Following two straight losses, the Kansas City Chiefs showed a ton of pride on Thursday night. The defense played the best they have all year. Not only did they stop the run, the Chiefs had Joe Flacco seeing ghosts and dumped him to the turf several times. The offense started out with a quick answer. However, quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a knee injury. As of this writing, his status is uncertain. Now let’s relive some of the key moments from the game, with our recap of Chiefs versus Broncos.
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Hold Your Breath
On a successful quarterback sneak, Mahomes was slow to get up and appeared to be rolling around on the ground. A cart came out to take him off the field, but he chose to walk off instead. It wasn’t even more than five minutes after the QB went into the locker room that the Chiefs ruled him out for the rest of the night. The broadcast also showed trainers appearing to pop his knee back into place. All we know right now, is that Mahomes dislocated his patella/kneecap. He reportedly did not suffer a fracture. A MRI will ultimately determine if there is any ligament damage and if surgery is needed. His timetable for how long he will be out will then be more clear. It was at least encouraging to see Mahomes and his teammates enjoying the win together in the locker room.
For the Chiefs defense, this was the type of matchup they had been waiting for. From the get go, the run defense was improving drastically. The gameplan to stack the box was much needed, and Kansas City executed it. In addition, the missed tackles were largely gone as well. To hold Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman down to 71 yards rushing was not expected by many, considering the trends each unit entered the contest with. The Chiefs also held the Broncos to just 3.4 yards per carry.
Most importantly, Kansas City made Flacco beat them. If Flacco is your quarterback, you often don’t want him chalking it up 34 times. After a few early penalties, the Chiefs defensive backs settled down and played tight coverage. The pass rush was performing the way many fans thought they would all year. They were flying around and were consistently disrupting Flacco on his dropbacks. To finish the night, the Chiefs defense had nine sacks, ten quarterback hits, eleven tackles for loss and a touchdown.
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Finding A Groove
We knew it was possible, but the Chiefs showed they actually can run the ball against the Broncos. The plan was much more clear cut. LeSean McCoy led the way for 12 carries and 64 yards. His patience and vision still stand out. A guy who already had success with Andy Reid before has been impressive when given the chance. Will this continue? It may have to because of the injury to the quarterback. Most of all, the pace the Chiefs set with running the ball led to the Broncos having to alter the gameplan.
Full Team Effort
This defensive effort was how some envisioned it would be with new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The multiple defensive fronts and winning with speed was something we hadn’t seen as much before Thursday night. Spagnuolo’s units have generally won with an aggressive attitude and forcing turnovers. Both of those aspects came to fruition. As we mentioned earlier, the pass rush thwarted Flacco all night long. The Chiefs were smart to be relentless in the pass rush against the Broncos. Their offensive line has been one of the worst in the league for a few years now.
Granted Denver is not among one of the better offenses in the NFL. But, the defense responded to the criticism and played hard for their injured quarterback. It was weird to see how the Broncos looked more deflated by the injury to Mahomes than Kansas City did. It will take more of what we saw last night, but that was a nice start to what the Chiefs hope is a defensive rally for weeks to come.
Moore Takes The Reigns
For Matt Moore, this is not unfamiliar territory. He stepped in a few years ago to lead the Miami Dolphins to a 2-1 record to reach the playoffs. Furthermore, Moore led the Dolphins to a 6-6 record down the stretch back in 2011. He helped Miami pick themselves up out of a winless hole during that run. He is a guy some thought could have been signed as the backup last year. If there’s anything to feel positive about with Moore, it’s that he will have coach Reid guiding him along the way.
The Chiefs return home next week for a Sunday night game against the Green Bay Packers. It looks like we will be robbed of the anticipated matchup between Aaron Rodgers and Mahomes. I digress. For Kansas City, they hope to get other injured players back healthy following this mini bye week. The Chiefs will enter the game at 5-2.
That will conclude our recap of Chiefs versus Broncos. For more great sports and NFL content, be sure to stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.