Chiefs starting rookie Patrick Mahomes vs Broncos

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin can't make a catch in the end zone in front of New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore left during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday Dec. 24 2017 in Foxborough Mass. (AP Phot

Mahomes, the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, is being groomed as Smith's successor, but his assignment Sunday doesn't signify a changing of the guard. Furthermore, It's the first time the first-round pick will see any action this season.

But the job security of Broncos rookie head coach Vance Joseph may hinge in part on Sunday, so Mahomes is likely to get a full taste of a unsafe and star-laden Denver 'D'.

Starting quarterback Alex Smith has enjoyed one of his best seasons this year, throwing for more than 4,000 yards with 26 touchdowns and a career-best 104.7 rating.

Which might explain why Andy Reid and company have made a decision to give starting quarterback Alex Smith a break and start rookie Patrick Mahomes instead. Instead, Reid views a meaningless game as a good opportunity to get Mahomes some experience.


Reid added he'd use the final game of the 2017 season to rest key starters and get other younger players besides Mahomes reps.

Patrick Mahomes will start on Sunday against the Broncos, per Andy Reid.

Kansas City (9-6) kicks off against division-rival Denver Broncos (5-10) for a chance to extend a four-game winning streak over its rivals. He hasn't played a single National Football League snap since going to Kansas City, but has excellent teachers around him in Smith and Reid. But if Mahomes play well, it could make the Chiefs a little more comfortable in moving on from Smith this summer.

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