Chiefs vs. Broncos: The 7 most important storylines to follow
Phillip Lindsay is extremely versatile
Despite the fact that he’s a member of the Denver Broncos, one of the most hated rivals of our Kansas City Chiefs, Phillip Lindsay is the type of person and player who is easy to root for. He’s the definition of a player who was overlooked, but proves the sentiment that heart is what makes a player and not necessarily his talent.
A hometown kid, born in Colorado, Lindsay was an all-purpose standout for the Colorado Buffalos setting the school’s all-time record for all-purpose yards at 5,760. He’s also the all-time leader in yards from scrimmage with 3,775 yards rushing, 1,084 yards receiving and 1,077 returning. In short, he was a great college football player.
Even with these impressive numbers, Lindsay was overlooked in the 2018 NFL Draft where 22 other running backs were taken. Luckily, he was able to impress some teams and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos before the season.
What he’s done since is extremely impressive, especially considering the Broncos used a third round pick to draft Royce Freeman, a talented running back in his own right. Even competing with Freeman in his rookie season with the team, Lindsay broke the 1,000 yard mark in rushing and ran for 9 touchdowns. He showed his trademark versatility by adding 241 yards and 1 touchdown through the air. For his valiant efforts, he was rewarded by becoming the first ever undrafted rookie offensive player to make the Pro Bowl.
Oftentimes, in a player’s second year you expect to see some regression. In Lindsay’s case, there are several other factors playing against him. The Broncos offense is relatively poor, leaving more pressure on marquee players. Additionally, he’s still sharing carries with Freeman who has had a solid start to the season as well.
Yet, Lindsay has continued his consistent production rushing for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns while adding 147 yards through the air. Right now, he’s on pace for another 1,000 yard rushing season and possibly another Pro Bowl selection. Not too shabby for the undrafted hometown underdog.
Despite the Broncos passing woes, Courtland Sutton will challenge Chiefs corners
Unlike Phillip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton was not overlooked coming into the 2018 NFL Draft. A standout at SMU, posting 3,220 receiving yards and 31 touchdown during his college career, Sutton was the 40th overall pick. A 6’5″ wide receiver, weighing in at 215 pounds, Sutton is a physical freak posting a 4.54 second time in the 40-yard dash, a 35.5″ vertical leap, and a 6.57 second time in the three-cone drill at the 2018 NFL Combine.
Sometimes big-time athletes struggle to translate their athleticism to the field. Sutton didn’t have this problem. Even with a bad quarterback situation on a bad team, his rookie season was high quality in which he caught 42 passes for 704 yards and four touchdowns.
This season, again with a struggling passer and struggling offense, he’s on pace to far exceed those numbers. He’s dominated opposing defensive backs with 30 catches for 477 yards and three touchdowns putting him on pace for 1,272 yards and eight touchdowns. If he’s able to continue this production he’s bound for the Pro Bowl and may even be in the conversation as a top-five wide receiver in the NFL.
While the Broncos as an offensive unit have struggled, ranking 26th in points and 25th in total yards, they have some quality skill players that will undoubtedly challenge the Chiefs in ways they are deficient. The Chiefs have no business overlooking this Broncos offense Thursday night, and Lindsay and Sutton are big reasons why.