Cleat Geeks

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Preseason Week #1 Recap

The Kansas City Chiefs played their first game of the season last week. They faced the Houston Texans at home. The Chiefs lost the game 17-10 after coming up short on a last minute drive. Chiefs starters only played in a couple of series before giving more playing time to backup players and players trying to make the roster. Despite the loss the Chiefs played well and had strong performances by players throughout the depth chart.

Patrick Mahomes started the game at quarterback for the Chiefs. He only played in two series in the game. He went 5/7 for 33 yards. He did not play a lot of time in the game because he is the expected starter and did not need the injury risk in the first preseason game. He will likely see more playing time in the second preseason game. Mahomes played well against the Texans and did not make any big errors in the game.

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Photo by; 247 Sports

Chase Litton is another quarterback that had a strong performance. Litton is an undrafted rookie from Marshall. He went 7/13 for 66 yards in the game. He led the Chiefs on a last minute drive but came up short on forth down. Litton is expected to compete with Matt McGloin for the third quarterback spot. Chad Henne appears to be a lock for the backup role behind Mahomes. The competition could be tight between the two quarterbacks. McGloin is a five-year veteran but Litton has shown good arm strength and could win a spot on the 53-man roster.Image result for ben niemann chiefs

Another rookie that had a good performance is linebacker Ben Niemann. He is an undrafted rookie from Iowa. Niemann led the Chiefs with five tackles against the Texans. He is expected to be on the roster bubble and could make the final roster with some more strong performances. Raymond Davison, Ukeme Eligwe, Ben Niemann, and Terrance Smith will likely compete for two linebacker depth spots on the roster.

The Chiefs second preseason game will be on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons lost their first preseason game 17-0 to the New York Jets. Chiefs starters are expected to play the entire first half in the game. It will be the first chance to see the Chiefs starters for an extended time. Mahomes performance against Falcons starters will give a good indication of his progress. Last season the Falcons had a top 10 defense in yards per game. The second preseason game will be a better representation of what the Chiefs will look like in the regular season.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Training Camp Update

Training Camp is underway for the Kansas City Chiefs and there have been some important updates. Players have suffered injuries and position battles are starting. The first week of training camp has been eventful for the Chiefs.

Reggie Ragland and Charcandrick West have been the two biggest injuries in camp. Linebacker Ragland has not practiced so far in training camp because of a swollen knee. The injury does not appear to be serious and his rest is likely just precautionary. Ragland is set to be a starting inside linebacker for the Chiefs this season. Running back West suffered a concussion on Saturday and is still recovering from the injury. He was a big part of the Chiefs offense in 2015 and 2016 but is expected to compete for the third string job behind Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware. Both injuries appear to be minor but could limit their practice time early in camp.

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Cornerback is one of the biggest position battles for the Chiefs this training camp. David Amerson, Kendall Fuller and Steven Nelson appear to be the top three at the position. Nelson is the only returning Chief out of the three. Amerson was signed to a one-year contract during the off-season and Fuller was acquired in the Alex Smith trade with the Redskins. The cornerback position will look a lot different for the Chiefs this season but the starters are starting to sort out in training camp.

Patrick Mahomes has had mixed results in his first training camp as the Chiefs starting quarterback. He has had some big plays to Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins but has also thrown a concerning amount of interceptions. He threw seven interceptions in six practices. Mahomes is inexperienced as a NFL starter and will need time to develop. He only played in one regular season game last season. Training camp and preseason games will be important for Mahomes to prepare for the regular season. Mahomes is expected to be the Chiefs franchise quarterback of the future.

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Overall, it has been an eventful training camp for the Chiefs. Preseason games are a week and a half away and it will be the first chance to see the Chiefs in action. There will still be time for position battles to progress and players to develop. Training camp is an important time for the team to prepare for the regular season.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Offense Breakdown

Players reported to camp this week and the preseason is right around the corner. The Kansas City Chiefs offense is expected to be one of the best in the NFL this season. They made big additions this off-season and will have a change at quarterback.

The Chiefs traded away Alex Smith during the off-season after spending five seasons with the team. Last season he had an outstanding year with 4,042 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and five interceptions. Despite his success the Chiefs decided to move on with their 2017 first round draft pick Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes started in one game last season where he threw for 284 yards and one interception. Mahomes could be a breakout player for the Chiefs but he does not have a lot of starting experience entering this season.

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Photo by; www.arrowheadpride.com

Kareem Hunt was the leading rusher in the NFL last season and is expected to have another strong season. He had 1,327 yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie year. The Chiefs will get Spencer Ware back this season after suffering a tear in his knee last preseason. Ware had a great start to his career and was expected to be the starter before he suffered the injury. In 2016 he had 1,368 total yards. The Chiefs could have one of the best running back tandems in the NFL this season.

