The Kansas City Chiefs lost the opening coin toss and the Denver Broncos predictably deferred possession to the second half for a third quarter where they have more three and outs than points scored. Status quo.
Five more games until we can kick the status quo out the building for good.
Another late-arriving crowd. pic.twitter.com/NQuvGKF3gJ— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) December 11, 2022
It took Patrick Mahomes exactly two plays to put the Chiefs into Broncos territory. They gained a first down on three of their first four plays. Denver’s defense woke up from there to force the Chiefs to kick a field goal to finish out their 8-play, 58 yard opening drive.
Chiefs 3, Broncos 0.
On the Broncos first play, Russell Wilson have both Jerry Jeudy and Greg Dulcich open, but instead holds the ball too long and throws a near interception deep down the field. Two plays later, Kendall Hinton made a great catch to convert on a third and nine.
Two plays later and two plays that went nowhere put them in another third and long, but Hinton would come up big again with an 11-yard reception to move the sticks out to the Broncos 46-yard line. Denver took things to the ground from there with a first down run for four on first down, then after a short pass they went back to Latavius Murray who pushed through the line for a five yard gain and a first down at the Chiefs 42-yard line.
The Broncos’ opening drive stalled from there with a first down sack on Wilson that lost eight yards. Any negative yardage is an instant punt for the 2022 Broncos and this drive was no different.
With five minutes to go in the first quarter, the Chiefs opened their next drive with a solid nine yard run on first down then Mahomes found Travis Kelce wide open - and I mean WIDE OPEN - for a monster 38-yard reception in the middle of the field to put the Chiefs right back into field goal range.
Fortunately, the Broncos defense refused to break again on that drive holding the Chiefs on a third and three to force them to kick another field goal.
Chiefs 6, Broncos 0.
The Broncos faced three third and longs on their first drive and surprisingly converted two of them, but we shouldn’t expect that to continue.
On first down, Wilson was sacked again for a nine yard loss and that would set the tone for the remainder of the first quarter. They’d quickly go three and out from there and punt it away as the first quarter wound down.