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FMIA Week 11: Chiefs Stay Dominant With A Little Déjà Vu; Bills Survive the Storm With Help From “Squirrel”

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History repeated itself Sunday night at SoFi Stadium.


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If you were awake at the end of a tense AFC West game in Kansas City at the Chargers, you saw KC’s tight end. Travis Kelseylosing by four minutes in the last minute of the game, catch a shallow transition from Patrick Mahomesrun from right to left in formation and use a wide Justin Watson confusing the middle of the field with the short route right in front of Kielce. Kelche ran ahead, scoring a 17-yard touchdown.

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“It’s funny,” Kelsey told me 40 minutes after the game, “we played the same game last year to win this game.”

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Wow. Wait. The same play?

“Ironic,” Kelsey said over the noise of the euphoric post-game scene.

Let’s see. After hanging up with Kelsey, I rushed to YouTube to find highlights from last year’s Kansas City overtime win over the Chargers in California. I watched the dotted version of the Next Gen Stats play.

December 16th. Night game. National TV. Sophie. Draw at 28. Overtime. Kelsey caught Patrick Mahomes’ shallow crossing route, running from right to left through the formation, using a wide Byron Pringle confusing the middle of the field with the short route right in front of Kielce. Kelche ran ahead, scoring a 34-yard touchdown.

(Editor’s note: Play dates were changed in an earlier version of these next-gen statistics. The game shown on the left is November 2022, the one on the right is December 2021.)

Two small differences: Trainer Andy Reed embellished this version with some kind of movement – Watson running to the left in the preview – which was not in the play last year. And Kelsey cut his free kick last year and went straight ahead to score. This year, Kelce kept running after catching the ball because there was a great path to the end zone.

Two games, same opponent, same stadium, same ending scenario, and Kansas City scored the same game. He worked with the same receiver in both games. He won both games.

Last week in Kansas City, when the offensive team was blazing that crossroad for Kelsey, Reed said, “It’s hard to stop this game.”

And isn’t that one of the open secrets of this Kansas City franchise with Reid at the helm in his 10th season? Reed and offensive coordinator Eric Beniemi are developing plays for great players like Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelsey, and they don’t care if they’ve played twice or 20 times already this season. It’s hard to stop this game. Sunday night, one of the best safes in football, Derwin Jamesvainly pursued Kelsey through the formation and failed to catch him, with Kelsey scoring fairly easily.

It’s crazy to think that Reid dared to announce the same game to try and beat the same team 11 months after the first announcement and that it worked out so easily. Again. Reed knew what he was calling. He knew he had won the Thursday night game last December. He knew he would win this game too.

Kansas City went 75 yards in 75 seconds, culminating in a winning TD. I asked Kelsey why it works so flawlessly.

“Patrick Mahomes,” he said. “What people don’t know is that we had personnel problems in this series due to injuries we got during the game. Patrick has the car keys. He knows exactly where to go with the ball.”

Until Sunday evening, Kelsey played four times with Derwin James and never scored with him in the reports. “He locked me in my career,” Kelsey said. But he caught two TD passes on Sunday night, including the winner, with James in cover (he caught three in the night). “This year,” he said, “I was lucky that we had a time-out before the final game, so I was able to catch my breath. But he’s tough, very tough.”

This season, the AFC West should have caught up with Kansas City, Reid, Mahomes and Kelsey. Tyreke Hill gone; the other three Western teams were better. Mahomes had to run in five new receivers. But now KC has won the season series with the Chargers, and Reed’s team is 8-2 ahead of the Chargers by three games in a tiebreak. This division belongs to Kansas City – for the seventh year in a row.

“We’re better this year because Patrick and Andy are a year older, a year more experience together,” Kelsey said.

Watching Kelsey become the cornerstone of everything Kansas City does in the passing game, watching Mahomes lean on him in times of need, I thought: If he never plays the snap again after this season, he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Although I was opposed to calling the guys into the Hall of Famers before their time, he was the dominant tight end for a significant period of time. Kelche has 855 receiving yards in 10 games, and aside from injury, this is his seventh consecutive season with over 1,000 receiving yards. Think of other great difficult ends of our day. Rob Gronkowski as well as Tony Gonzalez there were four seasons over 1000 yards – not in a row, but in total. Shannon Sharp there were three and Jason Witten as well as Antonio Gates two each. Kelsey has had six in a row and is bordering on seventh. Last night was his 33rd game with over 100 receiving yards, breaking Gronkowski’s record of 32 such games with a tight end.

