Feb 7, 2021; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) taunts Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) during the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Bucs’ Antoine Winfield Jr. fined for SB taunting

The NFL has fined Tampa Bay defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. $7,815 for taunting Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill during Super Bowl LV last week, according to NFL Network.

Winfield held up two fingers in a peace sign directed at Hill with the Buccaneers comfortably ahead late in the game. It mimics the signature gesture Hill frequently uses against defenders that he left in his rearview mirror.

That includes a Week 12 meeting between the teams when Hill racked up 269 yards and three touchdowns. Hill flashed the peace sign at Winfield as he ran past him in that game and also embarrassed the Buccaneers by back-flipping into the end zone on one of his touchdowns.

That game apparently stuck with Winfield.

“He back-flipped in front of my face, gave me the peace sign. So it was only right that I gave the peace sign right back to him,” Winfield said after the Bucs’ 31-9 win last Sunday.

“It felt amazing to be able to do that, not even gonna lie.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs the ball during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Cleveland Browns at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes look to connect the dots in SB LV

As quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ favorite target, Tyreek Hill has seen him throw plenty of passes this season, but the All-Pro receiver has never seen Mahomes throw the football likes he’s been doing in practice lately.

“What’s crazy is, Pat, he’s been on a roll,” Hill said Thursday. “I haven’t seen Pat throw dots like this at practice. Like he’s been throwing crazy dots. Like, he throws dots. But the dots he’s been throwing in practice lately have been crazy…. So I’m pretty fired up. Just gotta wait and see. I’ve gotta rub my hands together — I’m excited about that.”

The Chiefs hope Mahomes and Hill connect the dots, a slang term given for pinpoint passes thrown into a tight space in between defenders, plenty of times on Sunday when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV in Tampa.

Hill has 104 catches for 1,558 yards and 15 touchdowns on 156 targets from Hill in 18 games, including the playoffs, this season.

The duo had their best performance — and one of the single-quarter outbursts by a quarterback-receiver duo in NFL history — against host Tampa Bay during a 27-24 win in Week 12.

Hill torched Tampa Bay for 13 catches for 269 yards – both career highs — and three touchdowns on 15 targets. Hill was unstoppable in the first 15 minutes.

He made seven catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone, joining Qadry Ismail (210 in the third quarter on Dec. 12, 1999) and Lee Evans (205 in the first quarter on Nov. 19, 2006) as the only NFL receivers since 1980 to have 200 yards worth of receiving yards in a quarter.

“He wants to take every single rep,” Mahomes said of Hill. “You hear about that with all the great receivers, but to see it firsthand. I mean, it’s truly a special thing.”

Mahomes, who was the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2019, has been just as good in the postseason. In two playoff games this year, he’s thrown for 580 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions.

In seven postseason games, he’s thrown 15 career touchdown passes, which tie Kurt Warner for the second-most by a quarterback in his first four seasons in NFL history, one behind leader Russell Wilson.

Mahomes, who is the reigning Super Bowl MVP, is the first quarterback ever to start three consecutive conference championship games in his first four NFL seasons and with a win on Sunday, will become the first quarterback to win two Super Bowls before turning 26.

Meantime, Hill will take the field at Raymond James Stadium seeking to become just the ninth receiver in league history to be named to The Associated Press’ All-Pro First Team and win the Super Bowl in the same season.

It’s a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Indianapolis’ Marvin Harrison in 2006. Of the eight players who have done it, five — Jerry Rice (1988, 1989, 1994), John Stallworth (1979), Lynn Swann (1978), Paul Warfield (1973) and Harrison — are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while Pearson (1977) could get the call from Canton on Saturday and Gary Clark (1987) and Cliff Branch (1976) had excellent careers.

“He has worked so hard this year and I think we’ve all seen that,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “His dependability and reliability … working hard every day, timing with the quarterback every day … that takes a certain amount of toughness and determination to get yourself to that point.”

–Field Level Media

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid speaks to players during the first half in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

AFC Notebook: Andy Reid and Sean McDermott share long history

The opposing coaches in the AFC Championship game spoke glowingly of each other when they got the chance Wednesday.

Coach-speak, perhaps? Maybe, but the connection between the Buffalo Bills’ Sean McDermott and the Kansas City Chiefs’ Andy Reid dates back to a lengthy period in Philadelphia, from 1999-2010. McDermott eventually rose to become defensive coordinator under Reid.

“Andy will be a Hall of Fame coach here in the future down the road,” McDermott said. “I’ve learned, and I’ve said this time and time again, I’ve learned a lot from Andy Reid in my time with him in Philadelphia.”

