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Undefeated Chiefs, Mahomes await major test in New England

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On this Oct. 7, 2018, file photograph, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a move through the first half of an NFL soccer recreation towards the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Kansas Metropolis, Mo. New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, who will retire as probably the most effective to ever play the place, faces Kansas Metropolis’s Patrick Mahomes, probably the most electrifying quarterback in the NFL this season, on Sunday. (AP Photograph/Charlie Riedel, File)

There might be no higher measuring stick for the Chiefs and younger quarterback Patrick Mahomes than what they face Sunday night time.

Beat the Patriots in Foxborough and all that pleasure in Kansas Metropolis may be validated.

Keep in mind, although, that the Chiefs, with Alex Smith, went into Gillette Stadium and gained the 2017 kickoff to the season. They went on an up-and-down journey the remainder of the best way, misplaced in the wild-card playoff spherical, whereas the Patriots straightened out and made the Tremendous Bowl earlier than dropping to Philadelphia.

Mahomes, in fact, has appeared resistant to any kind of high-stakes strain in main the Chiefs (5-Zero) to the highest of the AFC. He embraces this problem and making an attempt to outdo Tom Brady.

“It is going to be a great opportunity,” says Mahomes, who has a league-best 14 landing passes. “He is one of the greatest quarterbacks, if not the greatest to ever play. I am going against their defense, but as a team we are going to go in and try to compete. They are a good team in the AFC every single year. Just to compete against one of the best teams in the league is going to be an awesome opportunity.”

How acquainted is Mahomes with three-time league MVP Brady, whom he has by no means met?

“I definitely watched a good amount of him in college (at Texas Tech),” he says. “Coach (Kliff) Kingsbury actually played with Tom at one point. He liked to show me some things that he did where he was in the pocket, his pocket movements and things like that. I have definitely taken some things from him. He does it at such a high level, it’s something you have to strive to be like.”

New England (Three-2) is striving to be, nicely, New England. After a 1-2 begin, the Patriots seem to have gotten again on their traditional profitable path.

The weekend started with Philadelphia’s 34-13 street victory over the New York Giants. Carson Wentz threw a season-high three landing passes for the Eagles (Three-Three). They beat the Giants (1-5) for the fourth straight time and seventh in eight video games.

Off this week are Detroit (2-Three) and New Orleans (Four-1)

Pittsburgh (2-2-1) at Cincinnati (Four-1)

One of many NFL’s most vicious and yellow-tinted rivalries . As in:

—These groups mixed for 4 penalties for pointless roughness, one for unsportsmanlike conduct, one for taunting, one for roughing the passer, and two 15-yard penalties for grabbing a facemask in their earlier assembly.

—Cincinnati set a membership report with 173 yards in penalties in that messy affair, when the Steelers overcame a 17-Zero deficit to win.

Extra numbers of notice:

—The Steelers have gained the previous six video games in this collection, 9 of 10 and 14 of 17.

—The Bengals are Eight-24 vs. the Steelers beneath coach Marvin Lewis

—Lewis is 2-15 at Paul Brown Stadium towards Pittsburg.

— Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is 24-Four-1 in his native Ohio, together with the postseason. He’s 13-2 at Paul Brown Stadium with 23 TDs, 10 interceptions.

Los Angeles Chargers (Three-2) at Cleveland (2-2-1)

When final they met in Cleveland, the Browns gained in their 15th recreation to keep away from an ideal season on the mistaken aspect of the ledger. In order that they misplaced each recreation in 2017, together with on the Chargers.

“Not to speak too much of last year, but I could not believe and I did not feel like they were an 0-16 team or 0-14, whatever they were when we played them last year,” says Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. “It was a good football team. They just did not find ways to win and so many (games) they had opportunities.”

They’ve obtained two wins already and lead the NFL with 15 takeaways, two greater than in the complete 2017 season.

Baltimore (Three-2) at Tennessee (Three-2)

Two golf equipment coming off down weekends: Tennessee was punchless at Buffalo, Baltimore was inept offensively at Cleveland.

Each can play D, although, so don’t anticipate lots of finish zone exercise in Music Metropolis.

The Ravens are enjoying a 3rd straight street recreation, then have 4 of the subsequent 5 at residence. They lead the NFL in scoring protection, permitting 15.Four factors per recreation, with no TDs in a second half.

The Titans have allowed seven factors in the primary quarter and lead in pink zone protection, permitting three TDs in 13 possessions for a 23.1 % success price by opponents.

Chicago (Three-1) at Miami (Three-2)

The Bears have gained three in a row and are available off a bye. They haven’t earned 4 straight wins since 2012.

With Khalil Mack revitalizing the protection, Chicago ranks No. 1 towards the run and second general. If second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky really has discovered the passing rhythm — his six TD throws in a rout of Tampa Bay tied for second most in an NFL recreation — the Bears must be taken critically.

Miami was taken critically till it laid eggs at New England and Cincinnati, the place it blew a 17-Zero lead. The Dolphins rank third worst in yards and fifth worst in factors. They’ve been outgained by 94 yards per recreation, which ranks third worst.

Carolina (Three-1) at Washington (2-2)

Washington was on the improper finish of the record-setting Brees blitz by way of the air in New Orleans, and was broken as a lot by penalties as inefficient protection. The often exact Alex Smith threw an interception and was usually off-target.

