SportsPulse: Lorenzo is on a roll, like a Derrick Henry stiff arm more or less roll. He supplies his 3 very best bets for Week 6 within the NFL.
The Kansas Town Chiefs’ acquisition of Le’Veon Bell on Thursday night would possibly look like the vintage case of a flush NFL powerhouse merely getting richer. And whilst there is no technique to counter this type of perception, it is also honest to view this as a transfer the reigning Tremendous Bowl champions had to make if they are to turn out to be the primary crew because the 2004 New England Patriots to effectively protect their crown.
Listed here are six the reason why signing Bell used to be phase necessity and phase shrewd roster control on Okay.C.’s phase:
1. Intensity: Damien Williams’ determination to choose out of the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic left the Chiefs inclined in the back of first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who leads the crew (by way of some distance) with 98 touches and 513 yards from scrimmage via 5 video games. The trio of backs in the back of him – Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson and DeAndre Washington – have equipped scant reduction, combining for 23 touches and 102 yards. Bell, who can spell Edwards-Helaire outright but additionally be deployed with him concurrently, must greater than lend a hand with load control – possibly necessary taking into account the rookie shouldered 270 touches in LSU’s 15-game march to the nationwide name in 2019 ahead of rolling right into a the NFL’s often-grueling draft procedure. There is a reason why first-year avid gamers usally hit a wall in November. Edwards-Helaire exploded onto the pro scene with 138 dashing yards in his Week 1 debut however has averaged 93.eight yards from scrimmage since.
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New York Jets working again Le’Veon Bell (26) reacts after his recreation towards the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. (Picture: Vincent Carchietta, USA TODAY Sports activities)
2. Enjoy: It continues to be observed if mentorship is a task Bell embraces, however a two-time All-Professional with six-plus seasons of NFL soccer below his belt can educate Edwards-Helaire masses by way of merely reverting to a slightly shut facsimile of the multi-dimensional risk he was – which turns out most probably sufficient as he departs the New York Jets’ desolate tract of an offense for a Chiefs arsenal that’s the envy of the league. And in contrast to Edwards-Helaire, Bell gives playoff enjoy – one thing Kansas Town would possibly need given the absence of Williams, who owns a franchise file 10 postseason touchdowns (including two in February’s Super Bowl LIV win over the 49ers).
3. Utility: When right, Bell is the league’s premier route-running back, perfectly capable of maneuvering out of the backfield, lining up wide or in the slot. No, he hasn’t flashed superstar form since 2017, when he led the NFL with 406 touches (including 85 receptions). But what defense is going to double team him at the expense of focusing on wideout Tyreek Hill and/or tight end Travis Kelce and/or speed merchants Mecole Hardman and Sammy Watkins (expected to miss time with a hamstring issue)? While Bell has occasionally bridled at the way he’s been utilized – or, in the Jets’ case, his lack of a featured role – over the years, don’t expect him to cross coach Andy Reid, who has a rich history of leveraging do-it-all backs. Just ask Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Kareem Hunt and even Williams, who blossomed under Reid’s tutelage.
Four. Tradition: Bell did not leave Pittsburgh or New York with a name as a excellent soldier. However little reason why to suppose he may not temporarily fall in line upon his arrival at Arrowhead Stadium. As a lot of a spice up as he can give, Bell wishes the Chiefs greater than they want him. And a locker room patrolled by way of the likes of Tremendous Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and veteran protection Tyrann Mathieu turns out not going to permit Bell to indulge one of the vital detrimental impulses he presentations on social media. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, a former NFL working again himself, may also be a really perfect taskmaster on the subject of placing Bell again on course.
five. Cash: Bell will accumulate just about $30 million for fewer than two uninspired seasons with the Jets. However this new probability now not handiest permits him to show off himself in an explosive assault, it is a golden alternative to doubtlessly set himself up for yet another first rate payday as soon as unfastened company arrives in 2021. As closely because the Steelers used him (about 25 touches in step with trip from 2013 to 2017), his workload for the Jets used to be kind of 20% much less in step with recreation – and he handiest performed in two contests this yr and sat out all of 2018 amid a freelance dispute in Pittsburgh. He is nonetheless handiest 28 and will turn out he is were given a lot of zip left after enduring quite mild punishment during the last 3 years.
6. AFC West hands race: Just right because the Chiefs are – and that is the reason a nod now not handiest to final season’s Lombardi Trophy, but additionally to Kansas Town’s 4 consecutive department titles and a Four-1 mark recently excellent for first position – they are now not with out flaws. They struggled to overcome the Chargers in Week 2, when Bolts rookie quarterback Justin Herbert used to be thrust into his NFL debut because of Tyrod Taylor’s scientific mishap ahead of kickoff. Two weeks later, Kansas Town used to be lower than dominant towards a Patriots crew stripped of such a lot of key defensive avid gamers from 2019 and with out quarterback Cam Newton, who used to be quarantined. Then got here final Sunday’s 40-32 loss to the Raiders, who prevailed at Arrowhead for the primary time in 8 years whilst pulling inside of a recreation of Kansas Town within the AFC West standings. And it wasn’t a fluky win. Las Vegas confirmed it has the guns to effectively have interaction in a observe meet with Reid’s troops, or even the Silver and Black’s subpar protection stepped up after halftime to clamp down on Mahomes and Co., permitting simply 103 yards and 8 issues over the overall two quarters.
This seems like a vintage win-win. The Chiefs remained prohibitive favorites to chart no less than a Tremendous Bowl go back with out Bell. However whilst he is also a quite low-risk funding, Bell may also be the overall variable for fixing what generally is a dynastic equation.
Apply USA TODAY Sports activities’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis
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