Reid went as far as to trace McDermott’s exploits as a high school wrestler and later a standout safety at William & Mary, emphasizing his protege’s intelligence and toughness. He also proclaimed that McDermott should be named the NFL’s Coach of the Year for guiding the Bills to the brink of their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1993 season.

“He’s taken a franchise there, both he and his general manager have put this thing together with some bold moves and production here now, so I think he’s done tremendous,” Reid said. “What a great thing for the NFL and for Buffalo.”

–When television cameras caught Kansas City standout wide receiver Tyreek Hill shoving his position coach, Greg Lewis, during the Chiefs’ divisional round victory, it appeared a sideline altercation might be brewing.

“That’s me and my personality,” Hill said. “A lot of people see me as being a hothead on the sideline or a diva, but it was nothing like that. Just me being fired up and just trying to give the guys energy.”

His dependability showed against Cleveland when Reid called a stunning fourth-down pass in which backup quarterback Chad Henne rolled right and lobbed the ball to Hill to seal the 22-17 outcome.

–Buffalo veteran Cole Beasley downplayed his two targets against Baltimore, which resulted in no receptions in the divisional round. He caught 82 passes for 967 yards in the regular season.

Beasley even mentioned that he kidded with Stefon Diggs, who caught eight passes for 106 yards after leading the NFL with 166 targets in 2020.

“A lot of people don’t understand that you can make an impact in the game without catching the ball,” Beasley said. “They have to worry about me underneath either way.”

–Everyone remembers the option keeper that left Patrick Mahomes wobbly and still in concussion protocol. A look at the next two snaps, however, is worthwhile.

In his start, Darrel Williams gained 12 yards on fourth down and then 16 yards to put Kansas City in field goal range. Then, Williams inexplicably watched from the sideline as the drive stalled and Harrison Butker missed a 33-yard field goal.

The Chiefs could retain injured rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle), while Williams should also be fresh after gaining 78 yards on 13 rushes against Cleveland. The Chiefs rushed for 245 yards in the first meeting against Buffalo.

“If they take away the deep stuff, we’ve just got to take underneath routes and take our chances in the run game,” Mecole Hardman said. “As far as Clyde, I just tell him everything’s faster in the playoffs but still go out and play your game.”

–The absence of Matt Milano could be considered one reason Kansas City was so successful running on Buffalo in their regular-season matchup, especially since Reid labeled the Bills linebacker as “the quarterback of that (defensive) group.”

Milano’s presence helps reinforce aggressive tendencies that have helped the Bills torment opponents while winning seven of their last eight games by double digits.

“He does a great job of doing his one-eleventh and that’s important,” McDermott said. “Matt’s a great young man and it’s been fun watching him grow. He does his job at a high level.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (25) runs the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire returns to practice

Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire returned to practice on Wednesday after missing the final two games of the regular season.

The move represents a positive sign for Edwards-Helaire’s chances to play in Sunday’s divisional playoff game versus the visiting Cleveland Browns.

“He just went right at it. Fearless with (his rehabilitation). And as a result, he’s probably a little bit ahead,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Edwards-Helaire, who has been nursing hip and ankle injuries.

Edwards-Helaire, 21, has team-leading totals in carries (181), rushing yards (803) and rushing touchdowns (four) since being selected by Kansas City with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He also has 36 catches for 297 yards and a score.

Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, also participated in practice on Wednesday.

Hill, 26, has 87 receptions for 1,276 yards with a career-best 15 touchdowns this season.

Linebacker Willie Gay (ankle), cornerback Rashad Fenton (ankle) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) didn’t practice on Wednesday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs against Denver Broncos linebacker Malik Reed (59) during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs’ Hill, Watkins, Edwards-Helaire out vs. Chargers

Kansas City Chiefs wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins as well as rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire have been ruled out for this weekend’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hill (hamstring), Watkins (calf) and Edwards-Helaire (ankle) are nursing injuries for the Chiefs (14-1), who have clinched the top seed in the AFC.

Kansas City coach Andy Reid said earlier in the week that quarterback Chad Henne will start versus the visiting Chargers (6-9). Henne is getting the nod over Patrick Mahomes (rest).

Running back Le’Veon Bell, who has been bothered by an ailing knee, returned to practice on Friday. He is questionable for Sunday’s game.

Hill, 26, has 87 receptions for 1,276 yards with a career-best 15 touchdowns this season.

Watkins, 27, has 37 receptions for 421 yards and two scores in 2020.

