Wed Oct 16 3:58pm ET
By ARNIE STAPLETON
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Oct. 6, 2019, file photo, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws a pass during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Kansas City, Mo. Mahomes has thrown 202 consecutive passes without an interception. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File)
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) scores a touchdown next to tight end Jordan Akins (88) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (30) reacts with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay runs with the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) does a flip as he celebrates a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
DENVER (AP) Keeping Patrick Mahomes on the sideline has worked wonders for Kansas City's opponents, providing a blueprint for the Broncos on Thursday night as they seek their first win over the Chiefs in four years.
''Every game has its own personality,'' cautioned Broncos coach Vic Fangio .
Every team also builds its own reputation, and the Chiefs (4-2) have a dud of a defense to go along with that firecracker offense. Exploit that and the Broncos (2-4) can jump right back into the AFC West race after their September stumble.
Over the past four weeks, the Chiefs, who have lost two in a row after a 4-0 start, have allowed an average of 190 rushing yards and 4.97 yards a carry as their opponents piled up eight TD runs.
''We have to fix it,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.
The Chiefs have allowed a 100-yard rusher in four consecutive weeks, and it would have been five if not for the Raiders' Josh Jacobs' hydration problems - he finished with 99 yards on just 12 carries.
''I mean, look, there's just one area we don't feel great about and it's stopping the run,'' said first-year coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who has transitioned the Chiefs from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense. ''We don't want to be looking at the number of run plays, the yardage they're putting up with runs - somehow, some way we have to figure it out. Until we stop it, we're going to see it.''
Up next are the Broncos, winners of two straight and the NFL's only team that sports two running backs each with at least 400 scrimmage yards. But if Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, who have accounted for 973 yards so far, are relishing the matchup, they're masking it pretty good.
''Every game in the NFL is tough,'' Lindsay said.
Freeman looked at the rushing totals the Chiefs have allowed the past four weeks: Ravens (203), Lions (186), Colts (180) and Texans (192), and shrugged.
''Every team goes out there and they make their adjustments week to week,'' Freeman said. ''You've got to assume they're going to go out there and try to switch things up. Plus, we have a short week, so you never know what to expect.''
Just look at Denver's defense , which found a quick fix to its run game problems. After allowing Leonard Fournette to go wild as the Jaguars piled up 269 yards on them, the Broncos allowed just 35 yards to the Chargers and 39 to the Titans.
''It's the NFL. Guys change things every week,'' Freeman said. ''Our defense has done a great job flipping the script.''
It's time for Denver's offense to do likewise, he added.
The Broncos are averaging just 17.6 points. Even during their two-game skid, the Chiefs averaged 18.5 points despite losing the time of possession by an average of 38 minutes to 22 minutes.
Other subplots as the Broncos try to snap a seven-game skid and beat Kansas City for the first time since Sept. 17, 2015:
Tyreek Hill had two TD grabs last week in his return from a broken collarbone. The Chiefs were without Sammy Watkins because of a hamstring injury, and they'll be missing him again against Denver, where DB Kendall Fuller (thumb), DT Chris Jones (core muscle), LT Eric Fisher (core muscle) and LG Andrew Wylie (ankle) are all out.
SANDERS GOOD TO GO
Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders returns from a sore knee that knocked him out last week. Sanders has caught just two passes for 9 yards the past two weeks. Sanders' injury in his third in a year (ACL, ankle).
Reid and Fangio are the same age - 61. Reid is in his 28th NFL season, 21 as a head coach and is seeking his 200th regular-season win. Fangio is in his 33rd NFL season but first as a head coach. ''He's one of the special defensive minds of the game,'' said Reid, who knows all about Fangio's reputation.
Mahomes is 2-0 in Denver, winning his first career start on Dec. 31, 2017, when he left a 24-10 lead to No. 3 QB Tyler Bray but returned to salvage a 27-24 win with a last-minute field-goal drive. Last year, he led the Chiefs to a 27-23 win with more fourth-quarter heroics and his famous left-handed throw to avoid a sack.
Von Miller isn't the Broncos' sacks leader. It's backup DE DeMarcus Walker, who has three sacks after getting just one in each of his first two seasons. His first came against Mahomes when both were rookies.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett didn't get to spend any time celebrating with his teammates after the huge win on Monday night because he was already on his way to the hospital. Lockett suffered a severe leg contusion on the final play of regulation, and while his fellows Seahawks were able to pull off the win in overtime, Lockett is actually being left behind in the Bay Area for treatment. Head coach Pete Carroll told the media after the game that everyone was extremely concerned about Lockett because the contusion caused immense swelling right after it happened, so the possibility of compartment syndrome is being considered. Lockett will get the bye to rest up, but until more is known, he is considered questionable moving forward.
