Sep 24, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon (1) celebrates after scoring against the Chicago Bears during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs crush Bears 41-10

Patrick Mahomes passed for 272 yards and three touchdowns and Isiah Pacheco rushed for 62 yards and a score as the host Kansas City Chiefs routed the skidding Chicago Bears 41-10 on Sunday.

Kansas City (2-1) scored the first 41 points of the game. Mahomes led the way, going 24-of-33 passing while hooking up with Jerick McKinnon for two touchdowns.

Chicago (0-3) has lost 13 in a row dating to last season, yielding at least 25 points in each game.

Mahomes tweaked his ankle late in the first half but appeared to be all right as he returned for the third quarter. Blaine Gabbert entered in relief with the Chiefs leading 41-0 late in the third quarter.

Chicago intercepted Gabbert twice. The Bears avoided a shutout when Cairo Santos made a 21-yard field goal with 13:34 to go. Fields found DJ Moore for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 4:20 left.

Justin Fields was 11-for-22 passing for 99 yards with a touchdown and interception. Fields also was the team’s leading rusher with 47 yards.

The Chiefs’ Travis Kelce had seven catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.

Kansas City rolled to a 34-0 halftime lead, outgaining Chicago 312-85 in the first 30 minutes. The Chiefs had 22 first downs in the first half compared to four for Chicago, which ran just four plays in Kansas City territory over that span.

After punting the ball away on their first drive, the Chiefs scored on their next six possessions before halftime while nearly eclipsing their combined point production from the first two games of the season — 37.

Kansas City’s surge included the team’s first first-quarter points of the season. The first scoring connection between Mahomes and McKinnon capped a six-play, 59-yard touchdown drive.

Mistakes and missed execution from the Bears helped the Chiefs collect 13 points in the final 1:51 of the second quarter.

Chicago running back Khalil Herbert’s fumble led to a 41-yard Harrison Butker field goal. Fields was intercepted on the ensuing possession, one play after Moore dropped what would have been a long gain down the sideline. Kansas City took over at the Chicago 26-yard line and scored three plays later on Pacheco’s 1-yard TD run.

The Bears possessed the ball for just 31 seconds before punting again. Butker kicked a 38-yard field goal on the final play of the first half.

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus was the defensive play-caller for the team for the second straight week. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned on Wednesday, citing health and family reasons.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) warms up before a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Kelce says he invited Taylor Swift to a Chiefs game

Try as he might, Travis Kelce has been unable to deflect conversation surrounding a rumored relationship with pop star Taylor Swift.

Some might say Kelce has been unable to “shake it off.”

The Kansas City Chiefs tight end decided to speak on the topic during his appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” Thursday on ESPN.

“I told her that I’ve seen you rock a stage in Arrowhead, so you might have to come see me rock the stage in Arrowhead. And see which one is a little more lit,” Kelce said with a smile. “We’ll see what happens in the near future.”

The (rumored) “Love Story” began in July when Kelce shared that he was upset that his opportunity to present Swift with a friendship bracelet — along with his phone number — went by the boards during her Kansas City stop of the “Eras Tour.”

The rumor mill began picking up steam throughout the summer about the potential power couple, albeit with unconfirmed reports.

Eagles center Jason Kelce was asked about his brother’s relationship situation Wednesday on 94.1 WIP in Philadelphia.

“I don’t really know what’s happening in Travis’ love life. I try to keep his business kind of his business and stay out of that world,” Jason Kelce said. “But having said that, I think he’s doing great and I think that it’s all 100 percent true.”

Jason Kelce was quick to note that he was joking.

Let’s hope all goes well for Travis Kelce, considering Swift is known for her breakup songs.

After all, it would be a shame if they “are never ever getting back together” — if they ever are together in the first place.

–Field Level Media–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (72) unwraps his taped hand as he leaves the field after losing to the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif announces retirement from NFL

Offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is retiring from the NFL.

The Super Bowl champion made the announcement on social media on Thursday.

Duvernay-Tardif, who also is a doctor, walked away from football in 2020 to work in medicine in his native Canada at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For his efforts, Sports Illustrated named him the Sportsperson of the Year.

