Feb 27, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach talks to the media at the 2024 NFL Combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs turn page, tag in play for top free agents

INDIANAPOLIS — Winning the Super Bowl again put a strain on the Kansas City Chiefs’ front office, but the extra five weeks of football made general manager Brett Veach easy to find.

“They’ve been locked in a room, grinding to get ready for this thing,” head coach Andy Reid said of Veach and the scouting staff cramming for the NFL Scouting Combine, which takes place this week in and around Lucas Oil Stadium.

Reid and Veach opened their separate interview sessions at the event by expressing appreciation for the uniformed officers and public safety officials who sprang into action at the Lombardi Trophy parade in Kansas City three days after the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas.

The Chiefs quickly shifted from celebrating their Super Bowl LVIII win to keeping the team together.

“We’re chasing that ever-elusive three-peat,” Veach said of the front office focus on 2024.

Headlining free agents include defensive tackle Chris Jones and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. Jones said during the victory parade that he intends to return.

“He’s at the top of the list,” Veach said of Jones and his scheduled visits with player agents in Indianapolis before prospect workouts begin.

The pecking order might leave the Chiefs shorter on cash to sign Sneed. The shutdown corner was described during Super Bowl media availability as “the reason we can do what we do on defense” by coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

With the salary cap rising to $255.4 million, there is concern for the Chiefs and other teams about players waiting for the “new market” to be set by contracts early in free agency.

“When you win this much, you’re paying a lot of players a lot of money,” Veach said. “We do have one tag. I anticipate probably using it to keep one of those guys.”

Reid said he’s not sweating the notion of complacency, the buzzword from Patrick Mahomes when the then-reigning MVP and Super Bowl MVP arrived at training camp last summer.

“The margin in this league,” Reid said, closing his thumb to his pointer finger, “is this narrow.”

–Field Level Media

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid celebrates with quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) and other players in 2023 during the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl parade. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Reid to coach Chiefs in 2024; QB Patrick Mahomes thinking No. 3

LAS VEGAS — Andy Reid woke up as the fifth head coach to win at least three Super Bowls, a class that includes Bill Walsh, Joe Gibbs, Chuck Noll and Bill Belichick.

Reid confirmed he will be back next season as head coach but is leaving dynasty and three-peat talk up to others.

“Honestly, I haven’t even thought of it. I get asked it. I’m still kind of in awe of the game. I haven’t thought why or what,” Reid said Monday when asked why he wouldn’t ride off into the sunset. “It’s not going to just be easy. We’ll have changeover on our team, there’s always the unexpected, have to keep battling through it. I just asked (quarterback Patrick Mahomes), has anyone done in three (consecutive) times? He said no. It’d be great.”

Super Bowl LVIII MVP Patrick Mahomes ended his seventh season with his third Lombardi Trophy, and hit the pillow early Monday morning thinking about becoming the first team in NFL history to three-peat.

“It’s legendary — no one’s ever done it,” Mahomes said Monday of his trophy mindset. “Only eight teams have done it back-to-back. We felt like we had the best opportunity we’ve ever had. All you can do is come back next year with the best mindset and try to do it again. I know how hard these guys work. I know how hard they get after it. I know how hard these coaches work.

“To be able to have our stamp on NFL history is something I’ll never take for granted.”

Mahomes said the Chiefs entered the halftime locker room trailing 10-3 on Sunday night very confident because they weren’t executing.

“For us, we just had to be us. Give it everything we have and live with the results after,” Mahomes said.

Reid said Mahomes’ performance and excellence can be easy to take for granted, but he’s still getting better.

“He makes it look easy,” Reid said. “This is a fluid game with the best athletes in this sport in the world. You’ve narrowed it down to the top two. And he’s out there playing like he’s in the back yard, like it’s nothing. From a head-coaching standpoint, guy that works with offensive guys, all you can ask for.”

–Free agency begins with the franchise tag window running from Feb. 20 to March 5. Seven players were tagged last year.

Teams can retain their own free agents prior to the start of the unrestricted free agency negotiating period, which begins at Noon ET on March 13. Contracts can become official on March 15 at 4 p.m. ET.

