Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has started 12 games against the Broncos, and the Chiefs are 12-0 in those games. When the Chiefs visit Denver on Sunday, Mahomes is seeking to do something no quarterback has ever done before.
With a win, Mahomes would be 13-0 against the Broncos. No quarterback in NFL history (at least since 1950, as far back as there are reliable records for starting quarterbacks) has ever started his career 13-0 against any opponent.
Besides Mahomes against the Broncos, the only other quarterback to start his career 12-0 against any opponent was Otto Graham, who led the Cleveland Browns to a perfect 12-0 mark against the Chicago Cardinals from 1950 to 1955.
Kansas City Chiefs trade for Marquise Brown
Hollywood Brown is one of the more interesting players to monitor at the deadline. He is in the final year of his rookie contract and set to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason. He now plays for a Cardinals franchise under a new general manager and head coach who didn’t draft or trade for him, calling into question if they’d be willing to pay him once he hits the open market. That’s particularly true considering that Arizona is in a rebuild and Brown may not fit its overall timeline.
If they do listen to offers on him, the Chiefs would be the ideal landing spot. They’ve yet to find a top-tier No. 2 option in the passing game behind tight end Travis Kelce and the wide receiver unit is largely middling. Brown, 26, would not only immediately boost the Kansas City offense, but he could potentially be the top option for Mahomes going forward with Kelce in his age-34 season. With Brown’s speed, he could be used similarly to Tyreek Hill in the Chiefs offense.
Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce shows up when Taylor Swift does: Swift has been at four games since she and Kelce’s friendship/relationship became public, and Kelce has played well in each of those contests. Since Swift first saw Kelce play in Week 3, the All-Pro TE has averaged 108 receiving yards. In the games Swift isn’t there? Kelce has averaged only 46.5 receiving yards. Kelce has 34 catches for 424 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 12.5 yards per catch with Swift in attendance. Perhaps Swift needs to show up more — or Kelce is just a future Hall of Famer (it’s both).
9. Kicker Harrison Butker remained perfect on the season.
Butker is 15-of-15 on field goals and 19-for-19 on extra points this season, connecting on all 34 of his kicks for the year. The veteran kicker successfully converted a 35-yard field goal on Sunday in addition to four extra points.
Among kickers to attempt at least 15 field goals, Butker is one of only three kickers to remain perfect on the season, joining the Dallas Cowboys’ Brandon Aubrey (16-for-16) and the Tennessee Titans’ Nick Folk (16-for-16).
Kansas City Chiefs
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
With Isiah Pacheco established as the Chiefs’ primary back and Jerick McKinnon still a reliable third-down back, there really isn’t much of a role for Edwards-Helaire, a first-round pick in 2020. If an offer comes along, the Chiefs would be silly not to get something in return for him in the final year of his contract. In May, Kansas City declined his fifth-year option, and he has 32 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown this season. — Adam Teicher
1 - Chiefs
For starters: Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Andy Reid? Still very good. A casual 424 yards and four touchdowns for Mahomes on Sunday, and a season-high 12 catches for 179 yards for Kelce. There will be time for a conversation about the wide receivers, but that time will probably come in February. Meanwhile, Kansas City’s defense hasn’t given up more than 20 points in any game this year. The Chargers’ five second-half possessions ended in two interceptions and three three-and-outs forced by the Chiefs defense. This could be the best team of the Mahomes era and it might have nothing to do with the offense. —Nora Princiotti
Around the NFL
Colts owner Jim Irsay says the NFL “admits and understands” that two pivotal calls at the end of his team’s loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday were incorrect.
Irsay, who posted the statement in a post on X Tuesday night, was likely referring to the team’s expected follow-up with NFL officials on Monday to get further clarification on the illegal-contact and defensive-pass-interference calls in the final minute against Colts cornerback Darrell Baker Jr. The calls helped position the Browns for a 39-38 victory.
The illegal-contact call negated a would-be sack-fumble that Indianapolis recovered — a play that would have, effectively, ended the game. At issue on that call was whether Baker actually impeded Amari Cooper’s route or whether the contact was more incidental. The pass-interference penalty moments later was called despite the throw to Donovan Peoples-Jones arguably being uncatchable.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones announced on Tuesday that he was stepping away from the team due to family matters. He subsequently was released by the team, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported.
“To be brief, I am stepping away from the team to take care of personal family matters,” he wrote in part in an Instagram post. “Although this was no easy decision, I cannot be the person/player that I need to be for this team as well as tend to my family from afar.”
Jones was inactive for the first time this season in Detroit’s Week 7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Disrupting the offense’s primary weapon
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been straightforward about handling an opponent’s primary pass-catcher. For most of the season, it has been cornerback L’Jarius Sneed’s responsibility to shadow each opponent’s No. 1 receiver — including the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Calvin Ridley, the New York Jets’ Garrett Wilson and the Minnesota Vikings’ Justin Jefferson.
Sneed has been given these opportunities because he possesses a unique combination of physical build and athleticism. This allows him to jam receivers off the line in press coverage — and then keep up with them when they finally get into their routes. His length also makes throwing windows even narrower than they appear.
My favorite #Chiefs play from Sunday you may have missed on the broadcast— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) October 3, 2023
3rd & 11. L'Jarius Sneed aligns in press on Garrett Wilson, and completely erases him. Doesn't allow him to get out on a route
Makes Mike Edwards' reads simpler, leading him to nearly intercept the pass pic.twitter.com/9ZXKoLG4mV
The most extreme example of Sneed’s effectiveness is this snap against the Jets. Sneed jams Wilson successfully and then sustains his coverage to erase the wideout from the play. Sneed’s coverage also simplifies the read for safety Mike Edwards, which nearly leads to an interception.
Consistently bringing this kind of physicality can have lingering positive effects. It can also lead to penalties; in the Vikings game, Sneed was flagged for getting too rough. But Jefferson later dropped an easy pass after freeing himself from Sneed’s grasp off the snap.
To put it very simply, Sneed has made these elite receivers work very hard in order to get anything done. This season, opposing quarterbacks have registered a passer rating of only 67.4 when targeting Sneed. That’s the league’s ninth-best mark among all corners with at least 160 coverage snaps — and he’s achieved that against some of the league’s top receivers.