I have good news, though. They opened 10.5-point underdogs and the line has shifted in Denver’s favor with most of the betting action going their way early. The over/under is at 46, but OddShark’s simulator shows a Chiefs blowout win. Good thing they also had a Texans blowout win last week.
Whether the Broncos win or lose, they are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games, while the Chiefs are 2-9 against the spread in their last 11 games against teams with losing records.
There’s actually a good reason the Chiefs wanted to borrow the helmets from Masconomet, and that’s because the school’s logo is eerily similar to Kansas City’s. If the Chiefs had been forced to wear the Masconomet helmets, it wouldn’t have been completely noticeable to viewers at home (Both teams wear a red helmet with an arrowhead decal, but Kansas City’s arrowhead has a KC in the middle while Masconomet’s has an “M”).
SAFETIES: Juan Thornhill, Kansas City Chiefs; Taylor Rapp, Los Angeles Rams
While run defense remains a problem in Kansas City, Thornhill has teamed with Tyrann Mathieu to transform a porous pass defense that might have cost the Chiefs a shot at the Super Bowl title last season. The second-round pick finally got a signature play to match his week-to-week consistency, jumping Tyrell Williams’ in-cutting route for a pick-six early in the Week 13 victory over the Raiders.
DL Chris Jones, Chiefs
Jones’s 7.0 sacks this year doesn’t exactly jump off the page after he finished with 15.5 in 2018, but the versatile Chiefs defensive lineman was dominant in 10 games this season nonetheless. The 6-foot-6 310-pounder racked up 44 pressures this year—tied for sixth among all interior linemen, per Pro Football Focus—with four pass deflections and a forced fumble. He boasts length, speed, and power, and the former second-rounder should have plenty of suitors should he reach the open market—and he’ll command a pretty penny. Because of his versatility on both the edge and the interior, Jones will likely aim for edge-rusher money in the ballpark of $19 million per year.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5)
The Broncos impressed last week beating the Texans on the road as Drew Lock had a big game. This will be a tougher test for him in a tough place for quarterbacks to play. The Chiefs defense has made big strides in recent weeks and that will continue. Chiefs take it.
Pick: Chiefs 27, Broncos 14
“I have experience with all levels of fitness and have carried that experience with me to create exercise programs for people at all stages on their fitness journey,” she wrote on the website. Her program, she continued, consists of ”working hard, staying dedicated, not making excuses, and most of all, no BS!”
But it could also fit the narrative surrounding the running back: that he’s not pleased with the Cardinals relegating him to second in the running back pecking order behind newcomer Kenyan Drake. Mathieu’s response offering a way out of that situation by joining the Chiefs doesn’t help the interpretation if Johnson meant the former.
“I’m not really on Twitter,” Arizona head coach Kingsbury said of the tweet before it was read to him. “I don’t know. That’s the first time I’ve heard that one. But sounds like a song lyric to me.”
4. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
2019 stats: 3,266 passing yards, 172 rushing yards, 22 total TDs, 3 INTs
The Kansas City QB has fought his way back into the MVP race since returning from injury in Week 10 and has the Chiefs riding a three-game win streak and clinching the AFC West. The two games Mahomes missed probably will hold him back from keeping pace with the likes of Jackson, but his body of work can stand on its own. Tyreek Hill, Eric Fisher, Damien Williams, Andrew Wylie and Sammy Watkins have all missed games for the Kansas City offense, while the Chiefs’ defense has disappointed at times. Yet the reigning MVP has found ways to continually come through without all of his supporting cast.
After throwing an interception on his first drive in New England in Week 14, Mahomes bounced back and passed for 283 yards and a touchdown against one of the NFL’s best defenses, giving Kansas City a signature victory that could bolster his MVP chances down the stretch.
Phillip Lindsay vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Lindsay should have had a much bigger stat line last week against the Texans, but he had a touchdown called back due to a penalty. He’ll remain on the RB2/flex starter radar against the Chiefs, who have given up the most scrimmage yards (177.7 YPG) and the second-most fantasy points (29.8 PPG) to opposing running backs this season.
Around the NFL
Henry’s been on another level even when playing through injury, and Tennessee is enjoying the fruits of his labor, going 4-0 during his hot streak. In fact, the Titans have a legitimate chance to win their first AFC South title since 2008. The division lead will be on the line Sunday when the Houston Texans visit Nashville, and with all due respect to the spark Ryan Tannehill has provided, Mike Vrabel’s team would not be where it is today without Henry, who ranks second in the league in rushing yards (1,243) heading into Week 15 -- just 38 yards behind Cleveland’s Nick Chubb.
Baker vs. Texas Tech and Kliff Kingsbury
What happened: Mayfield left for Oklahoma, won the job again as a walk-on, then led the Sooners to two playoff appearances, including three wins over the Red Raiders. In his lone appearance on the field in Lubbock, Texas, Mayfield propelled OU to a 66-59 win over Patrick Mahomes in a shootout classic. During the game, Texas Tech fans wore T-shirts with the word “traitor” on them. The following year before playing the Red Raiders, Mayfield showed up to Oklahoma’s stadium wearing the same “traitor” shirt. While Mayfield will remain a villain at Texas Tech, his feud with Kingsbury seems to be water under the bridge, with Kingsbury mentoring Murray, Mayfield’s former backup at Oklahoma. Mayfield and Kingsbury hung out at the Kentucky Derby this past year and even posed for a group photo together along with Tom Brady. There, Mayfield said he told Kingsbury to take care of Murray for him.
Among the more interesting and less drastic on-field changes could be an adjustment to kickoffs, specifically onside kicks. Plenty of ideas, from the wild to the reasonable, have been tossed around since the league’s elimination of a running start on all kickoffs, a positive move toward a safer game, drastically reduced the effectiveness of onside kicks.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Chiefs safeties were picked on during the 2018 AFC title game. They were targeted in coverage 12 times, allowing nine catches for 119 yards. But on Sunday, Mathieu and rookie Juan Thornhill allowed only seven catches for 53 yards on nine targets. They also limited Patriots running back James White to just 12 yards on his four targets covered by safeties.
Follow Arrowhead Pride on Social Media
Facebook Page: Click here to like our page
AP Instagram: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Twitter: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Editor-in-Chief: Pete Sweeney: Follow @pgsween
610 Sports Twitter: Follow @610SportsKC