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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs made to wait to win the AFC West

Chiefs headlines for Monday, December 12

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Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The latest

The Chiefs can clinch the division with a win over the Texans

NFL Week 14 grades: Cowboys earn ‘C’ for unimpressive win, Tom Brady’s Buccaneers get an ‘F’ for blowout loss | CBS Sports

C - Chiefs

The Chiefs definitely weren’t at their best on Sunday, but they get some big plays on both sides of the ball. Although the defense struggled at times to stop Russell Wilson, the Chiefs did sack him six times in a game where Willie Gay also had a pick-six. As for the offense, Patrick Mahomes played one-and-a-half good quarters before completely falling apart with three interceptions over the final 34 minutes. With Mahomes struggling, Isiah Pacheco (16 touches, 93 yards) and Jerick McKinnon (seven catches, 112 yards, two touchdowns) ended up carrying a lot of the offensive load for Kansas City. The bottom line here is that the Chiefs found out on Sunday that even when they play average football, it’s still good enough to beat a team like the Broncos.

The Michael Jordan comparisons are back

6 winners, 1 loser from the Broncos 34-28 loss to Kansas City | Mile High Report (Denver Broncos SB Nation site)

Losers

The Broncos

Given the last seven years and how starved everyone in Broncos Country is for something ... I get it. That was fun for a minute on Sunday. And there were some positives to take away (including the heart Wilson showed). But Denver still lost the game. This still gives them double-digit losses on the season. This still eliminates the franchise from the playoffs for the seventh-straight season. And the losing streak to the Chiefs is still intact (at 14 games). And Patrick Mahomes has still never lost to the Broncos (10-0). That isn’t a win. That isn’t a “moral victory.” This is still very much a losing organization that needs to undergo massive change in the offseason (if not much sooner)

2022 NFL season, Week 14: What We Learned from Sunday’s games | NFL.com

The Chiefs still need to get it together defensively. Yes, Kansas City did force two turnovers, but they weren’t Herculean plays. They did make a difference, of course, with the first interception being returned by Willie Gay Jr. for a touchdown, and the second pick (on a deflected throw) ending Denver’s comeback hopes. But overall, the Chiefs should be at least a little concerned with their performance on that side of the ball. Kansas City owns an average defense in terms of yards and scoring, and it’s proven to be fairly bad against the pass, ranking 23rd entering Sunday and allowing Wilson to complete 23 of 36 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns (with one interception). Denver’s offensive outburst was worrisome, considering its putrid state for most of the season. As we learned last week in Cincinnati, this won’t fly against better teams. The Chiefs have one month left to fix things before they get real.

NFL Week 14 lessons: Eagles set standard for others in punching playoff ticket | The Athletic

Chiefs 34, Broncos 28

Kansas City: It’s kind of scary when you can turn the ball over three times, suffer a handful of defensive breakdowns and still win rather handily. The Chiefs improved to 10-3, Patrick Mahomes delivered another no-look pass along with other highlights, and Kansas City took another step toward clinching its seventh straight AFC West title.

Around the NFL

Samuel (ankle) exits, Purdy stars as 49ers handle Buccaneers | ESPN

“We’ve got a quarterback,” Bosa said.

Purdy is, in fact, the Niners’ third starting quarterback this season, but in the first half of Sunday’s 35-7 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he looked every bit the part of a grizzled veteran. Behind Purdy’s efficient performance, San Francisco improved to 9-4 with its sixth win in a row and can clinch the NFC West crown as soon as Thursday night if it can beat the Seattle Seahawks on “Thursday Night Football.”

Purdy put together one of the best first halves in a starting debut in NFL history, but the win didn’t come without a cost, as receiver Deebo Samuel suffered a left ankle injury in the second quarter and did not return.

After the game, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan said the team does not know the extent of Samuel’s injury but said it is “most likely” a high ankle sprain. Shanahan and the Niners were encouraged that Samuel did not have any breaks in the ankle.

Week 14 overreactions and reality checks: Dak Prescott costing Cowboys playoff glory? Lions a playoff team? | CBS Sports

J.K. Dobbins makes the Ravens’ running game dangerous again

Overreaction or reality: Reality

It’s easy to forget how good Dobbins is as a running back and what he means to Baltimore’s rushing attack. Dobbins ran for 120 yards and a touchdown while averaging 8.0 yards per carry in the Ravens’ win over the Steelers. Baltimore put up 215 yards on the ground as Gus Edwards averaged 5.1 yards per carry — significantly higher than his 2.9 yards per carry average coming into the game.

Baltimore did all this with Lamar Jackson out and Tyler Huntley leaving early with a concussion. The Ravens can continue to wear down defenses with a healthy Dobbins and Edwards until Jackson returns, making them a threat in the AFC with both on the field.

Having Dobbins back is huge for Baltimore going forward.

Tyreek Hill’s 57-yard fumble recovery TD is as bizarre as the NFL gets | SB Nation

With the Dolphins trailing 10-0, they lined up for a 2nd and 3 just near midfield. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa handed off to Jeff Wilson on an inside running play. The running back plunged into the interior of the line before breaking free into the secondary.

But that is when Alohi Gilman, the Chargers safety, ripped the football loose. A scrum ensued for the loose football, with a host of big bodies fighting for possession.

Somehow the ball bounced into the direction of the fastest player on the field.

Hill:

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

5 winners and 3 losers from the Chiefs’ win over the Broncos

Losers

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes: We can’t overreact. Mahomes is still the best player in the game and the MVP. He added one touchdown to his Canton highlight reel with that flip to McKinnon — along with another beauty to JuJu Smith-Schuster where he ran around in a circle to avoid pressure and then threw while being hit. He ended the day with 352 yards passing and three touchdowns, which is a really solid day — if it wasn’t for the other thing that happened three times. Mahomes was intercepted on a great play by linebacker Josey Jewell when the Chiefs were ahead 27-0, sparking the beginning of Denver’s comeback. He threw another first-half pick that led to another Broncos score. Then — with under six minutes left in the game (and a six-point lead) — Mahomes managed to throw another pick to Jewell. Luckily, Chris Jones and L’Jarius Sneed teamed up to quickly get the ball back to the offense. Mahomes’ three picks created the only hope Denver had in the game. Had the Chiefs lost, those interceptions would have erased the tremendous plays he made. Anytime you turn the ball over three times, you put your team at risk of losing — and therefore belong on this list.

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