How Kansas City Chiefs’ offense is shaping up without Tyreek Hill

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo.—I’m trying to keep up, charting offensive formations and plays in my notebook in a fast Kansas City practice at Missouri Western State University. When it was over, and when Patrick Mahomes had piloted about 50 snaps of work with the first-team offense, I noticed one thing in the 27 plays I’d been able to sprint-chart: The post-Tyreek Hill offense was utterly unpredictable.

Most noticeable was the usage of JuJu Smith-Schuster. I’d expected him to mimic his Pittsburgh slot-receiver role. In Smith-Schuster’s last two seasons as a Steeler, he was used 78.8 percent of the time in the slot, per PFF. But on this day, nine of the 27 plays I was able to chart had Smith-Schuster in the slot. The rest of the time he was split wide, left, split wide right, or a motion man, or once in what appeared to be jet-motion.

I think this team is energized by the outside impression of, They’re screwed without Tyreek. This camp visit left me feeling very much like when I left Green Bay and just figured Aaron Rodgers will figure it out without Davante Adams. I’m slightly less certain about Kansas City, but my gut feeling is Andy Reid and Mahomes will figure it out without Hill.

Imagine lining up the speed of Mecole Hardman wide right and Marquez Valdez-Scantling wide left; tight end Travis Kelce everywhere; Smith-Schuster in the slot and outside; sure-handed fifth receiver Justin Watson mostly outside, and Reid’s new Swiss Army Knife, rookie Skyy Moore, everywhere including the backfield. (I saw that the other day — Moore explodes out of the backfield.)

Ever hear the expression, You couldn’t wipe the smile off his face? When I met with Smith-Schuster after practice, he was the kid who got a date with the Homecoming Queen, scored the winning touchdown against the archrival and found out he got straight A’s on his report card…all in the same day.

“It’s been fun, man, I’ll tell you that,” Smith-Schuster said. He loved life as a Steeler but thought he was in a Pittsburgh pigeonhole playing almost only in the slot. “This is what I’ve been waiting to do. Everyone has to know everybody’s position. You have to know the outside, inside. You could play anywhere. To be on so many personnel groups where we got so many great receivers who could play inside and outside, I love it. That’s what I’ve been wanting to do, to be used in so many different ways. It’s so great, the way Coach Reid gives Patrick Mahomes so many different options on every play.”

I was struck by how rejuvenated this offense seems. Reid likes Hill, is happy for him to be the highest-paid receiver in NFL history and knows Hill wanted to leave. So why keep Hill when his heart is elsewhere…and when giving him up and getting five draft picks in the process is the best thing for this team and for its ’23 and ’24 salary cap?

But was it the best thing for the team? We’ll see — and Reid acknowledged it, sort of, in his cinderblock dorm room on the campus of this small, classic middle-America university. Reid knows if Hill didn’t take the deal to max out his income and be closer to his family, the unhappiness about his personal life could have spilled over to his professional life. Now he’s got four new receivers giddy to be playing with Mahomes and coming to work every day saying, Whaddaya got for me today, coach?

“It’s good for him and it’ll be good for us,” Reid told me, sitting in the kind of dorm room he’s been living in for the last 10 summers here as coach of his second NFL team: small and rectangular, the kind of room I’d bet some freshman from Lee’s Summit will occupy in a month. “It’s a win-win. I think it’ll help him in his career with the Dolphins. Financially it’s phenomenal for him and his family.

“For us, it gives you a little juice that maybe you need when you’ve been someplace for 10 years.”

Reid seems rejuvenated. He also seems to like the chance to reinvent his receiver room. In Reid’s 10th season here, he gets to be a teacher again. He’s got to get four new guys in the offense — all of whom could play 40 snaps on a given Sunday in the most competitive division in the NFL in years — ready to hit the ground running in 27 days when KC opens at Arizona. From what I saw in 90 minutes of tempo offense last week, this offense has the juice Reid wants. Hardman, the speedster in the Hill mode, gets to be handed some of Tyreek’s old plays to see if he can be a big star. The four newbies—Valdez-Scantling, Smith-Schuster, Moore and the out-of-nowhere Watson—are all cramming to be targets for Mahomes. Kelce will play everywhere and be the NFL’s best security blanket east of Cooper Kupp.

