As much as fans of the Kansas City Chiefs want to cry, let’s try to stay positive and learn as much as possible from K.C.’s win over the Denver Broncos.
For what felt like the first time in recent memory, the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense won a football game. The same defense that has been ridiculed for the last few years for being one of the worst defenses in the NFL led the Chiefs to a victory in 2019. Who would have thought that when the team needed a win most, the defense would be the one to pull it out over the Denver Broncos?
This game had plenty of opportunities to get out of hand for Kansas City: when Denver overcame two failed third-down conversions by way of Chiefs penalties and scored a touchdown, when Patrick Mahomes left the game injured, in the second half when K.C.’s offense was not quiet performing. Each time, the defense decided that was not going to happen as they kept Denver from scoring for the rest of the game after the opening touchdown drive. They also sacked Flacco nine times, held Denver to 1 conversion on 13 third downs, forced three fumble and scored a defensive touchdown.
But how about the offense operating without Mahomes? It is possible that K.C. could go a few weeks without him so what can they learn from the tape for the upcoming weeks? What can fans take away from the victory that can inspire optimism as well, despite the heartbreak? Let’s go over some lessons learned in Week 7.
The Rookie Class is Coming On Strong
Much had been said about Chiefs’ GM Brett Veach this past week: his offseason moves have been underwhelming, he is too slow to extend Chris Jones, he was too fast to extend Hill. Most of the negativity fueled by the teams defensive shortcomings seemed to reach a high point after Sunday’s loss to the Texans.
Less then a week later, every single on of those doubts was silenced in a dominant victory against the Denver Broncos. Frank Clark and Alex Okafor (2 sacks a piece) likely occupied Joe Flacco‘s nightmares, while Emannuel Ogbah looms large in the background (2 pass deflections, 1 sack). Meanwhile, Matt Moore is taking up free real estate in Vic Fangio’s mind, and Chris Harris Jr.’s last memory as a Bronco maybe seeing Tyreek Hill throw up the deuces at the goaline.
Of all of Veach’s offseason moves, the rookies stood out as the stars of week 7. Mecole Hardman managed a touchdown pass and an exciting 36 yard return. Juan Thornhill kept the Broncos from going deep and barely missing an interception. Most surprising of all was rookie corner Rashad Fenton who held down the middle of the field and played extremely physical with some talented receivers. Fenton’s help in coverage provided the time needed for the Chiefs’ nine sacks.
If the rookies can continue to learn and get better, the Chiefs have a bright future ahead of them, and not one based exclusively on Patrick Mahomes.