The Kansas City Chiefs dominated the Denver Broncos 43-16 on Sunday and they’re forcing opposing teams to pick their poison each week.
The battle between long time division rivals wasn’t much of a competition on Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs completely dismantled the Denver Broncos by a final score of 43-16. The game was never particularly close and the Chiefs ended up walking out of Mile High with what is now a 10-game winning streak against the Broncos.
If someone were to just look at the final score, it would be easy to assume that Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense must have put up prolific numbers, but that wasn’t really the case. The Chiefs didn’t need a prolific passing attack to dismantle the Broncos and that should terrify the rest of the NFL.
Just two weeks ago, I wrote that the Chiefs had been more bad than good this season. At that point they had an easy win over the Houston Texans, a dominant win over the Baltimore Ravens, two ugly wins where they didn’t really play well, and a disappointing loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Since then, the Chiefs have had convincing road wins against both the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos. In those two last wins combined Patrick Mahomes has gone 36 of 49 for 425 yards with 3 touchdowns. That’s a total that we’ve come to expect from him in one good game, not two.
I’m not here to say we should be worried about Mahomes and the passing game. Instead, I’m here to say that the rest of the NFL should be terrified that the Chiefs are proving to be a team that can safely control two road games where Mahomes only averages 24.5 passing attempts, 212.5 yards passing, and 1.5 touchdown passes. The way other teams have often wanted to beat the Chiefs was to try to take the ball out of Mahomes hands, but when they can beat the Bills and Broncos by a combined score of 69-33 without Mahomes having to carry the load, now what do they try to do?
Look, at some point the Chiefs are going to need that explosive passing attack to come through again and I hope they will be up for it when that time comes. However, is anyone really concerned that the former regular season and Super Bowl MVP isn’t going to be fine? My concern after the Raiders loss was actually that the Chiefs were relying too heavily on Mahomes and his ability to pull games out. The past two weeks have now made a statement that they aren’t reliant on him. They ran the ball down the Bills throat two weeks ago, and the defense dominated Drew Lock (who looked terrible) on Sunday. The special teams threw in a touchdown as well.
The Chiefs are turning into a “pick your poison” opponent that must truly be a nightmare to prepare for. If that wasn’t bad enough for other teams, Kansas City’s newest weapon, Le’Veon Bell, looked good in his first action in a Chiefs uniform. Bell had 6 carries for 39 yards and an impressive 6.5 yards per carry. He showed his trademark vision and didn’t look like he had lost a step. His addition to a Chiefs backfield that already boasts the talented rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire just means it’s that much easier for the Chiefs to attack teams if they want to focus on Mahomes and the passing game.
While you certainly don’t want the Chiefs to get complacent, it looks like the schedule will allow them the ability to work on getting the passing game back to prominence without too much stress. Of the Chiefs nine remaining games, only two look like they will be playoff teams: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints. The only other teams on their schedule with even a .500 record are the Raiders and the Miami Dolphins. So even if they were to lose both games against the winning teams and split against the .500 teams, they’d still end up 12-4. Frankly, I think that many losses seems highly unlikely.
The point here is that the Chiefs appear to have by far the highest ceiling of any team in the NFL. They are on pace to go 14-2 right now and for the most part Mahomes and the passing attack haven’t been completely dominant. If Steve Spagnuolo‘s defense is going to allow just 20.4 points per game and the Chiefs are going to rush for 134.7 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry, then the passing attack don’t have to set the world on fire every game. Andy Reid can sit back like the mad scientist that he is and scheme up new ways for the air attack to beat how defenses are playing them when it really counts (like he did against the Ravens).
The Chiefs are now 6-1 and clearly stand as one of the best teams in the NFL. Yet I don’t think they’ve even hit their stride yet. There are probably about eight teams in the NFL that you could make an argument have a legit chance to win the Super Bowl this season. Some of those teams are very good and are certainly capable of beating the Chiefs, but no team has a ceiling as high as Kansas City. They proved that once again on Sunday.