With the Oakland Raiders wild win over the Carolina Panthers, winning this game was absolutely critical for both the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs.
We have waited for Trevor Siemian to duplicate his second half in that Cincinnati Bengals game. This game was it. With 368 yards and three touchdowns, his play was a big reason the Broncos were in it the very end.
The Broncos offense had nearly doubled the Chiefs in yardage before overtime, but the game still needed an overtime to find its victor. A critical mistake going for the win with a 62-yard field goal attempt cost the Broncos the win. Instead of playing field position and putting the Broncos defense on the field, they kicked the field goal ... and missed.
The Chiefs won the opening coin toss and immediately deferred to Trevor Siemian and the Broncos offense.
As has been Rick Dennison’s M.O., the Broncos open up their first drive with a failed pass. This one a screen to Andy Janovich for a two yard loss. Siemian would hit Demaryius Thomas on a quick slant to get ten yards on the next play for a third and short situation. Devontae Booker would run right up the middle for no gain for the Broncos first three and out of the night.
A booming punt from Riley Dixon pinned the Chiefs inside their own five yard line, a holding penalty on Kapri Bibbs forced a rekick. Dixon boomed it again, but Tyreek Hill nearly broke it for a touchdown if not for a shoestring tackle from Justin Simmons.
Two short runs forced the Chiefs into a third and six, where Alex Smith would throw four yards short of the sticks for the Chiefs’ first three and out of the night as well.
After two solid runs from Booker, Siemian would take a sack on third and four with Justin Houston breaking loose. The protection was solid, but Siemian held onto the ball much too long on that play. Ty Sambrailo was beat on the play and he really didn’t do anyone any favors either.
.@JHouston50 is BACK.— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
And he's sacking QBs as usual. #KCvsDEN https://t.co/p6FqWiYEmI
Two weeks to prepare and it was two three and outs for Dennison and the Broncos offense.
The Chiefs would have had a second three and out, but the officials felt Chris Harris Jr. committed a hold on Travis Kelce. The reply appeared to show their legs getting tangled up instead.
The run game opened for Spencer Ware after that first down, quickly getting the Chiefs into field goal range. After Shaquil Barrett busted a play on first down, a Chiefs holding penalty pushed them back on the edge of field goal range for a second and 20.
Smith was nailed by Von Miller on his next throw forcing an errant pass. The Broncos defense stiffened to force a punt as Andy Reid decided against a 56-yard field goal try.
The Broncos finally got a first down on their next drive after Emmanuel Sanders was held on an incomplete pass from Siemian to give them a first down. Siemian hit Sanders over the middle for a 12 yard gain on the very next play and the offense finally got some momentum going in this game.
Bibbs took the next run up the middle and was hit hard by Eric Berry. The hit appeared to knock Bibbs out cold. A false start removed most of Bibbs gained yards there, so Siemian had to throw on second down to Sanders to get those yards back. On third and two, Booker was stuffed and the drive ended.
The Chiefs started at their own 12 yard line, but needed only two plays to get the ball out to their own 35. Two plays later on third and two, Ware would get three and a first down and the end of the first quarter.
A bizarre decision from Smith on a bootleg rollout to throw across the field. Shane Ray batted the pass away and the Chiefs were flagged for an ineligible man down field. Von Miller was lined up in coverage on a wide receiver on the next play, but he jumped the short route and blew up the attempted screen pass.
Todd Davis and Darian Stewart converged on the next play to stuff a run from Ware to force a third and 16 situation. A quick pass for two yards and the Chiefs punted.
The Broncos unleashed Booker after taking over at their own 13 yard line. Three runs later he had them out past the 30 yard line.
Somehow, Bibbs was cleared to return after being knocked out.
He was in on the next play as Siemian slide to his left for a solid intermediate throw to a wide open Sanders for a 20 yard gain.
From there Sambrailo would fall on his ass three times and pretty much ruin the Broncos drive from there. Justin Houston would sack Siemian again on third and 16 and the drive ended.
On fourth and 31, the Broncos Dixon punted the ball deep. The Chiefs got solid field position at their own 35 yard line.
The Broncos defense at least got some rest from all of that nonsense. The promptly forced a three and out. Jordan Norwood muffed the punt at the five yard line, but recovered it. In hindsight, he should have just let the ball go into the end zone. Very dumb play all around.
After a solid first down run from Booker, Siemian would throw the ball to no one. It landed at least five yards from the nearest anyone. On third and seven, Siemian would take a sack and fumble in the end zone. The Broncos cover, Chiefs get the points.
Sack. Fumble. SAFETY.@JHouston50's THIRD sack of the first half gives the @Chiefs 2 points! #KCvsDEN https://t.co/KCk3zpu8rs— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
Chiefs 2, Broncos 0.