“I’ve had the chance to play in the NFL for 9 years and even today, I sometimes can’t believe I was able to experience this adventure,” Duvernay-Tardif wrote Thursday on Instagram. “Being a professional athlete is a privilege as well as an extremely enriching human and personal experience. The victories, losses and injuries have all been moments to learn how to win and lose as a team while managing a wide range of emotions.”

Duvernay-Tardif, 32, played for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2015-19, appearing in 60 games (57 starts). He decided to return to football in the fall of 2021, and the Chiefs traded him to the New York Jets on Nov. 2 as part of a four-team deal.

He has played in 73 career games (65 starts) and won a Super Bowl title with the Chiefs during the 2019 season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 17, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) throws an interception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears visit Chiefs with plenty of problems to fix

Lacking the offensive explosiveness that has become their calling card, the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs might be finding salve in the form of their schedule.

Kansas City will face the visiting Chicago Bears on Sunday in a matchup of the league’s top and bottom teams from a season ago.

What’s more, the Bears (0-2) are currently in turmoil following the midweek resignation of defensive coordinator Alan Williams and renewed unrest under center.

The Chiefs (1-1) hope to come untracked against Chicago after managing just 20 and 17 points in their first two games. The Bears have lost 12 games in a row dating back to last season while surrendering at least 25 points in each setback.

Kansas City defeated host Jacksonville 17-9 in Week 2 as the offense navigated around three early turnovers. Patrick Mahomes threw for two scores, with one going to tight end Travis Kelce, who missed the season opener with a knee injury.

“You play bad and win, it’s a lot better than playing bad and losing,” Mahomes said. “So I was glad we were able to find a way to get a win at the end of the day, but a lot of stuff that we have to be better at.”

Chicago drove for a touchdown on its opening possession last Sunday but was otherwise less than spectacular on offense during a 27-17 road loss to Tampa Bay.

Justin Fields, who is attempting to hone his pocket-passing ability this season, has been inconsistent. He has passed for 427 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, two of which have been returned for scores.

“I need to play better,” Fields said. “That’s it, point blank.”

Fields has also lost a fumble and been sacked 10 times. He’ll be behind a shuffling offensive line once more in Week 3, as the Bears placed left tackle Braxton Jones (neck) on injured reserve on Wednesday.

While the Bears’ offensive struggles remain well-documented, the defense is trying to find its footing, too.

Chicago enters Sunday with just one sack while allowing opponents to convert 54.8 percent of their third downs, the second-highest rate in the league.

There’s also the matter of Williams, who was away from the team in Week 2 due to personal reasons. Head coach Matt Eberflus called defensive plays against Tampa Bay and said before the franchise announced Williams’ resignation that he would be in line to do so again versus Kansas City.

Williams said in a statement that he was stepping aside to “take care of my health and my family.” A team spokesperson confirmed Wednesday that there had been no police activity related to Williams at the team’s practice facility.

Bears cornerback Josh Blackwell (hamstring) was limited at practice on Wednesday, while safety Eddie Jackson (foot) did not participate.

The Chiefs are hopeful their health can improve, too. Linebackers Nick Bolton and Willie Gay Jr. didn’t practice on Wednesday as they are dealing with ankle and quad injuries, respectively. Running back Isiah Pacheco (hamstring) and receivers Kadarius Toney (toe) and Richie James (knee) were also non-participants.

Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed was limited due to a knee injury.

Kansas City coach Andy Reid said each player is day-to-day apart from James, who “might be a little longer.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 7, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) warms up against the Detroit Lions prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco, WR Kadarius Toney miss practice

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco and wideout Kadarius Toney missed practice Wednesday.

Pacheco is dealing with a hamstring injury and Toney has a sprained toe heading into Week 3 against Chicago.

Pacheco, 24, has 20 carries for 93 yards and five catches for 31 yards through two games this season.

Toney, 24, has six catches for 36 yards in two games. He dropped four passes in the Week 1 loss to Detroit.

–Field Level Media

Sep 7, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA;Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates toward fans against the Detroit Lions prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Agent: Chiefs restructure QB Patrick Mahomes’ megadeal

The Kansas City Chiefs restructured Patrick Mahomes’ contract and will pay the quarterback $210.6 million over the next four seasons, his representatives confirmed to ESPN on Monday.

His compensation over that stretch from 2023-26 is now guaranteed and becomes the highest salary in NFL history for a four-season span, according to the report.

