He already has more touchdowns (13) in 2020 than he’s ever had in a season. And he’s on pace to break career marks for yards and receptions. If his numbers continue at the same rate, he’d finish with 1,485 yards and 99 receptions, which would best his 1,479 and 87, respectively, from the 2018 season.
“He was already good and then he’s taken it to that next level,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “It’s a tribute to him, the hard work that he’s put in and just becoming a better overall receiver.”
Hill is coming off his best game in the 27-24 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His 269 receiving yards were the most by any receiver in the NFL this year and the second most in a single game in Chiefs history, trailing only Stephone Paige’s 309 in 1985.
Kansas City Chiefs 31, Denver Broncos 14
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC) | Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City)
The Broncos’ offense was ranked dead last in DVOA before they played Kendall Hinton at quarterback. Denver has been outscored 96-25 in three matchups against Kansas City since Vic Fangio took over, including a game in which Patrick Mahomes was hurt. The Broncos’ quarterbacks have no touchdown passes with three picks and 13 sacks taken in those three games, and the Chiefs are overdue for a blowout win.
What to know for fantasy: Don’t sleep on Denver receiver KJ Hamler. He saw 26 targets in the three games prior to the Week 12 mess, and nearly 72% of yards gained in the NFL this season when playing from behind have been gained through the air. See Week 13 rankings.
Betting nugget: This is the second straight game that Denver is a double-digit underdog. It hasn’t been a double-digit underdog twice in the same season since 1975.
Legwold’s pick: Chiefs 28, Broncos 20
Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 30, Broncos 17
FPI prediction: KC, 88.6% (by an average of 16.0 points)
Denver (4-7) at Kansas City (10-1)
8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
The Broncos aren’t great, but they were 15-point dogs to the Saints and Taysom Hill WITHOUT A QUARTERBACK. And now they have three quarterbacks and they’re playing a worse defense and they’re basically the same underdog? It’s too much. I don’t want to get in the way of Patrick Mahomes, but 14 points in a divisional NFL game is too high. I like the Broncos here and think the under is a pretty decent play too.
Projected score: Chiefs 24, Broncos 17
On the spot: Broncos RB Melvin Gordon . No team in the league has shorter average drives than Denver. The Broncos average just 5.4 plays and 2:20 time of possession per drive. Gordon’s ability to move the chains both in the run and pass game will be crucial to the effort to keep the ball out of Mahomes’ hands.
Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire: It’s a penthouse problem, to be sure, but Edwards-Helaire has topped 50 yards on the ground just once since his 161-yard tour de force in Week 6 against the Bills. Part of that has to do with Le’Veon Bell’s presence, but the Chiefs would doubtless like to see their first-round pick get it going again soon.
The pick: Chiefs 40 Broncos 20
Around the NFL
Nate Burleson: The Pittsburgh Steelers’ unbeaten streak ends Monday at the hands of the 4-7 Washington Football Team. With the NFC East title within reach, Ron Rivera, his defense and Alex Smith’s improving offense stop the Steelers in their tracks to win their third straight game.
On Sunday, the NFL Network reported the NFL is looking at “local bubbles,” isolating every playoff teams’ personnel in hotels except to go to facilities and games. The report states that these mini-bubbles are more feasible than one big bubble because of how many people are involved in the NFL and that a 14- or 16-team bubble would include thousands of people. Why the NFL can’t gather thousands of people in one place in a major city while hotels are mostly empty is beyond me. But a bubble has to be created, even if it’s only for when we get deeper in the playoffs, during championship game weekend at the latest. When asked this week about the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak during the playoffs, Goodell said: “We’ll be prepared for that, considering a number of alternatives to deal with that.” This, obviously, is left up to interpretation, but a divisional round game or conference championship game without a star quarterback, or three star defenders, would become, yes, a joke. The NFL can’t risk it. “When we all take a step back and look at this and we’re all gonna say ‘Are you freaking kidding me? This is what we did in 2020? Holy cow,’” Washington Football coach Ron Rivera said on Thursday. He’s right. We’ve already seen 2019’s best regular-season team morph into a team of backups on national television because of COVID-19, and we might see more examples like the Ravens in the near future. By implementing an 18th week and a playoff bubble as soon as possible, the NFL can ensure that the only remaining joke in the NFL playoffs is which NFC East team makes it.
The Ravens placed top backup Robert Griffin III on injured reserve Friday after he injured his hamstring in Wednesday’s 19-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Griffin will miss at least three games.
This leaves McSorley as the only quarterback on the 53-man roster because reigning MVP Jackson is on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Tyler Huntley is on the practice squad. If Jackson is medically cleared Sunday, he would be available to play against the Dallas Cowboys (3-8) on Tuesday night.
“I wish the best for Lamar and his health and he can get back as soon as he can,” McSorley said before Friday’s practice. “But [we are going to] prepare as we always have been and be ready for anything.”
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
2) Are the Broncos better or worse than when we played in Week 7?
This week’s Broncos team will enter the game without Shelby Harris and Bryce Callahan, so the defense is almost certainly weaker. On offense, it’s hard to say just yet. The last time we saw Drew Lock and a functioning Bronco offense, they were running over the Dolphins. They relied on Pin and Pull, Duo, and some Traps to do it. The Chiefs front is more talented than Miami’s, but Chris Jones is the kind of aggressive penetrator who can be trapped.
3) How do you think the Broncos will attempt to slow down Patrck Mahomes and company?
I’m curious to see if Vic Fangio continues to dial up pressure as much as he has in recent weeks. The teams that have had the most success against Mahomes do so by making him uncomfortable without sacrificing bodies to blitzes. The Broncos have done a pretty good job lately with their simulated pressure packages — outside of the Falcons — but there’s a monumental gap between Tua Tagovailoa, Taysom Hill and Patrick Mahomes.
Our own @tkelce visited local students to talk about the new @BlackBoysFilm, kicking off an @OldSpice initiative to help ALL young guys feel confident in their own skin and raise graduation rates in under-served communities over the next 10 years. pic.twitter.com/gfgUwGB8ST— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 4, 2020