Among top players eligible for free agency are Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and 49ers defensive end Chase Young.

“I know how hard it is to do and how hard the season was,” Reid said. “The ups and downs of the season and how proud I am of the guys for just hanging with each other and staying positive with each other. The young guys grew up, and nobody ever pointed fingers at the offense when the offense was growing. It all kind of came together during the playoffs and worked out well. Great leaders in Patrick, Chris and Trav (tight end Travis Kelce), the job that they’ve done.”

Mahomes said he’ll work with the Chiefs to remain “as flexible as possible as far as the cap and stuff like that” to keep the franchise in position to add talent to the roster.

–Kicking off LIX: New Orleans will host the Super Bowl for the 11th time next February, tying Miami for the most in league history, which included three games at Tulane Stadium before the Superdome was unveiled.

“I think it’s 363 days until Super Bowl (LIX) 59 begins,” Goodell said. “We look forward to being there.”

New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson was on hand for the “handoff” from the Las Vegas host committee on Monday morning.

“I am confident we will pull together as we always do to deliver our guests from around the country and world the greatest experience possible,” Benson said.

–Field Level Media

February 6, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is displayed on Super Bowl LVIII signage on The Sphere. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs, QB Patrick Mahomes willing villains if it’s price of winning

LAKE LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Chiefs head coach Andy Reid leads his team back to the practice field on Wednesday for the first of three consecutive on-field workouts before Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday.

“We try to have fun within the intensity of the game within the week,” Reid said Wednesday morning at Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort prior to practice. “There is time to focus in and there is time to mess around. We don’t have to keep it uptight when they’re coming into practice.”

Players were off Tuesday but are scheduled through Saturday’s final walkthrough to return to their typical game-week routine. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes reminded teammates of the importance of physical and mental rest before taking “the business trip” seriously when they clock back in Wednesday.

Reid said players were informed of the temptations in the near vicinity, even though the Chiefs and 49ers are at neighboring resorts 35 minutes from The Strip. An NFL security representative was on the scene to speak to players about rules and regulations with regard to gambling and other “distractions” in Las Vegas.

“It’s a normal week now,” Mahomes said on Wednesday. “We’re going to get back to practice and do what we do for a normal gameday.”

The Chiefs won’t be distracted on Sunday. After wrapping up video review of the challenger, Reid said he’s confident this version of the 49ers is superior to the San Francisco team that lost to Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV. To Reid, it boils down to star power with two MVP finalists Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey.

Reid and the Chiefs have 14 playoff wins since 2018 and are appearing in the Super Bowl for a fourth time in six seasons. But it’s Kansas City’s first without franchise matriarch Norma Hunt, a point Reid and others have made this week.

“She leaves a great legacy behind. I think this is the first one she hasn’t been here for,” Reid said. “That speaks for itself, but her heart was the biggest thing. A great person.”

Because of their track record in games like this one, Mahomes and the Chiefs are being cast as villains in some circles, much in the same way the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees and New England Patriots were often rooted against.

Still a fan favorite, Mahomes said he doesn’t enjoy or embrace being the bad guy.

“I just like winning,” he said. “If you win a lot and it causes you to be the villain, I’m OK with that. At the end of the day, I’m going to enjoy playing the game and try to win as much as possible.”

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs off the field after throwing an interception for a touchdown during the first half against the Las Vegas Raiders at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes wants to play 15 more seasons

LAS VEGAS — Inspired by the equation of longevity plus success Tom Brady used to play quarterback into his mid-40s, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes plans on going deep.

Deep into his 40s, that is.

Mahomes wouldn’t single out a target retirement age because he wants to “play as long as they’ll let me play,” and thinks another 15 years is truly possible.

“Brady did it, some other guys have done it, I’m going to try to do it as well,” Mahomes said. “I don’t want to play until I’m hurting the team. If I’m still having success and still loving it, that’s the biggest thing.”

Mahomes starts his fourth Super Bowl at age 28 on Sunday when Kansas City meets the San Francisco 49ers in a runback of the Lombardi fight between the same teams after the 2019 season.

That puts him at a pace all his own, and a full two years ahead of Brady’s track. Brady started his fourth Super Bowl at age 30, winning a total of seven with 10 appearances.