Edwards-Helaire, 21, has team-leading totals in carries (181), rushing yards (803) and rushing touchdowns (four) since being selected by Kansas City with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He also has 36 catches for 297 yards and a score.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) flips into the end zone after a catch that was nullified by a penalty during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR Hill (illness) misses practice

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill did not practice Wednesday due to a non-COVID-19-related illness.

Starting linebacker Damien Wilson (knee) and rookie reserve offensive lineman Yasir Durant (illness) also missed practice.

“We had a couple of guys that were sick, non-COVID-related. Yasir Durant and then Tyreek Hill, both were sick,” coach Andy Reid said. “Then Damien Wilson had hurt his knee, so he didn’t practice either.”

Hill has 74 catches for 1,079 yards and a league-leading 13 touchdowns through 12 games this season.

Wilson ranks third on the team with 68 tackles in 12 starts.

Durant has played a total of 14 snaps on offense and 42 on special teams in seven games.

The Chiefs (11-1) are on the road Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins (8-4).

Kansas City played Sunday’s 22-16 win against the Denver Broncos without starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who was sidelined with a stomach virus.

–Field Level Media

Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; San Francisco 49ers free safety Jimmie Ward (20) looks to tackle Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) during the second quarter in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR Hill nursing minor hamstring injury

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill’s hamstring injury is not expected to sideline him for long, coach Andy Reid said on Friday.

“It’s not a big tear or anything like that,” Reid said, according to ESPN. Reid added that he expects Hill to return to practice within a few days.

Hill sustained the injury after reeling in a touchdown catch from Chad Henne during a one-on-one drill with cornerback Charvarius Ward. Hill was able to walk off the field under his own power, but did not return to practice.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Hill missed four games last season because of injury. He recorded 58 receptions for 860 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019.

Hill, 26, has 281 catches for 4,115 yards and 32 touchdowns in 59 career games since being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Chiefs are already without fellow wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who is nursing a groin injury.

–Field Level Media

Feb 2, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs after a reception against San Francisco 49ers safety Jimmie Ward (20) in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR Hill makes early exit from practice

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill exited Thursday’s practice with an apparent hamstring injury, multiple media outlets reported.

Hill sustained the injury after reeling in a touchdown catch from Chad Henne during a one-on-one drill with cornerback Charvarius Ward. Hill was able to walk off the field under his own power, but did not return to practice.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Hill missed four games last season because of injury. He recorded 58 receptions for 860 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019.

Hill, 26, has 281 catches for 4,115 yards and 32 touchdowns in 59 career games since being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Chiefs are already without fellow wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who is nursing a groin injury.

–Field Level Media

Seven From Sunday - Week 17

NFL Week 5 Football Props: Jaguars vs. Chiefs

Last week, the Chiefs played from behind for the first time this season, bringing into question their ability to play with their backs against the wall. Down 10 with just under 13 left in the 4th quarter, Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs on 2 impressive touchdown drives, converting on multiple 3rd down conversions (including a left handed pass to Tyreek Hill). Getting the ball back with 1:39, Denver put together an impressive drive but were unable to punch it in. Kansas City Faithful were certainly happy that their young quarterback was able to remain calm and composed when faced with a 10 point 4th-quarter deficit. Keep in mind, this was Mahomes worst performance of the season and yet he still tossed for over 300 yards and 1 touchdown (and ran one in from 8 yards out).

The Jacksonville Jaguars are also putting together a nice season, losing only to their divisional rivals the Titans. They aren’t getting the attention that the Rams and Chiefs are seeing, but their commanding win over New England in week 2 certainly keeps them on everyone’s radar. Jalen Ramsey is considered by many to be the best corner in football, and his matchup this week with Tyreek Hill has been anticipated by everyone. Can the rest of their defense keep up with all of Kansas City’s offensive weapons?

The props below are available to BET NOW if you live in the state of New Jersey.

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Jaguars vs. Chiefs Props

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The Intersection of the NFL and Esports: AFC West

The overlap between the NFL and video games is massive. The players are actively gaming in their free time and many of the owners are directly or indirectly invested in the industry. I am going division by division highlighting star players on the field who also have a love for video games/esports.
Marshawn Lynch – RB Oakland Raiders
BeastMode is an investor in NRG Esports, an avid Call of Duty and Fortnite player and was even a character in a scene in Call of Duty Black Ops III campaign.
At NRG Esports, Lynch joined a star-studded investor group that contains Alex Rodriguez, Shaquille O’Neal, Ryan Howard and Jennifer Lopez, among other athletes and celebrities. The organization was started by Sacramento Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov and has top-level talent in a variety of games including Overwatch, Rocket League and Fortnite.
He has been an outspoken advocate for Call of Duty for years and Treyarch – the developer of Black Ops 3 – rewarded him by putting him in the background of a scene in the campaign. Lynch called it “one of the highlights of my career.”

