Sun Dec 5 11:29pm ET
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams, left, runs with the ball as Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens (53) defends during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (81) catches a pass as Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay (50) defends during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Broncos coach Vic Fangio declared that ''field goals weren't going to beat'' the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.
Neither were 20-play drives that resulted in no points.
That long march that consumed more than 11 minutes of the second quarter didn't lead to a 22-9 loss to the Chiefs by itself, but it sure didn't help matters. And Fangio's failed decision to go for it on fourth-and-2 at the Kansas City 8, rather than hit a field goal to make it a 10-6 game at halftime, left the demoralized Broncos playing catch-up the rest of the way.
Fangio's bold fourth-down call wasn't the only play the Broncos probably wanted back Sunday night.
There was Courtland Sutton's pass route on third-and-7 that he failed to run to the first-down marker on the opening drive of the second half, and the ball that Teddy Bridgewater threw on the next drive that was picked off by Juan Thornhill.
There was the gaffe by the punt return team a few minutes later, when Caden Sterns ran into return man Diontae Spencer and the Chiefs hopped on the loose ball, and Bridgewater's pick-6 to Daniel Sorensen that put the game away.
That's not going to get it done against the two-time defending AFC champions, especially when the Chiefs are coming off a late-season bye. Andy Reid improved to 20-3 when he has a week off to prepare for an opponent.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs must have decided that field goals were in fact going to beat Denver.
Harrison Butker drilled a 56-yarder into the wind late in the first quarter, split the uprights from 45 yards out in the third, then tacked on a 26-yard chip shot to stake Kansas City to a 16-3 lead.
The result was another loss to the Chiefs in what is fast becoming a lopsided series.
Kansas City has won 12 straight in the series, which means quarterback Patrick Mahomes has never lost to the Broncos in nine career starts - including the first of his career and one that ended with an injury. The Broncos dropped to 3-20 when they play at Kansas City in December dating to their days together in the AFL. And they squandered a somewhat surprising chance to take their first AFC West lead this late in the season in six full years.
Bridgewater finished with 257 yards passing with the two interceptions. Javonte Williams started in place of injured running back Melvin Gordon III and ran for 102 yards while catching Bridgewater's lone TD toss late in the fourth quarter.
Otherwise, the miscues far outpaced the highlights on another bleak Broncos trip to Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire played the lead role in his second game back from a knee injury during a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. CEH recorded 54 yards on 14 rushing attempts with three receptions for 28 yards. It wasn't the best performance for the sophomore runner, but it was a solid performance nonetheless. Backup running back Darrel Williams saw his fair share of action on Sunday evening and was on the field for all third-down plays. Edwards-Helaire should see his role grow down the stretch run, but managers would be wise to insure him with Williams. Next up will be a matchup versus the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14 and CEH should be considered a RB2 with RB1 upside in that contest.
Denver Broncos rookie running back Javonte Williams was finally unleashed on Sunday night against the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs with Melvin Gordon (hip, shoulder) inactive, and he didn't disappoint. Williams was the Broncos offense, carrying 23 times for 102 yards while adding a team-high six receptions on a team-high nine targets for 76 yards and a receiving score for Denver's lone touchdown in the 22-9 loss. He averaged 4.4 yards on the ground and looked like the real deal. Williams is one of the toughest backs in the league to bring down, and he's an extremely powerful runner with tackle-breaking ability. His fantasy managers will be crossing their fingers that Gordon won't return in Week 14 for a dream matchup against the Detroit Lions. If Gordon is out again, Williams will have RB1 upside.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams recorded 20 yards on five carries in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The veteran was in for all third-down plays and recorded three receptions for 60 yards. With running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire healthy and back in the picture, Williams has fallen back into a backup role over the past two contests. Moving forward, Williams should be rostered by all Edwards-Helaire managers for the stretch run, but will be hard to trust without a full time role. Next up for Williams will be a Week 14 date against a Las Vegas Raiders defense that he had his best game of the season against earlier in the year.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (ankle) stated he "absolutely" expects to play in Week 15 against the Washington Football Team. During Sunday's meeting against the Jets, the 24-year-old aggravated the same ankle the landed him on the injured reserve list back in October. However, with the team having a Week 14 bye, Sanders has a good chance at being back. However, if he doesn't, Jordan Howard (knee), Boston Scott (illness), and rookie Kenneth Gainwell, who arguably had the best game of his career against Washington, could be in store for more work. Still, fantasy managers should keep Sanders on the roster as there is a small upside there, although he has been far from a reliable option throughout the 2021-22 campaign.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes put together another underwhelming performance in a Week 13 victory versus the Denver Broncos. The former MVP has been having an off year by his standards and completed just 15 of his 29 pass attempts for 184 yards and an interception. His interception came when wide receiver Tyreek Hill failed to haul in a pass that hit off his hands and into the hands of rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II. It wasn't all bad for managers of Mahomes with him rushing four times for 12 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Mahomes has been a shell of himself this season, but his enormous upside makes him a must-start on a weekly basis. Mahomes will look to put up improved numbers versus a Las Vegas Raiders in Week 14, a defense that he torched for five touchdowns earlier this season.
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had more interceptions than touchdown passes in the 22-9 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night in Week 13. He finished the night 22-for-40 for 257 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a game-sealing touchdown for KC's defense. Bridgewater ran the ball four times for 17 yards. The yardage total was nice, but Bridgewater and the Broncos passing game never really got in sync all night, with a lot of his yards and his lone touchdown to rookie running back Javonte Williams coming in garbage time with the Chiefs ahead by multiple scores. The Broncos offense is usually in trouble when they have to rely on Bridgewater's arm. He'll have a nice matchup against the Detroit Lions next week, but Bridgewater lacks upside on a weekly basis as a low-end QB2.
Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin finished with only three catches for 22 yards during the win over Las Vegas on Sunday. The 26-year-old disappeared in Week 13, and it came after he had at least seven targets in each game since Week 1. However, Logan Thomas (knee) likely is done for the year, so McLaurin could get more looks from Taylor Heinicke moving ahead, starting in Week 14 during the NFC North battle with the Cowboys.
Baltimore Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey (shoulder) is expected to miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury suffered in Week 13, according to sources. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Humphrey could be out 'a while.'
Las Vegas Raiders QB Derek Carr completed 28 of his 38 pass attempts for 249 yards and gained 24 yards on two carries in a 17-15 loss to the Washington Football Team in Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Carr has now finished with one touchdown or less in four of his last five games, and his hot start to the season seems like a distant memory. At this point, Carr is a reach as QB2.
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson had another solid performance on Sunday during the win over the Raiders, compiling 88 yards off 23 attempts. He also secured five of his six targets for 23 yards while also finding the end zone off one of those catches. The 23-year-old has turned up the volume, as he now has at least 19 carries in each of his last four games. He's also been an essential contributor on the receiving end, and he could have an even more prominent role moving ahead with Logan Thomas (knee) likely done for the year. Nonetheless, Gibson has been the real deal and should be considered a priority option for fantasy managers in all formats.
Updating previous reports, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (ankle) has a high-ankle sprain, according to a source, and will undergo further testing Monday, Dec. 6.
Fantasy Spin: Not good. Regardless of the test results, it's improbable we'll see him in Week 14, and don't be surprised if he is out multiple weeks. WR K.J. Osborn will be a hot fantasy pickup this week.
Updating a previous report, Las Vegas Raiders RB Kenyan Drake (ankle) will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a fractured ankle Sunday, Dec. 5, in Week 13.
Fantasy Spin: Drake had done hardly anything in the last month but was still a serviceable insurance policy for the oft-injured Josh Jacobs. Look toward RB Peyton Barber for roster depth and as a handcuff.
Updating a previous report, Washington Football Team TE Logan Thomas (knee) is believed to have suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament Sunday, Dec. 5, in Week 13. Las Vegas Raiders DE Yannick Ngakoue went low on Thomas to avoid a block on the play.
Fantasy Spin: Thomas was starting to shake off the rust after a hamstring injury derailed his season. If Ricky Seals-Jones (hip) is healthy, he'll be a fine play most of the remaining weeks. Look his way on the wire.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Kenyan Drake (ankle) is done for the year. The veteran, who's currently second on the team in rushing, suffered a broken ankle during Sunday's narrow loss to the Washington Football team. As a result, Josh Jacobs could see an uptick in production. However, based on his injury history, Peyton Barber, the next man up on the depth chart, should get some work moving ahead and have limited value as a flex option for those needing to fill a void in deeper fantasy formats.
Washington Football Team quarterback Taylor Heinicke finished with 196 yards and two touchdowns on 22-for-30 passing during the narrow win over the Raiders on Sunday. He also had three carries for 10 yards and threw an interception. The 28-year-old now has six touchdown tosses throughout his last three outings while sporting at least a 72.7 completion percentage in each game during that span. He's a big reason why Washington now owns a four-game win stream, although the expected loss of Logan Thomas (knee) for the remainder of the 2021-22 campaign certainly won't make things easier moving forward. Nonetheless, based on Heinicke's play as of late, he at least deserves consideration in Superflex formats and deep seasonal setups for the upcoming NFC North matchup versus Dallas.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marvin Jones Jr. caught a pair of his three targets for 11 yards in Week 13 at the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Dec. 5.
Fantasy Spin: Jones can be cast to the wire in most standard-sized leagues. He has no utility in Week 14 at the Tennessee Titans.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp was targeted 10 times, landing eight for 129 yards and a touchdown in Week 13 vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Dec. 5.
Fantasy Spin: Kupp is must-see TV week in and week out. The Rams play Arizona on the road in Week 14's Monday nighter. Lock him into all weekly lineups, but be mindful that Kupp's worst fantasy game of the year came in Week 4 vs. this defense. He landed five of 13 targets for 64 yards.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Laquon Treadwell caught four of five targets for 62 yards in Week 13 at the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Dec. 5.
Fantasy Spin: Despite Treadwell leading the team in receiving yards, he's mostly unplayable. Daily fantasy players could look his way for a cheap option in Week 14 at the Tennessee Titans, but coming off their bye, the matchup may not be as friendly as the stats suggest.
Los Angeles Rams TE Tyler Higbee caught five of six targets for 48 yards in Week 13 vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Dec. 5.
Fantasy Spin: On the year, Arizona has done a fine job of limiting TEs, but this matchup is at least skewing neutral in the last five weeks. He landed four passes for 36 yards in the earlier meeting.
Los Angeles Rams RB Sony Michel ran 24 times for 121 yards and a touchdown in Week 13 vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Dec. 5. He caught three of four targets for eight yards.
Fantasy Spin: While RB Darrell Henderson (thigh) was active, he didn't touch the ball, and Michel commanded the backfield touches. In Week 14, LA plays on Monday night, and this one could result in a guessing game when it comes to making a lineup call.