Patrick Mahomes continued to shine, Darwin Thompson keeps showing he is the best running back on the team, and the defense continues to take strides forward as the Chiefs yet again beat a divisional opponent in week 15.
Mahomes Does it Again
Despite a snowstorm in Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes showed no signs of slowing down. Mahomes put on an absolute clinic and showed arm strength, accuracy, touch, and timing. He finished the day with 340 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The running game did Mahomes no favors, yet the defense still could not stop him. He was able to spread the ball around and thoroughly pick apart the Broncos strong secondary. He also showed that the weather would not limit their big-play ability as he easily hit Tyreek Hill for a 41-yard touchdown. Defense nor weather can slow down Mahomes’ elite play that he has shown down the stretch.
Run Game Continues to Struggle
The run game continues to struggle. Damien Williams missed another game while Darwin Thompson, Spencer Ware, and LeSean McCoy led the backfield. Thompson had the most carries with eight and also did the most with his touches averaging 4.8 YPC. LeSean McCoy continues to lack his big-play ability as he averaged a measly 2.7 YPC on six carries.
Ware carried the ball for 26 yards on seven touches. I continue to stand by the statement that Darwin Thompson is the best running back on the team. The run game is more effective when he is in there, as evidenced by his YPC, and he is also a threat out of the backfield. If the Chiefs want some semblance of balance on offense, they need to give Thompson more touches.
Mahomes nearly got all of the receivers involved in this affair. Travis Kelce led the way with a monster day en route to 11 catches for 142 yards. The Broncos had no answer for him. His size and speed make it hard to cover him, but when you add in the conditions of the snowstorm, he had defenders on ice skates all day.
Tyreek Hill had another big play day. He hauled in five balls for 67 yards but made his mark in the endzone. His first touchdown was a 41-yard reception from Mahomes that put Denver in a hole they were never able to get out of. Later in the game, he also hauled in a five-yard touchdown.
Sammy Watkins, while not having a big day, was productive with three catches for 49 yards. Fourth and fifth options, DeMarcus Robinson(two catches, 21 yards) and Mecole Hardman(one catch, ten yards) also got in on the action as did back up tight end Blake Bell(two catches, 41 yards). The entire receiving core had Denver on their heels for all 60 minutes of the game.
Chiefs Defense Dominates
The defense continues to improve with each passing week, they managed to sack Drew Lock twice and star rookie Juan Thornhill picked him off in the endzone. The pass rush was there all game as the defense hit Lock 10 times.
Chris Jones only managed one tackle, but he had a tremendous performance clogging up lanes, pressuring Lock, and taking the pressure off the rest of the defensive line. Lock finished the day with 208 yards while completing under 50% of his throws. The Chiefs run defense, the weak link of the team, held Denver running backs to 49 yards. The entire unit is finally starting to maximize the athleticism and talent they have.
It cannot be understated how much Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill have changed the passing defense. They continue to be able to confuse quarterbacks with their blitzing and ability to wreak havoc in the secondary. This tandem will give the Chiefs a legitimate shot to hoist the Lombardi this year.
Biggest Chiefs Takeaways
- Patrick Mahomes is only being outplayed by MVP favorite Lamar Jackson
- The offense can perform in adverse weather
- Andy Reid continues to get too conservative when he has the lead
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