*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
First thing about this game, for my own sanity… I don’t like most TV game analysis work by the talking heads as it is. The play-by-play guys are all pretty professionals and usually do a solid job. It’s their ‘partner’, the ex-player or ex-coach doing ‘analysis’ that is usually aggravating. Tony Romo and Cris Carter are the only analysts I would classify as ‘I like’/can tolerate. The rest our not just ‘average’ or ‘OK’ they’re really ‘bad’ at their jobs.
However, this new Monday Night Football crew is a new level of bad. I’m stunned that a major corporation could roll out Jason Witten as a lead analyst and I have no idea what the world Booger McFarland is doing.
I can only take so many gems from these two such as: That early game moment where Royce Freeman has that run where he bounces off/trucks a clean Chiefs tackle and runs for 10+ yards. It prompted Booger to excitedly proclaim, “That’s what they want, they want to play physical.” No kidding, really? As opposed to what…they want their football players playing passive? Witten then topped Booger with his two cents – “I talked to the Chiefs defensive coach (whomever it was) and they said they want to tackle better.”
I mean, what the hell is going on!? Am I being pranked with this nonsense? It went on like this all night. I usually scoff at the TV coverage, but I press on with it because silence is deafening watching a game – but I literally debated going with the mute button here after the 1st quarter…but I like to aggravate myself/prop myself up listening to ‘professionals’ sound like incomplete, magnificent morons on TV football analysis.
Sorry, I had to say it. I had to hear it live and again on my re-watch. A man can only take so much.
As far as this game goes – as expected. Denver was jacked up at home on MNF. The Chiefs slightly off in some spots in response but eventually Patrick Mahomes just breaks the will of the opposing defense/team and Case Keenum cannot answer the bell…Chiefs win a game they should have lost but should have won by more looking at the details.
KC 7-of-15 on 3rd-downs, while Denver was 2-for-11. Yet, Denver led 23-13 with 6 minutes left and Mahomes went all St. Patrick, he actually went all Brett Favre and put the team on his back and won the game…proving elite QBs are worth more than anything else in the NFL. The Chiefs have a so-so O-Line, average RB, and bad defense…and they are 4-0 because of one man.
Denver has highly paid Case Keenum.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Patrick Mahomes (28-45 for 304 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 3-7-1) didn’t have his best game for fantasy but it was still pretty nice. He struggled a bit early on trying to adjust to the defense and surroundings, and a lot people were thinking he was having his comeuppance…but if you watched him lead this team back to victory – he’s a magician.
He’s only going to get better.
THEE fantasy football player to own for 2018 and for the dynasty future.
-- You were probably lamenting Tyreek Hill’s (9-54-0/13) lack of making big plays…but then you look up and see 9 catches.
They could have used him better, but I won’t argue with 13 targets, 9 times with the ball (10 with his one run). He’s #13 in PPR PPG YTD, a blink from the top 7. He’s ahead of A.J. Green, OBJ, Antonio Brown, Keenan Allen among others. Hill will be top 5 for fantasy before seasons end.
But what if they keep doubling and tripling him? Don’t worry. They are getting him the ball steady and in more interesting ways. He’ll be fine.
-- I don’t know when but at some point in the future this Denver offense will be two things…
(1) Led by Royce Freeman (8-67-1) taking 15-20+ carries a game.
He’s Jordan Howard, if Howard had faster feet. He’s a beautiful runner of the ball. Better than anyone from this draft class (he and Josh Adams), definitely better than Saquon Barkley as a pure technical runner.
The PPR problem is…Freeman is nothing in the passing game. No targets here. Fine for non-PPR ahead.
(2) Courtland Sutton (3-51-0/6) will be the team’s #1 WR and he’ll be the next top five ‘the guy’ WR in the NFL. He’s so-so-so good. Every week he takes another step forward.
With Keenum and Thomas-Sanders around…Sutton is stunted for 2018, although you can see Keenum shifting to Sutton and away from Thomas ever week. It’s still a bad scene for Sutton to fly high.
I think the Broncos will trade DT if they kinda fall out of the race by the trade deadline, and then Sutton can become a WR2 this year…a future WR1.
-- BUT, Phillip Lindsay (12-69-1, 2-10-0/2) and all those 10+ yard runs!!!
Yes, he’s getting some 10+ pops but if you can go re-look at this game and look at Lindsay’s 10+’s versus Freeman’s (all season too) -- it’s not even close. Lindsay is flying through wide open spaces, which is great. Freeman is creating and finding yards where Lindsay can’t. When Lindsay runs into congestion he’s brought down like a QB, easily and no forward progress.
The clock is ticking on Lindsay with more carries than Freeman.
Denver should make Freeman ‘the guy’ and Lindsay ‘the Kamara’. Only, passing catching RB weapons are not in the Denver playbook much or they’d be using Lindsay’s superb hands more already – Lindsay is averaging 2.0 targets per game. Ridiculous.
-- With Sammy Watkins down, you would have hoped Chris Conley (4-13-0/6) would have stepped up…but when Watkins went out it only shifted more coverage to Conley.
Still, I would want to see Conley step up…but he isn’t. Content to be an also ran at this point.
-- Kareem Hunt (19-121-1, 3-54-0/4) had a nice game…driven by Denver playing the pass and letting Hunt try to beat them. It almost worked. When KC faces good defensive pressure, Hunt will probably have good games…like this week with the Jags. But when Mahomes can shred a defense…Hunt has a smaller role in the action.
-- Case Keenum (21-32 for 245 yards, 0 TD/1 INT) has three straight games with 0 TD passes/1 INT in each game. 3 TDs/6 INTs this season.
Counting last season’s playoffs, Keenum has 6 TDs/9 INTs in his last five games. 12 TDs/11 INTs in his last nine games.
-- Chiefs IDP DB Eric Murray (6 tackles, 1 PD and 1 INT) had another nice game. The CB-to-SAF convert is averaging 6.5 tackles and 0.50 PDs per game this season to date.
Snap Counts of Interest:
54 = Sanders
51 = D Thomas
42 = Sutton
24 = Lindsay
20 = Booker
16 = Freeman
45 = Hunt
24 = Ware
57 = Chubb
25 = Jewell
02 = Dorian O’Daniel