Chiefs starting rookie QB Patrick Mahomes vs. Broncos

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Patrick Mahomes
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Patrick Mahomes /
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The Kansas City Chiefs are starting rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes against the Denver Broncos in the week 17 season finale…

The Denver Broncos are entering week 17 in an odd ‘must win’ (?) game against the Kansas City Chiefs, who have wrapped up the AFC West division crown for the second straight season.

In addition to wrapping up the AFC West, the Chiefs have also locked in their slot in the AFC playoffs as the fourth seed. Because of that, they are not planning on risking any of their starters getting hurt in this game.

Which leads us to Wednesday’s big news, that rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes will get the starting nod over Alex Smith this week.

Mahomes, the Chiefs’ first round pick in 2017, was a player that was heavily invested in as the future of this organization. Kansas City traded its number one pick in 2018 to move up and get Mahomes, the Texas Tech product that showed a little bit of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in his time with the Red Raiders.

With his gunslinger mentality and great athletic ability, Mahomes graded out as one of my top overall prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft, and was right up there with DeShaun Watson as my favorite quarterback in the class.

Naturally, he would go to the Chiefs…

Starting Mahomes gives the Chiefs a chance to evaluate the player that is likely to replace Alex Smith next season, and it will also give the Broncos — presumably — a better chance of winning.

This is a rookie quarterback going on the road against a team of players and coaches fighting for their jobs for next season.

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At the same time, it’s a chance for Mahomes to prove that he is the future of the team, and go out there, and make some plays in a pressure-free situation.

Denver has everything to lose in this game, and Kansas City has nothing to lose at all. They are going to be playing loose, playing free, and that’s exactly the type of football that suits Mahomes’ playing style.

Mahomes will be going up against fellow former first round pick Paxton Lynch in this quarterback duel, and as fate would have it, both players are represented by the same agent: Leigh Steinberg.

Rest assured, he’ll be in attendance for this one.

Lynch could be auditioning for any number of teams next year, as the Broncos appear poised to at least consider moving on from him this offseason. If he shows well, it could convince the Broncos to give him another shot, but that would be getting way ahead of ourselves.

Mahomes’ debut has been highly anticipated not only by Chiefs fans, but fans in the NFL Draft community that loved him coming out of college as well. There will be a ton of people rooting for him to have success, perhaps even some Broncos fans who don’t like the current state of the team, or want to see the Broncos get the highest draft pick possible.