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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs were nearly flawless in their Week 1 win over the Houston Texans. They proved Sunday they can win when things don’t go quite so smoothly.

The Chiefs were penalized 11 times for 90 yards, had a handful of dropped passes and struggled to get into any offensive rhythm until the second half of their 23-20 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. They also made the kind of mental miscues that generally leave coach Andy Reid seething in his postgame news conference.

One of them occurred when wide receiver Mecole Hardman didn’t touch down a defensive player following an interception — it wound up being a moot point because of a penalty. Another came when wide receiver Tyreek Hill removed his helmet after a long touchdown reception for what should have been a penalty; he claimed it already was coming off.

“I would never take my helmet off,” Hill insisted. “When I’m on the field it’s my responsibility to always keep my helmet on. That’s one of Coach Reid’s biggest pet peeves, taking your helmet off after a touchdown.”

Regardless, all the miscues left Reid with this assessment: “We have to do better,” he said. “There are no excuses.”

Especially in an empty stadium. The Chiefs should have had no problem with communication with fans barred from Sofi Stadium for the Chargers’ debut in their new digs because of the coronavirus pandemic. But they still had costly holding and offsides penalties along with a roughing the passer penalty in the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs managed to overcome the mistakes, though, thanks to another starring turn from Patrick Mahomes, a couple of crucial grabs by his wide receivers and a defense that was pushed around the first half but suddenly showed up.

“Obviously, we didn’t play the way we wanted to play,” Mahomes said, “but to find a way to win, I think that when you get to the playoffs or when you get later in the season and you try to make a run, not every game is going to be a blowout.”

WHAT’S WORKING

Harrison Butker gives the Chiefs the chance to score points any time they cross midfield. His two 58-yard field goals, which matched Nick Lowery’s franchise record, included the game-winner in overtime. Butker already has made 11 kicks of at least 50 yards in three-plus seasons; Lowery hit 20 of them from 1980-93. And he passed Pete Stoyanovich for sixth in franchise scoring with 445 points; next up is Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, who scored 462 points from 1997-2008.

“I mean, what can you say?” Reid said of Butker, who has hit a field goal in a Chiefs-record 16 straight games. “He’s a mentally tough kid and we appreciate him and how he goes about his job.”

WHAT NEEDS HELP

The secondary is woefully depleted. Bashaud Breeland is only halfway through his four-game suspension and fellow starter Charvarius Ward is still dealing with a fractured hand. Antonio Hamilton went down Sunday with a hamstring injury.

STOCK UP

CB L’Jarius Sneed is looking like a fourth-round steal in last April’s draft. He’s been pressed into service because of injuries and suspensions and has risen to the occasion, picking off a pass in each of his first two games.

“That’s the reason why we went out and got him,” Chiefs defensive backs coach Sam Madison said. “He is able to run, he’s tall, he’s long and you look at our corners from last year, you know he just fit that mold.”

STOCK DOWN

DT Chris Jones, who signed a four-year, $85 million deal in the offseason, was beaten regularly at the point of attack in the run game. He also was penalized for offside early in the game and roughing the passer on third down in the fourth quarter, giving the Chargers a first down and leading to a field goal that made it 20-17 with 2:30 left in the game.

INJURED

RB Darrel Williams left with an ankle injury, DE Frank Clark was ill and WR Sammy Watkins took a blow to the head that drew Reid’s ire. “I thought it was questionable,” he said. “We’re not supposed to have those in our game here.”

LB Damien Wilson passed the concussion protocol and returned to the game. LB Anthony Hitchens played through a stinger.

KEY NUMBER

28: That’s the number of wins the Chiefs have over the AFC West in their past 30 games.

NEXT STEPS

Mahomes and the Chiefs visit Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in a matchup of 2-0 teams next Monday night. They were on a collision course in last year’s AFC playoffs before the Titans upset Baltimore in the divisional round. Kansas City then beat Tennessee in the conference title game before winning its first Super Bowl in 50 years.



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Welcome to FIFA.com News – FIFA celebrates Pele’s 80th birthday with exclusive content on its digital platforms

Brazilian and world football legend Pele, the only player to have won the FIFA World Cup three times, celebrates his 80th birthday today. To mark the occasion, FIFA is publishing exclusive content on its digital platforms, including a special video programme which is available on FIFA.com and via FIFA’s YouTube channel.

Football lovers everywhere will have the chance to relive memories from Pelé’s former team-mates, his family and friends, and to view birthday greetings from past and present global football stars, from FIFA Legends and from FIFA President Gianni Infantino. And, last but not least, the special birthday content will include an exclusive interview with O Rei himself.

“Pele took football to another level. Not only did he epitomise the beautiful game, but he also played with an effortless flair, the like of which had never been seen in Europe. It was just amazing to watch him on the pitch. He is nicknamed O Rei – ‘The King’ – and rightly so. I would like to wish Pele a very happy 80th birthday from the bottom of my heart, and above all health. Today is really a celebration day for the entire world of football,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

You can follow the special birthday content all across FIFA’s digital platforms:
FIFA.com

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

YouTube

GIPHY

Hashtags: #Pele80 | #ORei80



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Floyd Mayweather Jr. says there are too many titles in boxing, ahead of Gervonta Davis-Leo Santa Cruz fight

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. believes that there needs to be some big changes in boxing. In an interview with Showtime, prior to next weekend’s fight between Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz, Mayweather revealed that he believes that the sport has too many title belts.

“This is not good for the sport of boxing,” Mayweather said. “Now when a fighter fights, every fighter is a champion.”

In boxing, there are four major sanctioning bodies in the WBA, WBO, IBF, and WBC. The WBA has “super” versions of their title belt and Davis currently holds that specific belt.

In addition, Mayweather did reveal that his very own promotional company is partially to blame for the issue throughout the sport.

“We gotta clean the sport of boxing up,” Mayweather added. “This don’t look good.”

Mayweather’s comments come after the a lightweight unification fight between Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez won the fight via unanimous decision and was billed as the undisputed champion after winning the WBA (Super), WBO, IBF, and The Ring lightweight titles.

Mayweather also believes that the only reason for multiple belts is so that each sanctioning body can collect more money from sanctioning fees.

“Ain’t no such thing as super champion,” Mayweather said. “You guys are just taking extra money from all these fighters [by] getting extra money from sanctioning fees.”



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Acting president Beresford Williams, five others resign from Cricket South Africa board

At least six members of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) board have acceded to the request of the nembers’ council – the highest decision-making body in South African cricket, made up of the 14 provincial affiliate presidents – and stood down from their positions. The list included acting president Beresford Williams, who took over from Chris Nenzani in August.

The resignations came after the members’ council asked the entire board to step down on Friday. On Sunday, Williams, Donovan May, Tebogo Siko, Angelo Carolissen and John Mogodi all quit from their positions. The five of them had been elected to the board via their provinces and, therefore, were non-independent members of the board. Dheven Dharmalingam is the only independent board member to resign so far. There are currently three other independent members still sitting on CSA’s board.

“As mentioned in Friday’s press statement, the CSA Board met this week & discussed various strategies that would best position CSA. One of these approaches was that if the Board would need to step down for the best interest of CSA & cricket as a whole, the Board would then do so,” CSA said in a statement on Twitter, while confirming the resignations of the five.

More to follow…

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