Jan 8, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes tries to continue Chiefs’ dominance of Broncos

Peyton Manning dominated the Kansas City Chiefs in his Hall of Fame career. He was 12-2 against them and won the first seven times he played them as the Denver Broncos quarterback.

He lost his last head-to-head matchup, back in 2015, which flipped the narrative in the rivalry. Kansas City has won 13 straight games in the series, starting with that 29-13 win, and it will go for No. 14 when the Chiefs play in Denver on Sunday.

Kansas City (9-3) is coming off a loss in Cincinnati, which was a rematch of the AFC title game last year, but will find safe haven against the Broncos.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is 14-0 in AFC West road games, and Mahomes has the advantage to win his 15th considering Denver’s offensive struggles.

“I mean, that’s the past. For us, it’s the now. It’s a West opponent. It’s a great rivalry that’s been going on for years,” Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said. “I am very excited to be a part of it.”

Denver (3-9) is last in the NFL at 13.8 points per game while the Chiefs average 29.2 per game, which leads the league.

The Broncos’ defense has come up big this year but with little reward. The unit is second in the league in points allowed per game (17.0) and third in fewest yards allowed at 304.6 but the offense’s inability to score has led to eight losses by single digits.

To make things tougher Denver will likely be without leading receiver Courtland Sutton on Sunday due to a hamstring injury. Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle) and guard Dalton Risner (shoulder/back) are among those who did not practice on Wednesday.

Kansas City is relatively healthy in comparison. While wideout Mecole Hardman (abdominal injury) isn’t eligible to come off injured reserve for another week, receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring) returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday as did linebacker Nock Bolton (groin).

Toney, acquired from the New York Giants earlier this season, hasn’t played since Week 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Mahomes has plenty of weapons to utilize without those two, especially tight end Travis Kelce, who leads the team in receiving yards (968) and is tied for the league lead in touchdown catches (12).

More concerning is the foot injury Mahomes suffered against the Bengals last week. He came up limping on the last play of the game and is listed on the injury report but he doesn’t seem concerned about it.

“It’s felt good,” said Mahomes of his foot. “You always deal with bruises and little things in the NFL season — and so, luckily for me, it’s just a bruise and something I can just kind of bounce back from. (I’ll) be out there at practice and keep getting better like we’re trying to do.”

If the foot is an issue against the Broncos it might be a factor against their stout defense. Mahomes called Denver’s defense “special” and knows what he has to do in order to neutralize the rush.

“I’ve got to do my best to get the ball out of my hand and let these guys make plays,” he said.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) on field against the Los Angeles Rams prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes unfazed by foot issue

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes downplayed concern that his bruised foot will affect his status for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.

Mahomes said he felt fine on Wednesday and didn’t believe that the injury would be an issue for this weekend’s game. The 2018 NFL MVP was expected to participate in practice later in the day.

“It has felt good,” Mahomes said. “You always deal with bruises and little things throughout the NFL season. Luckily for me, it’s a bruise and something I can bounce back from. I can be back out there in practice and get better, which is what we’re trying to do.”

Mahomes, 27, sustained the injury while being sacked by Cincinnati Bengals edge rusher Joseph Ossai late in the fourth quarter. That was the final offensive play of the game for Kansas City, which saw Cincinnati run out the clock in the Bengals’ 27-24 victory on Sunday.

Wide receiver Kadarius Toney did not play in that game — or the Chiefs’ previous contest — due to a hamstring injury.

Toney, however, was expected to participate in practice on Wednesday.

“We’ll see,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Toney’s potential return to action this weekend. “I’m going to let him get out there and work a little bit. We’ll see how he does with that. We’re not going to bring him back and have him hurt it again.”

Toney, 23, has six catches for 69 yards and a touchdown in three games with the Chiefs after being acquired in a midseason trade with the New York Giants.

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (26) celebrates his touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles, Vikings, Chiefs can clinch playoffs in Week 14

The Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to clinch playoff spots in Week 14.

The NFC East-leading Eagles (11-1) will lock up a spot with a win or a tie on Sunday against the host New York Giants. Alternatively, Philadelphia could also clinch if the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks both lose.