The Chiefs are underdogs to the 49ers this time, and Mahomes said he will count rings one at a time so as to avoid getting ahead of himself or becoming complacent with constant championship-level performances.

“I mean, I’m not even close to halfway (to seven Super Bowl rings),” Mahomes said. “I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. Your goal is to be the best player you can be. I know I’m blessed to be around a lot of great players around me. Right now, it’s doing whatever I can to beat a great 49ers team and try to get that third ring. And then, you ask me that question in like 15 years, I’ll see if I can get close to seven. Seven seems like a long way away still.”

Brady was remarkably healthy in his 23 NFL seasons before retiring for good in February 2023. He took a mulligan on his first retirement a year after a Super Bowl win with the Buccaneers over Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Brady remains the standard at quarterback by every statistical measure. He holds NFL records for wins by a quarterback (251), Super Bowl wins, passing yards (89,214) and passing touchdowns (649) during his career with the New England Patriots (2000-19) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020-22).

With seven seasons in the books, Mahomes has 33,226 passing yards (including 4,802 postseason) and 258 TD passes (39 in the playoffs).

Mahomes is 2-1 in three Super Bowl appearances.

–By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

Jan 20, 2024; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) reacts after running past for Houston Texans defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (98) for a touchdown during the fourth quarter  in a 2024 AFC divisional round game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

AFC Championship Game Betting Primer: ‘Heavyweight fight’ at QB

Now do you believe in the 2023-24 version of Patrick Mahomes? He looked every bit the NFL’s best player in the dramatic divisional round win over the Buffalo Bills.

There is only one MVP for this season, though, and it’s Lamar Jackson. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback crushed the doubters last week with an exceptional performance.

So which guy is going to blink?

We’ll present our case, a play on one of these teams and a bonus bet below.

THE HEADLINER

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
When: Sunday.
Time, TV: 3 p.m. ET, CBS.
Odds: Ravens -4, total 44.5 (DraftKings).

Aspiring handicappers can use AFC Championship Game betting statistics to back either team.

There is a great deal of information — and we’re going to inundate you with the numbers — so take the stats you like the best.

The momentum is on the Ravens’ side, with the line being bet up to -4 from an opening number of -3.5.

For Kansas City: Mahomes is terrific in the underdog role. Sunday marks the sixth time he and the Chiefs have opened at +3 or higher. He is 5-0 against the spread in those games, including one in 2020 against the Ravens.

For Baltimore: The Ravens are catching the Chiefs in a strange-stat situation. Teams in a game immediately after facing the Bills, as KC did last week, are 24-41-1 ATS over the past four seasons, including 5-11-1 ATS this season. And teams who beat Josh Allen in the playoffs are 0-4 straight up in the next game.

There were questions about Jackson’s playoff shortcomings — he’s not one to consistently cover as a home favorite. Jackson is 29-10 straight up but only 16-23 against the spread when favored at home.

And this is not great for those hoping to bet on the Ravens to cover: Of 220 quarterbacks — as home favorites — in games spanning the past two decades, Jackson ranks 211th against the spread.

And then he went out last week and played lights out.

Speaking of lights, Jackson backers can take solace in this betting stat: He’s 16-6 straight up and 14-8 ATS in night games. He’s won eight consecutive night games straight up.

And at home, Jackson has won eight of 10 straight up and is 6-4 ATS.

Mahomes is certainly the main hurdle, but Jackson is saying all the right things this week.

“I don’t like competing against him at all,” Jackson said with a laugh. “He’s a great quarterback. It’s a no-brainer; he’s definitely a Hall of Famer.

“I believe it’s two up-and-coming greats going toe to toe, like a heavyweight fight, a heavyweight matchup. That’s what I see.”

Kansas City will be without standout guard Joe Thuney, but Isiah Pacheco says his toe injury will not prevent him from playing.

Sunday’s game is the Ravens’ first conference championship game since their Super Bowl-winning run in 2012.

The Chiefs have won at least two playoff games in five consecutive seasons and Mahomes is 13-3 as a playoff starter.

