The key for the Broncos the next time around is pounding the Chiefs’ run defense, rattling Mahomes and forcing some turnovers. Easier said than done but not impossible - especially for a Broncos team trending up.
I know we’re getting ahead of ourselves quite a bit here since the Broncos have a formidable VIkings team on the road, a possibly-declining-but-cannot-be-overlooked Bills team then the Chargers and Texans all before meeting the Chiefs again.
But my point is... there is actually still a chance. Maybe just one in a million, but still a chance.
The AFC’s middle class looks more muddled than anyone could have predicted, and that confusion starts with the Kansas City Chiefs. The return of Patrick Mahomes was supposed to help propel this team back into the race for a first-round bye. Instead, the Chiefs lost a stunning 35-32 game to the Titans, and at 6-4, Mahomes and Co. will have an uphill battle to catch Baltimore and Houston (which owns the tiebreaker over Kansas City) in the hunt for the no. 2 seed.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Last season, the Pats managed to contain Mahomes for a half in both games played. As for the other half, Mahomes figured out whatever the defense was doing and was unstoppable. The Pats defense is better this year. Will he be as mobile with that knee, or have to stay in the pocket? He looked just fine against the Titans, throwing for over 400 yards, making his usual brand of outrageous plays including a jump-pass to Mecole Hardman for a touchdown. He’s dangerous whether in the pocket or on the move.
1. Philip Rivers’ troubles
The Chargers are negative-six in takeaways this season, and quarterback Philip Rivers is a big reason. After throwing 12 or fewer interceptions in each of the last two seasons, Rivers has 10 picks this year in 10 games. That includes three in a loss to the Raiders on Thursday night.
Rivers has completed 65.9 percent of his passes for 2,816 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s also lost two fumbles.
The Bolts are traveling to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for a week of practice ahead of the division battle, yet another must-win game in order to stay alive in the playoff race.
The team will have four practices at Air Force Academy in order to acclimate to Mexico City’s altitude. They will be at 6,000 feet above sea level for a few days before being tasked with playing at about 7,200 feet above sea level.
A lot of us are still feeling the Chiefs loss from Sunday, but students at a metro school won big with a visit from players Monday.
Offensive lineman Nick Allegretti, defensive back Alex Brown and wide receiver Jody Fortson Jr. kicked off the Play 60 Clinic with a parade at Guadalupe Centers Middle School.
It’s part of the NFL’s push to encourage kids to be active and get 60 minutes of exercise a day.
”The chance for me to give back and be some type of that role model that I had when I was younger is awesome,” Allegretti said.
Around the NFL
A prime-time clash between NFC West rivals with the MVP favorite and arguably the game’s greatest defense going head-to-head for 60 minutes and then some? You can’t ask for more from a midseason nightcap. There were critical errors -- Seattle and San Francisco combined for seven turnovers. There were clutch plays -- Chase McLaughlin’s game-tying field goal, Shaquill Griffin’s late pass defensed on a Jimmy Garoppolo deep ball and about nine escapes made by Russell Wilson come to mind. There was the thrill of victory -- Jason Myers’ game-winning FG at the buzzer -- and the agony of defeat -- McLaughlin’s game-winning attempt sailing wide left into a Levi’s Stadium vomitorium. Left amid the onfield ruckus that ensued following Myers’ GW boot was a Seahawks victory and a 49ers loss, their first of the season, with the state of the NFC West and the NFC playoff picture remade by Monday night’s effort.
Coach Vic Fangio announced Monday that the rookie signal-caller would begin practicing Tuesday. Fangio added there is no set plan for Lock, and the team wants to see how he performs in practices before determining if he’s ready to play.
Lock has been on IR since the start of the regular season due to a thumb injury suffered during the preseason. He has not practiced since August.
The Washington Redskins spent the bye week resting, healing and allowing speculation to run rampant in regards to their starting quarterback situation.
Monday brought a new work week and with it a definitive answer under center. Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan announced rookie Dwayne Haskins will remain Washington’s starter for the remainder of the season.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported last week it was likely Callahan would come to such a decision, but with the relative anonymity afforded by the bye, the Redskins didn’t make anything public until Monday’s media availability. Callahan added that Case Keenum will serve as Haskins’ backup, while Colt McCoy will be the No. 3 quarterback.
Center Brian Allen will be sidelined for the season after damaging the MCL in his left knee against the Steelers, and right tackle Rob Havenstein will be sidelined at least one week, if not two, after injuring his right meniscus.
Receiver Brandin Cooks, who last month sustained two concussions, will miss a second consecutive game as his situation continuous to be monitored. McVay said Cooks will be reevaluated next week. Josh Reynolds, who started Sunday, will continue to fill Cooks’ role.
Solutions to fill the offensive line are being evaluated ahead of Sunday’s matchup against the Chicago Bears (4-5) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Brooks and the Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to a four-year contract extension through 2024, the team announced. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Brooks’ extension is worth $56.2 million, including $30 million guaranteed, making him the highest-paid guard in the NFL.
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett said his trade to the Dallas Cowboys did not include a conversation with owner and general manager Jerry Jones regarding standing for the national anthem before the acquisition became official.
Bennett has stood on the sideline for his first two games with the Cowboys after staying in the locker room during the anthem when he was with the New England Patriots.
”I feel like it’s not my job to make somebody else believe what I’m already doing,” Bennett said. “Like if they don’t believe it, what can I tell them?”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Normally-reliable long snapper James Winchester and holder Dustin Colquitt had a miscommunication. Colquitt clearly wasn’t prepared to receive Winchester’s snap; he wasn’t even looking at Winchester when the ball arrived.
Quickly picking it up off the ground, Colquitt — under pressure from a Titans blocker — blindly threw the ball to the sideline. Since no Chiefs players were near where the ball landed, Colquitt was penalized for intentional grounding.
“I looked back, Dustin was looking forward, then I started to see him look back, but I had already started the snap,” said Winchester after the game. “I tried to hold it — but, yeah, it went fast. It was just miscommunication — and that starts with me. Now we have to take a look at it.”
The Kansas City Chiefs holding Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook under his season rushing yards average one week ago did not fool the Tennessee Titans. There is no defense in the NFL that allows running backs to do as much damage as does the Chiefs defense.
And the Titans understood that.
“We knew coming into this game that that’s what we wanted to do — we wanted to get Derrick (Henry) going,” said Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. “We wanted to try to eat the clock up, stay on the field and keep it running. We struggled at times doing that, and then sometimes in the game we did a really good job with that. When we get Derrick going, that’s a good thing for us.”
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