On the ensuing free kick, Hill would take it to the house to hammer home the humiliating performance from the Broncos offense in this game.
Tyreek Hill is GONE.— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
86 yard return TD on the free kick! #KCvsDEN https://t.co/XY9p6tvpYR
Chiefs 9, Broncos 0.
With this offense, that was likely the game. Barring a defensive score anyway.
Then Justin Houston left the game. And maybe a little of this:
That drive when Gary Kubiak takes over the play calling...— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 28, 2016
With Houston out, Emmanuel Sanders went into He-Manuel mode to try and erase the last two minutes of disaster-filled offense and special teams. Sanders get the Broncos down inside the red zone with several catches and a 15-yard penalty on Eric Berry.
After the two-minute warning, Siemian would throw over the middle to Sanders to the end zone in double coverage. It was a very dangerous throw, but just out of the Chiefs defenders reach.
On third and six, Siemian’s pass was deflected by a Chiefs helmet to force a field goal try. Brandon McManus would boot it through to bring the game back to within a single score.
Chiefs 9, Broncos 3.
Von Miller came screaming around the edge on the Chiefs first play on their next drive and nearly caused a strip sack on Alex Smith. He just sacked him instead. Miller was there on the next play to stop a short run from Charcandrick West. Miller would then sack Smith on third down to end all hope the Chiefs might have had offensively in this half.
This is Miller Time. pic.twitter.com/SBy5qtDNZI— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) November 28, 2016
It was Miller Time!
Siemian got the ball back with under a minute to go and needing about thirty yards to get into McManus’ range. Three and out was the play call and the Broncos needed to punt it right back.
This time the punt was true and deep. Chiefs took a knee and will receive the ball to start the second half.
The Broncos defense picked up right where they left off, forcing the Chiefs into a quick three and out to open the second half.
Booker opened things up on the next drive with two runs to get the Broncos out past midfield. Houston would bat down Siemian’s first pass of the drive, though, on the next first down play. Booker got some of those yards back to setup a third and five.
Siemian would throw it up for Demaryius Thomas to go get it and go get it he did to get the Broncos down to the Chiefs 17 yard line.
.@DemaryiusT gets UP for the 24-yard gain! #KCvsDEN https://t.co/WLSuzgXVgp— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
Bibbs would go backwards on two consecutive runs to setup a third and fourteen. After a timeout, Siemian would complete a pass to Derby a yard short of the first down.
For some reason, Gary Kubiak elected to go for it on fourth down. Siemain on the quarterback sneak was stood up right at the first down marker. After measurement, the Broncos barely got the first down.
Two plays later on third and goal, Siemian was chased out of the pocket by Houston and would find Jordan Taylor in the back corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Great improvisation on the play by both quarterback and wide receiver.
.@TrevorSiemian evades Houston.— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
Runs ALL the way across the field.
And finds Jordan Taylor for the TD! #KCvsDEN https://t.co/2GDwIy23rH
Broncos 10, Chiefs 9.
The Chiefs got rolling on their next drive, with Travis Kelce breaking open over the middle with Todd Davis trailing way behind to get them out near midfield. The Broncos defense stiffened to force a third and seven two plays later. Smith hit Kelce on a short pass at the sticks for the first down.
The conversion catapulted the momentum in the Chiefs direction. From the 20 yard line, Chris Harris Jr. would make a critical stop on a screen pass to force a third and seven. The Broncos would make the stop and the Chiefs kicked the field goal.
Unfortunately, the Broncos had seven men lined up on one side for a procedural penalty that gave the Chiefs a first down on the 12-yard line. After two runs from Ware, Tyreek Hill escaped Von Miller in the backfield for the touchdown.
Chiefs 16, Broncos 10.
Siemian would overthrow Sanders who was wide open 15 yards down the field on the first play on the Broncos next drive, but would follow that up with a short slant completion to Thomas just short of the sticks to end the quarter.
Jordan Norwood went from muffing punts to dropping easy passes. The Broncos would have to punt despite some rhythm from Siemian during that and the previous drive.
After a short run from Spencer Ware, the other Ware, DeMarcus, got himself a sack on Smith to force a third and long for the Chiefs. On third and 13, Smith tried to escape pressure from Miller up the middle and was sacked by Shane Ray for the three and out.
Chiefs punted from their own end zone and Norwood decided not to call a fair catch on a short kick. The predictable muff was recovered by the Chiefs and just like that, the game began to slip away from the Broncos.
.@Broncos can't handle the punt.@Chiefs recover! #KCvsDEN https://t.co/iAWz5Kntqu— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
The Chiefs were called for holding on first down, but a screen pass to Ware netted 14 yards. On second down and six, Smith saw his next screen pass blown up and as he turned to run, Miller obliterated him for the sack.
