With a first and goal at the Denver Broncos nine yard line, the Kansas City Chiefs started the second quarter with a prime opportunity to go up big early in this game.
Two plays into the quarter, the Chiefs had a third and goal from the five yard line as the Broncos red zone defense has been stout all year long. Mahomes could find no one open and tried to take off, but Denver’s defense was ready with the stop for no gain to bring out the field goal unit where they’d go up 9-0 in the game.
Needing a big drive to answer, the Broncos burned a timeout and were hit with a false start by Elijah Wilkinson to setup a third and 10. Drew Lock went deep and was nearly intercepted as the pass was pretty inaccurate.
Shelby Harris gave himself a snow angel after sacking Mahomes on first down to start the next Chiefs possession.
Shelby Harris comes up with a sack of Patrick Mahomes. #Broncos ought to keep him around. pic.twitter.com/LI1nUcHrO3— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 15, 2019
That good play mattered not as the Chiefs would gain huge chunks of yards on back-to-back-to-back passing plays to get deep into Denver’s territory as Mahomes picked apart the Broncos secondary like it were made of Swiss cheese. Two plays later, they’d be right back down in the red zone with a first and goal opportunity.
With the Broncos defense collapsing, they at least showed they are still the best in the business inside the 20 as they stuff the Chiefs again inside the ten for another field goal to put Kansas City up 12-0 in the first half.
The #Broncos secondary holds strong backed up once again. pic.twitter.com/zBzMXUUSJa— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 15, 2019
Phillip Lindsay dropped a pass outside on the first Broncos play, then was stuffed on a run. Drew Lock, on third and long, went to the Tim Patrick well for the big catch and first down.
Two plays later, the Broncos were again in third and lock situation. Lock hit Courtland Sutton for the first time, but it was a yard short of the first down marker. On fourth and one from their own 48-yard line, Rich Scangarello dialed up a big time play. Lock, on play action, went deep to Noah Fant for a 43-yard gain to the Chiefs nine yard line for a first and goal.
It's a shame Rich Scangarello isn't a good offensive coordinator, eh #Broncos Country? pic.twitter.com/XbrpGW0dV4— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) December 15, 2019
Royce Freeman was stuffed for a loss on first down, but a nice pass to Courtland Sutton had the reception in the end zone, but was batted away at the last second. Garett Bolles got away with a hold on that play and then again on the next play, but the pass was incomplete to bring out Brandon McManus for the field goal at the two minute warning to get the Broncos on the scoreboard before halftime down 12-3.
Two plays into their next drive, the Chiefs were at midfield with with 1:22 left in the half. The Broncos defense had no answer for Mahomes up to this point.
Patrick Mahomes is 13 of 15 for 188 yards. Still, Chiefs only up 12-3 on Broncos with 1:22 left in first half. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) December 15, 2019
Another chunk play put the Chiefs down to the 11-yard line. All three plays were made by Kelce on that drive, but a blindside block by the Chiefs negated the play. A couple of short plays later had them on the verge of potential field goal range with another first down with 44 seconds left.
The refs seem intent on giving the Chiefs every opportunity to blowout the Broncos in this game with one of the dumbest defensive receiver penalties at the goal line on a deep pass to Kelce. Justin Simmons left with his shoulder and broke up the pass, but he did it “too hard” apparently.
Kareem Jackson broke up a deep pass on the next play, then Mahomes was nearly sacked by Von Miller with the pass nearly intercepted at the goal line. The drive would end with another Shelby Harris sack and snow angel to bring out the field goal unit to attempt a 44-yard field goal that would be good to put the Chiefs up 15-3 at halftime.