The Vikings (10-2) can clinch the NFC North division title for the first time since 2017 with a win or tie on Sunday against the host Detroit Lions.

The Chiefs (9-3) can clinch their seventh consecutive AFC West division title on Sunday if they beat the Denver Broncos on the road and the Los Angeles Chargers lose at home to the Miami Dolphins.

–Field Level Media

Dec 4, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) completes catch as Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton (21) defends in the first quarter of a Week 13 NFL game at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals outduel Chiefs

Joe Burrow passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for a score to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to a 27-24 victory over the visiting Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Chris Evans caught the go-ahead 8-yard touchdown pass with 8:54 remaining as Burrow outdueled Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes for the third time in 11-plus months. Cincinnati beat Kansas City 34-31 in the regular season last January and notched a 27-24 overtime victory in the AFC Championship Game four weeks later.

Samaje Perine rushed for 106 yards while Tee Higgins also caught a touchdown pass for the Bengals (8-4), who won their fourth straight game and eighth in their past 10. Ja’Marr Chase had seven receptions for 97 yards after missing the previous four games due to a hip injury.

Mahomes was 16-of-27 passing for 223 yards and one touchdown for the Chiefs (9-3), who had a five-game winning streak halted. Travis Kelce had just four receptions for 56 yards and lost a fumble prior to the Bengals’ decisive score.

Isiah Pacheco rushed for a touchdown and Jerick McKinnon had a scoring reception for Kansas City.

Cincinnati has won seven of its past eight games against Kansas City, counting the postseason.

Bengals running back Joe Mixon (concussion) missed his second straight game.

Kansas City opened the second half with a seven-play, 77-yard drive to take the lead for the first time at 17-14. Pacheco ended the excursion with an 8-yard run.

Evan McPherson booted a 36-yarder midway through the quarter to tie the score. But the Chiefs went back ahead at 24-17 on a 3-yard, fourth-down scamper by Mahomes with 3:49 left as the quarterback was ruled to have broken the plane of the goal line with the football before losing it due to a hit from Cam Taylor-Britt.

McPherson tacked on a field goal 13 seconds into the fourth quarter to cut Kansas City’s lead to four.

Kelce was stripped of the football by Cincinnati’s Germaine Pratt on the Chiefs’ next drive and Pratt also recovered it. That set up a 10-play, 53-yard drive in which Burrow hit the wide-open Evans with the 8-yard scoring pass to give the Bengals the 27-24 lead.

Kansas City stalled on its next drive and Harrison Butker’s 55-yard field-goal attempt was wide right with 3:19 to play.

With just under two minutes remaining, Burrow teamed with Higgins for a 14-yard completion on third-and-11 to seal it.

Earlier, Burrow scored the game’s first touchdown on a 4-yard run with 8:49 left in the first quarter. The Chiefs got on the board on Butker’s 26-yard field goal with 3:56 left in the period.

Cincinnati increased its lead to 14-3 on Burrow’s 12-yard scoring pass to Higgins with 13:33 left in the half. McKinnon scored from the 2 as the Chiefs moved within four with 2:23 remaining.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) celebrates after a play against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs DE Frank Clark (illness) questionable vs. Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark was added to the injury report with an illness and is questionable to play in Sunday’s game against the host Cincinnati Bengals.

Clark joins safety Deon Bush (elbow) in being questionable for the Chiefs (9-2).

Wide receiver Kadarius Toney has been ruled out for the game versus the Bengals (7-4) due to a hamstring injury.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Clark has 23 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery in nine games this season.

–Field Level Media

Bengals QB Joe Burrow looks for an opening to pass against the Titans.

Syndication The Columbus Dispatch

Bengals take on Chiefs in AFC Championship rematch

The Cincinnati Bengals look to continue their recent domination of the visiting Kansas City Chiefs when the two AFC powerhouse teams meet in Sunday’s showdown.

The Bengals have won six of the past seven meetings between the teams. Of course, they prevailed in the most important clash when they recorded a 27-24 overtime win over the host Chiefs in last season’s AFC Championship game.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes hasn’t forgotten the demoralizing feeling of falling short and watching the Bengals celebrate advancing to the Super Bowl.

