The Denver Broncos have finally gotten the proverbial monkey off their backs beating the Kansas City Chiefs for the first time since Week 2 of the 2015 season and no player on the current roster suffered the most against that franchise than safety Justin Simmons. So it is fitting that he’d also earn AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for this game.
Drafted in the third-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, he was part of all but one of those 16-straight losses to the Chiefs. On Sunday, he recorded two tackles, a pass defensed, a fumble recovery, and that game-clinching interception to send Denver a mile high.
While Patrick Surtain is likely considered the team’s best player, Simmons is the unquestioned leader of the defense and since he has come back from injury the Broncos’ defense has been outstanding. They stifled the Chiefs twice in three weeks and have helped Denver to wins in two of their last three games.
The momentum has shifted from season-lost to season-hopeful. The Broncos stood firm at the NFL trade deadline and Head Coach Sean Payton clearly has confidence in this team to potentially make a push for playoff discussion down the stretch. The team faces a tough game coming out of their Bye Week on the road against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, but after that there are a lot of winnable games if the Broncos continue to play like they have in recent weeks.