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Chiefs 27, Broncos 23: Denver finds a new way to shoot self in foot in heartbreaking loss on MNF

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The Denver Broncos lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football, 27-23.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos had every chance to win the game at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, but failed. The offense continues to frustrate and the defense continues to be on the field too long in games as the Broncos fall to 2-2 in a tough 27-23 home defeat to the Chiefs on Monday Night Football.

First Quarter

The Chiefs win the coin toss and deferred to the second half to give the Broncos offense first crack in this game.

Starting from their own 25-yard line, Case Keenum opened up with a play action pass to Jeff Heuerman for a quick 11-yard gain. Royce Freeman took the next carry 18-yards breaking several tackles inside before breaking free outside for another first down.

Phillip Lindsay got into the mix on the very next play bursting through the middle for a 17-yard gain down to the Chiefs 29-yard line. From the shotgun, Keenum threw a poor pass outside on the next play to Demaryius Thomas for an incompletion.

Keenum held the ball too long on the next play with Lindsay trying to cut Dee Ford who ran right through it for the sack.

On third and 12, Keenum was pressured but got the ball out to Heuerman for a seven-yard gain where Brandon McManus nailed a 42-yard field goal to put the Broncos on the board first.

Broncos 3, Chiefs 0.

The real battle started on this drive as this game will be won or lost between the Chiefs offense and the Broncos defense.

Patrick Mahomes on first down made a short completion over the middle for five yards, then quick outside to Tyreek Hill for another short pass for four years. On third and one, Kareem Hunt was stuffed at the line of scrimmage for no gain.

However, the Chiefs didn’t care in the ultimate form of disrespect going for it from their own 34-yard line. Hunt was able to squeeze inside for a one yard gain for the first down conversion.

Hunt’s next carry led to a 15-yard face mask penalty by Adam Gotsis. From the Broncos 45-yard line, Mahomes went shotgun and found Hunt wide-open in the flat for a 27-yard gain into the red zone.

From an empty set, Mahomes botched the snap and was brought down for a loss on first down. On second and 12, Mahomes threw it quick outside to Hill who beat Bradley Roby outside for a short four-yard gain.

Needing eight yards, Mahomes went to the gun again and had his pass tipped straight up by Roby in a pass breakup to end the Chiefs drive.

Broncos 3, Chiefs 3.

For the first time all season, the Chiefs do not score a touchdown on their opening offensive possession.

Needing to keep the pressure up on Mahomes and keep the fire on the Broncos defense burning brightly, the Broncos took the field from their own 25-yard line on their next drive.

Lindsay burst through a hole inside for a quick seven-yard gain on first down, but then Justin Houston easily beats Garett Bolles for a sack.

Broncos fans message to coaches:

Keenum on third and 11, Keenum throws it short to Heuerman for a two-yard gain and a punt. Bolles was called for a holding penalty as he continues to be dominated by Houston in the first quarter.

The penalty was declined and the Broncos punted it away. Marquette King left plenty of room for a return for Hill who took it 38-yards for great position at the Broncos 41-yard line.

Mahomes from the empty set, had his pass to Travis Kelce broken up by Brandon Marshall. Against from the empty set, Mahomes tossed it up in desperation as he was being pressured everywhere and the ball was overthrown by 20 yards.

On third and 10, Mahomes was hit has he threw and the ball landed incomplete as the feet of his receiver to keep the Chiefs just outside of field goal range in a great defensive stand after that bad punt return from Hill.

From their own 20-yard line, all of Broncos Country looked for some significant running play calls on the teams next drive.

Broncos Country got their wish on first down as Royce Freeman bulldozed his way right up the middle for 10-yards and a first down. Freeman took the next handoff outside for no gain, then on second down Keenum hit Emmanuel Sanders outside for a quick pass for a four-yard gain.

On third and six, Keenum hit Demaryius Thomas outside who turned it up field for a 12-yard gain and a first down.

Phillip Lindsay took the first down handoff inside for four-yards to get the Broncos out across midfield. On second down, Lindsay was stopped for no gain by Dee Ford who is having himself a good first quarter.

Faced with another third and six, Keenum was pressured by Ford who hit him as he passed deep outside. The pass fell incomplete and King came back out for another punt.

King angled the punt to the sideline to pin the Chiefs at their own 11-yard line. With 12 seconds left in the first quarter, Mahomes handed off toe Hunt for a four-yard gain.

Second Quarter

From their own 16-yard line, Mahomes tossed it outside to Hill in the flat who dodged and weaved his way for a 5-yard gain and a first down.