The Ravens plan to make that 13-4 by keeping possession and accentuating the ground game; Jackson accounted for 100 yards rushing by himself last week against the Texans.

Baltimore sits third in both EPA (Expected Points Added) per rush and rushing success rate, and are No. 5 on Pro Football Focus’ ranking of rushing grades.

Much has been made of the Chiefs’ defensive improvement, but against the run, KC is 28th in EPA per play allowed. According to Pro Football Focus, they receive a run defense grade ranking of 18th.

The question boils down to whether the Chiefs’ commitment to stop the Ravens’ ground game will cost them when Jackson — in play action — gains traction throwing the ball.

Can Zay Flowers, Mark Andrews, et al make winning plays? The likely answer is “some of the time.”

With that tepid endorsement, we’ll follow with a similar sentiment: Patrick Mahomes is too good to be on a team suffering a playoff blowout, but Lamar Jackson and the home-field advantage are too good to dismiss.

The bet: Ravens adjusted spread -2.5 (-175 at BetMGM).

BONUS

The Ravens looked dominant on defense; the Chiefs believe they can hold down the Baltimore ground game.

The second-half unders in KC games this season, according to Action Network, are a staggering 17-2.

Parlay that with a near-sure thing and hope Mahomes stays upright.

The bet: Two-leg parlay, the second-half UNDER 21.5 points with Mahomes to throw for 200+ yards (+164 at DraftKings).

–Field Level Media

Dec 10, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) talks with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) after a game  at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes battles Josh Allen, Bills in playoff road debut

Two-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes will finally face rabid, boisterous and unfriendly fans in a postseason setting.

In his sixth season as an NFL starting quarterback, Mahomes plays in his first playoff road contest on Sunday night when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Buffalo Bills in the AFC divisional round at Orchard Park, N.Y.

Mahomes has played in 12 home games and three Super Bowls during the postseason. But he’s never once had to get on a plane and fly to play in a raucous road environment while leading the Chiefs to five consecutive AFC championship game appearances.

Until now.

“It kind of is what it is,” Mahomes said. “I’ve been lucky enough to play a lot of games at home, at Arrowhead Stadium, and things have fallen that way. Now we get to go on the road to a hostile environment, and one I have not played in with fans in the stands. But it’s what you want to do when you grow up watching these games.”

Mahomes’ lone visit to play the Bills occurred during the 2020 season when stadiums were empty due to COVID-19. Kansas City won 26-17.

Since that contest, the Chiefs and Bills have met five times, all in Kansas City over a span of 34-plus months.

The Chiefs twice eliminated the Bills from the playoffs — 38-24 in the 2020 season AFC title game and again the following season, 42-36 in overtime in the divisional round.

But Buffalo’s 20-17 win this season at Arrowhead Stadium on Dec. 10 proved big, eventually leading to the Bills being the No. 2 seed and relegating Kansas City to No. 3.

Buffalo is relishing the opportunity to battle the Chiefs in its stadium after all the frequent flyer miles earned with trips to Kansas City.

“(Mahomes) might wanna come here, man, the many times we played there, he might need a change of scenery,” Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver said. “He might be happy to come here. Never know.”

Temperatures in the Buffalo area are projected to be the mid-20s, which is certainly better weather than both teams dealt with in the wild-card round.

Kansas City’s 26-7 home win over the Miami Dolphins was the fourth-coldest game in NFL history with the temperature at minus-4 degrees at kickoff.

The Bills’ had their game moved back a day to Monday because of a massive snowstorm. Workers cleared the field but left snow packed throughout the stands for the 31-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Buffalo star quarterback Josh Allen didn’t seem bothered by the elements as he passed for three touchdowns and scored another on a scintillating 52-yard run.

Now he’s looking to finally beat close friend Mahomes in a postseason game. Allen knows the task will be tough.

“They’ve been at the top of the mountain, they know what it takes to get there,” Allen said after Wednesday’s walk-through. “We’ve yet to do that. As a competitor, as a player, to be in a situation like this is something that you dream about.”

Mahomes knows a loss would make it a very difficult 18 holes of golf when he and Allen get together in the offseason.

