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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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Two teams are set to dominate the 2019 NFL Draft: Patriots and…the Raiders?

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The owner of the 2019 NFL Draft? Oakland, with rookie GM Mike Mayock, who counts Bill Belichick as one of his best friends in football.

The power broker, potentially, of the 2019 NFL Draft? New England, which will have the ammo to move up, down and sideways—and Belichick has always loved wheeling and dealing on draft weekend.

The Raiders have four picks in the top 35. The Patriots have one pick in the top 55. But that’s a misleading part of the story. There’s great depth in this draft from pick 25 to 100 and even deeper, some scouts at the Senior Bowl thought. So there could be fine value in the Patriot picks when they are slated to choose five times in a 45-pick span from 56 to 101.

Raiders and Patriots picks in the top 110 overall choices of the draft, as of today:

• New England: 1st round, 32nd overall; 2-56; 2-64; 3-73; 3-97^; 3-101^

• Oakland: 1st round, 4th overall; 1-24; 1-27; 2-35; 3-66; 4-106

^ Projected compensatory picks for the losses of Nate Solder and Malcolm Butler in free agency, as calculated by Over the Cap’s Nick Korte.

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Bengals coach Zac Taylor has had no time to process the Rams’ crushing Super Bowl LIII loss

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Don’t you always wonder what it’s like for a man to coach in the Super Bowl, then, a day or two later, get introduced as the new coach of Team X? It’s crazy. Happened twice last week. The Patriots found it odd that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was in their Atlanta lobby at 9 a.m. Monday, 5.5 hours after the Super Bowl victory party ended, to ferry new coach Brian Flores (ex-Patriots defensive coordinator) to south Florida to be introduced as coach Monday afternoon. Zac Taylor had a few more hours to get his family to Cincinnati. The former Rams quarterback coach’s introductory press conference was Tuesday.

So it was interesting to hear Taylor’s reaction over the weekend when I asked him: “How disappointing was it to play the way your offense played in the Super Bowl?”

“I haven’t had a chance to process it, quite honestly,” he said from Cincinnati. “There just hasn’t been time. I haven’t watched the game. Honestly, I’m conflicted. It’s devastating to work so hard to get to the championship game, and for your entire team to pour everything they’ve got into it, and then to lose like that.

“But five or six hours after the game, I’m on a plane to Cincinnati, on the way to fulfill a dream I’ve had for so long—to be a head coach in the NFL. And then your brain goes there. It’s just … it’s just the way it is, and you’ve got to turn the page.”

There was some discomfort in his voice, bordering on pain. It’s easy to sit back and say, Buck up, buddy. You’re about to make millions to coach a football team. True, but if you’ve been a football coach for a while, and you help your team get to the Super Bowl, regardless of the outcome, it’s got to be odd to just walk out the door a few hours after the biggest game of all of your lives, no time to process or adjust, and you move on while everyone else wallows.

One other question. I asked Taylor if he’d had much of a chance to consider how close the Rams came to taking a lead with four minutes left in the third quarter, when Jason McCourty, panic-stricken, ran 20 yards in 2.4 seconds (per NFL Next Gen Stats) to bat a decisive touchdown away from Brandin Cooks in the back of the end zone. If Jared Goff was a millisecond quicker with his throw, the touchdown would have given LA a 7-3 lead and put huge pressure on New England. Instead, the Rams settled for a field goal to tie it, 3-3.

Taylor: Sigh.

“In football, you just miss by inch sometimes,” he said. “You can be an inch from … “

Sigh again.

“That’s football in a nutshell. That’s football.”

I thought that would be it from Taylor, but he brightened, as his mentor Sean McVay would have. Taylor continued, “Criticism, pressure, adversity. We want our staff and our players to understand that this is the NFL. This is why you do this job. The energy, the camaraderie, can’t be duplicated, except maybe at the craps table in Vegas when you’re on a roll.”

The Bengals have needed some energy, and an offensive spur. I’m looking forward to seeing what Taylor can provide.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America by clicking here