Patrick Mahomes injury among key Chiefs-Jags takeaways


Five thoughts about a bruising, injurious game at Arrowhead:

This might be insane, but I say Patrick Mahomes will play okay with a high ankle sprain. I point to the winning TD pass in the divisional round win over Jacksonville. Obviously hobbling up in the pocket with the right ankle killing him, Mahomes zipped a ball off his left foot 19 yards in the air to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. So it wasn’t an Aroldis Chapman fastball; it was plenty fast and right on target, and it won the game. As former Mahomes right tackle Mitchell Schwartz tweeted: “Can’t plant and push off for down the field throws. He’s going to change his mechanics now and start throwing with all arm.” Talk about a prescient tweet. As I see it, what changes now with Mahomes is the fact that throwing on the run mostly goes away. Maybe the gameplan will be to have a more consistent sixth blocker (extra tight end?) in on obvious pass plays. The sheer force of will of Mahomes will help carry him through, I believe. And if he’s ineffective Sunday night, Andy Reid will have the guts and common sense to play Chad Henne—which would not be a disaster.

Orlando Brown pointed out two benefits to Mahomes playing hobbled. “When something like that happens,” said Brown, KC’s left tackle, “it forces us up front to play even harder to make sure he doesn’t get hit. That’s one thing about it—you get motivated to up your game even more.” This is corny, and I’m not sure how much it actually improves the quality of play of the other 10 players. But Brown said seeing the leader of the team fight with coaches to stay in the game and insist on playing through an injury many would not play with does something in the alpha-male world of football. “We have a ton of grit instilled in us here, and we love the sport and love each other. I don’t know how to explain it, but we just want to rally behind 15. He’s the epitome of what our team is.” It’s not the same as Mahomes being completely healthy, of course, but other factors may make the other 10 play better.

Travis Kelce showed he’s the best and surest-handed of the short and intermediate receivers in football. He caught 14 balls Saturday. He might catch 44 in the championship game. Coverage patterns in this game will be interesting. If I were Cincinnati, I’d put a consistent second cover player, a physical one like a rangy linebacker, on Kelce.

(Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Losing home field would’ve been a factor, but I doubt a big one. “We’ll play in a CVS parking lot, man,” Brown said. “We don’t care.” Even before Sunday’s game would determine their championship foe, there wasn’t much of a trend when Kansas City played the other two teams. Since 2020, in regular- and post-season games, KC is 2-1 against Buffalo at home, 1-0 at Buffalo, 0-1 against Cincinnati at home, 0-1 at Cincinnati.

The Jags should be proud. Count the accomplishments: After “winning” the first overall draft pick two straight years, Jacksonville won the AFC South, rebounded from a 27-point deficit to beat the Chargers in a Wild Card game, established a raucous, young front seven that the franchise can grow with, hired a coach who can train a franchise quarterback, got that quarterback playing 50 percent better than in his rookie year, and finished with an 8-3 post-Halloween record. On Saturday, coach Doug Pederson got the main point of it all: Trevor Lawrence is good, and he’s a leader. “The success of your football team relies on the quarterback,” Pederson said. “You have to get that piece and that player right. I feel we have that person right. Trevor is just going to get better. He is going to learn from this. He is going to grow with the receivers, tight ends, the backs because they are all young.” He could use a franchise tight end, and one more receiver—either the formerly suspended Calvin Ridley, acquired during the season, or one in the draft. Jacksonville, in the span of a half-season, showed it might be (might being the apt word) the AFC South team to beat in 2023.

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

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

13. Dak Prescott (DAL)

12. Kirk Cousins (MIN)

11. Daniel Jones (NYG)

10. Matthew Stafford (LAR)

9. Deshaun Watson (CLE)

8. Aaron Rodgers (NYJ)

7. Jalen Hurts (PHI)

6. Trevor Lawrence (JAX)

5. Lamar Jackson (BAL)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!