Seattle Seahawks kicker Jason Myers caught plenty of bad press for missing a game-winning kick last week, but the offense bailed him out by scoring a touchdown in overtime. This week, it was Myers who did the saving. Myers blasted through three extra points and a pair of field goals, including a game-winning 42-yarder as time expired in overtime. Myers hasn't really lived up to his billing as a Pro Bowl kicker, especially lately, but he came through when it mattered most on Monday night. Hopefully, this will be a sign of things to come, and that missed game-winner against the Bucs will be seen as the turning point of his season.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Malik Turner had only been targeted twice since September coming into Monday night's game, but then Tyler Lockett suffered a severe leg contusion in the fourth quarter of the team's game against the 49ers. Of course, in football, when one man goes down, an opportunity opens for another. However, when Seattle received the ball to start overtime in their biggest game of the year, the first play didn't go to D.K. Metcalf, their star rookie, or Josh Gordon, their newly-acquired former stud. The first throw went to Turner, an undrafted free agent. When it was 3rd-and-16 and the game was on the line while Russell Wilson was running for his life, Turner's the jersey he saw and delivered a strike to. Turner then put on some fancy footwork to turn that pass that was a yard short into a 28-yard gain that put Seattle just outside SF's red zone. Turner's unlikely to play a big role after everyone gets a bye week to rest and recover, but if his number gets pulled, it looks like he's able to respond.
It's real easy for a general manager to look like a genius when the guys he trades for play like stars against his team's biggest rivals. Jadeveon Clowney returned a fumble for a touchdown and knocked another ball loose. Quandre Diggs, playing in his first game as a member of the Seahawks, snatched a key interception. Overall, the Seahawks Defense went from looking overmatched to settling in, generated three turnovers, and bailed the offense out on numerous occasions en route to a huge win. Seattle still has a host of issues defensively, but if they can play like that on a regular basis, they can be back in the mix in the fantasy world.
Seattle Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister was on the receiving end of another Russell Wilson touchdown throw, but it's still unclear how the two of them made it happen or whether the pass was even directed to Hollister in the first place. With two tacklers bearing down on Wilson from three yards out, he lobbed a gentle floater into the center of the end zone while Tyler Lockett and Hollister were both being openly mugged by 49ers defenders. While Lockett ended up being tackled at the goal line, Hollister dove and snagged the ball with one hand as he fell to the ground. He also went on to catch seven other passes during the game and appears to be one of Wilson's favorite new receivers.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon got to play in his first game with the team on Monday night and made a small but critical impact when he caught a pair of passes late in the game. Both catches came on third downs and got the respective first downs. Gordon looked like he was in ridiculous shape, but it will take a couple more games for his role to really be fleshed out. An injury to Tyler Lockett (leg contusion) possibly opens up some more opportunities, and a handy bye week next Sunday will allow Gordon some extra time to learn the playbook. He could still be useful yet.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf had quite the game on Monday night. In a game that was likened to a heavyweight bout where both fighters were just slugging at each other over and over, Metcalf had stuff happening all over the chart. He suffered the loneliest feeling in the world when a big gainer turned into a fumble at the two-yard line, recovered by San Francisco. He then got the news that he was the team's new No. 1 receiver in overtime of the biggest game of his career when Tyler Lockett was sidelined with a serious leg contusion. Metcalf finished with six catches for 70 yards and no touchdowns, but the box score doesn't do his night justice. He'll get to mull it all over for the next two weeks due to the bye week. Welcome to the NFL.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson got off to a slow start on Monday night, but when push came to shove, he continued to be the bane of 49ers fans everywhere. Wilson ended the evening with 232 yards passing, a touchdown, and an interception, but his clutch moments in the second half were truly the important part of the performance. Wilson, like many of the offensive players on the field, fumbled and made some poor decisions on third down, but a couple unbelievable throws and a critical 18-yard run in overtime helped seal San Francisco's first loss of the season. Wilson remains magnificent.
In one of the toughest games of his career, Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson bashed and bounced his way to 89 yards and a touchdown in Seattle's win over the 49ers on Monday night. Tallying just 3.6 YPC, it seemed like Carson was constantly being hit. His long rush for the night was just nine yards, and he truly fought for every inch he gained. Carson contributed one of five Seahawks fumbles on the evening, but his was actually recovered, so it likely won't be the focus of this week's conversations about fumbling. Carson continues to be one of Seattle's focal points on offense, though he's probably going to be taking a lot of painkillers this week. Good thing they have a bye next week.
