However, Simmons has since denied that ever happened. Before we get to his response to Jones, here’s what the Chiefs defensive lineman said after the game.
“No, we [weren’t] surprised [Willis was the starter],” Jones said. “I talked to Jeff Simmons earlier during the week and we knew. You know, you got to pick their brain. We knew that he was going to play. Tannehill was in a boot, so we prepared for [Willis] well. I don’t think we gave up that many rushing yards against him. Second half, I just [saw it was] 27 plays, seven yards. Kudos to the defense. We played a hell of a game — second half I would say, first half we kind of gave up some leaky yardage. But, a heck of a team win.”
Jones did crack a smile when he mentioned talking to Simmons, so it’s possible he was just messing around with his friend.
However, Simmons isn’t taking it lightly. On Monday, he took to Twitter to deny that ever happened.
@StoneColdJones I thought we was better than that! We never talk last week. I never once mentioned anything about our QB situation. Come on bro, that’s not it fr! And everyone gassing that bs, y’all know me better than that! Idc if you are my twin brother, I would never do that!
2. Eric Bieniemy
Bieniemy should have been an NFL head coach by now. The Kansas City Chiefs have scored the most points per game in the NFL (30.3) since Bieniemy became the offensive coordinator in 2018, along with the most yards per game (405.4). Kansas City also has the best record in the NFL during Bieniemy’s run, going 56-17 with three conference championship game appearances and a Super Bowl title in the 2019 season. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also has the most passing yards, passing touchdowns, and the highest passer rating since the start of the 2018 season — all with Bieniemy as the offensive coordinator.
The Chiefs are first in the NFL in scoring (30.4) and second in yards per game (415.3) this season, by the way.
Bieniemy is a branch on the Andy Reid coaching tree, and Reid’s assistants have had plenty of success in the NFL (see John Harbaugh and Sean McDermott). Reid develops coaches like Bieniemy to be innovative play callers and leaders of a football team. Certainly, Bieniemy will know what type of quarterback he’s looking for — something the Colts don’t know at this point.
The 53-year-old Bieniemy deserves an NFL shot.
Mahomes ran so effectively against Tennessee because of opportunity. Other teams around the league are taking advantage, as well. “Teams are daring people to run with all the two-high (looks),” said one NFC general manager. “The teams who can run it efficiently and explosively definitely have a chance to win.”
The key word in there is “chance.” When people talk about Mahomes and Allen, they see quarterbacks who can carry teams. It’s a category that Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts is moving into, as well, as he’s developed from a runner learning how to throw into a weapon who can hurt you with his arm and his legs. The teams that don’t have these quarterbacks are going to have much tougher sledding when the postseason begins.
That doesn’t mean a run-heavy team can’t reach a Super Bowl or even win it. It’s just that the odds are stacked against it happening. Most of the top young quarterbacks in this game are athletic enough to make plays off-script or handle designed runs when necessary. They also know something Willis might learn as he matures: It helps a lot when you can throw to win, as well.
Winning different types of ways is a requirement of a championship team, but the reality is if the Chiefs play that particular type of way again, they won’t win many others. Most teams, it turns out, have better production than Malik Willis at the quarterback position. And here’s a sentence I never expected to write: If the opponent Sunday had Ryan Tannehill, I’m probably writing about a different outcome.
Mahomes was forced into a career-high 68 pass attempts, and at times, it must’ve felt like he was out there all alone. He had 58 more rushing yards that anyone paid by the Chiefs to actually run the football for a living.
The running game is a long-lasting problem, enough that it’s time to see if a change in personnel, like Ronald Jones, can prompt a change in the production, too. The offensive line, a strength of this team a year ago after its makeover, is a legitimate question mark in Week 9, and that’s not solely because of just how bad they were as a group in Week 9.
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Why the Ravens won
It wasn’t because they figured out how to move the ball through the air with consistency; DeSean Jackson’s debut predictably ended early due to injury, and James Proche was somehow the only receiver to log at least two catches. But Lamar Jackson still did his thing, finding Isaiah Likely on a perfect floater for an early touchdown and showcasing the moves of an elite running back in, around and beyond the pocket, teaming up with a busy Kenyan Drake (two TDs) to help fuel the game’s superior backfield. Defensively, the Ravens were just as, if not more, impressive; Justin Houston, 33, took it back to 23 with 2.5 sacks and a tipped-pass pick, while Marlon Humphrey notched his own takedown on the blitz and newcomer Roquan Smith made his presence felt, recording a third-down stuff. Neutralizing Alvin Kamara, the “D” won against Andy Dalton from start to finish.
His status is uncertain for the team’s game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
“We’re just going through it, still evaluating it, and we’ll see where it goes,” coach Sean McDermott said Monday. “I’ll know more in the next 24 hours and then probably be able to check in with [the media] back on Wednesday.”
Allen suffered the injury during the last drive of the team’s 20-17 loss to the New York Jets. Jets defensive lineman Bryce Huff got past backup right tackle David Quessenberry, in for injured tackle Spencer Brown, and hit Allen’s throwing arm, which resulted in a strip sack recovered by Buffalo.
The Eagles are the best team in the NFL
Overreaction or reality: Reality
Philadelphia is the only team that’s unbeaten in the NFL, sitting at the top of the NFC East (a division with two teams at 6-2) with an 8-0 record. The Eagles are a top-five team in point and yards per game and points and yards allowed per game. They haven’t trailed in the second half and led by double digits in every game.
The teams that can challenge the Eagles for the best team title are the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, but Buffalo was upset by the Jets on Sunday as Josh Allen had 42 passing yards. The Bills are also 2-7 in one-score games over the last two seasons.
The Minnesota Vikings are 7-1, but the Eagles blew them out in Week 2. The Dallas Cowboys have two losses, including one to the Eagles. They are a combined 13-3 — with two losses to Philadelphia.
At the halfway point, the Eagles are the best team.
In a long and winding news conference Monday night, Irsay underscored it was a tough decision to fire head coach Frank Reich. He then highlighted Jeff Saturday’s understanding of the game and playing experience as reasons to why he was the right man to be named interim head coach despite having no NFL coaching tenure.
“I’m glad he doesn’t have any NFL experience,” Irsay said during the presser, in which he was joined by general manager Chris Ballard and Saturday. “I’m glad he hasn’t learned the fear that’s in this league, because it’s tough for all our coaches. They’re afraid. They go to analytics and it gets difficult. He doesn’t have all that. He doesn’t have that fear. And there was no other candidate. We were fortunate he was available. And he has tons of experience. He knows this game inside and out with relationships with coaches and players.
“I understand that he’s fully capable of doing this.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
“All you can do is try and limit the explosives,” defensive tackle Khalen Saunders told reporters after the game. “I think he had like two big ones there in the first half… We came [in the locker room] at halftime — and was like, ‘If we stop that,’ you can see when you do that it kind of limits it. So I was happy coming out [of the] half to get [those] stops.”
After the Titans’ second score, Henry had only 27 rushing yards — and nearly half of quarterback Malik Willis’ passing yards had been gained by that time. Once the Chiefs’ defense cleaned things up, they truly suffocated Tennessee’s offensive attack.
“We just kind of knocking the rust off [from coming] off the bye week,” linebacker Nick Bolton admitted. “We kind of [started] off a little sloppy, tackling-wise. [We had a] couple bad fits here and there [that] kind of led to explosive runs.
“We were able to settle down, kind of get back in the zone of playing Chiefs defense and stopping the run. We were able to have a way better second half.”