Freud on the NFL: Mahomes makes us realize what Keenum is not
1. Rams (4-0) … Nice win over Vikes
2. Chiefs (4-0) … They convinced the Broncos
3. Jaguars (3-1) … They have the tools
4. Saints (3-1) … Brees-us may live forever
5. Patriots (2-2) … Still there
1. Cardinals (0-4) … Ouch
2. New York (3-9) … Giants, Jets and Bills
3. 49ers (1-3) … But for the grace of the Cards
4. Oakland (1-3) … Rah, Bay Area
5. Lions (1-3) … Looking forward to Thanksgiving.
Well, that was a bummer of a Monday for Colorado sports fans.
Really, I was rooting for the Rockies against the Dodgers in the NL West tiebreaker game.
As for Broncos-Chiefs, well, I enjoyed the game because it was a good one. (I’m a Niners fan, and our season went poof last week.)
The Broncos were up, 23-13, couldn’t close and lost, 27-23, to the Chiefs.
The difference in a nutshell was the quarterbacks.
The Denver defense did a great job disguising coverages on Pat Mahomes, but you can only hold the genie in the bottle so long.
Of course, Broncos fans are going to complain about Chiefs getting away with a delay of game. You’re right. The play clock showed zeros. But Broncos fans should also be hacked at their defense that let Kansas City climb out of a second-and-30 hole to convert during the fourth quarter.
And that brings us back to quarterback play.
Mahomes is everything that Broncos fans want Case Keenum to be. Mahomes is mobile and can extend the play. And, if necessary he’ll toss the ball with his left hand, for good measure.
Meanwhile, Keenum, by and large, dinks and dunks his way down the field and pretty much shrivels up in the red zone. He did throw a 42-yard pass against the Chiefs. Sadly, that’s the second longest of the season, the other being a 43-yarder.
He ain’t exactly stretching the field.
By the way, he hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 1 against the Seahawks.
It’s looking more and more like Keenum had a good year last season with the Vikings, a better team than the Broncos and convinced John Elway that he was a franchise quarterback.
More Broncos breakdown
• Denver may have exposed the Chiefs a bit with running on them during the first half. Both Phillip Lindsey and Royce Freeman were ripping off large chunks of yardage and that had K.C. off balance. Watch if other teams try that early with the Chiefs because the best way to stop an offense is to keep it off the field.
• As good as the running game looked early, it couldn’t do anything in fourth-quarter possessions when you need a rusher to eat clock.
• On the other hand, the Chiefs have a running back in Kareem Hunt, who runs over people.
• Broncos kicker Brandon McManus converted field goals of 42, 34 and 46 yards. That means Denver was inside the Kansas City 30-yard line and came away with three, instead of seven. Against explosive teams, you need touchdowns.
AFC West watch
• Sobering thought: The Chiefs have played three on the road and one game at home and are 4-0, while the Broncos 2-2, having played three home games.
• Sobering thought No. 2: The Chiefs are hot now, and likely at the right time. Having already won at Pittsburgh and at Denver, K.C. hosts Jacksonville this week and is at New England next week. If the Chiefs get through this stretch 5-1, they might be home free. Look at their schedule: Home for the Bengals and Broncos; at Browns; home for the Cards and Rams; at Raiders; home for Ravens and Chargers; at Seattle; home for Raiders.
Even if defenses catch up with Mahomes, it may not matter until the playoffs.
• The Chargers staggered by the 49ers, 29-27. San Diego/Los Angeles never starts the season quickly. That should change as the Southern California Chargers play the Raiders and the Browns in their next two games.
• The Raiders outlasted the Browns, 45-42, for their first win of the year. Oakland clearly doesn’t miss Khalil Mack on defense.
News and notes
• Le’Veon Bell is apparently ending his holdout in Week 7. I’m sure the Steelers appreciate that. It appears that the AFC North belongs to the Bengals and Ravens. (Weird to type.)
• How’s the Sam Darnold era going? That was a rhetorical question, Jets fans?
• Order restored: Patriots 38, Dolphins 7. Did you expect anything different?
• Week 5 games to watch: Jags at Chiefs; Vikings at Eagles and Redskins at Saints.