The Kansas City Chiefs stormed back to defeat the Denver Broncos, 27-23, on Monday Night Football.
Here are five hot takes from the game:
1. Turns out Patrick Mahomes is human after all. And superhuman.
It’s funny how this works sometimes.
Monday night’s victory proved that Patrick Mahomes is indeed human. He’s not going to throw multiple touchdown passes in every game. He’s not going to be completely unfazed by crowd noise. There will be some days that dark clouds will push the sunshine and rainbows from the sky.
But the game also proved that Mahomes is a winner. He showed he can battle adversity. He showed he can remain calm when things are going badly; there’s almost literally no other way to explain back-to-back pass completions totaling 58 yards starting from second down and 30 yards to go with 2:53 left in the game! Even under pressure, he found ways to make things happen when it counted most — even it meant throwing a pass with his left hand while in Von Miller’s grasp.
The box score won’t show it, but Patrick Mahomes passed a big test on Monday night. Other tests are coming. Some of them will be much harder, and he won’t ace every one of them. But you really have to love the GPA right now.
2. Cleanup in Aisle 4!
Before the game, I pointed out that the Chiefs desperately needed to clean up the defensive penalties. There have been way too many, and an unacceptable number of them were leading to opposition points. I said that if the defense could clean up the mess in Aisle 3, the rest of the store would look a lot cleaner.
Well... the mess in Aisle 3 is gone — at least for this week. And the store did look cleaner. The Chiefs committed 10 penalties in the game, and only a handful was committed by the defense. Foremost among these was the pass interference call against Orlando Scandrick in the third quarter that gave the Broncos a first down at the five.
That one doesn’t bother me so much, though. It’s like the aging pitcher who no longer has the arm strength to overpower hitters. He can’t knock ‘em down with fastballs, so he learns how to throw knuckleballs or find other ways to get an advantage.
Scandrick was doing the same thing — realizing that he might not get away with it, but if he didn’t do something, the pass was going to go for six. He was thinking that it would be better to chance the flag, and hope that if it was thrown, the defense could at least prevent a touchdown. This time, the gamble didn’t pay off.
Still... there are other messes to clean up. Over in Aisle 4, there’s a lot of really bad tackling. Bob Sutton needs to get over there with a mop and a bucket right away,
3. Eric Murray comes through
I know... I know. A lot of folks think Eric Murray is a big part of the problem with the Chiefs defense. Certainly, we don’t like seeing plays like this one happening. But it’s a lot easier to take when Murray has six tackles in a game and is credited with a defensed pass, too.
And... you know... when he also makes a spectacular interception with his back to the ball.
Whatever else is true of Murray, he showed moxie on that play, and he got his first career interception by sheer force of will.
We could use more of that on the Chiefs defense, please.
4. Rushing to judgment
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy keeps telling us that Kareem Hunt has been playing very well and that the rushing yardage would eventually come his way. On Monday night, Hunt rushed for 121 yards, and added another 54 yards on three receptions. That’s 6.4 yards per attempt on the ground, and eight yards every time he touched the ball.
Furthermore, he ran with power and attitude that isn’t shown in the box score.
5. Andy Reid has the AFC West cheat codes
Division games are hard. They’re hard to win, and they’re hard to predict. Anything can happen — as we learned (again!) on Monday night. On paper, a team can look like a pushover — but against a division opponent, they can suddenly play like a champion.
So it’s probably fitting that the easiest road to the playoffs is to dominate your division — and Andy Reid has that down cold.
With Monday night’s win, Reid has just one loss in the last 19 division games — and that one was a one-point loss to Oakland on the road.
That’ll work, too.