Equity Sports CEO Chris Cabott also told ESPN that the Chiefs and Mahomes plan to revisit the agreement following the 2026 season.

Mahomes agreed to a 10-year, $450 million extension in 2020. At the time, it was the largest contract in NFL history in terms of total value.

The NFL quarterback market has since been reset, with Mahomes’ $45 million average annual salary trailing Joe Burrow ($55 million), Justin Herbert ($52.5 million), Lamar Jackson ($52 million), Jalen Hurts ($51 million), Russell Wilson ($48.5 million), Kyler Murray ($46.1 million) and Deshaun Watson ($46 million), per Spotrac.

Under the new terms, Mahomes would earn $52.65 million in each of the next four campaigns.

Mahomes, who turned 28 on Sunday, won his second Super Bowl and second league MVP award last season.

Including a 1-1 start to this season, Mahomes is 65-17 as a starter in the regular season and 11-3 in the postseason. He has passed for 24,772 yards, 196 touchdowns and 51 interceptions in 82 starts since the Chiefs drafted him in the first round (10th overall) in 2017.

–Field Level Media

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones (95) celebrates after winning Super Bowl LVII against the Philadelphia Eagles at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs activate DT Chris Jones

The Kansas City Chiefs activated Chris Jones on Saturday, paving the way for the star defensive tackle to make his season debut against the host Jacksonville Jaguars.

The move comes one day after head coach Andy Reid told reporters that Jones would play in Sunday’s game against the Jaguars (1-0).

Jones, 29, ended his holdout that began in training camp after agreeing Monday to a new one-year deal with incentives that reportedly could earn him more than his base salary of $19.5 million — the final pay due on his four-year, $80 million contract signed in 2020.

Jones racked up 15.5 sacks in 17 games last season and earned his fourth Pro Bowl nod. In 107 games (86 starts) for the Chiefs since being drafted in the second round in 2016, Jones has 65 sacks, 12 forced fumbles and 243 tackles.

Also on Saturday, the Chiefs (0-1) activated running back La’Mical Perine and defensive tackle Matt Dickerson from the practice squad and waived cornerback Darius Rush.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2023; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) greets fans as he arrives prior to training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, DT Chris Jones will play Sunday

Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce and defensive tackle Chris Jones will make their season debuts Sunday at Jacksonville, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Friday.

The two stars did not play for different reasons in the season opener, a 21-20 home loss to the Detroit Lions on Sept. 7.

Kelce, 33, injured his right knee at practice on Sept. 5 and was diagnosed with a bone bruise. He practiced Wednesday and Thursday in a limited capacity.

An eight-time Pro Bowl selection, Kelce has totaled 814 catches for 10,344 yards and 69 touchdowns in 144 career games (137 starts) with the Chiefs.

Jones, 29, ended his holdout that began at training camp after agreeing Monday to a new one-year deal with incentives that reportedly could earn him more than his base salary of $19.5 million — the finale of his four-year, $80 million contract signed in 2020.

Jones racked up 15.5 sacks in 17 games last season and earned his fourth Pro Bowl nod. In 107 games (86 starts) for the Chiefs since being drafted in the second round in 2016, Jones has 65 sacks, 12 forced fumbles and 243 tackles.

The Jaguars are 1-0 after a 31-21 win at the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) and head coach Doug Pederson talk during a timeout  in the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

For Jaguars, new season equals new hope of beating Chiefs

The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t defeated the Kansas City Chiefs since 2009, and four of the losses have been by 14 or more points.

But the Jaguars (1-0) have their eyes on snapping their seven-game slide against the Chiefs (0-1) when two of the AFC top teams meet Sunday in north Florida.

Two of the losses came last season, including a painful one in the postseason. Kansas City posted a 27-17 home win during the regular season and then ended Jacksonville’s season with a 27-20 home victory in the AFC Divisional round.

“The challenges are real,” Jaguars coach Doug Pederson said. “We haven’t fared so well against them, especially last year. It’s a great opportunity for our team. It’s a home game. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

After last season’s playoff loss, Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence stood in the tunnel that leads to the visitor’s locker room at Arrowhead Stadium and congratulated every teammate who passed him.

The message was that better things were ahead for the Jaguars.

