KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Few AFC West opponents have more familiarity with the Chiefs offense than Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, who says this year's edition looks much different from the one his team faced in Week 17 last year, but it's probably not the player you're thinking that he believes makes the biggest difference.
“They've got Sammy Watkins this year,” Miller said. “They've upgraded at the receiver position.”
The Broncos saw Patrick Mahomes in Week 17, so Miller and his teammates have a taste of what the young gunslinger can do with the ball. But the addition of Watkins worries Broncos head coach Vance Joseph.
"You've got Sammy Watkins, who's a big-play guy down the field that's a big target for (Mahomes)," Joseph said.
The Chiefs have spread the ball evenly around their receiving corps with Travis Kelce leading the way with 16 catches and Tyreek Hill an d Watkins tied with 14. But the Broncos believe its Watkins that Mahomes looks toward to get the ball to the most.
“It looks like Sammy is Patrick's favorite target, they've got a little bit of chemistry there," Miller said. "He's not getting balls like (Hill) or (Kelce), but it looks like he wants to go to Sammy most of the time.”
Head coach Vance Joseph that pass-catching trio along with running back Kareem Hunt creates matchup headaches.
“It's really difficult to get ready for a team like this along with trying to find the matchups first of all and then to match the match sups, that makes it hard facing this offense.”
Joseph says the Chiefs played it close to the vest in Week 17 with Mahomes last year with their offensive play calling.
“But now every week it's something different as far as concepts that you have to prepare for and that makes it difficult because they're going to make you play vanilla and try to find the matchups and then you've got problems,” Joseph said. “He's doing a great job of handling the total offense. He's got great composure, he moves out of the pocket when he's pressure, and, boy, he's trying to make big plays and that makes him scary.”