Up The Gut Week 8: Mahomes' Injury Could Help Chiefs' Title Hopes

Patrick Mahomes' injury could help the Chiefs? Really? As Shaun Morash explains, it's not as crazy as you might think...

The DA Show
October 24, 2019 - 12:01 pm
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By Shaun Morash

Cold Open

The star of the league will be out a few weeks, thankfully not for the season. While on the surface this still may feel like bad news for the Chiefs, it may end up being the biggest blessing this organization and its fans could ask for. Mahomes ankle had been injured and re-injured at least three times that we knew of this year. Each time it became injured or re injured, his play in that game significantly declined. He, nor the Chiefs, would dare sit him down to rest it enough to the point you would not worry about re-injuring it, but a dislocated kneecap forces their hand.

This is not a surgical issue that will hurt Mahomes long-term this year. Sitting out at least three weeks, if not a month, will allow his ankle to heal while his kneecap does. While no team can take any week for granted, and a month can push you out of the playoffs if you are missing your quarterback, that should not be the issue for Kansas City.  The Raiders will not catch them, the Chargers are buried, and the Broncos are in sell mode. They may miss out on a BYE and have to play Wild Card weekend, but there is no reason Kansas City can't play on the road in Baltimore, Houston, or Indianapolis and win with a fully healthy Mahomes. Panic may be here for now, but this injury may be the best thing that happens for the Chiefs’ title hopes.  

Ten Yard Gain

1-The "Seeing Ghosts" Game is what we will always remember for Sam Darnold, until he makes us forget. This isn't Mark Sanchez and the butt fumble. Sanchez's career was already spiraling at that point; Darnold’s has barely begun. He has all the tools to be a big time quarterback in this league and I have full faith he will be. This was a startling comment to hear from a quarterback, and one the Jets probably could have avoided by not having him mic'ed up versus the Patriots of all teams, but it will be forgotten. 

2-Sometimes the ugliest matchups make for the most entertaining of games. Going into last week, Chargers-Titans seemed like a nap-and-a-half if that was the game your local market was getting. Instead, you received one of the most entertaining and simultaneously clunky endings of the season. By the end of that game and goal line stand, if the Chargers haven't learned they are just fine with Austin Ekeler over Melvin Gordon at the running back position, they are crazy. If Melvin Gordon is in training camp and has the strength and power of a year ago, how does he not end up in the end zone? He let the Chargers down in a big way in 2019. 

3-The Patriots’ division title isn't a lock, and we can thank the Bills for that. That's right, after a ho-hum win over the Dolphins, the Bills still have the second-best record in the AFC with just one loss. That loss. of course. was to the Patriots, and – if you remember correctly – came on a Matt Barkley interception late because Josh Allen was knocked out of the game. The Bills could become the first team since the 2008 Dolphins to apply legitimate pressure on New England in December. 

4-I always admit when I was wrong, and I am nearing admitting that when it comes to Jacoby Brissett. I scoffed at the notion the Colts would be just fine without Andrew Luck. They are more than just fine; they are really good. Brissett isn't just a game manager. He makes plays happen. Combine that with great offensive line play, and more than adequate ability from Marlon Mack at the running back position, and the Colts are not only out on tanking for their next quarterback, they could be setting themselves up to be serious contenders for the next five years with Brissett. 

5-Speaking of wrong, imagine being a scout or front office member that wanted Lamar Jackson to work out at wide receiver? 

6-Jason Garrett is a cockroach. How many years in a row will the Cowboys hit a gross rough spot in their season, leading the critics and fans to be ready to run Jason Garrett out of town, only for Dallas to have an improbable big-time win? This is why Garrett continues to be employed. Don't let 37-10 fool you when it comes to the long-term outcome of this Dallas season. Whether it fools Jerry Jones is another story. 

7-Doug Pederson winning a Super Bowl gave him the notion he can make baseless guarantees and apparently forget to run a tight ship in Philadelphia. Not only was guaranteeing a victory over the Cowboys in October stupid, it was unnecessary. Now it emerges from Lane Johnson, that Eagles players are constantly late to meetings and practices. Are they elementary school soccer players whose moms needed to stop for coffee before dropping them at practice? How is that acceptable by a head coach at a professional level?

8-On December 22nd, in a frigid Cincinnati, how many fans will be at the Dolphins-Bengals game? There is a high probability both teams will be 0-14 heading into that game. The loser, though, could end up picking third overall should the Redskins continue down this path. Imagine having a 1-15 season and picking third? That is how bad the bottom of the league is in 2019. 

9-Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur will probably work out just fine. After Rodgers’ perfect quarterback rating against the Raiders, it would appear the Packers have weathered the early season chemistry questions while remaining on top the NFC North. If Rodgers and the offense continue to excel under LaFleur and the defense applies the pass rush we have seen them be capable of, the Packers may end up on paper being the best, most balanced, team in football. 