I came here wondering if I should feel for the 2019 Super Bowl champs as they retooled after losing the electric Hill. I left thinking, Who wouldn’t miss Tyreek Hill? But there aren’t many teams with the versatility and the tools that this passing game has.

Mahomes has become a devotee (and spokesman for) WHOOP. You may have heard of it. WHOOP connects data from a device worn on the wrist that tracks your recovery, your sleep, and the daily strain on your body, and reports constant movement, heart rate and stress level by the second to an app on your phone. WHOOP is basically a health conscience. You drink a lot one night, it shows up. Get a bad night’s sleep, it shows up. Anyway, you can see the work Mahomes is putting in at training camp. He shared one of his daily summaries that showed only a 58 percent recovery … because he’d gotten only 5 hours, 41 minutes of sleep and clearly had a day full of strain, physical and mental, at training camp in practice and drills. That’s life this summer for Mahomes, because of all the work and teaching he takes on in training camp. He called that day, in a text shared with me, “a coach reid training day lol.”

“I can’t just focus on my job anymore,” Mahomes told me. “I’ve got to focus on every single person, every single detail.”

Sounded like it was contributing to his occasional exhaustion. But he said: “I think it’ll make me a better quarterback.”

Reid credited Mahomes for taking a major step forward in being open to the new receivers and understanding the whys of trading Hill.

“They showed me the plan,” Mahomes told me. “They showed me the reasons that this had to be done at this time. I obviously talked to Tyreek as well, tried to do whatever I could to bring him back. Once we kind of got past that bridge and he was going somewhere else, they had a great game plan of getting these receivers that we have out here now. Kind of keep this thing moving forward.”

Mahomes is a pragmatist. If he didn’t trust Reid and GM Brett Veach to know how to build a team for the next decade, he’d never have signed a 10-year deal two years ago. But there’s no question — he won’t say it — that Mahomes hears the outside world. He knows people think the other three teams in the mega-strong AFC West have gotten better while the world thinks Kansas City has regressed, and its six-season streak of AFC West titles is about to end.

“When you have a guy as special as Tyreek when you get any type of man coverage, you’re kind of saying forget the read, I’m going to get this guy a chance to go out there and make a play. Now, the thing is, you don’t know where that go-to guy’s going to be every single game. We’ll have a lot of different personnel [groups], a lot of different receivers, and tight ends and running backs on the field. It’s going to be hard for defenses to gameplan against.”

I’m just saying: I left that practice the other day, with the dizzying array of players playing everywhere, and I believe Mahomes is onto something. How do you gameplan against this offense, even minus Hill?


Last point out of Mayberry RFD, aka KC camp:

I’m only tangentially interested in the social-media noise on all things NFL, but one thing I’ve noticed is the drumbeat of Mahomes’ contract looks bad. Too many players are jumping over it. He should be unhappy.

“Do you hear that stuff?” I asked. “What do you think?”

“If you’re ticked off making all the money that I’m making, you’re probably a little bit messed up. I know I’m going to be taken care of for the rest of my life. Being in this organization and being on the platform that the NFL has given me, I’ve been able to make money off the field as well. If you watch some of the great quarterbacks, man, it’s not always about getting the most money. It’s about going out there and winning and having a legacy that you can kind of live with forever. For me, that’s what I want. Obviously, I want to make money and be able to buy everything I want and all that different type of stuff, but that’s not the reason I started playing football. The reason I started playing football was to win Super Bowls, to enjoy these relationships that I’m building on this field with all my friends who are my teammates. I think at the end of the day if I do that, I’ll be a happy guy in the end.”

