Aug 20, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass against the Washington Commanders during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Kliff Kingsbury, Patrick Mahomes reunite as Cardinals host Chiefs

Over the last four seasons, the NFL has witnessed Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ capabilities on a first-hand basis.

However, no one knows them more than Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who recruited Mahomes to Texas Tech. Now, he has to coach against him for the first time in the 2022 season opener when his Cardinals clash with the Chiefs in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday.

Admitting “it’ll be a little surreal going against him,” Kingsbury remains proud of what Mahomes has accomplished on and off the field.

“Just really proud of the person,” Kingsbury said. “Just watching how he’s grown up, the leadership qualities he shows on and off the field. I mean, anytime you watch him in any of those arenas, just how socially responsible he is, how he leads, how he treats people, the stuff he does in the community with charities, and he runs the gamut of what you want a sports star to be like and carry himself. And so that’s been really special to watch that development.”

Kingsbury, of course, has watched the development of his own quarterback, Kyler Murray, who enters his fourth season after signing a five-year, $230 million contract extension a few days before the beginning of training camp.

While Chiefs head coach Andy Reid will be preparing Mahomes and the offense to go against a depleted group of Arizona cornerbacks, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will have his hands full with Murray, even with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins serving a six-game league suspension for a PED violation.

They hope defensive end Frank Clark and defensive tackle Chris Jones will lead their teammates and keep Murray from destroying the game plan.

“Well, you have to say discipline, obviously,” Reid said when asked about what he expects from the defensive line. “Speed becomes important. (Murray’s) got speed, so there’s a runner. So keeping them contained I think is important. As you work through it, that discipline becomes a big factor.

“But you always want the aggressiveness, you want speed, you want that transition between the run and the pass to be aggressive and fundamentally sound.”

Chiefs first-round pick Trent McDuffie is expected to start at one cornerback spot, and the secondary will have to deal with lightning-fast wide receiver Marquise Brown, acquired by the Cardinals on draft day from the Ravens for a first-round pick.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs moved on from wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the offseason, and while Mahomes still has tight end Travis Kelce as his security blanket, he hopes to exploit Arizona’s cover corners by utilizing holdover Mecole Hardman, veteran additions JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and second-round rookie Skyy Moore.

The Cardinals’ cornerback conundrum occurred after the death of Jeff Gladney in May and the recent loss of Antonio Hamilton for at least four games because of burns following a kitchen accident.

Byron Murphy Jr. and Marco Wilson are expected to start, but Wilson had issues in camp and the depth behind them includes recent trade acquisition Trayvon Mullen Jr. and waiver-wire pickup Javelin Guidry.

Another significant concern for the Cardinals is injuries.

The Chiefs listed no players as not practicing or limited for Wednesday’s practice, while the Cardinals had eight.

Defensive end J.J. Watt (calf), edge rusher Markus Golden (toe) and Mullen (toe) did not participate. Tight end Zach Ertz (calf) and left guard Justin Pugh (neck) were limited, along with long snapper Aaron Brewer (ankle), linebacker Ezekiel Turner (shoulder) and running back Jonathan Ward (shoulder).

–Field Level Media

May 24, 2020; Hobe Sound, FL, USA; NFL player Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after holing out from the fairway on the seventh during The Match: Champions for Charity golf round at the Medalist Golf Club.  Mandatory Credit: Handout Photo by Getty Images for The Match via USA TODAY Sports

Handicapping the field of quarterbacks at ‘The Match VI’

There will be no shortage of wagering possibilities when four top NFL quarterbacks take to the golf course in “The Match VI” on Wednesday from Las Vegas.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will team up with Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers to form one team. They will match up against Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.

If experience matters, the Brady-Rodgers pairing seems to be the one to beat, and not because they have 39 seasons of combined NFL experience. The two also took part in “The Match IV” last July. Brady also played in a 2020 edition, making this his third time out.

That experience could go a long way in explaining how Brady/Rodgers are -175 favorites according to SportsBetting.ag, while Allen/Mahomes are +155. Brady/Rodgers are also -140 favorites to record the first birdie, over Allen/Mahomes (+100).

There are plenty of challenges ahead on the Wynn Golf Club just off the Las Vegas Strip, with an over/under of 3.5 balls to be hit into water hazards. A hole-in-one from any player carries +10000 odds.

At +5000 odds, down from +10000, is whether or not Brady has a wardrobe malfunction after he split his pants in the 2020 version of the event.

The event will be played over 12 holes in a “shamble” format, meaning that all four players play their second shot from the best tee shot. They play out their own ball the rest of the way from there. Odds are that Rodgers will see a fair share of his drives being used. Rodgers is +110 to hit the longest drive of the day, followed by Brady (+200), Mahomes (+400) and Allen (+700).

And since golf is not the day job of any of the four participating, there figure to be plenty of long putts. Who has the best odds of making a 30-footer with their putter? Rodgers again is the favorite at +275, followed by Brady (+300), Mahomes (+350) and Allen (+425).