(He’s at the back table, sitting on the left, drinking aggressively)
He can also be found playing Fortnite and crashing Conan’s Clueless Gamer set to rip the heads off some fools in Doom.
Von Miller – LB Denver Broncos
The Clueless Gamer video that Lynch crashed was supposed to be between Josh Norman and Miller but if BeastMode wants in, he gets in.

Miller is also a huge gamer himself and thinks that gaming is a natural extension of NFL players competitive instinct.
“As athletes, we compete over everything, and a game like ‘Call of Duty’ is about as competitive as it gets,” Miller told ESPN’s Jon Robinson in 2012. “With the competitive aspect of the game, you can be down a couple of kills and you just want to come back. That’s what draws all athletes to ‘Call of Duty.’ There is just so much competitive spirit involved.”
He has been a gamer his whole life growing up on Tecmo Bowl and Contra as a kid. In addition to shooter games he also plays a lot of sports games but – at least at the time of that ESPN interview – said FIFA and NBA 2K were bigger communities than Madden.
“Everybody plays “FIFA.” Sure, there are guys on the team that love “Madden,” but what people might not realize is “FIFA” has the biggest online community out there, and “2K13” might be second.”
FIFA’s success as an esport has a lot to do with pure fluidity, it’s likely the best sports simulation gaming experience on the market.
Eric Berry – S Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs safety has battled more off-the-field adversity than just about anyone in the NFL. Most football fans will remember his fight with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that forced him to miss multiple years; but what they might not know is the role that video games helped play in his recovery.
“The thing that kept me mentally sharp was playing video games. That’s the way I was getting reps,” Berry told SportTechie’s Mark J. Burns. “A lot of people don’t understand that visualization is one of the most powerful things you can do. Doing that through a video game where you put yourself through a situation in a first person point of view and you see it from a big picture point of view from how things work together, it can work wonders.”
Especially for someone missing the football field, Madden is the closest thing he could get for a while. In addition to Madden he also plays Call of Duty and told Burns that game can help with decision-making and critical thinking.
“The cerebral part of gaming, some people don’t look at it as a skill, that’s definitely a skill — to be able to think, react and maneuver so quickly,” Berry told Burns.
Tyreek Hill – WR Kansas City Chiefs
Hill is one of the most explosive players in the game today but when he’s not at practice or studying the playbook, he’s dropping into Fortnite games. According to comments on his Twitch stream on Reddit, he’s actually pretty good.
I play like three hours (at a time),” Hill told Deaundra Allen at the Kansas City Star. “I’m getting ready to set up my camera tonight so I can Twitch and people can see me play the game.”
His stream name is “imfasterthanya” but only has 2,100 total views as a channel. Especially during the offseason players need a way to fill time. Many find it through video games and studying the playbook, and for Hill it’s in that order.
“After I get done playing Fortnite, I try to schedule in some downtime for my playbook, watching film and watching other receivers,” he told the KC Star.
He plays with guys on the team like new quarterback Pat Mahomes and also talks trash to other AFC playoff rivals like Le’Veon Bell.


Joey Bosa – DE Los Angeles Chargers
Bosa has already made a name for himself as one of the standout young defensive stars in the league after the Chargers took him third in the 2016 NFL Draft. Coming from a national championship at Ohio State, Bosa was the man around Columbus. But following a violation of the school’s athletic policy, Bosa opted to shy away from the limelight and get a one-bedroom place off campus that had “little more than an Xbox, DVDs, and football gear,” wrote Sports Illustrated.
It was a place free from distractions, and for Bosa, a lifelong gamer, it was exactly what he needed. He finished the season as a first-team All-American and the Buckeyes went 12-1. The SI article doesn’t say what he was playing during that time, but according to an interview he did with Inverse, he has been a Call of Duty fan since he was young.
“I’ve been playing video games my entire life, ever since I had the Nintendo 64 that my grandma got me,” Bosa told Inverse. “Then I got my PS2 and have just been moving onto playing Call of Duty, and I’ve been a big gamer all of my life, me and my friends. It’s been a big part of our after-school time hanging out. It’s kept us off the streets and out of trouble.”
He found a reprieve from distractions through video games while growing up and while at Ohio State. Now he still plays with his friends back home, mostly Call of Duty, Rocket League and FIFA. I’ll bet head coach Anthony Lynn prefers him doing that than getting into the many distractions in Los Angeles.
This is part five of our division-by-division look at the overlap of the NFL and esports/gaming. The articles come out bi-weekly and the NFC can be found here with the West, North, East and South.