AFC Notes: Bengals, Chiefs, Raiders


Chiefs HC Andy Reid said their loss to Cincinnati in Week 17 was legitimate, and they need to learn from it.

“They made big plays on us on both sides of the ball. They were able to slow us down and then pick it up on the offensive side,” Reid said, via Pro Football Talk. “So, we’ve got to do a better job all the way around, special teams included. Every phase can be better.”

“They beat us. It wasn’t a fluke. They beat us, so they’re a good football team and it’s important that we have a great week of preparation here, and that’s one reason why the urgency level is there even yesterday once the game was over to get busy.”

  • Bengals HC Zac Taylor said QB Joe Burrow has the ability to call his own plays and could do so at times in the future: “It’s certainly something in the future that he’ll have the freedom to do and do for longer stretches than he’s done at points this year.” (Ben Baby)


Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman is happy he is playing a big role in the offense in the playoffs.

“I’m just more so happy to get opportunities and get a chance to touch the football and make plays happen,” Hardman said, via Pro Football Talk. “When [coach] dials up things up like the jet sweeps or the pop passes or the screen plays or anything to get me the ball quickly, I enjoy those moments. I know when I get the ball, I can make things happen in hurry.”

“I’m happy he’s allowing me to be part of this team and be part of the game plan to help this team out and giving me opportunities. As long as he does that, I’m going to just make sure that he’s right by giving me those opportunities. I’m going to just take advantage and just have fun with it and do what I need to do when I get the ball.”

  • Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu remains in the concussion protocol, with HC Andy Reid saying he could possibly play in the AFC championship game against the Bengals: “There’s a chance, if everything works out, that he’ll be able to get back.” (Sam McDowell)


  • ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez notes there’s at least some uncertainty about Raiders QB Derek Carr‘s long-term status with the team, which makes their decision with pending free-agent backup QB Marcus Mariota more interesting.  
  • Raiders CB Nate Hobbs entered a guilty plea on one count of careless driving. Hobbs was originally arrested for driving under the influence, yet blood alcohol tests revealed he was below the legal limit. (Mick Akers)

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