What We Saw: Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos

Ryan Kruse (@ryanpkruse) breaks down what he saw in the Thursday night game between the Chiefs and the Broncos.

Kansas City Chiefs




  • Patrick Mahomes: 10/11, 76 yards, 1 TD | 1 carry, 2 yards
  • Matt Moore: 10/19, 117 yards, 1 TD | 1 carry, -1 yard


It seemed like Patrick Mahomes might have been walking a bit gingerly on his ankle but he came out keeping his composure with some great passes and a touchdown throw on his first drive. Unfortunately, Mahomes was hurt in the second quarter on a QB-sneak play. He was in a great deal of pain and it almost looked as if the trainers popped his right knee back in place. Matt Moore came in the game and the Chiefs’ offense immediately seemed deflated. They were in a goal-to-go situation and couldn’t get the touchdown.

The Chiefs began the second half trying to build up Moore’s confidence with some quick throws but they had mixed success with this tactic. There were plenty of times he wasn’t on the same page with his receivers. The first time he finally tried the deep ball he wasn’t even close to connecting with Hill. In fairness, Moore found Hill on a beautiful floater and both players made the touchdown look easy. The quarterback was in a good position and only had to manage the game wisely for the win. The Chiefs will want Moore to get plenty of snaps in practice this week because there are a few kinks to be worked out.


Running Backs:


  • LeSean McCoy: 12 carries, 64 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards
  • Damien Williams: 9 carries, 7 yards | 3 targets, 2 receptions, -1 yard
  • Darrel Williams: 2 carries, 1 yard | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 5 yards


The Chiefs used their backs pretty much the same as they have been lately. LeSean McCoy took the majority of the ground work while Damien Williams was mainly targeted through the air. McCoy had a beautiful 19 yard run on his second carry of the night. It looked like the play was broken but Shady did well do keep it alive and find a hole. Damien didn’t really have a play worth noting until the end of the first quarter where he bailed out Mahomes with a little catch-and-run after the quarterback was facing some serious pressure. Damien couldn’t catch what would have surely been a touchdown likely because he wasn’t on the same page with Moore. That’s not to sell Darrel Williams short though. He is still in the mix, catching two passes and getting two carries in the first half. One of those carries was on third down in the red zone and the other in a goal-to-go situation. McCoy had another big gain with about eight minutes left in the game. The Chiefs relied on the veteran throughout most of the second half. Shady was clearly more efficient than any other back on this team.


Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends:


  • Mecole Hardman: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 28 yards, 1 TD
  • Tyreek Hill: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 74 yards, 1 TD
  • Demarcus Robinson: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 31 yards
  • Travis Kelce: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 44 yards


Mecole Hardman started his night with a 21-yard touchdown. He ran a good route but bobbled the ball a bit before securing it. He had a nice return early in the game as well for any of you return-yards guys out there. Besides that, his night was pretty quiet. Travis Kelce was as reliable as ever. He made some tough contested catches with his first few targets even if they weren’t for many yards. It seemed like Moore wasn’t afraid to look his way so his fantasy floor should be safe. Tyreek Hill was drawing plenty of double coverage and losing his starting quarterback didn’t help much either. Hill did not have one target in the entire first half. He finally got the ball with about seven and a half minutes left in the third quarter. Of course, it only takes one or two catches for Tyreek to have success. Moore hit him perfectly in-stride and Hill used his speed to easily make it to the endzone with about four minutes left in the third quarter. Demarcus Robinson made some nice catches here and there but they were pretty spread out. About six fantasy isn’t going to cut it.


Denver Broncos




  • Joe Flacco: 21/34, 213 yards


Joe Flacco started the game looking okay but it’s worth noting the Broncos’ first drive was helped by two defensive fouls on third down. He was much worse on the second drive, missing a wide-open Freeman and fumbling the ball on the next play. Flacco couldn’t get the ball out before the relentless defensive pressure and continued to have trouble. He fumbled the ball again with about seven minutes left in the half, this time giving up a defensive touchdown. His next play looked like his throw might be picked off but it instead somehow found Sutton for 41-yards. Joe was running for his life for most of the game and couldn’t string together a drive to save his life. He also set a career-high in sacks. This offense looked ugly and the Chiefs’ defense surprisingly played well.


Running Backs:


  • Phillip Lindsay: 11 carries, 36 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, -4 yards
  • Royce Freeman: 10 carries, 35 yards, 1 TD | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 32 yards


Phillip Lindsay got the first carry and Royce Freeman got the next but both only got about 1 or 2 yards each. Neither back was getting many yards on the Broncos’ first drive but Freeman punched in the touchdown for six fantasy points off his first three total yards. The Broncos went for two and tried to give the ball to Lindsay but he was stuffed again. Lindsay also had a good little run at the end of the first quarter that he could have possibly taken for a huge touchdown if he hadn’t been barely tripped up when he was just past the line. I know this is crazy but, the Chiefs’ run defense looked great in the first half. Neither back did much besides Freeman’s short touchdown run.

Both backs had trouble getting any work in the second half mainly due to game script. The Broncos had to abandon the run for the most part. Neither back did much in the second half until Freeman broke off a nice little 14-yard run at the end of the third quarter. It was interesting to see Freeman get a few targets but Lindsay didn’t receive a target through the air until there were about four minutes left in the game.


Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends:


  • Emmanuel Sanders: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 60 yards
  • Courtland Sutton: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 87 yards
  • DaeSean Hamilton: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 4 yards
  • Noah Fant: 5 targets, 1 reception, 7 yards


Courtland Sutton seemed like Flacco’s most reliable target for most of the game. He had an impressive catch in the first half from 41 yards out that he caught while twisting and falling. Sutton was perfect in the first half, catching every target that came his way. If you started Sutton, be extremely pleased with his 14-point performance. It’s a miracle he did so well when the rest of his offense wasn’t getting it done. I don’t think I should need to mention DaeSean Hamilton since he’s hardly on anyone’s roster but Flacco did look his way plenty of times. Still, two catches for four yards is hardly worth a mention.

Noah Fant dropped both of his targets in the first half and his second drop was particularly bad. It was a great pass from Flacco and right in Fant’s hands. Noah continued to have issues connecting with Flacco in the second half and ended up with an incredibly disappointing fantasy performance of fewer than two points. Emmanuel Sanders had a pretty slow start with one target early in the game then waiting until nearly the end of the half before he had another target. Be that as it may, once Sanders got more targets he started heating up. For a guy who wasn’t sure if he would be playing this week, he looked pretty darn good. He was coming down with some tough catches. Considering how bad the Broncos were, his 11 fantasy points aren’t too bad.


(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)

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