On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs won their fourth straight game, moving to 10-4 overall. There was plenty of things to like in a one sided game against the Denver Broncos. The report cards are in. Who’s stock is rising or falling entering Week Sixteen? Let’s find out, with this week’s version of three up and three down.
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Travis Kelce has thwarted the Broncos seemingly every time these teams matchup. Denver struggled to cover most of the Chiefs receivers. However, Kelce was making it look too easy in the accumulating snow. He constantly got open with his usual knack to find the soft spot in the zone and sit in one place. Additionally, he was effective running deep routes out wide. He anticipated one pass particularly well, out jumping the defender. This was one of his best days of the season, with 11 catches on 13 targets. His 142 receiving yards was the third best mark of his career. Finally, he became the first tight end to ever eclipse the 1,000 yard mark in four consecutive seasons.
How was Kelce able to have such a big day? Due to the arm of Patrick Mahomes of course. Mahomes had his best performance since returning from the dislocated kneecap injury. He was letting it fly all over the yard, and the snow also had no effect on him. Mahomes showed a little bit of everything, reminding us how his abilities are still there, despite a trying season. Most of his passes were well timed and anticipated. Plus, he used his mobility to his advantage, something we had not seen in a while. He was Superman on Sunday.
Once again, we have to applaud Tyrann Mathieu. He was all over the field making plays. It felt like he could have finished with 10 interceptions on the day. He did have one interception nullified by a penalty. Another play that stood out, was when Courtland Sutton jumped up to make a catch in the end zone. However, Mathieu swiped the ball right out of the receiver’s hands. Week after week, the Honey Badger continues to fly around and dominate to lead the Chiefs defense.
Alex Okafor was effective on Sunday. So, this is not taking away from his effort in this game. After sacking Drew Lock, Okafor landed awkwardly. The trainers declared he was out for the remainder of the game pretty quickly after that, which was not a good sign. Okafor suffered a torn pec and is now done for the season. He had been a strong free agent addition, racking up five sacks on the year. He is the third different defensive end that the Chiefs have lost to injury. Breeland Speaks was placed on injured reserve near the end of the preseason. Elsewhere, Emmanuel Ogbah also suffered a torn pec. That led to the Chiefs acquiring veteran pass rusher Terrell Suggs on waivers on Monday.
The offensive line was pretty good against the Broncos. They allowed Mahomes plenty of time to throw. However, Denver registered three sacks. Two of these, came from Shelby Harris working against guard Andrew Wylie. Wylie was also injured late in the day, which is the second time he has dealt with some pain this year.
The Special Teams
This unit has been better of a late for the Chiefs. However, there is still some worrisome items to work. The return game is still very questionable, as Mecole Hardman has not been able to gain much traction. In the punt return game, he was whacked pretty hard on Sunday. Though it did not cost them the game, a bad snap on an extra point led to a broken play and Dustin Colquitt threw it away.
That will conclude this week’s version of three up and three down. Be on the lookout for more Chiefs content, as we turn to the matchup with the Chicago Bears. For more great sports and NFL content, 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.