Early Super Bowl LV money flowing in on Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs remain 3-point favorites in Super Bowl LV by most sportsbooks, and the defending champions are being heavily backed to win by more than a field goal.Kansas City is being backed by 77 percent of the spread line bets and 81 percent of the handle at DraftKings, where the Chiefs opened as 3.5-point favorites Sunday night. They are being backed by 74 percent of the bets and 85 percent of the handle at FanDuel.However, both books are seeing more split action on the moneyline. Tampa Bay (+143) is being backed by 56 percent of the bets and 45 percent of the moneyline handle at DraftKings, with FanDuel reporting the Bucs are being backed by 59 percent of the bets and 42 percent of the spread as of Tuesday.The Over continues to be heavily backed at both books despite being among the highest in Super Bowl history. The 56-point Over at DraftKings has received 83 percent of the bets and handle, compared to 81 percent of the bets and 79 percent of the handle at FanDuel (56.5).
Bruce Arians: Playing home Super Bowl 'huge advantage'
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will become the first team in 55 years to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium on Feb. 7."It's a huge advantage," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said Monday.It could prove an even bigger edge than normal in a season that continues to be impacted at every turn by the coronavirus pandemic.The traditional Super Bowl media day and all other interviews throughout the week, including postgame, will be done virtually. ESPN reported before Sunday's conference championship games that the winning teams would not arrive in Tampa until at least Feb. 5.Of course, Tampa Bay is not encumbered by those travel restrictions."We stay in our own beds, sleep here and just do our normal routine," Arians said Monday after the Bucs returned from their 31-26 win at Green Bay in Sunday's NFC Championship Game. "Nothing is out of the ordinary until we hit the media sessions next week."Just to be able to stay in your routine, sleep in your bed and all that stuff."However, Arians also sees an advantage for the Chiefs compared to typical Super Bowls.
Chiefs LT Eric Fisher done with torn Achilles
Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher left the AFC Championship Game with a torn Achilles and is facing an extended rehab, according to NFL Network."It doesn't look too good with the Achilles," head coach Andy Reid said Sunday night.Mike Remmers moved from right tackle to left tackle in the Chiefs' 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills. Andrew Wylie moved from right guard to right tackle.
Super man at Super Bowl? Can Brady do it again?
Tom Brady will be trying to earn more than just his seventh Lombardi Trophy when he leads the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium: He'll be trying to become his own dynasty.At 43, Brady is one victory away from proving his ability to win titles isn't tied to a single franchise or a sure-fire Hall of Fame coach. He's a win from proving he's strong enough to go anywhere and emerge triumphant.After all, he has already proven he can lead fourth-quarter comebacks on the game's grandest stage, and showed that being down by 25 points late in the third quarter of a Super Bowl means next to nothing.Brady has turned Tampa -- a professional football wasteland for decades -- into the undisputed sports capital of the U.S. today. The city in western Florida is home to the reigning Stanley Cup champion Lightning and the American League champion Rays, and is a win away from filling the streets of Ybor City with confetti.Tampa Bay is hosting the Super Bowl, the first one where a team will be playing for the Lombardi Trophy on its own home field.Brady turned New England, which had never won a Super Bowl, from a mediocre franchise when he arrived in 2000 into a six-time champion worth $4.4 billion, second in the NFL behind the Cowboys, when he left, according to Forbes.Now, he has taken a Buccaneers franchise that had gone 267-424-1 for a .387 winning percentage -- the worst among North American pro sports teams -- in the 44 seasons before he arrived to just their second Super Bowl and first since winning it in 2003. Since then, the Buccaneers didn't win a playoff game -- until their savior arrived.Speaking after Sunday's NFC title game, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians referred to the "belief (Brady) gave everybody in this organization that it could be done. It only took one man."But standing in Tampa Bay's way is a quarterback who has won a Super Bowl more recently than Brady -- Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes. He's looking to become the first quarterback to lead his team to back-to-back Super Bowl titles since you-know-who did it with the Patriots in Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX in 2004 and 2005."We just have to be ourselves," Mahomes said after beating Buffalo. "I trust my guys over everybody."The Super Bowl odds opened with Kansas City as a 3.5-point favorite and an over/under of 57.5 points at FanDuel, which has set money lines for Kansas City at -186 and Tampa at +145.Between now and kickoff, expect a blitz of storylines and statistics to sift through before deciding where to focus your wagers.Here are two things you need to know.Any list of potential history-makers at Super Bowl LV must have Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill near the top, so take a close look at his over/under for receptions and yards for prop bets.Hill will take the field at Raymond James Stadium seeking to become just the ninth receiver in league history to be named to The Associated Press' All-Pro First Team and win the Super Bowl in the same season. It's a feat that hasn't been accomplished since Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison in 2006.Of the eight players who have done it, five -- Jerry Rice (1988, 1989, 1994), John Stallworth (1979), Lynn Swann (1978), Paul Warfield (1973) and Harrison -- are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while Gary Clark (1987), Drew Pearson (1977) and Cliff Branch (1976) had very, very good careers.
