In this week’s postgame mailbag, The Star’s Terez A. Paylor answers postgame Twitter questions about “Hungry Pig Pass,” Terrance Mitchell and the (resurgent?) offense. Read on for all that, plus the number of the day.
1. Thirty-three points against Denver’s D, all from the offense. Season-high in yards. What can we take from this offensive performance? – @kbrynsvold
Chiefs coach Andy Reid had a nice game as a play caller Sunday, especially early. The execution was on point, too, as they jumped out to a 21-10 halftime lead. Some positives: The offense scored second-half points (13) for the first time in four outings, and the guys who needed the ball — Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce — got it plenty (a combined 17 offensive touches). Alex Smith also ran for a score for the second time in as many weeks; a sign his long-dormant ground game might be coming back. The Chiefs also racked up a season-high 484 yards against a nasty, aggressive defense. Good day, overall, after a rough loss to Tennessee. It’s certainly a good chance they can keep it going next week against a San Diego team that just lost to a previously-winless Cleveland team.
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2. Jeremy Maclin. What to expect down the stretch? Will he be a major weapon in the playoffs? – @MJSerge
Maclin had a quiet game, catching three passes for 9 yards. But as I covered in Sunday’s Star, he is optimistic that he’s back to his 2015 form. The Pro Bowl campaigns of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill mean there are more mouths to feed, but the Chiefs’ offense will always be built around getting the ball to the open man as long as Andy Reid is around. So Maclin — the team’s $55 million wideout — is always a candidate to see some targets.
3. Why aren’t people talking about Terrance Mitchell more? – @TheNateorious1
Mitchell played a significant role for the fourth consecutive game, and appeared to have another nice performance, at least to the naked eye. The Broncos boast two deep ball receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, but Mitchell seemed to hold his own. If he continues to play well, he’ll shore up a position that will continue to see lots of targets with Marcus Peters emerging as someone teams actively seek to avoid.
4. Should Andy have saved the Poe jump pass for a key situation in the playoffs? – @Royal_Champions
With the Chiefs leading by 17 late in the fourth quarter, coach Andy Reid called on 346-pound nose tackle Dontari Poe — who scored a rushing touchdown earlier in the year on a play dubbed “Hungry Pig Right” — to attempt a jump pass in the end zone. It worked, too. Poe, who lined up as a Wildcat quarterback, threw a 2-yard touchdown to tight end Demetrius Harris. It’s the perfect play to call if you have little to lose and want to exorcise some demons against an archrival. It’s probably the wrong play to call if you’re trying to win a playoff game …unless it works, of course. Nevertheless, no issue here with calling it, as long as you understand you’re showing up an opponent you’ll see twice again next year.
5. Will Broncos give 100% next week vs. Raiders? – @Jalopy60
They will if they have any pride. They’re the defending Super Bowl champions, but they didn’t seem to put up as much of a fight Sunday — with their playoff lives on the line — as some might have expected. They’ve also played a ton of postseason football the last several years, which eventually catches up with teams not named New England. So who knows, but if the Chiefs win against San Diego, and the Broncos somehow beat the Raiders, the Chiefs can earn the No. 2 seed and a coveted first-round bye.
484 — The Chiefs’ offensive yardage total on Sunday, a season-high.