Now comes Carolina, which has seven picks, is plus-5 in turnovers, and has 9 sacks. The Panthers even have the NFL’s prime dashing offense, in half as a result of quarterback Cam Newton is such a weapon on the bottom. Newton is Four-Zero with 9 TDs and 0 picks for a 115.Four passer score vs. Washington, together with two dashing scores.

Washington has misplaced 5 straight to Carolina.

Los Angeles Rams (5-Zero) at Denver (2-Three)

Whereas Denver’s protection has been getting Orange Crushed just lately, LA’s offense has seemed unstoppable. Jared Goff leads the league with 1,727 yards passing and ranks second with a 119.7 passer score. Up to now month, Goff is averaging 374 yards per recreation.

Todd Gurley tops the NFL with seven TD runs and ranks second with 645 scrimmage yards. Of concern for the spectacular receiving group is that Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp every left final week’s win at Seattle with concussions.

Denver star LB Von Miller has gone sackless the previous three weeks. The Broncos yielded 323 dashing yards to the Jets, so, sure, that has caught Gurley’s consideration.

Jacksonville (Three-2) at Dallas (2-Three)

Oddly, Dallas has by no means gained its first three house video games at Jerry World.

With RB Leonard Fournette nonetheless harm, the showpiece matchup with Ezekiel Elliott disappears. Elliott has been the prime weapon for Dallas and is averaging 154 yards from scrimmage per recreation in the previous three. However the passing recreation is 30th as Dak Prescott struggles and not using a topnotch receiver.

He’ll face the stingiest protection in the NFL.

Seattle (2-Three) vs. Oakland (1-Four) at London

Marvel if the Raiders may have as many followers in Wembley as they did in StubHub Middle. They might actually use the help as Jon Gruden’s return season spirals uncontrolled.

“I’m going to continue to emphasize the good and do everything I can to fix the things that are bad, because most of the things that are bad, my fingerprints are all over,” Gruden stated.

Resembling a protection, minus the traded Mack in fact, that ranks 30th. Oakland has the fewest QB pressures in the league (29), tied for fewest sacks (six), and is tied for third-fewest takeaways (5).

Seattle makes its first regular-season abroad look. Value watching:

—Pete Carroll seeks his 91st win with the staff to move Mike Holmgren as winningest coach for the franchise.

—Russell Wilson is 25-6 after a loss, the most effective document of any quarterback because the merger.

—Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski spent 18 seasons with the Raiders, holding the franchise document for factors (1,799) and video games (268).

Indianapolis (1-Four) at New York Jets (2-Three)

If any workforce wanted the lengthy layoff from a Thursday nighter it was the Colts. They went into New England undermanned after which received hammered with extra accidents, giving them little probability towards the Patriots.

Assuming they’re considerably more healthy, this can be a much better probability for Indy to straighten out its season. Andrew Luck’s arm seems robust, however who does he need to throw to if T.Y. Hilton isn’t in the lineup?

New York opened up its offense in a win over Denver, letting Sam Darnold sometimes fling the ball downfield and it led to some large performs. The Colts are weak to that.

Buffalo (2-Three) at Houston (2-Three)

Every staff comes off a decent victory in which the offenses have been stagnant, whereas the defenses and kicking video games have been decisive.

Houston needs issues extra open when it has the ball, with Deshaun Watson connecting on throws to DeAndre Hopkins. Buffalo’s strong second-year cornerback Tre’Davious White, might be examined.

Apparently absolutely wholesome after two robust years, Texans DE J.J. Watt is tied for the NFL lead with six sacks. Watt had an 80-yard interception return for a rating in his earlier recreation towards the Payments in Houston, a 23-17 win in 2014.

Arizona (1-Four) at Minnesota (2-2-1)

What might be a mismatch — Arizona has the NFL’s worst offense and has scored all of 65 factors — has one intriguing aspect. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, a possible Corridor of Famer, returns to his hometown for the sixth time in his 15-year profession, with a mean of 87.Four receiving yards and no touchdowns at Minnesota.

On the opposite aspect, wideout WR Adam Thielen leads the league in receptions (47) and is second in yards (589). He’s additionally first in third-down catches (14). Thielen is the third participant in NFL historical past with 5 100-yard video games to start out a season, the primary since 1961.

San Francisco (1-Four) at Inexperienced Bay (2-2-1), Monday night time

Following a stinker at residence handy Arizona its first win, the Niners go to the prime-time showcase towards Inexperienced Bay, which is following a stinker of its personal at Detroit.

Each groups wrestle to guard the ball, and the 49ers can’t discover methods to take it away from opponents; they’ve a league-low one interception and have pressured three turnovers.

Of particular curiosity for the Pack: Mason Crosby went 1 for five on area objectives and missed his solely extra-point attempt at Detroit.

Tampa Bay (2-2) at Atlanta (1-Four)

Nobody performed worse the previous two weeks than the Bucs. However the Falcons have been shut.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston will get again his beginning job following a bye; he was suspended for the primary three video games, when Ryan Fitzpatrick was both magical or mediocre. Tampa’s protection has been dreadful.

Then once more, so has Atlanta’s, which is ravaged by accidents. It ranks worst in factors allowed and worst in third-down proportion. The offense struggles to guard Matt Ryan and to generate a operating recreation.

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Extra AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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