Chiefs installed as 3.5-point favorites in Super Bowl LV
The Kansas City Chiefs were installed as 3.5-point favorites to win Super Bowl LV shortly after beating the Buffalo Bills 38-24 in Sunday's AFC Championship Game.DraftKings and PointsBet were among the sportsbooks to set the early line at Kansas City -3.5 points despite the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the first team in the 55-year history of the Super Bowl to play in their home stadium.The Buccaneers upset the Green Bay Packers, 31-26, earlier in the day in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field. Tampa Bay has won three consecutive road games in the playoffs to reach the Super Bowl.DraftKings is offering Chiefs with a -165 moneyline and the Bucs at +135. Kansas City's early moneyline at PointsBet was -180 with Tampa Bay at +150.PointsBet has set the early Over/Under at 57.0 points while DraftKings was a tick higher at 57.5 points.
Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs defeat Bills, return to Super Bowl
Patrick Mahomes passed for 325 yards and three touchdowns Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs repeated as AFC champions, by downing the Buffalo Bills 38-24 at Kansas City, Mo.After getting cleared from concussion protocol Friday, Mahomes still played with turf toe on his left foot but completed 29 of 38 attempts as the Chiefs gained an opportunity for a title defense.Kansas City will attempt to become the first back-to-back NFL champion since the 2003-04 seasons (New England Patriots) when it meets the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Feb. 7 in Super Bowl LV.The Bucs beat the Green Packers 31-26 for the NFC title and will get to stage Super Bowl LV at home. Tom Brady will make his 10th Super Bowl appearance against a Chiefs team that went undefeated on the road this season.The Chiefs went three-and-out on their opening possession, then overturned a 9-0 deficit with second-quarter touchdown drives of 82, 80 and 77 yards.Taking away a one-play kneel down to end the first half, Kansas City scored on six straight possessions while going 5-for-5 on touchdowns in the red zone.Tyreek Hill raced 172 yards on nine receptions, including a 71-yard gain. Travis Kelce added 13 catches for 118 yards and two scores as the Chiefs amassed 439 yards.Buffalo's Josh Allen completed 28 of 48 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 88 yards, but fourth-quarter interceptions by Rashad Fenton and Bashaud Breeland (on a two-point conversion attempt) proved disastrous.
Chiefs lose OT Eric Fisher to Achilles injury
Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher sustained an Achilles injury during Sunday's 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills AFC Championship Game and did not return.Fisher, 30, has appeared in 117 games (113 starts) since the Chiefs selected him No. 1 overall out of Central Michigan in 2013. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who started 15 games this season while protecting the blind side of Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes.The loss of Fisher could create major problems for the Chiefs, who already are without right tackle Mitchell Schwartz because of a back injury. Mike Remmers has moved into a starting role to replace Schwartz, and Martinas Rankin is likely to start in place of Fisher if needed.
Reports: Chiefs' Clyde Edwards-Helaire likely to play vs. Bills
Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire likely will play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the visiting Buffalo Bills, multiple media outlets reported.Fellow running back Le'Veon Bell and wide receiver Sammy Watkins are not expected to compete for the Chiefs, per reports.Edwards-Helaire is questionable with hip and ankle injuries. He sat out the final two games of the regular season as well as Kansas City's 22-17 divisional round victory over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.Darrel Williams led the Chiefs by rushing 13 times for 78 yards against the Browns.Edwards-Helaire, 21, has team-leading totals in carries (181), rushing yards (803) and rushing touchdowns (four) since being selected by Kansas City with the 32nd overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He also has 36 catches for 297 yards and a score.Edwards-Helaire rushed for 161 yards on 26 carries in a 26-17 win over the Bills in Week 6.
