Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been the talk of the NFL since he assumed the starting role to begin the 2018 season, but the reigning NFL MVP's performance over the last two games has altered the recent conversation. Mahomes and the Chiefs look to regain their footing on Thursday when they visit the Denver Broncos, who have lost seven straight in the series.
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Mahomes has completed just 55.4 percent of his passes over the last two games, including season lows in completions (19) and passing yards (273) in Kansas City's 31-24 setback against Houston. "It's a long season. You can figure it out," the 24-year-old Mahomes said. " ... There (are) difficult times in the NFL. Teams are good, and we've played some great opponents so far this season, and we'll have to find a way to get this thing rolling again on a short week against a great opponent." Denver has answered an 0-4 start by ratcheting up its defensive play, highlighted by recording its first seven-sack, three-interception performance in over 25 years in Sunday's 16-0 shutout of Tennessee. "It's a lot of fun when you dominate, especially when you start the way we did," cornerback/safety Kareem Jackson said.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Chiefs -3. O/U: 48.5
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (4-2): Jackson and company will have to contend with the ultra-quick Tyreek Hill, who made a spectacular return from a five-game absence due to sternum and right collarbone injuries with his NFL-best sixth multi-touchdown performance since 2017. Tight end Travis Kelce has torched the Broncos for 762 career receiving yards -- his most versus any opponent -- and aims for his fifth straight game in the series with a touchdown catch. Kansas City hasn't done itself any favors by abandoning its 24th-ranked running game (82.7 yards per game), with LeSean McCoy recording eight of the team's 11 carries last week for 44 yards. "I mean, obviously, we have to be better," Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. "There are a number of things that go into it, but everyone has to be on the same page."
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (2-4): Denver coach Vic Fangio dismissed the notion that Indianapolis showed the blueprint on how to defeat Kansas City. "Every game has its own personality to it," Fangio said. "The Colts played well on that day in all three phases of the game and got some critical takeaways that stopped some drives." The Broncos likely will attempt to exploit the Chiefs' 30th-ranked rush defense (161.8 yards per game) with their 1-2 punch of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, who are the lone running back teammates with at least 400 scrimmage yards this season. Lindsay rushed for 70 yards and the game's only touchdown against the Titans while Freeman added a team-high five receptions to go along with his 76 scrimmage yards.
1. Denver WR Emmanuel Sanders was a full participant in practice on Tuesday, two days after injuring his knee versus Tennessee.
2. Mahomes, who will start his 24th game on Thursday, is 15 passing yards shy of becoming the fastest player to reach 7,500 in his career.
3. Mahomes' 14 touchdown passes this season are four more than the Broncos have scored as a team.
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News Breaking News
Key Players to Watch
- NeckProb Thurs | probable
Flacco has been activated from the PUP list while recuperating from a disc repair surgery in his neck. He is likely to make his season debut Thursday against the Broncos.
- BackQues Thurs | questionable
Jackson is battling a back injury, and it is undetermined if he will take part in Thursday's contest versus the Jets.
- WristQues Thurs | questionable
Marshall is hampered by a wrist injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be in Thursday's lineup versus the Jets.
- KneeQues Thurs | questionable
Wilkinson is bothered by a knee injury, and it has yet to be established if he will face the Jets on Thursday.
- ToeProb Thurs | probable
Lindsay is sidelined due to turf toe, bit he is likely to return to action against the Jets on Thursday.
- AnkleProb Thurs | probable
Okwuegbunam has missed the past three games due to an ankle injury, but he is likely to make his season debut Thursday versus the Jets.
- HamstringQues Thurs | questionable
Harris sat out the previous game due to a hamstring injury, and it is up in the air if he will take the field against the Jets on Thursday.
- BicepI-R | I-R
Casey has been entered on the injured reserve list due to a biceps tear.
Kansas City Chiefs
- AnkleProb Mon | probable
Williams exited the last game with an ankle injury, but he is expected to face the Ravens on Monday.
- HamstringOut Mon | out
Okafor was held out of the last game due to a minor hamstring strain, and he will not suit up Monday versus the Ravens.
- HandProb Mon | probable
Ward sat out the previous game with a fractured left hand, but he is projected to play against the Ravens on Monday.
- StomachOut Mon | out
Wylie will not line up Monday versus the Ravens due to stomach pain.
- GroinProb Mon | probable
Hamilton left the previous game with a groin injury, but it is not expected to affect his status for Monday's contest versus the Ravens.
- IllnessProb Mon | probable
Clark was lifted from the last game due to an illness, but the symptoms will subside in time for Monday's matchup versus the Ravens.
- ConcussionProb Mon | probable
Watkins left the previous game due to a head injury and is going through the league's concussion protocol. It is anticipated that he will be available Monday versus the Ravens.
- SuspensionElig Mon | out
Pennel Jr. has been issued a two-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, but he is expected to make his season debut against the Ravens on Monday.