“Ready to go.” That’s how Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes describes his status for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game against the Bengals. Mahomes was listed as a “full participant” in Wednesday’s practice, despite the high ankle sprain he suffered in K.C.’s divisional playoff victory over the Jaguars.
We won’t know—and neither will Cincinnati’s defense—how much mobility Mahomes has until the game starts. That means Bengal D.C. Lou Anarumo will have to prepare two separate game plans—one for a Mahomes who can get outside of the pocket, and another for a stationary Mahomes.
That’s a tall order, both in scheme and preparation. But under Anarumo’s direction, the Bengals defense has proved to be the most versatile and adaptable D in the league. Like a great jazz combo, they can “play it in any key.” It would not surprise me in the least if the Bengal defense proves to be the best unit on the field Sunday at Arrowhead.
Cincinnati’s offensive line—missing three starters to injury—did a remarkable job last Sunday in Buffalo, Joe Burrow was sacked only once, and the Bengals’ running game looked as good as it has all year. But now that patchwork O-line may be even more banged up. Good luck in dealing with Chiefs Al-Pro DT Chris Jones, who has 15.5 sacks, most of them coming right up the middle.
The ’Niners say they will “let the legal process play out” in dealing with D-lineman Charles Omenihu, who was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence follow an alleged altercation with his girlfriend Monday afternoon. Bottom line? Omenihu will play Sunday against the Eagles.
SF’s top two running backs did not practice Wednesday. Christian McCaffrey is nursing a bruised calf while Elijah Mitchell is batting a groin strain. Hell, yes, they’ll play, as will Deebo Samuel, who dinged an ankle in that win over the Cowboys.
There had been some speculation that Jimmy G. might be available to back up Brock Purdy against the Eagles. But Garoppolo’s recovery from a broken foot suffered two months ago will take at least another week. He’ll likely be “probable” for the Super Bowl, if the ‘Niners make it that far.
Cowboys linebackers coach George Edwards won’t be back next season. Nor will running backs coach Skip Peete. The fallout from Sunday in Santa Clara has begun.
NFL MVP? You can’t go wrong with Mahomes, but I’ll ride with Jalen Hurts.
Steph Curry doesn’t always get ejected from NBA games. But when he does it’s for throwing his mouthpiece. That’s three times in his career. That’s a sanitation problem, man.
Damian Lillard with 60 last night in a Blazers’ win over the Jazz. And did it with only 29 field goal attempts and just ten attempted free throws. No wasted motion or effort there.