San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida (ankle) aggravated his lingering ankle injury in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks. Breida was stuffed for just 18 yards on 10 carries while netting two catches for seven yards. Its unclear if he was limited all game, but backup runner Raheem Mostert was the primary change-of-pace back for Tevin Coleman in the second half. Breida is no stranger to playing hurt but hell have a short week to heal before facing the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11. Hell be a flex candidate if he suits up.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne caught four of eight targets for 42 yards and a touchdown in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks. Bourne was rewarded with a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter and received extra playing time throughout with wideout Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) exiting early. The third-year pro now has touchdowns in consecutive games but doesnt have the volume or pedigree to be a sustainable fantasy asset. Even if Sanders misses time, Bournes not someone to chase on the waiver wire.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo struggled in Week 10s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, completing just 24 of 46 passes for 248 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Jimmy G was under duress all evening, with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney manhandling the Niners offensive line. Garoppolo absorbed five sacks and lost two fumbles, one returned by Clowney for a touchdown. Without tight end George Kittle (knee) and wideout Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) exiting midgame, Garoppolo struggled with his makeshift receiving corps outside of rookie wideout Deebo Samuels who popped with 112 yards. It was another sloppy game for Garoppolo, whos struggled with consistency all season. With several chances to win the game, Garoppolo looked extremely shaky and lacked command of the hurry-up offense. Hell be a QB2 in an attractive Week 11 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel cradled eight of 12 targets for 112 yards in Week 10s loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Without tight end George Kittle (knee) and wideout Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) banged up, Samuel emerged as the premier aerial threat, hogging targets and repeatedly making clutch plays. His long went for 30 yards. Samuel has struggled to separate from the Niners crowded receiving corps this year, but he could be forced into a lead role if Sanders injury is serious. The talent is undeniable. Hell be a popular waiver wire add this week and is an upside WR4 against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11.
The San Francisco 49ers Defense played exceptionally well in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks despite taking the loss. The Niners defense confirmed its dominance against MVP candidate quarterback Russell Wilson, bagging five sacks and recovering three fumbles including a touchdown return by defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw picked off Wilson in overtime and put the team in position to win, but kicker Chase McLaughlin shanked the potential game-winning kick. Even with the loss, the 49ers remain an unquestionable weekly must-start and should be a top-five fantasy defense in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.
San Francisco 49ers kicker Chase McLaughlin knocked in three of four field goals and an extra point in Week 10 against the Seattle Seahawks. McLaughlin was poised to play hero after crushing a 47-yard field goal to tie the game in regulation, but instantly reverted to scapegoat by badly shanking the would-be 47-yard game-winner attempt in overtime. The rookie was signed this week as a short-term replacement for Robbie Gould (quad) and is a probable cut candidate once Gould is healthy. Nothing to see here fantasy-wise.
San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman raced for 40 yards on nine carries and added four catches for 32 yards in Week 10s loss against the Seattle Seahawks. Coleman and the Niners running attack was mostly contained, but he made a few clutch grabs to help the Niners push the contest to overtime. The fifth-year back was once again the leader of the rushing committee and with Matt Breida (ankle) banged up, Coleman could be poised for more work in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. Hell be a borderline RB1 in a great matchup this coming Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) tallied two grabs for 24 yards before exiting in the second quarter with a rib injury. Its uncertain when Sanders suffered the injury but he was ruled out at halftime. Its a tough break for the 10-year pro who had emerged as the clear No. 1 receiver since joining San Francisco. His practice regimen on a short week will determine his availability in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals.
Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson was benched by head coach Kliff Kingsbury in the Week 10 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in favor of RB Kenyan Drake. Johnson lost a fumble in the third quarter and Kingsbury like what he saw from Drake. 'We just felt like with Drake, needed to get something going and kept him rolling,' Kingsbury said Monday, Nov. 11. 'The last couple weeks, practices, games (he) has brought a little pop to the run game, the pass game, and we felt like he was the guy to try and close the game out with.'
Fantasy Spin: Kingsbury added that the decision was his and had nothing to do with Johnson's recent rash of injuries. He said he'll figure out the best role for both Johnson and Drake over the next few weeks. It's bad news for Johnson's fantasy owners, as he already has struggled to live up to his early-round draft status.
Arizona Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds (hamstring) has missed the past two games, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he is uncertain for Week 11 against the San Francisco 49ers. 'I would expect him hopefully in the near future,' Kingsbury said.
Fantasy Spin: Edmonds will return to the crowded backfield with Kenyan Drake and David Johnson both considered the top two backs. He had his chance to shine in New York when Johnson was hurt and Drake not yet on the team, but he was injured and will now return to a logjam with minimal fantasy appeal.