He is remarkably versatile in his passing game, athletic and selfless, and willingly gives his body to block when needed. And he is always, always there. He has missed two games in the last nine seasons due to injury.

While other parts of the passing game are being worked out with Mahomes, Kelsey’s addiction continues to win games for the AFC number one seed. Some things never change.

Storm of stories in week 11:

Someone named Belka plowed Josh Allendriveway, and we have an exclusive inside story about Squirrel. “He’s the Man,” Allen said after Sunday’s big win. In Detroit. Over Cleveland.

Sean McDermott couldn’t stop talking about 54th member of the Bills’ roster, Everyman (and Every Woman) who helped the Bills get to Detroit. “Buffalo has a bad reputation for being cold and snowy,” McDermott said, “but it’s awfully warm.”

lions won three in a row for the first time in five years. Next up: Thursday at noon sharp, a game against home scores away from home in a Thanksgiving game that could actually be a good football game.

Weird of the week: Eight teams in the two eastern divisions have ended. 500. One team in the two southern divisions has over .500.

Baltimore has a hell of a friendly list and I don’t think the one game advantage over the Bengals will go away. Carolina came to Baltimore with a 3-7 record on Sunday and lost 13-3. The Ravens’ next four opponents are 3-7, 3-7, 3-7, 3-7, while the Bengals have Tennessee, Kansas City and Tom Brady on the agenda.

Zach Wilson it was terrible at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and even worse in the dressing room at Gillette Stadium. Longtime Jets influencer Mark Cannizzaro tweeted, “Zach Wilson is doing a lot of renovations in his locker room right now. His “no” answer when asked if he let D down went viral and the story is spiraling for him.”

Heat, Mike White.

I bet sometimes when Nathaniel Hackett staring at the ceiling at night, he thinks, “God, what have I done to deserve this NFL fate?”

Voting for the best player changed – for the better.

Welcome to history Cordarrell Patterson.

Justin Fields doesn’t win, but he does something no other quarterback has ever done.

Mega marriage from Jimmie Johnson, Peyton Manning as well as Bill Belichick? Combed tried to do it in 1998.

Mika Parsons Good, and Next Gen can prove it.

We continue the show from the snow-white Buffalo.

Saved by a squirrel

When the Bills car went out of power Sean McDermottOn Friday evening, the generator in my house turned on, but then it turned off. So McDermott came out with snow above his waist to try to fix it. “An NFL head coach is trying to fix his generator in a snowstorm,” he said Sunday. “Crazy.” Finally, around 10:30 a.m., a repairman came and fixed it so the McDermotts could go to bed. Good thing the power went out again. This time the generator ran all night.

The Bills have set up a system to get all coaches and players to the stadium so they can fly to Detroit late Saturday afternoon. A couple of players had to walk half a mile with their luggage to get to the buses.

Former Orchard Park farmer Dave Winter, also known as “The Squirrel,” has a John Deere tractor with an eight-foot front bucket that’s good for quickly clearing eight-foot lanes like driveways. So Squirrel was in Orchard Park on a Saturday afternoon, being a good neighbor, when he bumped into a neighbor at the end of one of the longest driveways in the city. The small plow didn’t fit that driveway, maybe 55 or 60 inches. “Oh, a quarter of a mile long, I’d say,” Squirrel said. “Maybe more.”

The squirrel stopped. “I said to my neighbor Norm, who was there, ‘Do you need to tread a path?’ He said, “I don’t know, ask that guy.” Well, I don’t know this guy, the older gentleman, but he says he went to school with my cousin, and so I asked if he needed help, and he said, “Of course!” So, I made a driveway, cleared a good path there, I go to the garage, the door opens and Josh [Allen] stands there. It probably took half an hour. He went out and shook his hand. Told him, “Good luck tomorrow.”

“I introduced myself. “Dave. Dave Winter. When you think of snow…


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