Another pitch outside to Thomas gained seven-yards on first down as the Chiefs stretched the Broncos defense again. Mahomes, from the shotgun, handed off inside to Hunt who gained enough for another Chiefs first down.

Mahomes on play-action had all day to throw, but Zach Kerr finally got to Mahomes whose pass was dropped by Hunt in the flat.

Somehow Kareem Hunt tip toed the sideline and sprung it free down the sideline for a 46-yard run. He added four more yards on the next play to move inside the Broncos 20-yard line.

Another short run, this time from Spencer Ware, set the Chiefs up with a third and four. Mahomes hit his wide receiver across the middle for the first down and a goal to go opportunity.

Mahomes was flushed outside on first down and sacked by Todd Davis and Kerr for a one-yard loss. With Von Miller not on the field, Mahomes went quickly outside to Hill who had the ball bounce off his hands.

On third and goal from the eight-yard line, Mahomes saw an open lane and ran it in easily from eight yards out for the touchdown.

Chiefs 10, Broncos 3.

The Chiefs getting arrogant with a pooch kick short that Andy Janovich returning it to the Broncos 22-yard line.

Lindsay found another massive hole for a 13-yard gain on first down. A play-action pass deep to Courtland Sutton landed right in his bucket for 42-yard gain. Janovich also had a huge block to set that long pass play up.

Then on the next play, Keenum checked into an empty set and tossed it to Lindsay who took it for a short gain to the Chiefs 18-yard line.

On second down, Freeman took it four-yards to setup a third and one. Freeman took a pitch outside that took way too long to develop, but then cut up field like a blur that ended with a 14-yard touchdown run to tie things back up.

Broncos 10, Chiefs 10.

From their own 25-yard line, Hunt ripped off a seven-yard gain on first down and picked up another three for a Chiefs first down.

Bradley Chubb jumped offsides on the next play to move the Chiefs into a manageable 1st and 5. On the next play, the Chiefs were hit with an illegal formation penalty to reset everything as it was two plays prior.

Mahomes from the shotgun hit Hill on a quick out for an 11-yard gain and a first down. The Chiefs went trick play trying to get Hill open in space and it went nowhere. The Chiefs were also called for a face mask penalty on the defense, which is something you don’t see much. Chris Harris Jr. had his head ripped around on a block and still pushed Hill out of bounds.

Mahomes had Travis Kelce open on a slant that was behind him and fell incomplete. On second and 23, Mahomes handed off to Hunt who was stood up after two-yards and driven back to put the Chiefs in very unfavorable down and distance.

The Broncos defense has the intensity to match a young quarterback and put the pressure on Mahomes again who drove the ball into an empty part of the field to force a punt.

From their own 24-yard line, Keenum tossed it outside to Sanders who split the defenders for an 11-yard gain on first down to bring things to the two-minute warning.

Keenum found Sanders again at midfield for another big play down the field as the Broncos moved into hurry-up. Booker caught a high pass in the flat and turned it up field for nine-yards, then Freeman punched it up the middle for four-yards and a first down.

Somehow Booker had his head nearly ripped off by the face mask and it wasn’t called, but the Broncos are in good position with 1:22 left in the first half.

From the Chiefs 33-yard line, Keenum floated a pass that was nearly intercepted at the sideline. On second down, Keenum threw it incomplete to Heuerman on a failed screen pass. On third and 10, Keenum fired a pass outside to Sutton at the sticks who had his forward progress at the first down marker.

The spot of the ball was put up for a booth review. They decided the ball was a yard short and the Broncos decided to go for it.

With Booker on the field, they faked it to him and Keenum bootlegged it outside and made a desperate jump pass to Thomas who made the acrobatic catch and turned up field for the first down.

On first down, Keenum threw it outside to Thomas who was stood up immediately for no gain that ate up the Broncos final timeout. On second down, Keenum throws it up for Sutton who caught it but the ball had sailed out of bounds.

A shallow cross to Lindsay ended with a fourth down with time running out, but McManus and the field goal unit was able to run out there to kick the field goal who booted it through to end the half.

Broncos 13, Chiefs 10.

The Broncos defense held Mahomes to just 65 yards passing in the first half.

Third Quarter

The Chiefs offense will receive the ball first to open up the second half.

Mahomes opened up the Chiefs second-half drive out of the empty set and it seemed like Mahomes was seeing ghosts as he panic threw to Kelce and the ball hit him short of his feet. On second down, Chris Harris Jr. made an outstanding open field tackle to stop an outside pass for a short gain.