That’s the guy you want leading your team.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

How to watch Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: TV, live stream info, preview for Sunday Night Football game

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It’s the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, October 2 in a rematch of Super Bowl LV where Tom Brady earned his seventh ring. Sunday’s matchup marks the sixth meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Brady with the 45-year-old veteran holding a 3-2 edge in the series.

RELATED: Tom Brady’s Super Bowl wins, rings, MVPs, losses: Every appearance, NFL stats, records

Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch the game.

RELATED: If Chiefs-Buccaneers is moved, it will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: FMIA Week 3 – Broncos’ Coaching Experiment Pays Off, Dolphins Win ‘Beast’ Game, and What We Learned About the NFL in September

Be sure to start your NFL Sunday with Matthew Berry’s Fantasy Football Pregame show beginning at 11 AM ET on Peacock and the NFL on NBC YouTube channel.

Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) picked up their first loss of the season last Sunday after falling 20-17 to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kansas City struggled offensively in Week 3 as the team was held to just three points in the second half. The Chiefs are still working to fill the void in the passing game since trading star WR Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins in the offseason but according to Mahomes, that doesn’t excuse Sunday’s loss.

RELATED: Patrick Mahomes –  I don’t expect growing pains, offense has to gel together

“I don’t expect any growing pains,” Mahomes told reporters at ESPN.com. “Obviously have new players and you don’t know everybody’s going to respond to tough situations. . . . We’ve got to gel all together. It starts with me. There were certain throws I was putting on guys’ back hips instead of in front of him. There were certain situations where we were just barely off of it.”

Mahomes, who signed a 10-year, $450 million contract extension, in July 2020–the richest contract in American sports history by total value–is in his fifth season as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback and hopes to lead Kansas City to its seventh straight AFC West title. The Chiefs are the only team to ever win six consecutive AFC West titles, which is tied for the 3rd-longest division title streak of any team in NFL history.

RELATED: Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes: All-time QB matchups, records, stats

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brady and the Buccaneers (2-1) are also coming off their first loss of the season–a 14-12 defeat at home from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday afternoon. With WRs Mike Evans (suspension) and Chris Godwin (hamstring)–Brady’s top two targets–and Julio Jones (knee) out in Week 3, Tampa Bay’s offense racked up a total of just 285 yards in the loss. Additionally, the team is still adapting to the turnover at the WR and TE positions from this offseason. Despite some challenges on offense, Tampa Bay’s defense has remained consistent and currently leads the NFL in scoring defense (9.0 pts/gm) and also ranks in the top 5 in total defense.

RELATED: NFL QBs with most Super Bowl wins – Where does Tom Brady rank ahead of Super Bowl 2023


How to watch the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
  • When: Sunday, October 2
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Kansas City Chiefs vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your NFL jersey and gear needs ahead of the 2022 season, click here!


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch the NFL on Peacock: Full Sunday Night Football Schedule, live stream info for the 2022 season

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The 2022 NFL Season is in full gear. This week it’s Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a rematch of Super Bowl LV. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. with Football Night in America. Kickoff time is at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.

RELATED: If Chiefs-Buccaneers is moved, it will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium

Every Sunday Night Football game this season will be available on both NBC and Peacock. See below for the full 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule as well as additional information on how to watch every game on Peacock.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) – Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – Broncos do just enough to pull off 11-10 win over 49ers

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Chiefs at Buccaneers

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

What devices are compatible with Peacock?

Peacock is available on a variety of devices. See the full list here.

In addition to Sunday Night Football, what else can I watch with Peacock Premium?

Premium is your key to unlocking everything Peacock has to offer. You’ll get access to all the live sports and events we have, including Premier League and WWE Premium Live Events like WrestleMania. You’ll also get full seasons of exclusive Peacock Original series, next-day airings of current NBC and Telemundo hits, plus every movie and show available on Peacock. There is always something new to discover on Peacock Premium.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!