Chris Harris: Broncos' D to be in attack mode vs. Chiefs

The Denver Broncos enter their Week 4 tilt with what heretofore has been a nearly impossible task: Stopping Patrick Mahomes and the explosive Kansas City Chiefs offense.

Through three games, the Chiefs lead the NFL in scoring with a whopping 39.3 points per game and are averaging 398.3 yards per contest. Mahomes, the electric second-year quarterback, has played nearly flawless, dive-bombing opponents to the tune of 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

The Broncos know they must find a way to rattle the quarterback to find any success on Monday night.

"We always want to be an attacking football team here," cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said Thursday, via the team's official website. "That's our motto here. It's been like that ever since I've been here. It's always what we've done: just be in attack mode, not sit back; be aggressive and give him different looks. That's what we've got to do. We've got to try to confuse him and give him something he hasn't seen. [Chiefs coach] Andy Reid's played against us a lot of times, so we've got to try to change it up, try to trick him a couple of times."

Unlike the rest of the Chiefs opponents up to this point, the Broncos have faced Mahomes in the past. The QB started Week 17, beating the Broncos in Denver while throwing for 284 yards, an interception, and no touchdowns.

Harris insists Denver can concoct a scheme to slow down the wunderkind.

"We haven't run anything," Harris said. "We have a lot of tricks up our sleeve at our disposal that we can run any time. We've just got to make sure we can execute that. [Defensive Coordinator] Joe Woods has called some great calls, and we didn't execute. ... We've got to execute it and do our job to the best of our ability."

In theory, the Broncos have the horses to disrupt Mahomes and the Chiefs offense, with Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Harris, and Bradley Roby. In practice, however, the past two weeks Denver's D has made Derek Carr look good and gave up Joe Flacco's best game in years.

To slow Mahomes, Denver knows it must make life difficult for the quarterback.

"We've got to hit him some way, try to get pressure on him," Harris said. "That's the best way to rattle a quarterback that's hot like this."

That's been easier said than done. Like most good point guards, when presented with pressure, Mahomes has dodged out of the crucible and found open targets all over the field. Mahomes has been pressured on 37.1 percent of his dropbacks, third highest pressure rate for a QB this season, per Next Gen Stats. On those plays, the quarterback has completed 53.1 percent of his passes for 9.1 yards per attempt, 3-0 TD-INT ratio and a 115.6 passer rating.

Monday night's tilt is a pivotal early-season division matchup. If the Broncos win, they'll pull even for the AFC West lead. A loss gives the Chiefs in a 2-game lead after just one month.

"This is a championship game," Harris said. "If you're not studying and preparing for a championship game, you don't know what division and AFC West football is. That's what it is. You try to have everybody's mindset that this the championship and this is going to help us in the end, in this race and getting in the playoffs. We've got to gain that mind control of that."

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