On third and nine, Mahomes again from the shotgun took too long to get the play in and the Chiefs were forced to call a timeout. When they came out for their next play, Mahomes looked like he was about to get sacked by Shane Ray and was able to extend the play for a throw down field for a 24-yard gain to midfield.

After a quick five yard pick up on first down by Hunt, Mahomes went back to an empty set and hit Thomas outside for a 14-yard gain to the Broncos 31-yard line.

Hunt gained a couple of yards on first down. Then Mahomes went to play-action and threw it to Kelce on a slant that Harris broke up despite getting away with a clear hold. On third and six, the Chiefs jumped for a false start penalty.

Mahomes, from the shotgun, escaped the pressure and hit Kelce across the middle of the field for a huge gain down to the Broncos 3-yard line. He may or may not have been across the line of scrimmage.

A short run from Hunt moved Mahomes into the shotgun who handed off inside that was blown up by Von Miller for a two-yard loss.

On third and goal, Mahomes fired inside for an incomplete pass to force a fourth down and a field goal attempt.

Broncos 13, Chiefs 13.

Lindsay took the kickoff from the goal line and flew right to the 32-yard line for good starting field position for the Broncos on their next drive.

Keenum threw it up for for Hueuerman who had the ball taken away from him for an interception.

From their own 43-yard line, Hunt continued to have a monster game with another seven-yard gain on first down who then followed it up with another big gain to the Broncos 38-yard line.

Mahomes, from the shotgun, had his screen pass to Conley stuffed for a two-yard gain. The Chiefs next play was a good one on a screen to Kelce inside for what would have been a first down, but a holding penalty brought it all back.

Somehow, Mahomes escaped the grasp of Chubb and was chased outside by Wolfe who threw it deep out of bounds. On third and 12, another false start penalty by the Chiefs pushed them back another five yards.

Mahomes, from the shotgun, was chased outside again and was forced to throw it away to force the punt. Incredibly, the Chiefs went from being in field goal range to having to punt things away in what was a treat defensive stand by the Broncos.

Freeman followed Janovich’s lead block for a six yard gain on first down and Sanders took a pitch on the next play who ripped off 18-yard gain with another Janovich block leading the way.

Lindsay took the next handoff for two that put Keenum into the shotgun who threw it outside to Matt LaCosse who made his first catch of the season who turned it up field for 17-yards down to the Chiefs 37-yard line.

Sticking with the shotgun, Keenum handed off to Lindsay who bounced it outside for a 19-yard gain to put the Broncos into the red zone.

Lindsay was stuffed for no gain on his next carry, then Keenum with a play-action went to Sanders outside but Heuerman thought it was going his way and batted the ball down.

On third and 10, Keenum went to Sutton in the end zone who had his arm held the entire way for the pass interference to setup first and goal at the five-yard line.

Lindsay took a jump-cut inside for four yards to set the Broncos up at the one-yard line and he took it in from there for the touchdown.

Broncos 20, Chiefs 13.

After a defensive stand like they had, to have the offense march down the field and punch the touchdown in, the plays on the defensive side of the ball have to be feeling good about things.

The Chiefs, from their own 25-yard line, threw it inside to Kelce for a quick five-yards on first down. Mahomes hit Hill outside for a short four-yard gain to setup a third and one. With Hunt having himself a big game, it seemed a handoff was a forgone conclusion, but instead Mahomes went deep to Demtetrius Harris where the pass was broken up by Shaquil Barrett.

Not going for it this time, the Chiefs punted away to DaeSean Hamilton.

From their own 24-yard line, Freeman took the first down handoff for nine yards bouncing off several would-be tacklers to end the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

On first down, Keenum went deep to Andy Janovich on a wheel route who was wide open for a 32-yard gain to open up the fourth quarter.

Freeman followed up with a tough run up the middle for three yards on the next play. Lindsay came in on the next play for another hard-fought three yards to setup a third and four.

From the shotgun, Keenum went deep to Thomas, but it looked more like a throwaway as everyone was well-covered to bring McManus out for the 46-yard field goal attempt that Mr. Automatic booted through.

Broncos 23, Chiefs 13.

Mahomes looked for Kelce over the middle on first down again with a six-yard gain to start this drive. Playing the hurry-up, Mahomes rushed back to the line and threw a quick out to Hunt for a first down.

A poor pass outside to Hill fell incomplete on first down. Mahomes handed off to Ware on second down for four yards. On third and six, Chris Harris Jr. was held to set the Chiefs back another 10-yards.

On third and 16, Mahomes hit Hill over the middle for a 15-yard reception. On fourth and one, the Chiefs lined up with a bunch set for the easy throw and catch to a wide open Hunt for a huge gain into Broncos territory.

