The Kansas City Chiefs lost in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season, which is great news. What might be even greater is how the Denver Broncos' secondary could feast on their pass catchers. It's clear that the Chiefs' offense takes a huge hit without Travis Kelce, and even Kelce could begin to decline this year. The tight end already missed Week 1 with a hyperextended knee, and Patrick Mahomes was left throwing to plumbers and electricians.
And boy oh boy, could the Denver Broncos' secondary feast on this unit, especially if Kelce were to miss one of the matchups versus the Denver Broncos. On Thursday, the Chiefs and the Detroit Lions faced off to kick off the 2023 NFL season, and I knew it'd be a close game either way. Well, it became very clear that the Chiefs' outside of Travis Kelce, just don't have much at all among their pass catchers.
Their 2022 trade deadline addition, Kadarius Toney, had one reception for one yard, and no one had more than 48 yards receiving. Their most productive receiver on Thursday was Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who caught just two passes for 48 yards. Isiah Pacheco led the Chiefs with four receptions, but he had just 31 yards on those four catches.
Patrick Mahomes was also not too productive against a Lions' defense that is still likely one of the worst units in the NFL. Mahomes went just 21/39 for 226 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He wasn't at all productive, and Broncos Country would likely be furious if Russell Wilson had put up those numbers in Week 1.
I think the Denver Broncos' secondary, which is surely stronger than the Detroit Lions' can have an absolute field day against the Chiefs' pass catchers. Patrick Surtain II should have a walk in the park with whoever he matches up with, and I'd trust Damarri Mathis to hold his own against his opposing foe.
With a strong safety room as well and perhaps a breakout year from Essang Bassey, the Denver Broncos' secondary might be able to shut down the Chiefs' pass catchers, which would likely force KC to rely on the run game, something they aren't known for. Hopefully, Denver Broncos' DC Vance Joseph can come up with a strong defensive plan to beat the Chiefs at least once this year.