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After Chiefs, Bengals, Bills start 0-1, any reason to worry about their long-term outlook?


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The prevailing preseason thought was that the AFC had three elite teams with a logjam of potential contenders a notch below.

And yet, through a single game, those three teams are each 0-1. The Kansas City ChiefsCincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, all with proven track records and top-tier quarterbacks, looked ordinary in their season-opening losses.

While it’s natural to fall victim to early overreactions, those teams did reveal some troubling tendencies that could eventually level the playing field in a deep and talented AFC. It doesn’t mean any of these teams are doomed, but they will have to clean up some areas that future opponents will be targeting.

“It’s just one game,” a rival executive said. “Teams really don’t know what they have until they’ve played three or four games. The good teams go on a run later in the season.”

The Chiefs, Bengals and Bills could all be fine by the start of the postseason. They might again distinguish themselves from the pack.

Or maybe some of their Week 1 issues did expose them to future issues that will expand the parity in the conference.

League executives and coaches, granted anonymity so they could speak honestly about rival teams, weighed in on the power dynamic in the AFC.


The reigning Super Bowl champions were short-handed during their 21-20 loss to the Detroit Lions, as tight end Travis Kelce was out with a knee injury and defensive lineman Chris Jones hadn’t ended his holdout.

“Two of their three best players,” an executive said.

And yet?

“They were two dropped passes away from winning the game,” another executive said.

Kelce worked out before the game, an indication that he was close, and Jones signed a new deal Monday. If both are on the field Sunday in Jacksonville, the Chiefs will be a different team.

“They’ll be fine,” an assistant coach said.

While a reversal of fortune may be as simple as reinserting Kelce and Jones, it’s fair to point out some depth concerns. If either goes down later this season, the margin of error has already revealed itself.

Offensively, the Chiefs have a lack of depth at the skill positions. They also lost receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman in free agency, so they were asking more out of a younger group. Kadarius Toney’s drops were pivotal.

Defensively, they registered only one sack and four quarterback hits on Detroit’s Jared Goff. Aside from missing Jones, the Chiefs lost edge rusher Frank Clark in free agency.

“(Coach) Andy Reid will fix the issues he can,” an executive said. “They’re not going to win many games if they score 20 points, can’t protect, have drops and don’t impact the other team’s QB.”

It helps to have quarterback Patrick Mahomes as the great equalizer as they correct some of those flaws, which is why no one polled for this story thought the Chiefs needed to hit the panic button now or anytime soon.


The rain didn’t help the Bengals, but it didn’t terribly deter the Cleveland Browns in their 24-3 victory in the Battle of Ohio.

Regardless of the elements, it was a stunner to see the Bengals limited to such a low point total for the second time in a Joe Burrow start. The quarterback had career lows in completion percentage (45.1), yards (82) and passer rating (52.2) and tied a low with 14 completions.

Burrow was 0-of-8 targeting wide receiver Tee Higgins, and star wideout Ja’Marr Chase had a pedestrian line of five catches for 39 yards.

While the rival execs weren’t overly concerned about Burrow and the skill players, they still think the Bengals offensive line is vulnerable. It was readily apparent Sunday.

Browns star pass rusher Myles Garrett got lots of help with new frontline additions Za’Darius SmithDalvin Tomlinson, Obo Okoronkwo. Meanwhile, Bengals tackles Orlando Brown and Jonah Williams were struggling.

The steady pressure allowed cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome to more than hold their own against Cincinnati’s talented receivers.

“The (cornerbacks) just played well, and the line had consistent pressure,” an executive said.

“There he goes. One of God's own prototypes.

A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production.

Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

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Mahomes, Allen played like bafoons in primetime.....,? 


All/ the bigger primary  favorites fell week one.

Welcome to corrupt betting/gambling ,insider trading.

Meanwhile they're running ads that's say they don't script the shit. That's called damage control because people are catching on. If the players were actually free to just be the jocks they want to be, getting paid their contracts. They wouldn't agree to do All those commercials. Cousins looking like a fool with all the bling. These are actors under nfl contracts. Obligated to do everything the nfl wants them to.





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20 minutes ago, theAteam said:

The Chiefs almost won without Kelce and would have if Toney could catch a ball.

Mahomes doesn't belong in the conversation

Toney was just being Josh that night.

He'll catch it all this week.

Wow! What a redemption story, bro!

Kelce is slow as bricks yet no one's ever around him. Don't give me this bullshit that the play call is why no one is 10 yards near him. 

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Hey, what about all the Burrow worshipers?  No comments on his 80 something yards  the very first game after his world record contract?  Wait, now that he signed the contract will you repeat the narrative "he got paid and now aint gone do sheeeit"....or is that just for portly black fellas like Marcel Dareus?  (just kidding, actually I'm not.  I am far from a race baiter like some of the very sick scum on here, but I earnestly wish to know how those of you who make such proclamations make these judgments?  Are quarterbacks and other categories magically exempt?  I suppose I could remind folks there are plenty of black QBs these days, so maybe you might have to adjust your formulas before you get back to me. lol

Yeah it's early, but for the love of anything authentic and non-perverse....arrgh, got distracted and forgot where I was going with that.

My advice for the season?:   don't ask, don't @daryls61.  Whatever ne might think about the Clintons, Bill at times displayed a level of poetic prowess I have rarely witnessed.  When you gather with your grandkids for drinks and do "the tell"(a post apocalyptic, oral history, like in Mad Max BTD) do not neglect the Bill or the Daryls.   

Andy did you hear about this one?-REM . "I don't think I'm easy to talk about. I've got a very irregular head. And I'm not anything that you think I am anyway". -Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd. Rolling Stone, December 1971.  https://nativeamericanchurches.org/ My Adopt A Bill is Stefon Diggs  My 2nd Adopt A Bill is Christian Wade(he gets an exemption and doesn't require a spot) :)    Being staff seemed unable to train an elite legend how to run, Cole Beasley is my backup.   (I doubt that explanation is wanted).

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