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Broncos come up short 22-16 in scrappy game against Chiefs

The Denver Broncos were two touchdown underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs, but they came to play and almost stole one away from the AFC West leaders.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos put up a scrappy fight against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, but a decision with six minutes left in the game to punt it away to Patrick Mahomes while facing a fourth and three near midfield was all the home team needed. Mahomes drove down the field eating up the clock and put the game away.

Even with that questionable decision, the Broncos played a really good game defensively and held the Chiefs to five field goals. The Broncos offense looked promising at times, but 16 points is not going to cut it against a team as good as the Chiefs.

First Quarter

The Broncos controlled the clock in the first quarter, which kept Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense off the field. The biggest play of the first quarter came from this Noah Fant catch for 37-yards on the first drive.

Denver had two long drives, but the first one ended in a turnover. However, they did put up the game’s first points in a Brandon McManus field goal.

The Chiefs followed up with a quick drive that ended right at the end of the quarter that saw them streak to the red zone in just four plays, but the Broncos defense held to keep the score tied at three heading into the second quarter.

Full first quarter recap.

Second Quarter

The ball control offense continued well into the second quarter for the Broncos. Keeping Mahomes off the field seemed to be the right way to defend against him. The biggest play of the quarter turned out to be a Melvin Gordon burst through a hole for 65-yards on this play.

That would lead to a Tim Patrick touchdown and a 10-3, but the Chiefs would answer right back on the next drive. The Broncos defense held up on a goal line stand to force a field goal.

Then things got scary for Denver. With 33 seconds to go in the half, they decided to try a 58-yard field goal from Brandon McManus who missed wide left. The Chiefs nearly got a touchdown out of the turn of events, but a timely Shelby Harris batted pass made it a field goal instead and 10-9 halftime lead for Denver.

Full second quarter recap.

Third Quarter

The Chiefs opened up the second half with a quick drive into the red zone, but the Broncos defense shut them down for the fourth time in the game in that red area. The field goal gave them a 12-10 lead, but the Broncos offense came out with a little fire as well.

Drew Lock and Tim Patrick connected on the two biggest plays of that drive to retake the lead with a touchdown.

The 11-play, 72 yard drive ate up half the quarter.

The Chiefs would respond, however, with another long scoring drive. This time, Mahomes found Travis Kelce near the goal line to get their first touchdown of the game and a 19-16 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Full third quarter recap.

Fourth Quarter

For the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, the Chiefs offense seemed to be shredding the Broncos defense. Yet when it was all said and done, they would punt it back to Denver. The drive included a Tyreek Hill backbreaker of a touchdown too, but the score remained 19-16 when the Broncos took over at their own 8 yard line with 9:49 to go in the game.

The Broncos went back to Melvin Gordon to open the next drive. Three straight runs converted a third down and got them out to the 22 yard line before Phillip Lindsay came in to give Gordon a breather.

A pass interference call got the Broncos drive going. That was followed up by an end around to KJ Hamler for a gain of six yards.

That would lead to a critical third down near midfield. Lock put a little too much mustard on the throw and it went through Hamler’s hands. With 6 minutes left in the game, the Broncos elected to punt the ball back to the Mahomes on a fourth and three from midfield.

The Chiefs quickly ran the clock down and were across midfield in very short order and put up another field goal for a 22-16 lead. The Broncos fought hard, but with the game on the line they played it safe and it cost them any shot they had at winning the game.


How would you grade the Broncos performance against the Chiefs on SNF?

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    (176 votes)
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