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No K.C. Masterpiece Sunday for the Chiefs, but …

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If this is as bad as it gets for the Chiefs, winning by 12 points on a day when the offensive line was a sieve, throw a parade. Phenom quarterback Patrick Mahomes was sacked five times, knocked around all day, and the Cards had five more tackles for loss. This will be a long week for left tackle Eric Fisher, who was abused by Arizona’s Chandler Jones, and it may have started during the game. The coaching staff, tight end Travis Kelce implied, lit into the offense during the 26-14 win. “From what the coaches were expressing out there,” Kelce told me, “the way we played was just unacceptable. We say that because we’ve been able to roll on just about everyone we’ve played.”

As a team, the Chiefs should be happy that the Cardinals gambled by sending extra rushers, and got home pretty consistently. Instead of playing max coverage, Arizona pressured Mahomes … and it worked some, and Mahomes burned the Cards some. After the game, I sat in coach Andy Reid’s office, and he preferred to look at the glass half-full. “Today, Patrick learned a ton off a few of the different looks that he got,” Reid said. “The one neat thing about him is that you might fool him once, but you normally don’t fool him twice.”

My takeaway from watching this team over the last two months was reinforced on the first drive of the day. Seventy-five yards, three plays, 56 seconds … Chiefs 7, Cards 0. It looked like it’d be 52-10. A football field is 53.5 yards wide, and the Chiefs use about 53 of those yards. On this first touchdown, it was a great illustration of stretching the defense from boundary to boundary. Then, for Mahomes, he picks the defensive poison.

On this play, Kareem Hunt motioned out of the backfield wide to the right boundary. Wideout Chris Conley was inside Hunt about six yards closer to the formation, and Tyreek Hill snug to the formation in the right slot. Tight end Demetrius Harris was flanked left, and wideout Demarcus Robinson split wide left, near the boundary. Five receivers, probably 48 yards apart. The Cards countered with a two-deep-safety look, but think how difficult it is. The safety on the offensive right, Tre Boston, had to figure out among three routes—a deep corner by Hunt, a medium in-cut by Conley, or a deep post by Hill, one of the fastest men in football—whom to cover. Once Hill got past his coverman, corner Brandon Williams, Mahomes lofted the ball up the middle of the field, and Williams, with the ball in the air, was already motioning to the safety, like, Where are you! And the safety had to be countering, You try to account for three guys at once—with two of them being sub-4.4 guys! The 37-yard touchdown looked too easy. Mahomes has had a lot of those this year.

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Why Bill Belichick isn’t retiring anytime soon

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Bill Belichick turned 67 the other day, which is about the time most normal human beings are seriously pondering retirement. There’s no indication Belichick is. With 56 more coaching victories (regular season and postseason), Belichick would become the NFL’s all-time winningest coach. Top three in wins now: Don Shula 347, George Halas 324, Belichick 292. Shula coached 33 seasons and Halas 40; Belichick has coached 24, and in fairness to the leaders, Shula coached half of his career in 14-game seasons, and the majority of Halas’ years were 12-game regular seasons.

What’s interesting to me is how few of the best coaches ever coached this late in their lives. In fact, 12 of the 15 winningest coaches have not coached, or did not coach, at age 67 or older. Belichick will make that 11 of 15 this fall.

Looking at the top 15, and how many seasons they coached after turning 67:

1. Don Shula: 0. Coached last game at 65.
2. George Halas: 6. Went 47-33-5 and won one NFL title after turning 67.
3. Belichick.
4. Tom Landry: 0. Coached last game at 64.
5. Curly Lambeau: 0. Coached last game at 55.
6. Chuck Noll: 0. Coached last game at 59.
7. Andy Reid: 0. He is 61.
8. Marty Schottenheimer: 0. Coached last game at 63.
9. Dan Reeves: 0. Coached last game at 59.
10. Chuck Knox: 0. Coached last game at 62.
11. Bill Parcells: 0. Coached last game at 65.
12. Tom Coughlin: 3. Went 19-29 after turning 67.
13. Mike Shanahan: 0. Coached last game at 61.
14. Jeff Fisher: 0. Coached last game at 58.
15. Paul Brown: 1. Went 11-4 after turning 67.

Belichick doesn’t talk about how long he’ll coach—surprise!—but those who know him say they think he’s not close to walking away from football. My take: Halas coached his last game at 72. I would not be shocked if Belichick matches that; nor would I be shocked if he coaches two or three more years and ends it. I never sensed the record mattered to him … but if it does, that means he’ll coach six more years. Seems like a stretch, but those who have been around him say he never shows the signs of stress even during big moments of big games that have made some great coaches walk away. Does he look or sound like a 67-year-old man? Not to me. 

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Why these NFL teams should take a chance on Josh Rosen

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So I believe the Cardinals, should they—as I suspect—choose Kyler Murray number one overall, will be inclined to make the best deal they can for the quarterback they picked last year 10th overall, Josh Rosen. It’s easy to say Rosen’s a big boy and he’s going to have to get over the biggest snub job in recent NFL history. But he heard Kliff Kingsbury take the job and say on several occasions, Josh is our quarterback, or words to that effect. Now you draft a guy number one overall and asked Rosen to be a good soldier and carry the clipboard and help Kyler Murray win games for the team that misled him about being the quarterback under the new coach? Awkward.

I don’t know how the draft is going to fall, but if Miami or Washington or the Giants do not draft a quarterback high in the draft, what seems fair to me is offering a third-rounder (78th overall by Miami, 95th overall by the Giants, 96th overall by Washington) to Arizona for Rosen. And Arizona, I’m assuming, would strongly consider doing the best deal it could at that point.

I’d be really interested if I were Miami. Imagine trading the 78th pick and having a year to see if Rosen has a chance to be the long-term guy. If the Dolphins are unconvinced at the end of 2019, they could use a first-round pick (plus other draft capital if need be) to draft the quarterback of the long-term future in a year when the quarterback crop is better than this year.

There’s also this matter: In the last four-and-a-half years, Rosen has been coached by six offensive architects. At UCLA beginning in the fall of 2015, Rosen had Noel Mazzone, Kennedy Polamalu and Jedd Fisch, followed in Arizona by Mike McCoy and Byron Leftwich last year and Kingsbury this year. Imagine Rosen having the same system and coach for two or three years in a row. It hasn’t happened to him since high school. Seems worth a shot to me.

This is going to be a very interesting week in the history of the Arizona Cardinals, but also in the personal history of Josh Rosen.

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