“When you compete against your friends, you almost want to win even more because of it,” Mahomes said. “Josh is a great dude. I respect the way he plays football and just the guy that he is. But when two guys that are ultra-competitive that are friends off the field go up against each other, we obviously both want to win.

“We see each other in the offseason, and you want to have a little bit of those bragging rights.”

Stopping Mahomes will be more difficult for the Buffalo defense if linebacker Terrel Bernard (ankle) and safety Taylor Rapp (calf) are unavailable. Bernard was hurt against the Steelers, while Rapp was injured in the regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins. Bernard (143 stops) was Buffalo’s leading tackler in the regular season.

Both players sat out Wednesday as did linebacker Baylon Spector (back), cornerback Christian Benford (knee), receiver Gabe Davis (knee) and punter Sam Martin (left hamstring). Buffalo signed Matt Haack to the practice squad as insurance in case Martin can’t play.

Nose tackle Derrick Nnadi (triceps) was the lone Kansas City player to sit out Wednesday. Standout cornerback L’Jarius Sneed (calf) was limited.

–Field Level Media

Dec 10, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) and quarterback Blaine Gabbert (9) on field against the Buffalo Bills prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

No place for Mahomes: Chiefs to start QB Blaine Gabbert

With no ground to gain in the AFC playoff picture by beating the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs are in preservation mode.

Blaine Gabbert will start in place of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and multiple regulars are headed for plenty of rest in a game head coach Andy Reid said would be used as a good audition for younger players.

Gabbert said he told the team, “Go out there and have fun.”

Win or lose to the Chargers (5-11), Kansas City (10-6) owns the No. 3 seed in the AFC regardless of any outcome on the Sunday schedule. Los Angeles has lost four consecutive games and seven of its last eight.

Among Gabbert’s goals for the game — get tight end Travis Kelce over 1,000 receiving yards for the eighth consecutive season. He’s at 984 through 16 games.

Kelce, who was inactive Week 1 with a knee injury, had a season-best 12 catches and 179 yards in Kansas City’s win over the Chargers in Week 7.

“He’s the best,” Gabbert said. “He has a rare feel for the game of football. He sees the game like a quarterback.”

Reid hasn’t made the final call on Kelce’s status, but Gabbert said the prolific production is a standard for not just Kelce, but the entire organization.

“If he wants to play, he’ll play. If Coach Reid says have him rest, he’s gonna rest,” Gabbert said. “Ultimately that’s on Coach Reid, but if we’re out there we’re going to do our damn best to get him 17 yards.”

Mahomes was NFL MVP in 2022 with 5,250 passing yards and 41 touchdowns, leading Kansas City to another Super Bowl victory in February.

The Chiefs will fall short of the 14-3 record they posted in 2022 and Mahomes’ totals aren’t as glowing: 4,183 passing yards, 27 touchdowns. His only four-TD game this season was Oct. 22 in the first meeting with the Chargers.

–Field Level Media

Dec 10, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) gestures to an official after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes fined $150K for criticizing refs

The NFL slapped Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes $150,000 total in fines for their criticism of the officials after last week’s 20-17 lost to the Buffalo Bills, ESPN and NFL Network reported Saturday.

Reid was fined $100,000 and Mahomes $50,000, per the reports.

Mahomes was apoplectic after referees called a rare offsides penalty on wide receiver Kadarius Toney, which negated a 49-yard go-ahead touchdown with 1:12 remaining in last week’s loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Reid termed the call “a bit embarrassing” on Sunday because he was not given what he said was the usual warning from the lead official to the head coach about alignment issues, including offensive offsides.

Mahomes ripped officials to anyone who would listen, including Bills quarterback Josh Allen during their postgame handshake on the field.

“Another game, we’re talking about the refs. It’s not what we want for the NFL. It’s not what we want for football,” said Mahomes.

But Reid walked back his comments a day later after Toney, who was clearly offside, failed to check with the side judge to confirm he was lined up correctly.

On the play in question, Mahomes hit tight end Travis Kelce for a big gain and Kelce threw a legal overhand lateral to Toney. Toney, who caught the ball at the Bills’ 25, sprinted into the end zone before the Chiefs noticed the flag dropped at the line of scrimmage for offensive offsides.

