The Kansas City Chiefs are rolling right now, but a win over the Denver Broncos in Week 4 would give them a serious leg up in the AFC West.
The writing was on the wall for Alex Smith when the Kansas City Chiefs traded up for Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 draft, but the quarterback switch is surely going better than anticipated. Mahomes has 13 touchdown passes without an interception over the first three games, with a league-best passer rating as the Chiefs are No.1 in the league in scoring offense.
The Denver Broncos are 2-1 after a loss the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3, with two wins by a combined total of eight points. Case Keenum is starting to look like the career backup he was before last year, but facing a Chiefs’ pass defense that is tied for worst in the league (362.7 yards per game) looks like a nice opportunity to rebound.
Mahomes has hardly been bothered over three games thus far, with just four sacks taken. His mobility has definitely helped, but the Broncos’ pass rush, led by Von Miller (four sacks), will have to put heat on the young signal caller to help a pass defense that is just 22nd in the league thus far.
Mahomes showed he can handle road tests against the Chargers and Steelers to start the season. But Denver is a different animal this week, with altitude in play to go along with the extra pressure of the Monday night spotlight. His Week 17 start against the Broncos last year was on the road, in a game that didn’t matter for either team, but Mahomes offered a glimpse of his talent by going 22-for-35 for 284 yards.
During their “Hot Take Tuesday” segment on Total Access, NFL Network analyst Reggie Wayne predicted Mahomes will throw four interceptions on Monday. That’s a little aggressive, but fortune clearly favors the bold and Mahomes is definitely in line for some sort of regression.
Monday night’s game has the potential to be high scoring, as evidenced by the highest over-under on this week’s NFL slate (55.5, via Oddsshark). An argument can be made for the Chiefs carrying that point total into the high 30’s on their own quite easily, but a bad defense brings weekly shootouts into play and that’s been shown through three weeks.
If the Chiefs go home with a win Monday night, they will not only be 4-0 but at least two games clear of everyone else in the AFC West (with a win over the Chargers already in hand too). A Broncos win would put them in a tie with Kansas City at 3-1, with a head-to-head win in their own pocket. So this game could spread things out in the division at the quarter pole of the season, or tighten things up and start to set up a competitive race for the division title between at least two teams.