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Week 17 Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 27, Denver Broncos 24
What you need to know
Patrick Mahomes looked like a quality future starter in a tough road win without the top Chiefs offensive players. Kareem Hunt
housed his only run to win the rushing title. Albert Wilson
was a strong #1 receiver for Mahomes and might be convincing the Chiefs to bring him back in free agency next year. Fullback Anthony Sherman
was pressed into duty as the lead back after Akeem Hunt
Denver's receiving core was short-handed without Emmanuel Sanders
or Cody Latimer
. Darian Stewart intercepted Patrick Mahomes on a deep throw in the 2nd quarter. Zaire Anderson returned a fumble for a touchdown in the 4th quarter.
Kansas City Chiefs
|QB Patrick Mahomes II, 63 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 35 - 284 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 7 - 10 - 0|
Mahomes came out of the gate hot with a long ball to Demetrius Harris
on third and long that was followed by a Kareem Hunt
touchdown run. He was picked off on his second drive, and botched an exchange and was sacked on his third drive. He converted another third and long on his fourth drive, only for the drive to stall out before the Chiefs crossed midfield. Mahomes then hooked up with Albert Wilson
repeatedly and was stopped just short of the goal line before Anthony Sherman
finished the drive with a score to give the team a lead at the half. In the second half, Mahomes led an eight-plus field goal drive and then led another field goal drive late in the fourth quarter to win the game.
|RB Anthony Sherman, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 40 - 1, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (4 targets)|
The fullback ended up being the lead back after Akeem Hunt
went down. He finished one drive with a one-yard plunge and also converted a fourth-down on a field goal drive that included a failed carry from the one for Sherman. Sherman failed to move the offense on two fourth-quarter drives, but then got positive yardage on the game-winning drive to set up a chipshot for Harrison Butker
|RB Akeem Hunt, 16 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 25 - 0, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (2 targets)|
Hunt looked like he was going to be the engine of the offense and was gaining good yardage on his touches before leaving the game with an injury.
Hunt had a 35-yard touchdown on his one carry, which was good enough to win the rushing title.
|WR Albert Wilson, 28 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 147 - 0 (11 targets)|
Wilson was Patrick Mahomes' clear #1 target in a performance that could convince the Chiefs to try to retain him in free agency. His first three receptions all went for first downs, and he was the main means of moving the ball on the team's second touchdown drive. He added a second third and long conversion later, and was once again the main means of movement as the team marched down the field for a game-winning field goal.
Harris had a long gain on the opening drive on a sprawling catch in the middle of the field on a deep ball from Patrick Mahomes, and then wasn't touched and added to the gain to put the team in the Broncos side of the field. He had two more receptions for first downs aided by his run after catch ability on a field goal drive in the third quarter.
|QB Paxton Lynch, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 31 - 254 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 13 - 0|
Lynch posted a decent statline but struggled with slow reads and late throws against the Chiefs backups in week 17. Lynch's first touchdown pass was a halfback screen that was all De'Angelo Henderson. Henderson caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage and followed his blockers perfectly, breaking a couple of arm tackles and outrunning several defenders up the sideline for a 29 yard score. Lynch was intercepted at the end of the first half, making a bad throw in the general direction of Jordan Taylor
. He also coughed up a fumble in the 3rd quarter after holding a pass too long and taking a sack from behind. The Chiefs recovered the ball and and returned it for a touchdown. Lynch was intercepted a second time in the end zone in the 4th quarter when he delivered a ball late to Isaiah McKenzie
Lynch found Demaryius Thomas
in the back of the end zone for a game-tying touchdown with three minutes left in the game. Unfortunately the Broncos defense could not hold on as Kansas City drove down to kick the game-tying field goal.
|RB C.J. Anderson, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 18 - 61 - 0 (1 targets)|
Anderson had a slow day, piling up 61 yards on 18 carries as the Broncos' primary option on the ground. He surpassed the 1,000 yard rushing mark on the season for the first time in his career with a 10 yard carry off left tackle in the 4th quarter. Anderson was not targeted in the passing game.
Henderson out-touched Devontae Booker
slightly in relief of Anderson. He couldn't do much with his five carries, but scored on his only target of the day, a halfback screen in the 2nd quarter. Henderson followed a couple of blockers around right end, then broke two arm tackles before outrunning the rest of the defenders up the right sideline for a 29 yard score.
|RB Devontae Booker, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 21 - 0, Rec: 1 - 25 - 0 (1 targets)|
Booker received just a few touches as Anderson led the ground attack and the Broncos gave rookie Henderson a lmore work. Booker bounced a toss play off left tackle for a 14 yard gain in the 1st quarter. He was left wide open on his only target of the game, a wheel route out of the backfield in the 4th quarter that picked up 25 yards.
|WR Jordan Taylor, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 65 - 0 (8 targets)|
Taylor got some extra offensive snaps with Sanders and Latimer missing from the receiving core. He lined up wide left and caught a quick slant early in the 1st quarter. Taylor got rolled up from behind while blocking for Devontae Booker
later in the drive, but returned quickly to catch a shallow crossing route. Taylor lined up in the left slot and caught a quick curl route from Lynch early in the 2nd quarter. Taylor made the highlight play of the day at the end of the first half, leaping over a defender down the right sideline to haul in a 30 yard reception. Taylor nearly made an even more impressive catch on a similar play in the 3rd quarter, but his second foot landed slightly out of bounds. Lynch found Taylor up the left sideline on a comeback route in the 4th quarter. Taylor finished the day with a team-high 65 yards and 8 targets, and also held down his usual punt return duties.
Thomas hauled in a quick slant on the Broncos' second offensive drive of the game, limping off with a leg injury after being tackled. He returned a few plays later, lining up in the right slot and hauling in a skinny post on the next drive. DT was tackled behind the line of scrimmage on a shallow out route the following drive. Lynch hit Thomas across the middle early in the 2nd quarter for a 10 yard gain. Thomas picked up 11 yards with a bubble screen in the last minute of the first half. DT and Lynch never could get anything going downfield, but the two connected for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter. Thomas lined up as the inside man with two other receiver on the left side of the formation, catching an easy corner route after his defender tripped and fell at the line. DT finished the day tied with Taylor for a team-high 8 targets and 6 catches. With only 949 yards on the season, Thomas failed to make the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in five years.
|WR Bennie Fowler, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 56 - 0 (6 targets)|
Fowler made a diving effort but couldn't secure a badly thrown target on a deep crossing route in the 1st quarter. Fowler and Lynch connected up the right seam for a 22 yard gain early in the 2nd quarter. Fowler caught a quick out route late in the 3rd before being run out of bounds for a short gain, then a toe-tapper on the sideline later in the same drive. Fowler hauled in one more comeback route in the 4th quarter, finishing his day as the Broncos' third leading receiver.
Lynch targeted McKenzie with a deep ball in the end zone in the 1st quarter, but couldn't connect against tight coverage. McKenzie made a diving catch on a slant route from the left slot in the 2nd quarter, his only reception of the day.
|TE Virgil Green, 21 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)|
Green flexed out to the left slot and caught a quick curl route for 6 yards in the 3rd quarter, his only target of the day. Green finished the season with 14 catches as Denver continues to not place much emphasis on tight ends in the passing game.
Heuerman flexed into the slot and caught an out route in the 1st quarter. He only other target was a 4th quarter out route that was batted down by a defender.. He finished his second year with 9 catches total(2 TD's).