AFC Championship Game splitting bettors
Patrick Mahomes was cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol Friday, but the week-long uncertainty surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback has led to split betting action on Sunday's AFC Championship Game.The Chiefs are 3.5-point favorites against the Buffalo Bills by DraftKings, where Kansas City is being backed by 63 percent of the spread handle and 52 percent of the bets. However, Buffalo's +155 moneyline is being backed by 59 percent of the handle and 61 percent of the bets.Kansas City is favored by 3.0 points at BetRivers.com. The Chiefs are backed by 58 percent of the spread handle, but 56 percent of the total bets had been placed on Buffalo as of Friday. The Bills' +145 moneyline has also been backed by 58 percent of the moneyline handleBetRivers.com is offering the Over/Under at 54.5 points, with the public nearly split evenly with 51 percent of the bets and handle on the Under.The Bills enter the game riding an eight-game winning streak and have covered the spread in four of their past five games at BetRivers.com, while the Chiefs have not covered since the first day in November.Mahomes announced Friday that he had cleared the concussion protocol and also said the toe injury that was bothering him against the Cleveland Browns in the divisional round was "feeling a lot better."Meanwhile, the Bills' Josh Allen is playing at a level equal to any quarterback still competing in the postseason.Ever since a 26-17 loss to the Chiefs in Week 6, the Bills have rolled to 11 wins in 12 games, including eight straight, to gain their first AFC Championship appearance since the 1993 season.Allen's steady improvement with the Bills rode a huge uptick this season when he recorded eight 300-yard passing performances.
Chiefs CB Bashaud Breeland out of concussion protocol
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland is out of the concussion protocol and cleared to play Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the visiting Buffalo Bills.The team made the announcement Saturday.Breeland, who was originally listed as questionable, was a limited participant in all three practices this week for the defending Super Bowl champions.His presence is welcome news for a Kansas City secondary preparing for Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs led the NFL in receptions (127) and receiving yards (1,535) this season.Breeland, who turns 29 next week, had 38 tackles, nine passes defensed and two interceptions in 11 starts for the Chiefs in the 2020 regular season. He made six tackles in the 22-17 divisional-round win over the Cleveland Browns last Sunday before leaving in the fourth quarter with a concussion.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes out of concussion protocol
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes announced Friday he is out of the concussion protocol and ready to start Sunday's AFC title game against the visiting Buffalo Bills."I'll be able to go out there and be myself," said Mahomes, who practiced for the third consecutive day on Friday.The defending Super Bowl champion exited last Sunday's divisional playoff against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter and was replaced by Chad Henne, who finished out the 22-17 victory.Mahomes told reporters Friday he had been evaluated by three doctors this week as he made his way through the concussion protocol.Mahomes, 25, also said the toe injury that was bothering him against the Browns was "feeling a lot better."
Patrick Mahomes practices, remains in concussion protocol
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was on the practice field and worked with the starting offense in a limited basis Thursday but remains in concussion protocol.Head coach Andy Reid specified Mahomes is still in the no-contact phase of concussion protocol until further notice, leaving the Chiefs' quarterback situation unsettled for the AFC Championship game Sunday.Typically players who haven't been cleared from NFL concussion protocol are not allowed to wear helmets at practice. In the portion of Thursday's workout open to media, Mahomes held his helmet and observed from the sideline.But later in the workout Mahomes donned a helmet and ran plays with the starting offense, which included rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire missed the divisional playoff game last week due to hip and ankle injuries."Pat looked good out there," Reid said. "He's moving around well. He feels good. It's just important we follow the protocol, and that's what we're doing."