The Chiefs made a big addition to their receiving corps with the signing of Sammy Watkins. Last season Watkins was a big red zone target for the Los Angeles Rams. He had 593 yards and eight touchdowns. He will join wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce to make up one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. Last season they both had more than 1,000 yards receiving. Hill, Kelce and Watkins should see a lot of targets this year.

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Photo by; ArrowheadOne

The offensive line suffered a lot of injuries last season but most will return this season. Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz should be the starting tackles again this season. Fisher and Schwartz played in every game last season. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Parker Ehinger are expected to be the starting guards. Duvernay-Tardif started in 11 games for the Chiefs last season and Ehinger started in one. Mitch Morse will be the starter at center after returning from a foot injury. The Chiefs will have a lot of stability on the offensive line entering training camp.

Overall the Chiefs improved their offense this season. They had the fifth best total offense last season and could improve this year. The Chiefs could have the best offense in the NFL if they build on their success.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Special Teams Breakdown

Last season the Kansas City Chiefs had one of the most dynamic special team units in the NFL. Their performance was a key part of the Chiefs success last season. The Chiefs will need another good season from the special teams unit to make the playoffs again this season.

The Chiefs were led by pro bowl returner Tyreek Hill. He has made a pro bowl appearance in both of his first two seasons in the NFL. Hill was limited to punt returns because of his role on the offense as the Chiefs primary receiver. He averaged 8.2 yards per return and had one touchdown. Hill should be an elite returner for the Chiefs again in 2018.

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Rookie kicker Harrison Butker was one of the biggest surprises for the Chiefs last season. He was signed off of the Carolina Panthers practice squad in September after Cairo Santos was injured. He went 38 for 42 throughout the season. He was 4/5 in attempts of 50+ yards including his career long at 53 yards. Butker should have a lot of opportunities this season because of the Chiefs offense.

Punter Dustin Colquitt will return to the Chiefs for his 14th season with the team. He is the longest tenured Chief. Last season Colquitt averaged 45.2 yards per punt. It was his highest average since the 2013 season. Colquitt signed a three-year contract this off-season to stay with the team. He has been one of the most reliable players for the Chiefs throughout his career and should have another strong performance next season.

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Photo by; Arrowhead Pride

The Chiefs do not have a kick returner entering training camp. Tyreek Hill could fill the spot but this would likely be their last choice because of his impact on offense. De’Anthony Thomas had the role last season but he still has not practiced this off-season because of a leg injury. Rookie cornerback Tremon Smith was used a lot in mini camp but has not locked down the job. The Chiefs also signed rookie wide receiver Josh Crockett during mini camp, he could compete for the spot. Kick returner should be one of the biggest position battles to watch in training camp and in the preseason.

Overall, the Chiefs will return important pieces of their special teams unit. Their success will be important to the Chiefs. Special teams can provide the plays that make the difference in close games.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Training Camp Preview

The Kansas City Chiefs have wrapped up mini camps and OTA’s and are now looking forward to the season. The final step before the season starts will be training camp. Chiefs training camp will take place in St. Joseph, Missouri at Missouri Western State University. The Chiefs have had training camp in St. Joseph since 2010.

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Training camp will open for the Chiefs on July 26th. Only rookies will report on the first day. Veterans will report to camp three days later on July 29th. Training camp will be an important time for position battles and figuring out how the team will fit together for the upcoming season. The Chiefs will have some key position battles in training camp. One to keep an eye on will be cornerback. The Chiefs traded away Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams this off-season and there is not a clear choice to replace him. Steven Nelson is the most likely player to take Peters role but Kendall Fuller is another player that could make a big impact.

The Chiefs will prepare for two preseason games during training camp. Their first game will be on August 9th at home against the Houston Texans. The first preseason game should primarily focus on the second and third string players. These players will play a big role on the team. They could be asked to step up in place of a starter during the season because of an injury. It is important that the Chiefs use this game to find reliable backups.

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Photo by 435 Magizine

The second preseason game will be on August 17th. It will be on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. It will be another important game for backup players. It will be the first game after training camp practices are over and it will be clearer who is in position to make the team. The third preseason game mostly focuses on starters and the fourth is mostly for fringe roster positions. The second preseason game could solidify a roster spot for a lot of players. The Teams only make one cut prior to the beginning of the season. The Chiefs will make their 53-man roster cut after the fourth preseason game on September 1st.

Training camp is less than a month away and it will be a very important time for the Chiefs. It is an opportunity for players to make the team and battle for contested spots on the roster. A successful training camp will be key to a good season for the Chiefs.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Sammy Watkins Player Analysis

The Kansas City Chiefs biggest move this off-season was signing wide receiver Sammy Watkins to a three-year $48 million dollar contract. It was an important signing for the Chiefs because he will add experience and skill to a position group that was not very deep. Watkins should pair well with Tyreek Hill in the Chiefs offense.