But being the odds-on best player doesn’t necessarily guarantee a cool, calm and collected round. Rodgers also is the +150 favorite to be the first participant to use a “curse word,” while Brady is +200, Allen is +300 and Mahomes is +400.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) reacts on the sideline against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes clears concussion protocol after knee to head

Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes left Sunday’s 27-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans with a head injury, but coach Andy Reid said afterward that Mahomes cleared concussion protocol.

On a fourth-and-18 midway through the fourth quarter, Mahomes took a defender’s knee to the front of his helmet during a sack. He needed help off the field.

With the game out of reach for Kansas City, backup quarterback Chad Henne took over for the Chiefs’ final drive. Reid said it was his decision not to let Mahomes back into the game despite passing concussion tests.

Mahomes told reporters postgame that he felt “fine now.”

The former NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion went 20-for-35 for 206 passing yards and an interception Sunday. He also led the Chiefs with 35 rushing yards on six carries.

–Field Level Media

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) goes under center Creed Humphrey (52) against the Minnesota Vikings during the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs to debut retooled O-line in opener vs. Browns

The most significant concern buzzing around the Kansas City Chiefs preseason camp involved improvement needed along the offensive line.

In particular, better protection is a must to spare Patrick Mahomes from being battered like he was in a lopsided Super Bowl defeat. Results from a complete overhaul up front will begin to surface Sunday when Kansas City opens the season at home against the Cleveland Browns.

“I think that whole offensive line group has really brought out the best in each other and competed this entire camp. I’m excited to go out there and show it off Week 1,” said Mahomes, who was pressured a withering 29 times by Tampa Bay defenders in a 31-9 Super Bowl beatdown.

Further development along the line, which added the likes of Pro Bowler Orlando Brown Jr. and a second-round rookie, Creed Humphrey, could well determine Kansas City’s fate. The Chiefs will bid for a third consecutive AFC Championship and sixth straight AFC West crown.

Weapons galore return for Kansas City’s prolific attack, beginning with Mahomes, who carries a touchdown-to-interception ratio of plus-90 as he enters his fifth season. He trailed only Deshaun Watson in passing yards last season with 4,740, while Travis Kelce set an NFL receiving record for tight ends with 1,416 yards.

Tyreek Hill remains a speedy mismatch Mahomes looks to exploit, while Clyde Edwards-Helaire is coming off an 803-yard rushing output as a rookie. Edwards-Helaire declared himself “100 percent healthy” after suffering an ankle injury in the preseason.

The Chiefs have won 14 consecutive games in September, a month that also finds Mahomes 10-0 as a starter. However, Kansas City coach Andy Reid knows that the offensive line will be a focal point, particularly with three rookies manning the center and guard positions against a stout Cleveland defensive front.

“That’ll be a fun one to watch because their interior players are real good and experienced,” Reid said. “It’ll be a great experience for our guys to have the opportunity to play against them, being as young as they are.”

Last season, the Browns advanced to the playoffs for the third time in 27 seasons, going 11-5. The Chiefs ousted them in the divisional round 22-17 despite an injury suffered by Mahomes.

Keeping Mahomes from engineering a ton of possessions could be a strategic move for Cleveland, having finished third in the NFL in rushing last season behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who suffered a torn ACL last October, appears healthy and will be one of the receivers Baker Mayfield targets. The former Heisman Trophy winner improved his passing efficiency a year ago by completing 62.8 percent of his attempts, with 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions.

“We have the bread and butter, the fundamentals, the schemes that we know we’re good at,” Mayfield said. “We need to keep building off those and do those extremely well.”

A defensive makeover for the Browns included the signing of six free agents headed by Jadeveon Clowney, as well as two draft picks expected to start in the opener, Greg Newsome II and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

“The people we’ve brought in and the pieces, culture-wise, it’s been great for the team and franchise,” Mayfield said. “It needs to continue to head that way, and that’s one of my biggest jobs.”

An illness prevented Clowney from practicing at the beginning of the week, though he tested negative for COVID-19.

The Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu remained in COVID-19 protocol to begin weekly workouts. Reid indicated Mathieu would not necessarily need to practice to play Sunday, if cleared. Another defender, Frank Clark, is dealing with a strained hamstring.

–Field Level Media

Aug 9, 2021; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass during training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes will play first quarter in preseason opener

Coming off back-to-back Super Bowls, All-Pro quarterback Patrick Mahomes will get the start in Kansas City’s preseason opener Saturday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Mahomes – and all the first-teamers – will play the first quarter, second stringers get the second quarter and so on.

The Chiefs also feature an overhauled offensive line, a point of focus for coach Andy Reid.

“That continuity, communication, working together through different works, functioning,” Reid said Thursday when asked what he’s looking for from the unit.

Mahomes is coming off February surgery to repair his toe. He sustained a turf toe early in the playoffs but said last month it’s “feeling great.”

Mahomes has a 38-8 career regular-season record as a starter in four NFL seasons, all with the Chiefs. Last year, he completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,740 yards with 38 touchdowns and six interceptions. For his career, he has a 66 percent completion rate with 14,152 passing yards, 114 TD passes and 24 interceptions.

–Field Level Media