In a game haunted by Patrick Mahome’s right knee injury, there was still a lot of upsides. It was indeed a great team win for the Chiefs. The defense stepped up in a big way with the return of “Sack Nation.” Matt Moore came into the game after taking no snaps. Receivers were comfortable with passes from Moore despite never playing with him even in practice. The Chiefs had already been playing more dominantly before the Mahomes injury, except for the opening drive, but they came out with a vengeance when 15 went to get checked out. The defense absolutely swallowed up Joe Flacco. Matt More kept the game under control. Dustin Colquitt continued to put the Broncos deep in their own territory to help the defense. This team win was a significant improvement to Sunday afternoons matchup with the Texans.
Offense stays hot
Before going down with a right knee injury, Mahomes was having a good night. He was 10/11 for 76 yards. Mahomes also threw for one touchdown to Mecole Hardman, no interceptions, and one carry for two yards that ended with unsavory consequences. Once Matt Moore took over at the helm, he also had a pretty solid night. He went 10/19 for 117 yards. Moore also threw for one touchdown to Tyreek Hill and no interceptions.
LeSean McCoy led the ground game as he has in the past with 12 carries for 64 yards. Anthony Sherman and Damien Williams each covered seven yards. Tyreek Hill had three catches for 74 yards and one touch down on the night. Travis Kelce accounted for six receptions for 44 yards. Mecole Harman scored on his first of two receptions totaling 28 yards. Harrison Butker also went 3/3 on field goals and extra points. The offense, while not being the explosion fans are used to, contributed significantly to the whole team win.
Defense responsible for team win
This defense did not look the same as the one fans saw last Sunday afternoon. This defense was dominant and never slowing down. What has become known as “Sack Nation” to Chiefs and football fans alike was back. The Chiefs recorded nine sacks on the night. Six of them came in the first half alone. Anthony Hitchens, Frank Clark, and Alex Okafor all recorded two each. The story of the defense was really the breakout night of Rashad Fenton. The pass rush was indeed all hands on deck for this team win.
Not only were the sacks incredible, but the secondary also did not give up near as many yards after catches this week. The defense was playing heads up. The focus was clearly evident after Anthony Hitchens sacked Joe Flacco in the second quarter forcing a fumble. Then Reggie Ragland recovered the ball and ran five yards for a touchdown. The energy was electric on the defensive side of the ball. Tackles were not lazy, and hits came fast and hard. The defense will need to keep this up against Green Bay, especially to get the Chiefs through Mahomes injury and keep the team up in the division.
More whole team wins to come
With Mahomes out for a few weeks, it appears the Chiefs will giving fans the Matt Moore show. With that said, it would be essential to look at Moores’s first Chiefs win to see what will work and what will not. As a whole, Moore seemed very calm and comfortable in the pocket. He took the time to look for his receivers. Moore was the most effective on quick, short passes. However, he can throw the deep ball. His pass to Tyreek Hill for the touchdown was 57 yards. If Moore is going to focus on short passes, the offensive line is going to need to continue to step up and protect him. Then the receivers are going to have to get more comfortable with him. Next, it might be time to look at improving and using the running game more.
More to celebrate than one team win
This win in Denver also was celebrated because it’s Andy Reid’s 200th career win. The Chiefs improved to 5-2 and maintained a two-game lead in the division. This Chiefs team is also undefeated on the road. This win also made it eight straight wins over the Broncos and moving the Chiefs to 23-26 against AFC West opponents. Even with Mahomes out for several weeks, this bodes well for the team, still winning the division.
Patrick Mahomes injury update
As per Ian Rapoport Mahomes, MRI reported no additional significant damage to the knee. That would be a best-case scenario for the Chiefs. Mahomes will miss at least three weeks while strengthening the knee to reduce re-injury risk. This recovery will put him out against at least Green Bay, Minnesota, and Tennessee. However, with a week 12 bye, the Chiefs may choose to sit Mahomes until December. Mahomes and the Chiefs are still looking for second opinions and being cautious. The best way to handle the situation when fans are looking to have Mahomes as long as New England has and will continue to have Brady.
Mahomes will most assuredly be in the mix with the team even when he is on the sidelines. He is still their QB1 and the most significant motivator on the team. Many Chiefs fans on social media are calling Mahomes to bang the drum and lead the Tomahawk Chop on Sunday, October 27th, against Green Bay. The same chant that could be heard echoing through the field in Denver on Thursday night. Until the Chiefs officially release any moves concerning the injury, all fans will be speculating on what happens next.