What We Saw: Week 14

The What We Saw team recaps all of the noteworthy action from Week 14

Chiefs @ Broncos

Final Score: Chiefs 34, Broncos 28

Writer: Erik Smith (@ErikSmithQBL on Twitter)


The Chiefs jumped out to a 20-0 lead as Patrick Mahomes made his typical assortment of circus plays, and Russell Wilson responded with a pick-six on 4th-and-1 to set Twitter ablaze as the Broncos fell behind by 27. But Mahomes started throwing interceptions, Jerry Jeudy caught fire, and the Broncos fought back to a 27-14 halftime score. The Broncos pulled to within a touchdown in the fourth quarter but lost Wilson in the process to a concussion. Despite a third poor interception from Mahomes, Brett Rypien was not able to lead the comeback, and the Chiefs hung on for another win on the road inside of their division.


Kansas City Chiefs




Patrick Mahomes: 28/42, 352 Yards, 3 TD, 3 INT | 3 Carries, -3 Yards


Patrick Mahomes had a day full of highs and lows in this one, and the boxscore does a good job of representing the experience. Mahomes, and the Chiefs as a whole, started out hot, and the offense led the way to a 20-0 lead halfway through the second quarter. Mahomes was frequently in the pocket, buying time, extending plays, and playing with patience. His first highlight of the day was a play that only Mahomes would make, a no-look toss to Jerick McKinnon over the first line of defense for a huge 56-yard touchdown.



Mahomes did miss a deep corner to Travis Kelce as he backpedaled and faded away from the pocket but otherwise played a nearly impeccable first half, and after the defense made it 27-0, we looked on our way to a laugher in Denver. Mahomes then suddenly melted down as the first half wrapped up, beginning with a forced interception into a heavy zone over the middle while looking for Kelce. The Broncos scored, only for Mahomes to throw yet another interception before the half, this one worse that the one before.



The Broncos were shockingly back in it, down only 13 at the half after scoring off of both Mahomes turnovers.

Mahomes continued to struggle, taking a sack on 3rd and 4 to end a drive, taking hits in the pocket, and struggling to find open receivers. But of course, Mahomes is one of the league’s greatest quarterbacks for a reason. With plenty of time in the pocket, Mahomes found Noah Gray for a big chunk gain over the middle behind the zone and then produced yet another highlight reel, only Mahomes could do it sort of play, finding JuJu Smith-Schuster in the end zone after some magic.



Mahomes had a final interception to let the Broncos back in the game on yet another throw over the middle where he came off Kelce too late, and this Broncos’ defense gave him some serious problems at times. But Mahomes is one of the most creative players in the league, which allows him to put up points even when he is struggling. If this was a down game from Mahomes, fantasy managers will gladly take it.


Running Back


Isiah Pacheco: 13 Carries, 70 Yards | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 23 Yards

Jerick McKinnon: 6 Carries, 22 Yards | 9 Targets, 7 Receptions, 112 Yards, 2 TD


Isiah Pacheco started out the game with a nice 17-yard catch and run out of the backfield, which amounted to most of his receiving work for the day. On the ground, Pacheco ran hard through open lanes, showcasing his speed, and was generally productive on the ground. He was the primary rusher early on, and while he is not a big back, Pacheco runs hard and with purpose. He did seem to leave some yards on the field on a few check-downs, failing to take advantage of wide-open spaces in front of him. And while Pacheco was the primary rusher in this one, he did not have the final game-sealing drive to himself, as he was a part of a committee to the very end.

Pacheco formed that committee with Jerick McKinnon as usual, who actually out-snapped Pacheco 39-29. McKinnon was the recipient of the crazy Mahomes play above, scoring a long touchdown on the play, and then scored a second receiving touchdown on a screen in the red zone. He also ripped off a 24-yard gain on a 3rd-and-10 screen and had yet another late screen against an all-out blitz that nearly went for a third touchdown. McKinnon mixed in on red zone plays and was a part of the killing-the-clock drive, and any player in this Chiefs offense seeing 9 targets is going to have fantasy value.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


JuJu Smith-Schuster: 11 Targets, 9 Receptions, 74 Yards, TD

Travis Kelce: 9 Targets, 4 Receptions, 71 Yards

Noah Gray: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 45 Yards

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 20 Yards

Skyy Moore: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 7 Yards

Justin Watson: 2 Targets


JuJu Smith-Schuster led the team in targets, and it started on the opening drive where he had two receptions. He did drop a pass that was nearly ruled a fumble, costing the Chiefs a first down, but he was an efficient option on 3rd downs for the majority of the game. Mahomes found him late in the down for a 3rd-and-5 conversion, and later Smith-Schuster caught a pass and turned upfield for a big gain to convert a 3rd-and-7. He found space on the Mahomes highlight above for a touchdown, which came right after a catch in the red zone on the play before. Smith-Schuster didn’t show any downfield potential in this one but was a nice safety valve for Mahomes when the offense was spread out.

