The game evoked memories of Mahomes’ MVP run and the Chiefs’ Divisional Round win over the Colts in similar weather conditions last winter. Kansas City’s wide receivers and tight ends averaged 13.8 yards per catch against a Denver defense that struggled to keep up all afternoon. Six of his passes sprang for 16 yards or more, including the absolute dime to Tyreek Hill above. It wasn’t all good — he also had a goal-line interception on a play were he tried to do entirely too much — but it was more than enough to overwhelm an old rival at home.
The end result was the 16th 300+ yard game in Mahomes’ career on a day where he threw his 17th interception as a pro. Those are absurd numbers — and they may spell disaster for the rest of the AFC this postseason.
It’s outrageous how easy Patrick Mahomes makes quarterbacking look, even in a driving snowstorm. This was a bad-weather clinic by the 2018 MVP, with all of his skills on display in a 340-yard effort: touch, accuracy, arm strength, timing and mobility. With very little running game to help him, this was the Chiefs passing attack I’ve wanted to see since Mahomes returned from injury, with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill taking turns making big plays. With all respect to MVPGOD Lamar Jackson, there’s no QB I’d rather have down the stretch than Mahomes.
Troubling trend: The Chiefs are kicking too many field goals. They called on Harrison Butker three times in the first half alone. While he made them all, the fact that the Chiefs had to repeatedly settle for three points kept the Broncos within range. Butker has made three field goals per game three times this season and four in three others. Their trouble with finishing drives with touchdowns will eventually cause the Chiefs to get beaten, if it continues.
DOWN: Horrible 1st-and-goal pass thrown by Broncos’ quarterback Drew Lock, across his body, well short of his target, tight end Noah Fant in the second half. The pass was intercepted in end zone by Juan Thornhill. There was no reason to force that pass. The Broncos had just been gifted the ball after a questionable defensive holding call on KC negated a Lock interception.
Denver Broncos 3-23 Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were on the receiving end of many of his biggest throws, and the AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs romped to a 23-3 victory over the Denver Broncos at snowy Arrowhead Stadium.
Hill caught five passes for 67 yards and both scores, and Kelce hauled in 11 catches for 142 yards to become the first tight end in NFL history with four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, helping the Chiefs (10-4) beat the Broncos for the ninth straight time. Denver (5-9) haven’t won in Kansas City since November 2014.
A - Chiefs
Not even the snow could slow down Patrick Mahomes. Playing with an injured hand in blizzard-like conditions, Mahomes still managed to have a huge day, throwing for 340 yards and two touchdowns. With the Chiefs ground game held in check by the Broncos defense, Mahomes had to carry Kansas City, and he did that by targeting Travis Kelce (11 catches for 142 yards) and Tyreek Hill (five catches for 67 yards and two TDs) early and often. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker also came up big in the snow, hitting three field goals, including a 44-yarder just before halftime.
“That was shocking,” inside linebacker Alexander Johnson said. “Shoot, you expect in a snow game and (when it’s) windy, they would be about running. No, sure enough, they came out throwing and slinging it around.”
3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) - y
The Chiefs entered Week 15 having already secured the AFC West title, but Sunday’s victory over the Broncos preserved the possibility of moving into one of the top two seeds over the final two weeks. Because they have defeated both the Ravens and the Patriots, the Chiefs would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker if they finish tied at 11-5 with the Patriots or at 12-4 with either the Patriots or Ravens, or both. FPI still gives the Chiefs a better chance to fall to No. 4 (18.3%) than to jump to No. 2 (13.2%) or No. 1 (1.3%), but stranger things have happened.
Next up: at Chicago
“Unbelievable athletes, man,” Kelce said. “High energy. Guys that are very aware, smart and understanding of concepts and pass routes. But on top of that, they’re downhill guys — they’re not afraid to hit you.
“(Mathieu) is out there playing his tail off. He gets me fired up every time I see the defense going. Then obviously Juan’s out there making plays left and right. It’s exciting to see those guys have success, and I’m glad I don’t have to go against them.”
Around the NFL
Redskins running back Adrian Peterson on Sunday tied Walter Payton for fourth in rushing touchdowns (110) and eclipsed Curtis Martin for fifth on the all-time rushing list (14,102) during Washington’s 37-27 loss to the Eagles. Only Emmitt Smith and Payton have more rushing yards and touchdowns than Peterson.
Winston will get paid by someone. He has a chance at 5,000 yards. He still has a chance to lead the NFL in touchdown passes, especially if the Baltimore Ravens clinch the No. 1 seed and rest Lamar Jackson some. Winston is making $20.9 million this season, the last on his rookie deal. That seems like a starting point for annual salary. Some team will roll the dice on his talent if the Buccaneers don’t.
The Patriots initially admitted to “inappropriately filming the field” ahead of this week’s game against the Bengals, but they also said their video team was a crew of independent contractors -- videographers who shot eight-minute B-roll footage of Cincinnati coaches without the team’s consent and “without specific knowledge of league rules.” New England claimed the footage was for the team’s “Do Your Job” miniseries about Patriots employees.
Naturally, the Coliseum was absolutely stunned. The Raiders had given up 17 unanswered points in the second half to lose to the 4-9 Jaguars in their last game in Oakland. Carr, who has spent his first six seasons in Oakland, was booed off the field in his last game as the city’s quarterback.
Fans stuck around to throw trash on the field and engage in fisticuffs (link NSFW) with each other and security.
“Being here three years, to be in it two out of three years, what a blessing,” McDermott told reporters after Sunday’s win over Pittsburgh. “Coming to Buffalo three years ago now, a lot of people said, ‘Why are you going there? You’re not going to be able to get it turned around.’
After the Cowboys won the toss, quarterback Dak Prescott first told referee Walt Anderson that “we want to kick it,” but then followed up with: “We defer to the second half.”
Anderson replied, “You’re going to kick,” meaning the Cowboys had used their choice to kick off rather than to defer. The Cowboys kicked off to start the game and were set to kick off again to open the second half. At halftime, however, Anderson informed both teams that the NFL office in New York City had heard Prescott’s request to “defer” and that it should be honored.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
Yes... the Broncos aren’t at the level of a team the Chiefs might face in the playoffs. But unless Mahomes hurts that right hand again, he should be 100% in January — when it will matter the most. Meanwhile, the swagger of the defense continues to grow — particularly against the pass.
And with 4:47 left in the game, the Chiefs took possession of the ball after holding off the Broncos’ last fourth-down attempt. Thanks to Ware, the team was able to seal the win by running every second of it off the clock.
Even though one could argue the Titans are still in better playoff position than the Bears, the NFL opted to keep the easy storylines of Patrick Mahomes vs. Mitch Trubisky and Andy Reid vs. Matt Nagy in one of its premier time slots.
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