Kelce ran a pick route and shoved Harris to the ground for the offensive pass interference to push the Chiefs back to the Broncos 42-yard line.

Brandon Marshall was beaten by Kelce on the next play over the middle for 18 yards. Mahomes, from the shotgun, looked for Hill on the next play incomplete. On third and 2, with all day to throw, Mahomes found Conley for the first down.

Marshall beaten again by Kelce for a nine-yard gain on first down. Hunt powered his way right through the Broncos defensive line for a nice gain up the middle to setup a first and goal at the Broncos two-yard line.

Mahomes pitched it to Kelce inside for the touchdown on the next play.

Broncos 23, Chiefs 20.

From the shotgun, Keenum tossed it inside to Lindsay who was stopped after a one-yard gain. Sanders was chopped at the knees on the next play for a one-yard loss to setup a third and long. Keenum rolled outside and kept it for a one-yard gain and a disastrous three and out.

King followed it up with a terrible punt to set the Chiefs up with excellent field position with just over four minutes left in the game.

From their own 40-yard line, a quick slant to Hill netted eight-yards on first down. With Hill in the backfield, Mahomes tossed it outside to Hill that was read immediately by Adam Jones who tackled Hill for a three-yard loss.

On third and five, Mahomes was being sacked by Von Miller and he somehow threw the ball left handed while falling to the ground to Hill for the first down. Bradley Chubb finally got to him on the next play for a near sack and Mahomes threw it intentionally into the ground for a 10-yard penalty and a loss of downs.

On second and 20, Mahomes tossed a screen to Hunt that got some of the yardage back. However, an offensive holding call brought back and then some. On second and 30, Mahomes went deep for a 23-yards to make it a much easier third down attempt.

With the defense gassed, it was only a matter of time with a 35-yard completion for a first and ten at the Broncos 11.

Amazingly, the cannot be challenged under current NFL rules.

Mahomes looked for Kelce in the end zone, but landed out of bounds. It was a free play as the Broncos were offsides.

From the Broncos six-yard line, they run the ball to force the Broncos to use one of their timeouts. On second and three, from the five yard line, Mahomes against handed off to Hunt who bullied his way into the end zone for their first lead of the game with just 1:39 left in the game.

Chiefs 27, Broncos 23.

Needing a touchdown, Keenum was pressured and sacked on first down. Second and 20 brought another desperation throw from Keenum that saw Thomas tackled in bounced with a minute to go.

On third and 12, Keenum throws a Siemian special for one-yard to Sutton. Keenum, on fourth down, hit Sanders on fourth down with 56 seconds left in the game.

Keenum hit Heuerman deep for 36-yards into Chiefs territory to the 28 yard line. Keenum then threw it incomplete over the middle with 28 seconds left.

Keenum threw a duck on his next pass that was nearly intercepted outside, but fortunately dropped it. On third down, Keenum went to the end zone to Thomas who came up in the end zone, but it was over thrown and incomplete.

On fourth down, Keenum hit Sutton who tried to lateral it to Sanders incomplete. Game over.

Inactives

The Broncos will be without cornerback Tramaine Brock, but Adam Jones will be active for this game. Other inactives include quarterback Kevin Hogan, safety Shamarko Thomas, linebacker Alexander Johnson, defensive end DeMarcus Walker, offensive tackle Elijah Wilkinson, and guard Sam Jones.

For the Chiefs, they will be without safety Eric Berry again in this game. Also inactive are running back Darrel Williams, cornerback Tremon Smith, offensive linemen Austin Reiter and Kahlil McKenzie, defensive lineman Justin Hamilton, and tight end Alex Ellis.

Pregame

The Denver Broncos (2-1) look to overcome a frustrating mistake-filled game that included plenty of shenanigans by the refereeing crew as they host the offensive juggernaut in the Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) on Monday Night Football.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense will provide plenty of matchup problems for the Broncos defense that has struggled in the secondary through three games. To make matters more worrisome was Broncos Defensive Coordinator Joe Woods who responded to criticisms made by Chris Harris Jr. last week.

“I’ve heard that before, honestly, coaching those guys here.” Woods said on Friday. “Offensively, sometimes they force your hand just based on formations and based on the call you’re in. Based on some of the splits they get in, they can get you to a point where you have to show your hand. Chris has played the game for a long time. He’s playing at Pro Bowl level and he’s extremely smart. I sat down with all the DBs. In the meeting, we talked through a lot of different issues. I listened to some things they were concerned about and I explained to them why I was calling the things that I called. We’re in a good place right now, and moving forward, we’ll make sure we try to do that.”