“After our season ended, you feel like you left something out there, missed opportunities and all that,” Lawrence said Wednesday. “Right now, we have to obviously turn the page. It’s a new year and we get another opportunity to play these guys. Obviously, didn’t have a lot of success last year. Played them twice and didn’t win either of those games.”

Jacksonville won its opener, 31-21 over the host Indianapolis Colts last Sunday, while the Chiefs fell 21-20 to the visiting Detroit Lions on Sept. 7.

Kansas City four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Chris Jones missed the opener due to a holdout. But the final season of his four-year, $80 million contract was sweetened with playing time and performance incentives, and he’s now back with the team.

Jones said Wednesday he will not further negotiate with the Chiefs during the current season.

“I don’t want to go back and forth during the season,” Jones said. “My focus right now is being the best me I can be for this team — being the best player on this defense, the best player in the league. Anything less than that is a disappointment to myself.”

Kansas City coach Andy Reid hasn’t yet determined how much playing time Jones will receive against the Jaguars. Jones was a limited practice participant on Wednesday.

“Chris is a good football player,” Reid said Wednesday. “So having him back in is an important part of it. We’re glad he’s back. We’ll just see where he’s at physically as we go. He normally keeps himself in pretty good shape.”

Kansas City eight-time Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce is expected back from a hyperextended knee that caused him to miss the opener. Kelce was limited in Wednesday’s practice.

One player hoping to perform better is star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the two-time NFL MVP.

Mahomes was plagued by drops from his receivers — one off the hands of Kadarius Toney was grabbed by Detroit’s Brian Branch and returned 50 years for a touchdown.

But overall, Mahomes’ 226 yards thrown was just 13th best in Week 1 and his 53.8 completion percentage was 28th of 32 qualifiers. Mahomes said some of his throws were off and he was occasionally late on his reads.

“We didn’t execute at a high enough level, me included, in the first game,” Mahomes said. “You have to keep building and try to make yourself better.”

Mahomes certainly will be aware of Jaguars linebackers Josh Allen (career-high three sacks in Week 1) and Foyesade Oluokin, the NFL’s leading tackler in each of the past two seasons.

Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Hilaire (illness) missed practice Wednesday. Cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (knee) was limited.

For Jacksonville, guard Brandon Scherff (ankle) was one of four players to miss practice. The others were center Luke Fortner (ankle), safety Antonio Johnson (hamstring) and cornerback Gregory Junior (hamstring). Defensive end Tyler Lacy (hip) was limited.

–Field Level Media

Sep 7, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney (19) is unable to make the catch during the second half against the Detroit Lions at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR Kadarius Toney on drops: ‘That’s on me’

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney didn’t have a very good week. And his performance in a season-opening loss last Thursday was pretty awful, too.

Toney addressed reporters Wednesday for the first time since the Chiefs’ 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions, a game that saw Toney drop two crucial passes, one that ended up going for a Lions pick-6. Toney has been the butt of social media jokes and memes since the loss, but it’s his team he most cares about.

“In reality, I told coach, I told Pat (Mahomes), I told all the guys, that’s on me,” Toney said. “At the end of the day, y’all count on me and rely on me to make certain plays and I have to be able to do that.”

Toney finished with one catch for 1 yard against the Lions on a team-high-tying five targets. The Chiefs needed a go-to receiver against the Lions with All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce missing the game with a knee injury.

Toney missed training camp after having surgery to repair a partial tear in his meniscus. He played in seven games (three starts) for the Chiefs in 2022 after getting traded from the New York Giants. So, he’s still trying to get things figured out.

Toney has had the full support of his teammates and coaches, including Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who told him to just settle down.

Mahomes said after the game he’s sure “those drops will disappear.”

“I have trust in KT. He missed a lot of training camp,” Mahomes said Thursday. “Obviously, he wanted to play and fought in rehab hard so he could play. Stuff is not always going to go your way, obviously, he would have wanted to catch a few of those in the game, but I have trust that he is going to be the guy that I go to in those crucial moments and he’s going to make the catch and win us some games like he did last year and get him more and more reps.”

As for Toney, he’s looking straight ahead to Jacksonville on Sunday in Week 2.

“Just thinking about next week and how I can make plays,” Toney said. “I’m not going to dwell on the past.”

–Field Level Media