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Broncos vs Chiefs: 5 winners, 6 losers from Denver’s crushing loss on MNF

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The Broncos rushing game showed up in a big way (when it was called), but the coaches come up short yet again.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Up by ten points in the fourth quarter, you should win.

At home.

With a raucous crowd against a divisional opponent you have on the ropes. You have to win.

Oh, the good old days for the Denver Broncos. Now, when the home team is in that position and playing good football, in the back of your mind you just know the tide will turn. It’s just a matter of when.

It took until the last two Kansas City Chiefs drives, but that’s when it finally happened to the Broncos, in a game they should have won. Instead, they’re 2-2 after a crushing 27-23 loss on Monday Night Football and about to head east on another road trip.

Winners

Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay

What can you say about the Broncos rookie running backs? Both Freeman and Lindsay were damn impressive and they answered the call. For Denver to have a chance against the Chiefs, it needed to run the ball and control tempo. The Broncos did that in emphatic fashion, and gave them a puncher’s chance.

Billy Turner

The Broncos didn’t miss a beat when starting right tackle Jared Veldheer went out with a knee injury. That’s a major compliment to Turner, who was damn good. This is the second time he’s filled in for an injured Veldheer, and Denver’s coaches should at least think about staying with Turner going forward.

Andy Janovich

Given the dominance of the Broncos running game, you have to go with Jano. But he not only paved the way for Freeman and Lindsay, he blocked down field and had a huge catch in the second half to move the offense in field goal position (barely).

Patrick Mahomes

As much as it pains me to say this, the young quarterback is fun to watch. And I’m jealous of Chiefs Kingdom. Mahomes has qualities you can’t coach or teach. Even more painful in that regard, he reminds of me John Elway.

Broncos Country

Denver’s fans stepped up big time on Monday and delivered Rocky Mountain Thunder that clearly affected the Chiefs on offense. It’s good to see the fans deliver for the Broncos like that, too bad the coaches came up short (again).

Losers

Marquette King

When Denver needed his big leg late in the fourth quarter, King put forth a duck. That’s the second week in a row the Broncos defense was put in bad spots because of the punter. At this point King is a liability for this team, and his strong leg was the reason he was brought to Denver.

Von Miller

For the second game in a row, Denver’s all-world pass rusher was nowhere to be found. About the only time Miller’s name was mentioned was when the ESPN crew was talking about how he hadn’t made an impact. That needs to change.

Joe Woods

What in the actual f*$k was the defensive play calling on Kansas City’s game-winning drive? The Broncos have Mahomes in second-and-30, where you don’t play man coverage under any circumstance. What does Woods do? Play man coverage. It sucks, too, because his defense did a masterful job up until that final drive.

Bill Musgrave

It wasn’t just the defensive play calling that cost Denver in this game, it happened offensively too. The Broncos finished with 22 carries that averaged over seven yards per attempt. This was a game in which Kansas City’s defense couldn’t stop their running game if it tried. So what does Musgrave do? He calls 37 pass plays. If Denver runs it 34 times, it wins this game. It’s another instance of the coaches costing their team because they’re outmatched. Speaking of which ...

Vance Joseph

Have a 10-point lead and want your team to still lose? Joseph is at your service. For as awful as Woods was on that game-winning drive for the Chiefs, for as awful as Musgrave was at the end of the game, Joseph is their boss and his coaches weren’t prepared — yet again. He also adds another sterling bullet point to his resume: This is the first time in 14 years the Broncos lost a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter at home.

Case Keenum

Franchise quarterbacks complete that throw to Demaryius Thomas to win the game for their team. Winning quarterbacks deliver in those key, game-changing moments. More and more the evidence shows Keenum is not the answer at quarterback for this team.