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Winners and Losers from Week 1

Photo of Mahomes and CEH by Ross D. Franklin of the Associated Press

There’s a lot of great things to say about Chiefs’ performance against the Cardinals in the first regular season game of 2022.

Winning 44-21, Coach Reid and Brett Veach got a chance for the world to see our new players mixed with the starters.

There were so many positive things for fans to look at. Unfortunately, there were also some negatives but they will turn into positives.

There were players that stood out especially with the snaps played and the significance of that their reps. I will list the winners and losers of week 1 for the Chiefs.

Winner: Chris Jones, Defensive Tackle

The sixth year All-Pro defensive tackle showed out on Sunday afternoon. Leading the Chiefs defense with the highest Pro football focus grade of 92.4 with six QB pressures, Jones demonstrated great speed and power when he chased down Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

Nick Bolton was a tackling machine yesterday, and he can thank Jones for most of them.  Jones occupied two or three blockers a play, allowing Bolton the freedom to run free and make tackles.  Like I said in previous articles, If Jones is single blocked, he will make the play. The Chiefs actually nearly had a fumble recovery because of a hit Jones had on James Conner that forced the fumble. Even though the Cardinals recovered their own fumble, they couldn’t stop Jones.

If he continues to play this effectively all-season, Jones should have a strong, effective Defensive Player of the Year campaign at the end of this season.

Winner: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Running Back

We thought Clyde would not so any signs of growth but CEH was a major part of the Chiefs’ success in yesterday’s win, teaming up for a dominant running attack with the younger and faster Isiah Pacheco.

It would be reasonable to wonder if Edwards-Helaire is able to replicate his performance from yesterday this season. CEH had 74 scrimmage yards (42 rush, 32 rec.) & career- best 2 TD catches in Week 1.

CEH’s performance shows he is ready to take the next step in being the main RB1 this season and him as tag-team running duo with Pacheco is going to do wonders. Pacheco scored for the first time as a Chief, with Pop giving the Kingdom their first taste of his break away speed on a 12 touch, 62 rushing yard day.

Winner: Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback

Of course. It was a typical Patrick Mahomes outing on Sunday in the place he hope to end our season in February, with the Chiefs MVP quarterback showing off trademark efficiency with Tyreek Hill as the many critics mentioned all over TV yesterday. With 360 yards and five touchdowns, Mahomes and Chiefs Kingdom should be pleased with the start of his MVP season.

Why the 70+ grade PFF? Because Mahomes is being graded on a MVP scale now and his numbers could have been spectacular as opposed to great if his deep ball had been more effective? C’mon now y’all just make up anything. There is some relevance to PFF but they’re completely biased and political as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon running the WWE. Dude proved that one player doesn’t make up the team but if it does, the QB is always the number one position and we have the best player in the league at that position for the Chiefs.

Loser: Injuries

Kicker Harrison Butker and rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie were listed as “out” on the Kansas City Chiefs injury report for practice on Monday. Butker injured his left ankle as he was planting his foot on the Chiefs’ first kickoff of the game after they scored a touchdown on their first possession of the 44-21 win over the Cardinals.

He was was carted to the locker room, where the ankle was taped. Safety Justin Reid handled kickoff duty the remainder of the game and converted one of two extra point attempts. Also listed on the Chiefs injury report as limited practice participants Monday were guard Trey Smith (ankle), tackle Orland Brown (knee) and wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) and Justin Watson (chest).

That could really effect the team going forward especially at receiver. I expect the team to bring both Fountain and Powell from the practice squad or Kendall Blanton if the team were looking to use Jody Fortson more as a WR this week against the Chargers. Mahomes also had hit his hand on Markus Golden’s helmet from the Cardinals game but he looked fine but the team must monitor the injuries going forward.

Loser: Ronald Jones

Even though he made the 53 man roster doesn’t guarantee that Jones would be on the team at the end of February but there is an opportunity for him to shine this season when he becomes active.

As for now, The duo CEH and Pacheco is looking great. The Chiefs listed Jones among the six players as inactive for Sunday’s season opener win. The Chiefs decided to go with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon and rookie Isiah Pacheco in the backfield along with fullback Michael Burton. Pacheco is also the Chiefs’ primary kickoff returner.

Not a good look for him going forward but things can change. We still have 16 games to go.

Winner: Chiefs Secondary 

The Chiefs has the eight best defense in the NFL as of now.  Much of that was because of the outstanding play of the defensive backfield. Chiefs used a lot of press-man coverage that made it impossible for Murray to make the plays he needed in the first half. They got excellent play from their cornerbacks in L’Jarius Sneed and Trent McDuffie. The Chiefs defense has the makings of a top five defense.  With the best rookie cornerback in the game in McDuffie (if healthy), Spagnuolo showed he can be more aggressive as a play-caller, knowing that one side of the field is shut down.

They played close to the line of scrimmage and make the receivers get off the line.  Versus the run, since they are so close to the line, they can react faster. Sneed used that to his advantage when he sacked Murray for the first sack for the Chiefs to start 2022. This type of defense if they play like this will allow Juan Thornhill to sort through the play and be aggressive as a tackler and pass defender like he did against the Cardinals.

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