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Arrowheadlines: s-NO-w problem for Patrick Mahomes

Chiefs headlines for Monday, December 16

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

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Patrick Mahomes’ brilliant game in the snow is a warning shot to the rest of the AFC | SB Nation

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.

What we learned from Sunday’s Week 15 games |

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.

Chiefs continue their AFC West dominance with win over Broncos | ESPN

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.

Broncos up-down drill: Best and worst performances against the Kansas City Chiefs | Denver Post

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.

NFL round-up: Packers beat Bears in 200th edition of league’s oldest rivalry | The Guardian

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.

NFL Week 15 grades: Bengals get a ‘D’ as they ‘Bungle for Joe Burrow,’ Cowboys get ‘A+’ for steamrolling Rams | CBS Sports

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.

Broncos Briefs: Pass-often game plan by Chiefs surprises Denver defense | Denver Post

“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.”

2019 NFL playoff picture: AFC, NFC standings, seeds, scenarios and outlook in Week 15 | ESPN

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

Chiefs’ safeties are leading the defensive overhaul in Kansas City. And it’s no fluke | Kansas City Star

“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

Adrian Peterson ties Walter Payton on rushing TD list |

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.

NFL Winners and Losers: The Buccaneers are going to pay Jameis Winston, right? Good luck | Yahoo Sports

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.

Patriots suspend videographer, longtime Kraft employee who illegally filmed Bengals sideline, per report | CBS Sports

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.

Derek Carr exits to boos after Raiders lose final game in Oakland in devastating fashion | CBS Sports

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.

Bills clinch playoff berth with victory over Steelers |

“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.’

NFL office steps in amid confusion over Rams-Cowboys coin toss | ESPN

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

Five things we learned as the Chiefs beat the Broncos

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.

Chiefs-Bears matchup to remain on Sunday Night Football next week

The league was reportedly considering the game between the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans to take its place.

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.

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