Watkins was drafted fourth overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 2014 NFL Draft. He played at Clemson while in college. At Clemson he was a two-time All-American. In the draft process he was considered one of the safest picks in the draft because of his success with the Tigers. Watkins was the first wide receiver taken in the top four since A.J Green was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011.

In his first few seasons Watkins played well with the Bills. He set Bills rookie records in receptions and receiving yards. In 2015, he had 1,047 receiving yards, which is the most in his career so far. One of his biggest games of his career came in 2015 when he faced the Chiefs. He had 158 receiving yards and two touchdowns. In 2016, he only played in eight games and had 430 receiving yards. During the 2017 off-season he was traded to the Los Angles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gains and a second round pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

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Last season Watkins played in 15 games with the Rams. He had 593 yards and eight touchdowns. In the Rams playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons Watkins had one reception for 23 yards. The Rams franchise tagged safety Lamarcus Joyner during the offseason. The move allowed Watkins to hit free agency. He was considered one of the top wide receivers on the free agency market. His contract was the highest for a wide receiver in the NFL since Jeremy Maclin signed with the Chiefs in the 2015 offseason.

Watkins will improve the Chiefs receiving corps. Tyreek Hill is a two-time pro bowler but they need another reliable receiver in the offense. The addition of Watkins will help the development of second year quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs will now have Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins as options on offense. The Chiefs should have one of the most productive offenses in the NFL next season. The signing of Watkins will dramatically change the look of the Chiefs offense.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Patrick Mahomes Player Analysis

Patrick Mahomes is expected to be the quarterback of the future for the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes was drafted by the Chiefs 10th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Chiefs gave away two first round picks and a third round pick to trade up for Mahomes. The Chiefs gave up a lot of draft capital to pick Mahomes. Last season he made one start in week #17 after the Chiefs clinched their playoff spot. Mahomes had a successful college career that he will look to transfer into the NFL.

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Mahomes played college football at Texas Tech. He was the full time starter his sophomore and junior years. At Texas Tech he set the NCAA record for total yards in a game and tied the NCAA record for most passing yards in a game. In 2016 he was named second-team All-Big 12, second-team Academic All-American and won the Sammy Baugh Trophy as the best collegiate passer. He also played baseball for Texas Tech for two seasons. Coming out of high school he was drafted in the 37th round by the Detroit Tigers. Mahomes could struggle adapting to NFL defenses compared to Big 12 defenses. A Big 12 quarterback has never won a NFL playoff game starting at the position. The Chiefs are expecting Mahomes to break the losing streak.

Mahomes played well in his one start last season. He went 22-35 for 285 yards and one interception. The Chiefs won the game 27-24. Mahomes led the game winning drive in the last minutes of the game. He played with a lot of backups because the Chiefs benched starters to keep them healthy for the playoffs. He showed potential but occasionally struggled with forcing passes into coverage. Mahomes is a gunslinger type quarterback but will need to improve his decision-making. Overall, Mahomes made a good impression in his first start as a Chiefs quarterback.

Next season Mahomes will inherit a 1,000-yard running back, wide receiver and tight end in Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. It is the first time a team has reached the mark since the 1981 San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs also added wide receiver Sammy Watkins during the off-season. Mahomes will have the opportunity to play with one of the best skill position groups in the NFL. He could struggle early but should be helped by the talent around him. Mahomes should have an opportunity to play well in his first season as a NFL starting quarterback.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: 2018 Chiefs Coaching Staff

The Kansas City Chiefs have had one of the most stable coaching staffs over the last few years. Andy Reid has been the head coach since 2013 and many of the coordinators and position coaches have either stayed or been promoted around the league. Next season the Chiefs will look a little different at key positions.

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Photo by; Arrowhead Pride

Andy Reid will return for his sixth season with the Chiefs. He has a record of 53-27 as Chiefs head coach. The Chiefs have reached the playoffs in four of his five seasons. Despite their success in the regular season the Chiefs have struggled in the playoffs under Reid. The Chiefs are 1-4 in the playoffs since 2013. Next season will be the first time Alex Smith is not the starting quarterback for the Chiefs in the Reid era. Andy Reid has a good history of developing quarterbacks and the development of Patrick Mahomes will have a big impact on the success of the franchise in the future.

