Patrick Mahomes has been next to unstoppable thus far, but Broncos cornerback Chris Harris says they’ll have something for the hot-shot signal caller.
Through three games the Kansas City Chiefs are No.1 in the NFL in scoring offense (39.3 points per game), and Patrick Mahomes has been nearly flawless with 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Mahomes showed some mettle by authoring road wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers to start the season, but things will ramp up against the division rival Denver Broncos on the road Monday night.
Mahomes made his first NFL start against the Broncos in Week 17 last year, and he played solidly (284 yards with an interception). So the Broncos defense is familiar with him to some degree, and compared to his three starts this season they shut him down.
The Broncos haven’t quite been the stifling defense of the recent past so far this year, and they are 21st in the league against the pass. Russell Wilson (298 yards), Derek Carr (29-for-32 for 288 yards) and Joe Flacco (277 yards) have all had good success through the air against Denver.
But cornerback Chris Harris thinks the Broncos can keep Mahomes in check. From DenverBroncos.com:
We always want to be an attacking football team here…That’s our motto here. It’s been like that ever since I’ve been here. It’s always what we’ve done: just be in attack mode, not sit back; be aggressive and give him different looks. That’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to try to confuse him and give him something he hasn’t seen. [Chiefs coach] Andy Reid’s played against us a lot of times, so we’ve got to try to change it up, try to trick him a couple of times.
We have a lot of tricks up our sleeve at our disposal that we can run any time. We’ve just got to make sure we can execute that. [Defensive Coordinator] Joe Woods has called some great calls, and we didn’t execute. … We’ve got to execute it and do our job to the best of our ability.
Mahomes has only been sacked four times so far this season. But according to Next Gen Stats he has been pressured on 37.1 percent of his drop backs (the third-highest rate in the league), with some drop-off in proficiency (53.1 percent completion rate; 9.1 yards per attempt). But Mahomes also has a solid 115.6 passer rating when pressured, with his mobility as an obvious great helper.
The Broncos have the edge rushers (Von Miller and Bradley Chubb) to get after Mahomes, with Harris leading the way in the secondary. The league’s hottest signal caller (this side of Jared Goff?) is due for some regression, and if Harris has anything to say about it, Mahomes will be humbled some on Monday night in Denver.