Travis Kelce got most of his yardage over the middle, finding space in the defense in zones. He was given a screen pass early on, and Mahomes just missed him on a deep corner that could have been 30 more receiving yards as well. Kelce did have a drop on an out-breaker and a touchdown drop in the first half that kept him from an excellent fantasy day. He was also the target on two of Mahomes’ interceptions, as the Broncos clearly tried to flood Kelce’s area of the field with linebackers and safeties in zone coverage.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling was the target of an early 3rd-and-short incompletion where the timing was off, and was not targeted much afterward. His lone catch was as the Chiefs ran out the clock and the Broncos were expecting a run, and Mahomes found him for a wide-open completion.

Skyy Moore caught a quick out for his only catch of the game and did seem to be the recipient of a designer red zone play that was blown dead for offsides. But the rookie seems nowhere near a breakout after this game.


Denver Broncos




Russell Wilson: 23/36, 247 Yards, 3 TD, INT | 4 Carries, 57 Yards

Brett Rypien: 4/8, 16 Yards, TD, INT | 1 Carry, 1 Fumble (Recovered)


Russell Wilson started out poorly in this one, heaving an ill-advised pass into double coverage for a deep shot on the first play on offense. Wilson took several sacks early, was sacked six times on the day, and often seemed unable to make anything happen if his primary read was not available. Wilson really struggled on play-action bootlegs and rollouts, and the interception on 4th-and-1 to put the Chiefs ahead 27-0 seemed like the end of this game.



Wilson followed this play up with a three-and-out, but then Mahomes started turning the ball over and Wilson realized that this Jerry Jeudy guy is a pretty good player. He hit Jeudy on multiple big plays to wrap up the first half and spark the offense, rushed for a big conversion on a read option where he kept the ball, and had a 19-yard rush up the middle where the defense did a poor job of containing him as a rusher. Wilson had some positive momentum going into halftime.

Wilson began to slow down in the second half, with two more poor plays coming from designed rollouts. He completed a long touchdown to Marlon Mack against a heavy blitz for a perfectly timed play that accounted for 66 of Wilson’s 247 passing yards.



Wilson had the Broncos on the move until he scrambled for a first down in the red zone and was hit hard to end the play. Wilson exited the game with a concussion near the beginning of the fourth quarter. Overall, Wilson did seem to play better as the offense opened up and spread out, and it was good to see him using his legs to make plays. But Wilson will have an uphill battle to be ready for next week’s game.

Brett Rypien was thrown into action in the red zone and had a nice touchdown pass to Jeudy on 4th down. He also ended the game as he forced a throw while getting hit for a pop-up interception with no receivers in the area. The offense was not better off when he was in the game, by any means.


Running Back


Latavius Murray: 8 Carries, 32 Yards | 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, -1 Yards

Marlon Mack: 3 Carries, 15 Yards | 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 62 Yards, TD

Mike Boone: 3 Carries, 2 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 27 Yards


Latavius Murray was the primary ball carrier for Denver, and he ran hard and fought for yardage. There is little to no explosion or speed with Murray, however, leaving him a touchdown-dependent option in a struggling offense. Murray was stuffed on an obvious 3rd-and-2 play call and seemed to have a back-to-back sequence in pass protection where he was partially involved with two quarterback pressures, though that did not seem to affect his playing time.

Mike Boone was in on the first drive and had some success catching check downs. He was carted off in the second quarter, however, and did not return to the game.

Marlon Mack had a long touchdown reception on a perfectly timed screen pass for most of his production. He filled in after Boone was hurt, and mixed in fairly often with Murray.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Jerry Jeudy: 9 Targets, 8 Receptions, 73 Yards, 3 TD

Greg Dulcich: 8 Targets, 3 Receptions, 42 Yards

Kendall Hinton: 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 38 Yards

Eric Tomlinson: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 11 Yards

Jalen Virgil: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 9 Yards

Eric Saubert: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 2 Yards

Brandon Johnson: 4 Targets


A Jerry Jeudy breakout game! With no Courtland Sutton in this one, things started quietly for Jeudy. He produced the offense’s first big play on a deep slant over the middle, and something clicked after that play. Shortly after, Wilson hit Jeudy for a fade from just inside the 20 for his first touchdown of the day.



Jeudy got wide open in the end zone for his second touchdown of the day on a pick play, he was so wide open that Wilson was able to get him the ball even after missing him for a few seconds. Jeudy caught a slant again for a nice gain coming out of the half and drew a deep pass interference call on a poor deep ball by Wilson on a 4th-and-4. Jeudy’s third touchdown was a 4th down conversion from Rypien after some nice route-running.



Jeudy was very efficient with his looks, so expecting three touchdowns on nine targets may not be wise in the future, but it was good to see Jeudy take advantage of a big opportunity like this.

Greg Dulcich missed on two targets that were fired into him on the opening drive. He later made some nice moves with the ball on a 3rd down reception where he ended up just short of a first down. His big play was on a play that was fired into him, popped up in the air, and landed in his hands for a 23-yard catch. He was not a big factor otherwise, so his 42 receiving yards could even be seen as a little fluky.

Kendall Hinton was regularly involved in the offense, though most of his looks were short and low-value. He had two 3rd down conversions on the opening drive, and would later draw a red zone target, but overall was a low-ceiling option in the passing game.

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