.@Millerlite40 is an ANIMAL. #KCvsDEN pic.twitter.com/dggmz14Lcu— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
On third and 13, a short completion resulted in another punt and surprisingly the coaching staff gave Norwood another chance to muff a third punt. He double clutched it, but didn’t muff it that time.
It’s Emmanuel Sanders Time.
After a short run, Siemian would hit Sanders deep down the field for a 64 yard gain. Kubiak was in the way of an official, which resulted in a 15-yard penalty on the Broncos.
The crowd booed the call, but Kubiak quieted them down knowing it was his mental error.
It didn’t matter, because it was Emmanuel Sanders time. Siemian threw a pass down the seam, which he has struggled to do this season (so yay!), that dropped right into Sanders’ bucket.
You're not catching @ESanders_10...— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
TD @Broncos! They have the lead again. #KCvsDEN
Broncos 17, Chiefs 16.
On the Chiefs next drive, they were able to get a quick first down. Two plays later on third and seven, Smith would misfire on Kelce with Darian Stewart nearly coming up with the interception. Instead, the Chiefs had to punt to Norwood who secured the ball on the return.
A failed run on first down, set the Broncos up with a second an eleven from their own three yard line. From there, Booker lost another yard. On third and twelve from the two yard line, Siemian slid to his left and fired a bullet to A.J. Derby for the first down.
Another failed short run on first down, Sanders had a false start penalty against him. On second and 16, Siemian takes off running from a collapsing pocket for a 14-yard gain to setup a much more manageable third down attempt.
The Chiefs bring a jailhouse blitz with Siemian floating a pass up for Bennie Fowler who caught it and ran it all the way down for the touchdown.
.@TrevorSiemian ➡️ @b_fowler13.— NFL (@NFL) November 28, 2016
76-yard @Broncos TD! #KCvsDEN https://t.co/1Wd93hJl2D
Broncos 24, Chiefs 16.
The Chiefs quickly moved down the field and into the red zone with less than a minute to play in the game. With 40 seconds left, Aqib Talib made a touchdown-saving play on first down. Three in-completions later, Smith on fourth down and 10 would beat Bradley Roby for a first and goal with 20 seconds left.
From the three yard line, a two yard gain by Hill down to the goal line for the touchdown. A two-point conversion later and this game went into overtime.
Broncos 24, Chiefs 24.
The Broncos won the coin toss and received the ball first to start the overtime period.
Booker opened things up with two solid runs totaling nine yards. Siemian then hit Thomas on third down for an eleven yard gain and a new set of downs.
From their own 45 yard line, Siemian made a very ill-advised throw to Taylor that could have easily ended in an interception. A short run from Bibbs setup third and seven near midfield for the Broncos.
A short screen pass to Booker resulted in a big 22-yard game to put the Broncos into field goal range at the Chiefs 30 yard line. A pass interference call on a pass to Thomas set the Broncos up at the Chiefs 20 yard line.
After two short runs, Russell Okung gave up a sack on Siemian to end the drive. McManus kicked the 44-yard field goal to put the Broncos up.
Broncos 27, Chiefs 24.
The Chiefs got a nice kickoff return to set them up at their own 35-yard line to start their next possession. It wasn’t long before the Chiefs crossed midfield and into field goal range.
The big play came from Smith to Kelce for 21 yards. A play that saw DeMarcus Ware egregiously held on the pass rush, but oh well. The Chiefs brought their big heavies in on the next play for a 7 yard run by Spencer Ware to the Broncos 24-yard line. West for another 4 yards put the Chiefs into the red zone and a first down to boot.
Two plays later, the Broncos defense forced the Chiefs into a third and 9 situation from the Broncos 19 yard line. Alex Smith would have his pass broken up and the Chiefs were forced to kick a field goal.
Broncos 27, Chiefs 27.
With just under four and half minutes to go, this was the moment for Trevor Siemian. He’s had a big game and now it was time for him to go get that big win.
On the first snap, Siemian scrambled to his left for eight yards to setup an easy conversion for Booker who would take the next carry six yards out to the Broncos 39 yard line.
After an incompletion, Bibbs would take the carry seven yards. On third and three, Siemian found Derby again for another big third down conversion. The Broncos moved into Chiefs territory on that play bringing the game down to the two-minute warning.
After a short run, Siemian missed a wide open Sanders and nearly threw an incomplete pass to setup a third and ten. Siemian missed to Fowler on fourth down as well.
Kubiak decided to go for the win with a 62-yard field goal attempt with a brand new long snapper in the winds of the Denver fall. He would miss the kick and some would wonder why not let the defense try to get a turnover instead.
That decision cost the Broncos the game. The Chiefs drove down the short field and kicked the winning field goal.
Chiefs 30, Broncos 27.