NFL insider notes: Chiefs seriously flawed and fix not near, better team wins Bengals-Ravens, more from Week 7

The Kansas City Chiefs are damaged.

They’ve fallen.

We’ll see if they’ll rise up.

In a season the place the frequent chorus has been for the league, collectively, to await this group returning to its perch atop the AFC, it might be extra salient to think about why that’s, and what proof this outfit has offered that 2021 shall be something like 2020, or 2019 or 2018. Positive, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are tremendous particular, however this group is critically flawed, missing any steadiness on offense, with Mahomes changing into a mistake machine and now having to take care of adversity the likes of which he has by no means seen earlier than as a professional, and with Kansas Metropolis’s protection threatening to go down because the worst in league historical past.

If something, that protection received a lift on Sunday, with the Titans ripping the Chiefs throats out by the half, sitting on a 27-0 lead that felt extra like 54-0. Had Tennessee and Ryan Tannehill had any designs on throwing for 500 yards, and chucking it round within the second half regardless of that large lead, belief me, Kansas Metropolis could not have finished something about it. They sit at 3-4, and I would posit they’re terrible fortunate it is not worse than that. Outdoors of a hurried comeback towards Cleveland at residence in Week 1, they’ve been punked by the remainder of their convention.

The Chiefs’ three wins? Surviving the Browns after which churning out workman-like victories over the lowly Eagles and WFT. That is it. In each sport they’ve performed towards an AFC opponent, there was a stretch of the sport the place the Chiefs have been taken to the woodshed. Cleveland pushed them round within the first half, Baltimore torched them within the second half to win from behind, the Chargers out-shot them, the Bills had them killed off after three quarters and the Titans completely humiliated them Sunday.

It truly is that dangerous, and I do not see a lot altering swiftly. Here’s a snippet of the hammering the Titans placed on them, with these stats on the time the Titans went forward 27-0 late within the first half:

First downs












Time of possession



Oh, and Tennessee was 6-for-7 on third down and Tannehill was 17-for-21. And this was with Derrick Henry operating for less than three yards per carry (although he did throw a landing move!). As soon as once more, the opposite group’s quarterback out-played Mahomes, which is sort of incomprehensible however has been a development, and watching Mahomes being knotted up and knocked from the sport with a blow to the top needed to additional the collective angst in Kansas Metropolis.

The Chiefs reformatted offensive line will not be good. The quarterback is beneath extra stress than ever, and not using a run sport to depend on. He’s making an attempt to do an excessive amount of, too typically, realizing how horrible the protection is, and it’s all snowballing. To the purpose the place even Mahomes is part of the issue.

Mahomes, whose luck with picks was certain to regress in some unspecified time in the future, had one other multi-turnover sport Sunday. He left the sport tied with Jets injured rookie Zach Wilson for many interceptions this season (9). He has thrown a decide in six straight video games and has 16 picks in his final 16 video games. This group, as presently constructed, is not overcoming that.

And I’m not certain it will get significantly better in a single day. The schedule is relentless. Yeah, they get the Giants at residence, they usually have but to play the lowly Broncos, however there is not one other breather to return outdoors of that. Already simply 1-4 within the AFC, chasing the Chargers within the division, these head-to-head tiebreakers can loom giant. I am not saying they will not make the playoffs with the expanded discipline … however it ain’t gonna be straightforward, and I do not see this group doing something near what we’ve change into accustomed to in January.

Cincy protection for actual, higher group wins Bengals-Ravens

The Bengals protection is probably the most improved unit within the NFL. They’re for actual. Their unmasking of the Ravens Sunday mentioned extra about Cincy than it did Baltimore; the higher group received handily and the way through which they did it bodes very nicely for the Bengals’ playoff probabilities.

For the whole thing of Lamar Jackson‘s tenure as a beginning quarterback for Baltimore, the Bengals had no reply for this run sport. The choice performs devastated them. Baltimore ran up over 400 yards on the bottom on them to finish final season, and you would put them down for a strong 250 anytime they met.

Now not. Not shut.

Yeah, Lamar nonetheless received his – inside cause – however Baltimore’s operating backs amassed a complete of 29 yards dashing and the Bengals revamped defensive entrance fully ate their lunch for 4 quarters. They pressured Jackson relentlessly – typically needing simply 4 rushers to take action – and once they did deliver numbers it was overwhelming. Tight finish Mark Andrews went off on an early drive, then the Bengals eradicated him the remainder of the best way.

They silenced Baltimore’s big-play offense with uncommon exception (a bomb to Hollywood Brown), and had Jackson operating for his life. We knew they’d offensive expertise … it is this protection, assembly this distinctive problem, that really has me pondering this group might make noise this season. Yeah, they’re nonetheless a bit skinny, and must keep away from the harm bug that has struck each different group within the division. However they don’t seem to be going to only crumble so long as Joe Burrow is beneath heart.

Benched Darnold might not get one other shot; Watson on radar

Should you learn this house, you knew Sam Darnold was on borrowed time. His play had been among the many worst within the NFL, he had one more brutal begin Sunday and was benched. Undecided he’ll be getting one other shot anytime quickly, both. His eight picks are third-most within the NFL, he would not push the ball downfield, is indecisive and appears like a QB who was damaged by the Jets (as he was). Panthers proprietor David Tepper needs to be furious about 4 straight losses after a 3-0 begin and an offense able to nothing with out an NFL starter on the roster. His want for Deshaun Watson has been well-known and reported on right here since early within the offseason; the Texans couldn’t have requested for a greater situation for commerce hopes given the Panthers’ implosion towards a foul Giants group coupled with what occurred in Miami.

Extra insider notes from Week 7

  • Yup, the Dolphins are nonetheless actually dangerous, total, however actually good at discovering methods to lose soccer video games. Even when going through an opponent like Atlanta that additionally excels in blowing video games. Tua Tagovailoa overcame some picks to maintain Miami within the sport, however his help group there would not run deep. Brian Flores’s protection gave up too many sustained drives and misplaced regardless of forcing two fourth-quarter takeaways, giving up a game-winning drive within the course of. Stephen Ross now sits on six straight losses (much more than Tepper!), with the commerce deadline simply over every week away …
  • The Ravens shedding proper sort out Patrick Mekari for any time frame could be an enormous blow. He left with an ankle harm and was enjoying phenomenal soccer run blocking and move defending. Already a number of accidents and adjustments to that unit, they usually had been probably the most right-handed operating group within the NFL (52% coming in, 10 p.c greater than every other group and nicely above the league common of 34%). Mekari and fullback Patrick Ricard had so much to do with that … 
  • Taylor Heinicke performs a enjoyable model of soccer, I am going to say that a lot. Some wild runs towards the Packers, however turnovers (some controversial) value them at Inexperienced Bay … 
  • Had a sense the Patriots would obliterate the Jets. Invoice Belichick wasn’t shedding 5 in a row at residence to begin a season, and definitely to not that opponent. The Jets proceed to search out methods to look worse nearly each week, and Zach Wilson getting harm was beginning to look inevitable. | NFL insider notes: Chiefs critically flawed and repair not close to, higher group wins Bengals-Ravens, extra from Week 7


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