“They beat us,” Mahomes told reporters. “I played terrible in the second half. We lost at home (in a game) that could have sent us to the Super Bowl. We’ll be ready to go for sure.”

The Chiefs (9-2) possess the best record in the AFC and have won five straight games entering the rematch.

Cincinnati (7-4) has won three consecutive games and seven of nine following an 0-2 start.

After engineering the Bengals’ run to the Super Bowl last season, quarterback Joe Burrow is intent on posting another win over Kansas City.

“We’re really confident in ourselves,” Burrow said. “We feel like we can beat any team in the league, and we’ve proven that. We’re not going to go out and be scared of anybody.”

Burrow has passed for 3,160 yards, 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. Four of the picks came in the season-opening 23-20 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Burrow will have top wideout Ja’Marr Chase (hip) back on the field but the availability of running back Joe Mixon (concussion) might not be known until late in the week. Mixon missed last Sunday’s 20-16 road win over the Tennessee Titans.

Chase has missed the past four games and said Wednesday that he held himself out against the Titans. He told coach Zac Taylor that he wanted to think long term about the injury.

“I told him I didn’t feel too comfortable yet,” Chase said. “I wanted to give myself another week of preparation for the next game if I had a chance to. I just want to get myself the right amount of time. I never really want to rush anything.”

Tee Higgins, who has team highs of 57 catches and 826 receiving yards, has stepped up with Chase out and has recorded back-to-back 100-yard outings.

While the Bengals are tied for the AFC North lead with the Baltimore Ravens, the Chiefs own a three-game lead over the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC West.

Kansas City has posted three double-digit victories during its five-game winning streak and is flying high entering a stretch of three straight road games — the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans follow the game in Cincinnati.

Mahomes is on a roll and has passed for over 300 yards in six straight games, topping 400 in two of them. He leads the NFL with 3,585 yards and 29 touchdowns and has been intercepted eight times.

Stellar tight end Travis Kelce is having another monster season and leads the NFL with 12 touchdown receptions. Kelce has caught 73 passes and is 88 yards away from his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season.

Kelce was a former college star at Cincinnati. He had 10 receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown in the AFC title game setback.

When asked about last season’s AFC Championship game, Kansas City coach Andy Reid said his team was outplayed by the Bengals.

“They executed well, better than how we did,” Reid said. “We didn’t do very well, so they got us.”

Three Chiefs missed practice Wednesday — receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (illness) and Kadarius Toney (hamstring) and running back Jerick McKinnon (hamstring). Defensive back Deon Bush (elbow) was limited.

Chase and Mixon were both limited for the Bengals, as was defensive tackle D.J. Reader (ankle).

–Field Level Media

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) drops back to ass against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Nov. 27, 2022.

NFL moves Week 14 Dolphins-Chargers game to SNF

NFL Most Valuable Player candidate Tua Tagovailoa and the rising Miami Dolphins will get an extra prime-time showcase, as their Week 14 road game against the Los Angeles Chargers was moved to the “Sunday Night Football” slot.

The move was announced Tuesday as part of the NFL’s flex scheduling plan. The league reserves the right to replace the Sunday night games late in the season in favor of a better matchup.

In this case, the Dec. 11 Dolphins-Chargers game will get the 8:20 p.m. ET position on NBC, trading places with that day’s Kansas City Chiefs-at-Denver Broncos contest, which will now air on CBS at 4:05 p.m. ET.

The Dolphins (8-3) have an 8-0 record in games that Tagovailoa has started and finished. Tagovailoa was carted off from the field during Miami’s 27-15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 29, and the Dolphins dropped the next two games without him.

Tagovailoa has thrown for 2,564 yards and 19 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He is the third favorite for MVP at DraftKings with +500 odds, trailing just Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (-160) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (+350).

FanDuel has Mahomes at -140, Hurts at +350 and Tagovailoa at +600.

The Chargers (6-5) are just one win out of a playoff position after pulling out a 25-24 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the last minute on Sunday.

The Chiefs (9-2) own the best record in the AFC, but their matchup against the Broncos became less appealing with Denver sitting at 3-8 and riding a three-game losing streak.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (25) gets tackled by Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard (31) during the fourth quarter at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: RB Melvin Gordon signing with Chiefs’ practice squad

The Kansas City Chiefs are signing running back Melvin Gordon to their practice squad, according to multiple reports on Monday.

The Denver Broncos released the two-time Pro Bowler last week, and he became a free agent upon clearing waivers.

Gordon, 29, had 318 rushing yards and two touchdowns along with 25 receptions for 223 yards over 10 games (six starts) this year. But he had fallen out of favor in Denver, as he’s become known for issues with ball security. He’s fumbled five times this season, losing two.

Gordon has fumbled 26 times, losing 18, in his eight-year NFL career with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2015-19) and Broncos. The former first-round pick has amassed 6,462 rushing yards and 55 touchdowns along with 309 catches for 2,467 yards and 14 scores in 108 career games (94 starts).

Kansas City is thin at running back with Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle) on injured reserve. Rookie Isiah Pacheco started the past five games and has gained 455 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns over 11 games. Jerick McKinnon and Ronald Jones II are also on the roster.

The Chiefs and Broncos have yet to meet this season despite being AFC West rivals. They will play Dec. 11 at Denver and Jan. 1 at Kansas City.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass as Los Angeles Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) defends during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs win 5th straight, coast past skidding Rams

Patrick Mahomes threw for a touchdown and rookie Isiah Pacheco rushed for another to fuel the host Kansas City Chiefs to a 26-10 victory over the injury-riddled Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Mahomes connected on 27 of 42 of his passing attempts for 320 yards. He completed passes to 10 different receivers and Harrison Butker made four field goals to send the Chiefs (9-2) to their fifth straight win.

Tight end Travis Kelce reeled in a 39-yard scoring pass in the first quarter for his 12th touchdown reception of the season. Kelce finished with four catches for 57 yards.

Pacheco rushed up the middle for a 3-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The rushing touchdown was his second of the season and first since Kansas City’s 44-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 11.

Los Angeles’ Bryce Perkins threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson and had a team-high 44 rushing yards while making his first career NFL start. Perkins was playing in place of the injured Matthew Stafford (neck, concussion) for the Rams (3-8), who mustered just 198 total yards of offense en route to losing their fifth straight game.

To add injury to insult, Los Angeles coach Sean McVay absorbed an inadvertent shot to the jaw from the helmet of Roger Carter Jr. as the rookie tight end checked into the game.

Kelce fended off would-be tacklers before crossing the goal line to open the scoring with 5:40 to play in the first quarter. His touchdown reception capped a nine-play, 90-yard drive.

Matt Gay kicked a 47-yard field goal to begin the second quarter before Butker drilled kicks from 27 and 32 yards out to stake Kansas City to a 13-3 lead at halftime.

Pacheco extended the advantage midway into the third quarter to finish a 12-play, 71-yard drive.

The Rams trimmed the Chiefs’ lead to 20-10 on the ensuing possession, with Jefferson’s catch over the middle capping a 14-play, 75-yard drive.

L’Jarius Sneed intercepted Perkins to set up the first of Butker’s two 22-yard field goals in the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (9) celebrates after a catch and run against the Tennessee Titans during overtime of the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) returning vs. Rams

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has exited concussion protocol and will return from a one-game absence on Sunday when the Chiefs host the Los Angeles Rams.

Smith-Schuster was a full participant in practice all week and was not given a game designation on the Chiefs’ injury report Friday.

The 26-year-old sustained the concussion during the Chiefs’ Week 10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He missed last week’s 30-27 primetime win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

In his first season with the Chiefs, Smith-Schuster is second on the team in receptions (46) and receiving yards (615) while catching two touchdowns. He spent his first five NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fellow Chiefs receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring) was ruled out for the Rams game. Toney, a midseason acquisition from the New York Giants, suffered the injury against the Chargers last week. Guard Joe Thuney (ankle), safety Juan Thornhill (calf) and cornerback Chris Lammons (concussion) were listed as questionable.

The Rams will be without center Brian Allen (thumb), linebacker Travin Howard (hip) and defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (knee). Starting quarterback Matthew Stafford (concussion, neck) was ruled out Wednesday.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson (ankle), tight end Tyler Higbee (knee), center Matt Skura (knee) and tackle Ty Nsekhe (ankle) are questionable.

–Field Level Media