Not every victory will be pretty. But the Chiefs still did what they needed to do for a significant division win over the Broncos on Sunday Night Football.
Kansas City defeated Denver 22-9 behind a solid defensive performance. The Chiefs intercepted Teddy Bridgewater twice, with the quarterback finishing 22-of-40 for 257 yards and a touchdown.
The second interception was a pick-six by safety Daniel Sorensen, which gave Kansas City a 22-3 lead with 9:42 left in the fourth quarter. That effectively clinched the game.
The Broncos made it closer with a 13-yard touchdown reception by Javonte Williams with 5:12 left in the contest. And Denver had a chance to get more points late in the fourth quarter, but Bridgewater was stopped 2-yards short of the sticks on a fourth-and-8 scramble with 1:15 left in the contest.
Making his first start in place of an injured Melvin Gordon, Williams was a clear bright spot for Denver. He had 102 yards on 23 carries with another 76 yards on six receptions.
The contest turned late in the second quarter, when the Broncos had a 20-play drive but came away with zero points. Linebacker Willie Gay and edge rusher Melvin Ingram combined to stuff Williams for a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-2 from Kansas City’s 8-yard line.
At that point, Denver was down 10-3. The team didn’t score again until the fourth quarter.
But Kansas City’s offense wasn’t able to do all that much on Sunday. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes finished with the lowest passer rating of his career in a regular-season game at 57.3. He was 15-of-29 passing for 184 yards with an interception. The pick went off receiver Tyreek Hill’s hands and into the waiting arms of Denver rookie corner Pat Surtain II. But the turnover proved inconsequential, as the Broncos had to punt after three plays.
Mahomes also opened the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 54 yards on 14 carries. Darrell Williams had five yards on 20 carries plus three catches for 60 yards.
Tight end Travis Kelce had just three catches for 27 yards, while Hill had two for 22.
Nevertheless, the Chiefs pushed their winning streak over the Broncos to 12 consecutive games, dating back to 2015. Head coach Andy Reid is now 20-3 after a regular-season bye week. And Kansas City is now 8-4 on the season, keeping their hold of first place in the AFC West.
The Chiefs will try to continue to pace their division next week as they host the Raiders.
The Broncos will look to get back in the win column next Sunday against the no-longer-winless Lions.