Image result for bob sutton chiefsBob Sutton will be the Chiefs defensive coordinator again next season. Sutton joined the Chiefs when Reid was hired in 2013. Before joining the Chiefs Sutton held various defensive positions, including defensive coordinator, with the New York Jets from 2000-2012. Bob Sutton will have a tough task this season with the departures of Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Marcus Peters. The Chiefs success next season will depend on the coaching of Sutton. The offense is expected to score a lot and the defense will need to keep the team in games.Image result for eric bieniemy chiefs

The Chiefs will have a new offensive coordinator after the Chicago Bears hired former offensive coordinator Matt Nagy to be the head coach. It was the second time in three years a Chiefs offensive coordinator was named a head coach of another team, Doug Pederson was named the Philadelphia Eagles head coach in 2016. Running backs coach Eric Bieniemy was named offensive coordinator. Bieniemy was the Chiefs running backs coach from 2013-2017. He was also a player for Andy Reid on the 1999 Eagles. However their first meeting was in 1990 when Bieniemy was a running back for the Colorado Buffalos and Reid was an offensive coordinator for the Missouri Tigers. Colorado won the game on the infamous 5th down play. The controversial victory helped them clinch a share of the 1990 National Championship. Eric Bieniemy has a long history with Andy Reid and it will be interesting to see how he does as offensive coordinator.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: AFC West Analysis

Last season the Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC West for the second year in a row. They finished with a record of 5-1 against division opponents and will look to continue their success this season. Every team in the division improved through free agency and the draft. The competition for first place should be tough this season.

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The Los Angeles Chargers finished second in the AFC West last season. The Chargers started the season by losing their first four games, three of which were within three points. The Chiefs won both of their match-ups with the Chargers. Their biggest addition this off-season was safety Derwin James. He was expected to be a top 10 pick in the draft but fell to the Chargers at 17. He will improve an already strong secondary. Last season the Chargers gave up the third fewest passing yards per game. The Chargers defense should be a tough test for the Chiefs offense.

 

The Oakland Raiders finished third in the AFC West. The Raiders finished the season on a four game losing streak. The Chiefs lost the first match-up with the Raiders but won when they faced them at home. Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson is their biggest addition this off-season. He was acquired in free agency after he was released by the Green Bay Packers. Nelson is a reliable receiver that will give Derek Carr more options in the passing game. He has had over 1,200 yards receiving in three of his last four seasons. Last year his stats were limited due to the injury of Aaron Rodgers. The Raiders offense should improve this season.

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The Denver Broncos finished at the bottom of the AFC West last year. The Broncos had a rough stretch in the middle of the season where they lost eight straight games. The Chiefs won both of their games against the Broncos. Defensive end Bradley Chubb should make an immediate impact in his rookie season. Chubb was expected to be a top three pick but fell to the Broncos at five. He was the best defensive end prospect in the draft. At North Carolina State Chubb had 10 sacks and 23 tackles for loss. Chubb will join Denver pass rusher Von Miller. The Broncos pass rush should be even better next season with the addition of Chubb.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Schedule Breakdown Weeks 14-17

The Kansas City Chiefs will play their week #14 game at home against the Baltimore Ravens. The Chiefs last played the Ravens in 2015 when they won 34-14. The Chiefs will need to stop the Ravens passing offense in the game. Last season the Chiefs gave up the fourth most passing yards in the NFL at 247. The Ravens drafted quarterback Lamar Jackson in the first round of this year’s draft. Joe Flacco is expected to be the starting quarterback this season but Jackson could be used later in the season. The Ravens offense should be a good test for the Chiefs defense late in the season.

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The Chiefs week #15 opponent will be the Los Angeles Chargers at home. Last season the Chiefs beat the Chargers at Arrowhead 30-13. The Chargers lost tight end Hunter Henry for the season with a torn ACL during OTA’s. Last season Henry had the third most receiving yards on the Chargers with 579. Henry was expected to be a big part of their offense this season. Last season the Chiefs gave up the sixth fewest targets to tight ends. The Chiefs should have a good match-up against tight ends in the game.

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The week #16 opponent will be the Seahawks in Seattle. The Chiefs last played the Seahawks in 2014 when they won 24-20. The Seahawks lost a lot of talent this off-season. Michael Bennett, Jimmy Graham and Richard Sherman were all traded or released. The Seahawks are expected to be in a rebuilding mode but Russell Wilson will still be dangerous on the offense. Last season he had 4,569 yards of total offense. Seattle is expected to take a step back this season but they could still be tough for the Chiefs.

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The Chiefs final game of the season will be week #17 at home against the Oakland Raiders. Last season the Chiefs beat the Raiders 26-15 at home. The Raiders receiving corps should be a good test for the Chiefs secondary. They added Marcell Ateman, Martavis Bryant, Jordy Nelson and Ryan Switzer through the draft, free agency and trades. The Chiefs secondary is not expected to be very deep next season and the match-up could be a problem. The final game against the Raiders will be a good test for the Chiefs defense.

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