10-Kirk Cousins and a positive stat in NFL history usually don’t go hand-in-hand, but now they do. This week with his performance versus the Lions he became the first quarterback in league history to throw for at least 300 yards with a 130+ passer rating in three straight games. Are we witnessing the Kirk Cousins “Middle Finger” tour?

Five Games To Chew On

5- Packers @ Chiefs: Just last week this probably would have been the game of the week, but Patrick Mahomes’ injury significantly damages it. Can Matt Moore survive the Packers pass rush in prime time? I have a hard time imagining that, but this is in Arrowhead under the lights so the Packers offense will be tested in discipline. Anytime you get to see Aaron Rodgers take another step forward it is a win to watch as football fans. 

4- Raiders @ Texans: Patrick Mahomes already practicing on a limited basis makes this game enormous for the Raiders. If they want to be contenders in a very mediocre division, they need to strike while Mahomes is out. They lost to the Packers; they cannot lose to the Texans who are also coming off a bad loss in their division title hopes. The Raiders defense melted down versus Aaron Rodgers. Being able to stop Deshaun Watson could prove just as daunting. 

3- Browns @ Patriots: This is it for the Browns. The Ravens aren't coming back to them, so a fifth loss this early in the season would have to make even the most diehard of labradoodles in the Dawg Pound admit their division-title hopes have crashed and burned before Halloween. Bill Belichick eats bad coach and quarterback play for breakfast, which could be a problem for Freddie Kitchens and Baker Mayfied. To beat the Pats, your pass rush needs to get in Brady's chest early and often, meaning this game will come down to Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon. 

2- Panthers @ 49ers: The 49ers remain undefeated; the Panthers remain undefeated without Cam Newton. The Cam questions won't go away, but Kyle Allen can make them easier to answer for better or worse with his performance here. Should the young Panthers quarterback solve a 49ers defense that nobody else has been able to, it will make it more difficult for anyone, including me, to say with a straight face this should be Cam's job. But can anyone really see that happening? 

1- Eagles @ Bills: The Bills are playing in the best game of the week in late October. Sure that does have a lot to do with the slate of games this weekend, but it also has to do with the fact the Bills have not lost a game Josh Allen plays all four quarters in this year. The Eagles need to put on their big-boy pants quickly and rebound after their embarrassing effort in Arlington last week. The Bills defense could pose fits for the struggling Carson Wentz. If the Bills win at home, it will be awfully hard not to take them seriously come Monday morning. 

My Picks

Another 2-1 week has me at 13-8 on the year. Money is being made. Get on board for this week:

Bucs +2.5 @ Titans: I can't help myself when betting on Titans games. They are the unpredictable gift and curse. I am jumping on this because the Titans winning two in a row seems like an anomaly. The trick is every-time you believe in the Titans, they let you down. The Bucs come into this game off of a bye week and Jameis Winston hungry to eat that W after his horrendous performance in London. Bruce Arians gets the offense going, Ryan Tannehill will struggle and look like the real Ryan Tannehill, and Tampa Bay wins outright.

Rams -13.5 vs Bengals:  I wish I bet more money on the Rams laying three in Atlanta. That was a gift from the Vegas Gods. The Bengals are steamrolling to an 0-14 vs 0-14 showdown with the Dolphins in Week 6. How are they, with that atrocious excuse for an offensive line, going to block Aaron Donald? The Bengals are going to struggle moving the ball all game long. In fact, when they have kept games close, it has been thanks to defensive takeaways and/or special teams scores. The Rams have to be feeling confidence in this light part of the schedule. They destroy the kitty cats Sunday. 

Raiders +7 @ Texans:  I am knocking on wood with Jon Gruden. That was bad in Green Bay Sunday, but the Texans have been as erratic as they have been great this year. The Raiders are going to come into this game with juice. Remember they did win on the road in Indianapolis earlier this year. Derek Carr will make plays in this game and keep it close, if not win. Seven is too big a line for the Texans who live on close games, to cover. 

Football Food of The Week

Bacon Wrapped, Sweet-Chili Glazed Asparagus.  I know what you are thinking: Shaun, a vegetable really? I will respond with, did you miss the bacon? Look, a little green on a Sunday never hurt anyone; a little bacon always helps someone. 

Buy a batch of asparagus, a package of bacon, and a bottle of Franks Red Hot Sweet Chili Glaze dip. Very simply, wrap each piece of asparagus with half a piece of uncooked bacon, brush each with the sweet chili glaze, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Simple. I know @up_the_gut hates simple, but it is just that. You will get a crunchy, warm, piece of asparagus, with tangy glaze and the crispness of bacon rolled into every bite. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS.