The Chiefs were heavily favored to beat the Broncos as the AFC West rivals squared off in Week 8.
After all, Kansas City had beaten Denver easily when the two teams squared off on “Thursday Night Football” in Week 6. The Chiefs won that game 19-8 after building an early lead and terrorizing Russell Wilson for most of the day with their stellar defense.
But in Week 8, the script was flipped. It was Denver’s defense that got the better of Kansas City. The Broncos forced a whopping four turnovers which helped them keep the Chiefs at bay in a 24-9 win.
One of the reasons for Denver’s success? Patrick Mahomes had an uncharacteristically bad day against their defense. There was a reason for that, as the star quarterback wasn’t entirely healthy.
Mahomes was dealing with an illness during Sunday’s game. He was a late addition to the injury report after coming down with the flu. The broadcast detailed that he had caught it after his wife Brittany, and children, Sterling and Bronze, dealt with the sickness earlier in the week.
“I started feeling bad last night, but thought I bounced back pretty well this morning,” Mahomes told reporters after the game. “Just kind of tried to go out there, do whatever I can and play my best football.”
Mahomes was never in danger of missing Sunday’s game, but it was clear that he wasn’t at 100 percent during the defeat. Here’s a breakdown of his stats and performance from Kansas City’s first loss to Denver since 2015.
Patrick Mahomes stats vs. Broncos
Mahomes finished Sunday’s game against the Broncos having completed 24-of-38 passes for 241 yards. He did not throw a touchdown and logged three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble) against a resurgent Broncos defense.
As bad as the turnovers were, Mahomes also did not deal as well with pressure on Sunday as well as he normally would have. He took three sacks — a season-high — and routinely failed to scramble out of trouble and find open receivers. Those negative plays helped to further hamstring the team’s offense.
Despite these issues, Mahomes still threw some pretty passes and had a respectable completion percentage of 63.2. But all told, Mahomes still posted the second-worst passer rating of his career with a mark of 59.2 and had just the 11th multi-interception game of his regular-season career, which has spanned 88 starts.
So, it’s fair to call Mahomes’ performance on Sunday a lowlight. But whether the flu was to blame for Mahomes’ issue or he just had a down day, he will certainly be looking to bounce back in a big way as the Chiefs travel to Germany in Week 9 to take on the Dolphins.