AFC Notebook: Andy Reid and Sean McDermott share long history
The opposing coaches in the AFC Championship game spoke glowingly of each other when they got the chance Wednesday.Coach-speak, perhaps? Maybe, but the connection between the Buffalo Bills' Sean McDermott and the Kansas City Chiefs' Andy Reid dates back to a lengthy period in Philadelphia, from 1999-2010. McDermott eventually rose to become defensive coordinator under Reid."Andy will be a Hall of Fame coach here in the future down the road," McDermott said. "I've learned, and I've said this time and time again, I've learned a lot from Andy Reid in my time with him in Philadelphia."Reid went as far as to trace McDermott's exploits as a high school wrestler and later a standout safety at William & Mary, emphasizing his protege's intelligence and toughness. He also proclaimed that McDermott should be named the NFL's Coach of the Year for guiding the Bills to the brink of their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1993 season."He's taken a franchise there, both he and his general manager have put this thing together with some bold moves and production here now, so I think he's done tremendous," Reid said. "What a great thing for the NFL and for Buffalo."--When television cameras caught Kansas City standout wide receiver Tyreek Hill shoving his position coach, Greg Lewis, during the Chiefs' divisional round victory, it appeared a sideline altercation might be brewing."That's me and my personality," Hill said. "A lot of people see me as being a hothead on the sideline or a diva, but it was nothing like that. Just me being fired up and just trying to give the guys energy."His dependability showed against Cleveland when Reid called a stunning fourth-down pass in which backup quarterback Chad Henne rolled right and lobbed the ball to Hill to seal the 22-17 outcome.--Buffalo veteran Cole Beasley downplayed his two targets against Baltimore, which resulted in no receptions in the divisional round. He caught 82 passes for 967 yards in the regular season.Beasley even mentioned that he kidded with Stefon Diggs, who caught eight passes for 106 yards after leading the NFL with 166 targets in 2020."A lot of people don't understand that you can make an impact in the game without catching the ball," Beasley said. "They have to worry about me underneath either way."
Chiefs set for AFC title vs. Bills, with or without Patrick Mahomes
The good news for the Kansas City Chiefs is that Patrick Mahomes is practicing.However, Mahomes remained in concussion protocol as preparations began in earnest for Sunday's AFC Championship game pitting the reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo."(Mahomes) took all the snaps and he feels good, so we're just going to follow this protocol as close as we possibly can," Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters Wednesday.Last year's Super Bowl MVP suffered an injury in the third quarter of Kansas City's divisional round game against Cleveland and did not return. Backup Chad Henne and the Chiefs defense held on for a victory, in part because Henne scrambled for a big gain and then converted a game-clinching first down with a surprising completion to Tyreek Hill."For my preparation, it's going to stay the same: Prepare like you're the starter each and every week, no matter what happens," Henne said. "Whatever does happen, happens. I always stay ready."Pretty sound outlook, though when Henne was named the quarterback for the Chiefs' last regular-season game after they had already clinched the AFC's No. 1 seed, the start was his first since 2014. The Los Angeles Chargers halted Kansas City's 10-game win streak, but the Chiefs raced to an early lead against the Browns despite coming off a first-round bye.It is worth noting that Mahomes sprinted off the field for testing after first wobbling to the sideline against the Browns. Reid said later that Mahomes sustained an injury to his neck area and also, a toe injury Mahomes suffered is not causing him any problems."We're just leaving it the way we do," Reid said of his quarterback situation. "Chad's comfortable with it and he feels that he can handle that if need be, so I think that's gone well there."While everyone is awaiting word on Mahomes' status, the word on the Bills' Josh Allen is he is playing at a level equal to any quarterback still competing in the postseason.Considering that list of greats includes Mahomes, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, Allen is in select company. He doesn't get distracted by comparisons, though."I'm just trying to be the best version of myself," Allen said. "I'm not trying to compare to the other guys who are arguably some of the best to ever play the game, the ones who are left. I'm just focused on what I can do."
Patrick Mahomes still in protocol; Chiefs to allow practice
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains in concussion protocol but was cleared for "light" practice Wednesday.Mahomes is questionable for the AFC Championship Game scheduled for Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Mahomes has no symptoms, head coach Andy Reid said. The quarterback left the divisional playoff victory over the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter.Mahomes is expected to be on the field as the Chiefs host a third consecutive conference championship game. Veteran Chad Henne would start if Mahomes is not medically cleared.It will be the second meeting this season between the Chiefs and Bills, who played in Week 6 in Buffalo. The Chiefs won the game 26-17.
