Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you are having a happy, safe and healthy holiday season. Take some time to recharge after a long year. There's still plenty of Kansas City Chiefs football to watch this season, after all.
While December may be coming to a close and the calendar will flip before we know it, the Kansas City Chiefs still have a lot left to accomplish this season. Santa Claus came last night and handed out gifts — what was under the Chiefs-designated tree?
Arrowhead Report's Tucker Franklin joined me on today's episode of Roughing the Kicker to give our top 5 lists for "Chiefsmas." Although the Chiefs are 22-1 in their last 23 games, there's always room for improvement somewhere. Here are the five things I had on my wishlist.
1. More Willie Gay Jr.
This is the most unrealistic of my five wishes due to many things. First and foremost, a rookie on a championship-caliber team isn't going to organically see an increase in snaps this late in the season. Gay has made plays when on the field and is obviously extremely talented, but he probably needed a traditional offseason program more than anyone. Ben Niemann, despite his subpar production, understands Steve Spagnuolo's system and will continue to receive consistent reps for the rest of the season. A man can dream, though.
2. More Byron Pringle.
This one might actually happen. Now that Pringle is healthy and back in the swing of things, expect his snaps to increase. Demarcus Robinson has been less-than-stellar in several facets of the game as of late and may be on a short leash moving forward. Pringle has shown flashes when on the field and remains an intriguing option both on offense and in the special teams area. More Pringle means a more consistent presence on the field, and everyone should be happy about that.
3. Patrick Mahomes to win MVP.
After a game in which he had so many factors working against him yet still managed to come out with a win, Mahomes' MVP case is strong. This may come down to whether he or Aaron Rodgers plays in Week 17, but a big day against the Falcons might just put Mahomes back on top for people who are currently on the fence about who to vote for. Either way, this year's MVP race has been one of the best in recent memory. With that said, it would be nice to have Mahomes capture his second MVP trophy in just his third full season as a starter.
4. Protect the "FRANCH15E."
We should cut them some slack, but the offensive line's performance against the Saints was quite bad. All things considered, it should improve as players get healthy. Eric Fisher was visibly battling through his back injury, Mike Remmers is set to return soon from his own back issue, and the status of Mitchell Schwartz is still up in the air. Protecting Mahomes should be priority No. 1, because he's the Chiefs' ticket to a deep playoff run and possibly a second Super Bowl win in as many years.
5. Frank Clark to make a huge impact the rest of the way.
Simply put, it hasn't been a great year for Frank Clark. The two-time Pro Bowler currently has just five sacks in 11 games and hasn't been the dominant run defender he's been known to be in the past. Part of this certainly stems from not having a reliable third pass-rushing option to take some pressure off Clark and Chris Jones' shoulders, but elite players always find ways to make an impact. For Clark to live up to his contract, he'll have to do the same. It would be a welcomed sight for a Chiefs defense that struggles to get pressure at times.
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