami was purported to push the Payments, with New England an outdoor shot, however three weeks in that appears much less doubtless. The Dolphins put Tua Tagovailoa on IR, whereas New England and Mac Jones simply had a actuality verify. Furthermore, Payments’ quarterback Josh Allen 2021 seems like Josh Allen 2020 another time. All he did Sunday was throw for 4 TDs and run for a fifth … in opposition to a decent Washington protection. One group on this division has a successful document and a confirmed quarterback. Buffalo is constructed for the lengthy haul.
4. Justin Fields wants extra assist … from his teaching workers. Fields’ energy is mobility. So why did coach Matt Nagy draw up performs designed for an motionless Andy Dalton than Fields? Fields isn’t a pocket passer. Dalton is. And why did Nagy depart veteran sort out Jason Peters one-on-one with Myles Garrett? It was a mismatch ready to be uncovered. And it was. Neither Peters nor Fields had an opportunity, with Garrett setting a franchise document with four-and-a-half sacks and Fields pressured on 16 of 29 dropbacks. Backside line: The Bears put Fields able to fail … and he did.
5. It’s time to take the Raiders severely. They’re 3-0, and the final time that occurred was 2002 – the final time they had been in a Tremendous Bowl.
FIRST AND 15
1. Lions’ followers needs to be irate. Justin Tucker’s NFL-record 66-yard subject purpose shouldn’t have occurred. Cause: Officers didn’t blow an apparent delay-of-fame name on the previous play. Rewind the videotape, and also you’ll agree. So will the league workplace when it opinions it, however so what? It received’t change the result.
2. That makes Jared Goff 0-10 with out Sean McVay. Simply sayin.’
3. Let’s hear it for Jacoby Brissett. The Dolphins’ backup quarterback by no means gave in to a closely favored – and unbeaten – Las Vegas group within the day’s most riveting sport. He scored on the final play of regulation. He adopted with a two-point conversion. He led the Dolphins to a game-tying subject purpose in OT. Too unhealthy he didn’t play protection. He may need spared Miami a heartbreaking loss.
4. The nation’s largest market deserves higher than the Giants and Jets. They’re not solely 0-6; they’ve been outscored 144-76 in three weeks. In accordance with the NFL Community’s Mike Garafolo, over the previous 10 seasons the 2 are a mixed 20-49 in September, every with only one successful month in that span. “Two groups. Irrelevant earlier than October. Once more,” he tweeted. Bingo.
5. When the Cincinnati Bengals drafted fifth this 12 months, the query was: An offensive lineman or large receiver Ja’Marr Chase? They took Chase and, predictably, had been second-guessed. Besides possibly they knew what they had been doing … and that’s not one thing you usually hear with the Bengals. However this simply in: Chase has 4 TD catches in three weeks, or two greater than any Bengals’ rookie ever in his first three weeks.
6. Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker would possibly’ve simply punched his ticket to Canton. I do know, Corridor-of-Fame voters are gradual to answer specialists, electing solely three – together with two kickers – since 1963. However Tucker is extraordinary: He’s essentially the most correct kicker in league historical past and simply set an NFL document with a game-winning 66-yard subject purpose. That ought to achieve voters’ consideration.
7. How good is Denver? Ok to be unbeaten and maintain three opponents to 26 factors. However they had been the Jets, Giants and Jacksonville – three doormats which can be a mixed 0-9. Contemplate subsequent week’s sport vs. Baltimore a measuring stick.
8. Memo to Brandon Staley: You would possibly need to dedicate considered one of this week’s practices to unlawful shifts. The Chargers dedicated three of their final 5 quarters – costing them two TDs – and threw in an unlawful process late Sunday that price them a go-ahead subject purpose. Full disclosure: It additionally pressured them to gamble on fourth-and-9. End result: They wound up with a game-winning TD as a substitute.
9. Extra motive to marvel concerning the Chiefs: They’re 1-10 in opposition to the unfold of their final 11 video games.
10. In the event you took a ballot previous to the season on the New Orleans Saints’ possibilities of beating Aaron Rodgers and Invoice Belichick, you may’ve pocketed lots of money. Nonetheless, it occurred. Jameis Winston is one motive, with seven touchdowns and no interceptions in two video games. However so is the Saints’ protection. All it did vs. A-Rod and the Patriots is produce 5 interceptions, return one for a landing and maintain the Packers and New England to 16 factors mixed.
11. If DeSean Jackson can keep wholesome – and that’s a giant if … the Rams have greater than a fleet of receivers. They’ve a dash relay group.
12. Exhausting to imagine however … Seattle seems increasingly more just like the fourth-best group within the NFC West. Historical past tells you it received’t occur. However the Seahawks’ protection tells you it might. Too many holes, not sufficient stops. I really feel for Russell Wilson. He can’t preserve carrying this group.
13. So Tampa misplaced. It was going to occur. However the Bucs uncovered Giovanni Bernard as a weapon (a team-leading 9 catches, one TD) and search for him to be an element within the passing sport. He may very well be what James White was to Brady when the 2 had been in New England: A safety blanket out of the backfield.
14. Neglected within the panic of the Steelers’ 1-2 begin: They didn’t have a sack of Joe Burrow Sunday, ending a streak of 75 consecutive regular-season video games with one. Perhaps issues are as unhealthy as they appear in Pittsburg.
15. Undecided which is subsequent week’s greater sport: Brady returning to New England or the Chargers internet hosting unbeaten Las Vegas. Good factor we received’t have to decide on. Brady performs Sunday; the Raiders and Bolts the next Monday.
STAT THAT MAY ONLY INTEREST ME
There have been 9 go-ahead subject objectives within the final 10 seconds of regulation or extra time this season. In accordance with Elias Sports activities, that’s essentially the most by way of the primary three weeks for the reason that 1970 merger.
ONE THAT MAY INTEREST YOU
Someplace, lots of of 1000’s of gamblers are each cursing and applauding Chargers’ kicker Tristan Vizcaino on the similar time. Why? The over/below for the Kansas Metropolis-Bolts sport was 54-1/2. The ultimate rating was 30-24, Chargers. Vizcaino missed two additional factors, together with his final try with 32 seconds left.
AND ONE FOR BOTH OF US
In accordance with ESPN Stats and Information, the Rams’ Matt Stafford is barely the third beginning quarterback to throw for 4 TD passes and no interceptions vs. Tom Brady. The others are Drew Brees (twice) and Alex Smith.
GOLD JACKET QUOTES
“We now have a protracted season forward of us. It seems actually dim proper now, but when we are able to discover a approach to get higher from this and study from a majority of these video games we’ll be the place we need to be on the finish of the season.” – Kansas Metropolis quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“We nonetheless haven’t performed our greatest soccer. I believe that’s a irritating factor and an thrilling factor.” – Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr.
GOLD JACKET RECIPIENT
MYLES GARRETT, DE, Cleveland. A detailed name with Buffalo’s Josh Allen, however Allen didn’t set a franchise document. Garrett did with four-and-a-half sacks. For some motive, Chicago coaches thought it was a good suggestion to depart him single-blocked by veteran left sort out Jason Peters. It wasn’t. The Browns held Chicago to 47 yards on offense, together with one yard web passing – each membership data –with Fields finishing simply six of 20 makes an attempt and sacked 9 occasions. “Justin Fields noticed an excessive amount of of Myles Garrett one-on-one working free,” mentioned Corridor-of-Fame coach and NBC analyst Tony Dungy. Somebody inform Matt Nagy.