If he is trying to instill confidence in anyone with those remarks. He failed.

That said, the Chiefs have paired their juggernaut offense with the worst defense in the NFL. They have to score 40 points a game just to stay ahead of the teams they have faced. That should give Case Keenum and the Broncos offense some hope heading into this one.

Here is how to watch.

TV Schedule

When: Monday, October 1, 2018 at 6:15 p.m. Mile High time

Where: Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver, Colorado

Channel: ESPN / Channel 20

Announcers: Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Jason Witten (“analyst”), and Lisa Salters (sideline reporting).

Radio: KOA - 850 AM | 94.1 FM & The Fox - 103.5 FM | Spanish Radio KNVR 1150 AM

Online Streaming

Watch ESPN

NFL Game Pass

Broncos injury report

Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Todd Davis ILB Shoulder DNP DNP LIMITED QUESTIONABLE
Adam Gotsis DE Knee DNP LIMITED LIMITED QUESTIONABLE
Adam Jones CB NIR DNP FULL FULL
Marquette King P Thigh (right) DNP DNP DNP DOUBTFUL
Jared Veldheer T Knee DNP DNP DNP OUT
Jeff Heuerman TE Knee LIMITED FULL FULL
Von Miller OLB Thigh LIMITED LIMITED FULL
Billy Turner T Knee LIMITED FULL FULL
Brandon Marshall ILB Knee FULL FULL FULL

Rams injury report

Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Player Pos. Injury Wednesday Thursday Friday Game Status
Mark Barron LB NIR DNP LIMITED LIMITED
Michael Brockers DT NIR / Ankle DNP DNP (ANKLE) FULL
Brandin Cooks WR Concussion DNP LIMITED FULL
Todd Gurley II RB NIR DNP LIMITED FULL
Cooper Kupp WR Concussion DNP LIMITED FULL
Roger Saffold III G NIR DNP LIMITED FULL
Ndamukong Suh DT NIR DNP FULL FULL
Andrew Whitworth T NIR DNP DNP FULL
Greg Zuerlein K Groin (right) DNP LIMITED LIMITED OUT
John Sullivan C NIR NOT LISTED DNP FULL

Odds

The line stood at 5-points earlier this week in favor of the Chiefs on the road against these Broncos, however, as the week went by that line has slowly drawn back to just a 3.5-4.5 spread among the big oddsmakers.

Matchup History

Thanks in large part to the 1960s, the Broncos are down 54-61 to the Chiefs all-time, but do boast a 35-23 home record against their AFC West rival.

In recent memory, the last time the Broncos took down the Chiefs was on the road in Week 2 of 2015. A forced fumble by Brandon Marshall was scooped by Bradley Roby for the score to put a nail in the coffin for the Chiefs that day, 31-24. The win acted as a spring board for that Broncos team that catapulted them to a Super Bowl title.

Super Bowl titles are something Chiefs fans have only dreamed of for the last 50 years.

MHR Radio

Ian St. Clair and Adam Malnati previewed the Broncos Week 4 matchup against the Chiefs in their latest podcast here. They search for all of the possible ways the Broncos might be able to come out on top in this game.


Social Media Information

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Denver Broncos Fan Group: Denver Broncos Football

Broncos Regular Season Schedule 2018

Wk Date Opponent Time (MT) TV
Wk Date Opponent Time (MT) TV
1 Sep 9 vs Seattle Seahawks W 27-24 FOX
2 Sep 16 vs Oakland Raiders W 20-19 CBS
3 Sep 23 at Baltimore Ravens L 27-14 CBS
4 Oct 1 vs Kansas City Chiefs (MNF) L 27-23 ESPN
5 Oct. 7 at New York Jets L 34-16 CBS
6 Oct 14 vs Los Angeles Rams L 23-20 FOX
7 Oct 18 at Arizona Cardinals (TNF) W 45-10 FOX
8 Oct 28 at Kansas City Chiefs L 30-23 CBS
9 Nov 4 vs Houston Texans L 19-17 CBS
10 Nov 11 BYE
11 Nov 18 at Los Angeles Chargers W 23-22 CBS
12 Nov 25 vs Pittsburgh Steelers W 24-17 CBS
13 Dec 2 at Cincinnati Bengals W 24-10 CBS
14 Dec 9 at San Francisco 49ers L 20-14 CBS
15 Dec 15 vs Cleveland Browns L 17-16 NFLN
16 Dec 24 at Oakland Raiders (MNF) L 27-14 ESPN
17 Dec 30 vs Los Angeles Chargers 2:25 PM CBS