The TD would’ve given the Chiefs a 23-20 lead pending the extra point.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) in action against the Buffalo Bills at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts charging toward first MVP award

Jalen Hurts’ latest dramatic comeback victory has helped the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback put more distance between himself and his closest pursuers for the Most Valuable Player award.

Hurts threw for three touchdowns and ran for the game-winning score in overtime in Philadelphia’s 37-34 win over Buffalo on Sunday. With 3,107 total yards and 29 combined touchdowns in the Eagles’ 10-1 start, Hurts is the +130 MVP favorite at DraftKings and is +140 at BetMGM.

With 11 rushing touchdowns through 11 games, Hurts is on pace for 17 this season. That would smash the NFL record for a quarterback held by Cam Newton with 14 for the Carolina Panthers in 2011. Hurts already holds the second-highest mark with 13 last year.

Hurts was the +250 MVP favorite at DraftKings entering last week, but saw those odds shorten following the game-winning drive to beat the Bills a week after leading a come-from-behind win at Kansas City. He has drawn the most MVP bets and total money at the book. Hurts is also the biggest liability at BetMGM, where he has been backed by 12.3 percent of the total bets.

His closest pursuer continues to be reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes, who is being offered at +350 by both books. Third is Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is +400 at DraftKings and +500 at BetMGM.

The top non-quarterback candidate is San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey. Offered at +1600 by DraftKings, McCaffrey has longer +2500 odds at BetMGM, where he is the biggest liability for Offensive Player of the Year honors while being backed by 21.0 percent of the money wagered thus far.

AWARDS ODDS (BetMGM)
NFL MVP
–Highest Ticket%: Jalen Hurts 12.3%
–Highest Handle%: Patrick Mahomes 12.2%
–Biggest Liability: Jalen Hurts
–Odds Leader: Jalen Hurts +140

Offensive Player of the Year
–Highest Ticket%: Christian McCaffrey 12.0%
–Highest Handle%: Christian McCaffrey 21.0%
–Biggest Liability: Christian McCaffrey
–Odds Leader: Tyreek Hill -105

Defensive Player of the Year
–Highest Ticket%: Aidan Hutchinson 15.8%
–Highest Handle%: Micah Parsons 22.8%
–Biggest Liability: Aidan Hutchinson
–Odds Leader: Myles Garrett +150

Comeback Player of the Year
–Highest Ticket%: Russell Wilson 12.7%
–Highest Handle%: Damar Hamlin 47.2%
–Biggest Liability: Russell Wilson
–Odds Leader: Damar Hamlin -150

Coach of the Year
–Highest Ticket%: Dan Campbell 37.5%
–Highest Handle%: Dan Campbell 41.3%
–Biggest Liability: Dan Campbell
–Odds Leader: Dan Campbell +160

Offensive Rookie of the Year – off the board
–Highest Ticket%: Jahmyr Gibbs 19.9%
–Highest Handle%: Bijan Robinson 22.4%
–Biggest Liability: Jahmyr Gibbs
–Odds Leader: Off the board

Defensive Rookie of the Year
–Highest Ticket%: Jalen Carter 20.7%
–Highest Handle%: Jalen Carter 33.6%
–Biggest Liability: Jalen Carter
–Odds Leader: Jalen Carter -250

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is team’s backup punter

Patrick Mahomes wears many hats for the Kansas City Chiefs.

In addition to being the team’s star quarterback, Mahomes also serves as Kansas City’s backup punter. Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub let the cat out of the bag on Thursday in regard to Mahomes’ lesser-known role with the club.

Starting punter Tommy Townsend has done a fine job in his role, even earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors last season while averaging a career-best 50.4 yards per kick.

With Townsend nursing a left knee injury heading into last week’s game versus the Denver Broncos, Toub needed to have an alternate plan if needed.

“The backup punter? Yeah, we had a plan,” Toub said Thursday. “We had a plan, and believe it or not, (Mahomes) is our backup punter.”

Toub was confident Mahomes could step up in a pinch if needed.

“He can do it,” Toub said. “He shows me all the time. He’s out there going on Saturday hitting punts. He can do it all that guy.”

–Field Level Media