I know the Kansas City Chiefs are a pretty good football team, but in a must-win Week 16 game for Denver… to go and blow the Broncos out right from the jump is not only a nice thumbs-up for Kansas City, but a huge thumbs-down for the Denver coaching staff. I’m sure it’s difficult for any coach to get his defending champion team motivated, but for Denver to get embarrassed as if they didn’t really care – that’s not a champion’s heart. It’s probably not very good coaching either.
The track record of Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips is dubious at best. They’ll have a moment/good season, get people hyped up, and then all the dominoes fall down. Because they won last season’s Super Bowl they’re going to get a pass for several years – but I am not a Kubiak fan at all. They’re going to rely upon him to turn things around, and just like in Houston, the fans in the organization are going to be very frustrated/disappointed with the years to come. A golden opportunity with a sensational defense – slipped right through their fingers in their title defense season. Doubtful they’ll be able to get it back without a coaching change…and that will be in several years.
The Chiefs are an ‘any given Sunday’ team. They are good enough to beat anybody, but you’ll never think of them as a team that can string two or three wins in a row in the postseason on their way to the Super Bowl. It wouldn’t shock me to see Kansas City make it to the Super Bowl…and I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost in their first playoff game at home.
It’s going to be interesting times in Week 17. The Chiefs and Raiders both play in the 4 p.m. Eastern games, and the Raiders are playing the Broncos with Matt McGloin at QB. I like McGloin, but it’s a radical change at QB happening in the final week of the season. Facing a Denver defense that has a second unit that may be better than the first; at least it will be more motivated. Oakland losing combined with a Kansas City win in Week 17 gives Kansas City the AFC West title and a first-round bye. I have a feeling that’s what’s going to happen.
— Now, here comes the quarterback controversy in Denver.
I don’t know if Trevor Siemian’s (17-43 for 183 yards and 0 TD/1 INT) problem is that he’s not a great reader of defenses or if he has absolutely no protection from his offensive line. It’s possible there’s a combination of the two things.
Denver will likely start Paxton Lynch in Week 17, but that is no ‘sign’ of future plans one way or the other. Various teams will sit their starter and give the backup a chance in Week 17. It’s going to be a full-fledged, open quarterback controversy this off-season – but I think internally Trevor Siemian is their guy. Siemian is built to play quarterback for Gary Kubiak. He’s Kubiak’s wet dream. Paxton Lynch is more Kubiak’s nightmare. Siemian has more poise and is better/more under control and the short passing game.
Paxton Lynch will only become a thing when/if Siemian fails hard and/or Gary Kubiak is on the ropes/fired.
I’ll bet heavily on Trevor Siemian as the starting quarterback in Week 1 of 2017.
— Tyreek Hill (6-95-1, 0 rec. on 5 targets) did it again. A simple handoff turned 70-yard touchdown run. A play that helped more than one of you secure a fantasy title – especially when you were concerned that Hill would be shut down by the Denver defense.
Just like Week 15, I thought Hill was going to have a monster game after his early, long TD run. Once again, he did nothing after that. Last week, blame it on the Andy Reid. This particular game, blame it on Tyreek Hill in the rain.
Hill had five targets but did not catch any of them. Some throws were uncatchable, but a few were very catchable – but dropped. It was rainy, but most of it was Hill’s fault. Looking upfield before securing the ball in sloppy conditions. Kansas City did not hide Hill in this game, they kept going to him and he should’ve had an easy TD catch in the fourth quarter, but Hill couldn’t make the grabs.
In 2017, you’re going to see an extended package of plays for Tyreek Hill as well as more development as a wide receiver threat. His emergence has taken fantasy opportunity away from the other Chiefs’ weapons this season, and will again next season.
— The Kansas City offense has not been dynamic, high-powered under Andy Reid and Alex Smith, so when you consider much of what they’ll do is based around Tyreek Hill… You can’t bet heavily on Jeremy Maclin for fantasy 2017.
You might as well put any deep sleeper hopes for Chris Conley on the shelf as well. Until Conley leaves Kansas City, there’s not much to see here.
— Spencer Ware (13-62-0, 2-20-0/3 targets) gets hurt some by Tyreek as well. Ware still has RB1 talent and RB1 touch levels, but the mere presence of Tyreek means a reduction in methodical drives and an increase in one-touch 50+ yard TDs for Hill. Hill’s big play scores cuts into Ware’s statistical opportunity/upside to some degree.
— Travis Kelce (11-160-1/12 targets) is going bananas statistically (five 100+ yard games in his last six games), but when I watch the games back I don’t see anything magical taking place. It’s your typical tight end work. Give Kelce a ton of credit because he’s getting open, but I don’t know if this is because Kelce is great, or great matchups or teams so over focused on Tyreek Hill that Kelce destroys them in the shadows. Whatever it was – the Denver Broncos had absolutely no answer for what Kelce was doing.
I’m sure we’re going to get an off-season filled with ‘Kelce is the new Rob Gronkowski‘, but I’m not so sure. This may be more of a target-driven event – a blip in time more than an announcement of the next great tight end. I’m not taking anything away from Kelce, per se, but I don’t see him as a superstar tight end – just a really good player and a good situation. That’s great for fantasy, but I’m not sure how much you should spend on it because it could go away quickly. Before the last couple weeks, Kelce was barely a TE1 in production.
— Speaking of tight ends…
Jeff Heuerman got the start for Denver because all the other Denver TEs were hurt. Heuerman is OK, but not as talented a receiver as AJ Derby. I’m telling you, the future is Derby because he is Kubiak’s Owen Daniels clone.
Denver traded for Derby on purpose, and it was Derby who emerged soon after, not Heuerman.
Virgil Green is dead in Denver. Call me when he’s on another team.
— Keep an eye on Kansas City corner Terrance Mitchell (6 tackles, 1 PD). He’s playing fantastic the last few weeks and has averaged 4.3 tackles and 2.0 PDs per game the last three games.
The seventh-round pick by Dallas in 2014, out of Oregon, poached by KC off waivers, has below-average 40-time (4.6+), but high-end agility (a 6.57 three-cone). 5′11″/195 and coming into his own a bit.