"A huge guy in the pocket," Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis said of the 6-foot-7 Lynch. “He can make every throw because he’s got a very strong arm. For us, we have to not let the deep balls get over our heads. We’ve been doing a good job of that."
The Chiefs gave Lynch a close look last year, having him to Kansas City for a visit before the draft. The Broncos thought the Chiefs were serious enough about drafting Lynch had he dropped to them in the first round that they traded up to move ahead of Kansas City and into position to draft Lynch.
The Chiefs waited until this year to get their quarterback in the first round. They drafted Patrick Mahomes II. Mahomes and Lynch will face one another as starting quarterbacks in Sunday’s game in Denver.
The Chiefs are satisfied with the young quarterback they have. Mahomes played well in training camp and the preseason, and Sunday’s game will be his first live action since then.
"This is the real deal," offensive coordinator Matt Nagy said. “The part that’s interesting to me will be just to see his growth from his first day of rookie camp, being able to get in a huddle and call a play versus getting out there now with 60,000 70,000 people, loud, running the huddle and being able to do everything there before the play and then obviously trying to make plays during the play."
But Lynch might have been theirs if the Broncos hadn’t jumped them last year.
"We liked him," Nagy said. “He was a little bit raw coming out of college. He did some things (with run-pass options) that we liked. He was good with that. He’s a big guy, darn near 6-7, and he can move. You don’t see many guys that can run as good as he can at that height."
Lynch started two games for the Broncos as a rookie and has been injured for much of this season. He started one game and has thrown 14 passes this year.
"He hasn’t had many live reps this season," Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “I’m looking forward to him Sunday getting out there and playing, getting some live reps to get some experience playing quarterback in this league.
“Just watching him in practice, he’s definitely a rare talent as far as arm strength and movement ability. But practice for a quarterback and a game are different. For us to know what we’ve got in Paxton, he’s got to play in live games and see some live rushes. That’s how you determine if a quarterback is ready to play. Most quarterbacks look good in practice but you put them in games with a live rush and guys change. It’s going to be fun to see him against a live rush to see how he reacts."
The Chiefs have a four-game winning streak against the Broncos and played against three different quarterbacks -- Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian -- in the process. On Sunday, they will see for the first time the quarterback they could have had.
“He’s like all young players at any position but particularly that one," Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “You need a lot of reps. You need a chance to get in there and play. There’s not too much just from his limited exposure that you’d say he can’t do. He’s thrown some touch passes over the top. He’s got a great arm for any of the quick (throws)."