Report: Mahomes remains in concussion protocol; status uncertain
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes remains in the NFL's concussion protocol Tuesday but is expected to practice Wednesday, ESPN reported.There is optimism among the Chiefs that Mahomes will play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills, but the former NFL MVP's status is still uncertain.ESPN reported Mahomes cleared "some big steps" on Monday. Mahomes is also dealing with a toe issue, per the report. Mahomes was limping in Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns prior to leaving the game with a concussion midway through the third quarter.Mahomes passed for 255 yards and one touchdown against the Browns. Chad Henne replaced Mahomes and completed 6 of 8 passes for 66 yards and an interception in the end zone. Henne also rushed twice for 12 yards.
Chiefs underdogs if Patrick Mahomes unable to face Bills
The Kansas City Chiefs will be underdogs in the AFC Championship Game if quarterback Patrick Mahomes isn't available to face the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.Mahomes will have to pass through the league's concussion protocol after being knocked out of Sunday's 22-17 win over the Cleveland Browns.SportsBetting.com said the Chiefs were listed as four-point favorites in a projected matchup against the Bills before Mahomes was injured. If Mahomes is not able to play, the sportsbook said Buffalo would be a 2-point favorite. Mahomes' status also affects the Over/Under, which would be set at 56 points if he's able to play and 51 points if he's not.Mahomes exited at the 7:47 mark of the third quarter after being tackled on an option keeper. He was first evaluated on the sideline before heading to the locker room for further tests and was later ruled out for the remainder of the game.
Chiefs lose Mahomes, defeat Browns to reach AFC title game
Backup quarterback Chad Henne gained 13 yards on a scramble, then threw a stunning fourth-and-inches completion to Tyreek Hill with less than two minutes remaining on Sunday as the host Kansas City Chiefs finished off the Cleveland Browns 22-17 to reach the AFC Championship Game.Henne replaced Patrick Mahomes, who appeared to come away with a head injury at the 7:47 mark of the third quarter after he was tackled by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson on an option keeper.Mahomes, who will have to go through concussion protocol to determine his availability for the AFC title game, passed for 255 yards and one touchdown.The defending Super Bowl champions became the first AFC team to play host to a conference championship for a third consecutive season. They will face the Buffalo Bills, a team Kansas City defeated 26-17 on Oct. 19.Henne was intercepted by Cleveland's Karl Joseph in the end zone with 8:10 remaining but the Browns' drive to potentiallt lake the lead stalled and they were forced to punt. The Chiefs then ran out the final 4:09.Hill and Travis Kelce each had eight receptions for 110 and 109 yards, respectively. Darrel Williams, in his first NFL start, added 78 yards on 13 carries and had four receptions.The Chiefs scored on each of their four first-half possessions while generating 293 yards to build a 19-3 halftime margin.
Chiefs' QB Patrick Mahomes ruled out after third quarter hit
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was ruled out of Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday after a third-quarter hit appeared to leave him woozy.Mahomes kept the ball while running an option play on third down and 1. He faked a pitch and try to dive for first-down yardage as he was met by Browns linebacker Mack Wilson. Mahomes' head appeared to get pulled to the turf as Wilson brought him to the ground.The reigning NFL MVP needed help getting to his feet before he was taken into the team's medical tent on the sideline. Mahomes then ran into the Chiefs locker room.Mahomes was 21-of-30 passing for 255 yards and one touchdown when he left the game. He also had 14 rushing yards on three carries.
Injured Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire inactive vs. Browns
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was one of the team's inactives for Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game against the visiting Cleveland Browns.Edwards-Helaire is dealing with ankle and hip injuries and didn't practice on Thursday and Friday. He missed the final two games of the regular season due to the injuries.Edwards-Helaire led the Chiefs with 803 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns during the regular season.Darrel Williams, who started, and Le'Veon Bell will receive the bulk of the workload in Edwards-Helaire's absence.Also inactive for the Chiefs due to injuries are receiver Sammy Watkins (calf), linebacker Willie Gay (ankle) and cornerback Rashad Fenton (foot/ankle). The team's other inactives are offensive tackle Martinas Rankin, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders and defensive end Tim Ward.