Chiefs defeat Broncos 28-24, stay in contention for AFC’s No. 1 seed

USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t easy, but Kansas City continued its long winning streak over Denver on Saturday with a 28-24 victory.

The Broncos led for much of the game after Kansas City took an early 7-0 lead. But edge rusher Melvin Ingram made the play of the day, forcing his former Chargers teammate Melvin Gordon to fumble near the goal-line in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Nick Bolton picked up the loose ball and ran 86 yards for a touchdown. And with the two-point conversion, Kansas City had a 28-21 lead.

Denver had a shot to tie, but head coach Vic Fangio elected to kick a field goal on fourth-and-9 from the Kansas City 13 with 4:41 left in the contest. Brandon McManus’ 31-yard field goal was good, but the Broncos never got the ball back.

Kansas City’s ensuing drive started with a swing pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to receiver Mecole Hardman for 44 yards on the left side. That gave Hardman 103 receiving yards — the first time he’s ever eclipsed 100 yards receiving.

After making the Broncos use all three of their timeouts, Mahomes hit tight end Travis Kelce on third-and-8 from the Denver 17 with a 12-yard pass to move the chains and effectively end the game.

Kelce limped off the field on the last third-down catch. But according to ESPN’s Laura Rutledge, he suffered only a hip tweak on the play. The Chiefs played most of the game without receiver Tyreek Hill, who was dealing with a heel injury, according to Rutledge. He had only one 2-yard catch on three targets.

Darrel Williams also suffered a toe injury and didn’t receive a carry in the second half. But Jerk McKinnon had five carries for 24 yards and caught three passes for 26 yards and a touchdown.

Mahomes finished the game 27-of-44 passing for 270 yards with a pair of touchdowns. He also was the Chiefs’ leading rusher with 54 yards on nine carries.

Kansas City finished with 28 first downs and was 8-of-14 on third down.

The Broncos ran the ball well for much of the game — finishing with 191 yards and 6.8 yards per carry. Gordon had 110 yards on 12 attempts, including a 47-yard touchdown. But his fumble was the key turning point of the second half.

Quarterback Drew Lock had a pair of rushing touchdowns and made a few key throws. But he finished just 12-of-24 passing for 162 yards for an unimpressive stat line.

With the win, the Chiefs will finish no worse than the AFC’s No. 2 seed entering the playoffs next week. They’ll be the No. 1 seed if the Titans lose to the Texans on Sunday. They’ve now defeated the Broncos 13 consecutive times.

Denver ends its season 7-10 and could be on the verge of a coaching change.

29 responses to “Chiefs defeat Broncos 28-24, stay in contention for AFC’s No. 1 seed

  1. If it wasn’t for that gift from Gordon this could have been put KC in the 3rd or 4th seed tonight. Spags has got to tighten up the line because Chiefs were getting ran all over most of the game.

  2. Head scratcher win for the Chiefs. Seems they were outplayed a bit but came up clutch when they needed to. Good teams win games like this but I’d hate to depend on long fumble returns. On to Arrowhead!

  3. Field goal?!?! Ridiculously conservative for a team whose season was over regardless of the final score.

  4. Broncos looked awesome!

    Don’t fire Fangio, don’t dump luck!

    They are soooo close to winning the AFC West they shouldn’t change anything!!! 🙃

  5. I’m seeing on Social Media now that KC has made a PROMISE to Houston, If they somehow beat the Titans they will STOP all JOKES when it comes to the 24-0 Playoffs Debacle.

  6. Chiefs haven’t been good for years, but they are playing great going into the playoffs FINALLY.

  7. ugly win… need to see how hill n kelce are
    .
    broncos may not have won today, but they may have beaten KC next week.

  8. realnflfan says:
    January 8, 2022 at 8:06 pm
    Chiefs haven’t been good for years, but they are playing great going into the playoffs FINALLY.
    ——–
    Bartender I’ll have whatever this guys is drinking. Lol

  9. That 23-yard TD scamper in the 2nd quarter by Drew Lock was truly bizarre. He weaved his way through a host of KC defenders who mostly jogged along and watched until one finally gave Lock a congratulatory pat on the rear while he crossed the goal line. Other bizarre moments include the slip & slide KC kickoff in the 1st quarter. Then (after Denver went 3 & out) a KC punt receiving team teamer needlessly pasted Denver’s punter, leading to their eventual drive to their first TD. Sadly, I missed the game-winning KC fumble recovery & rumble for a TD.

  10. The Chiefs defense made Drew Lock look like John Elway. They couldn’t stop anything. If they play like that–and the offense is as sloppy as they were today–they’re going to be one and done in the playoffs.

  11. What we have here is one team (KC) trying to mail it in and escape without injury or effort…and another, (Den) playing their season Super Bowl. Kc has played 4 of the 7 afc playoff teams this season(assuming a chargers win)…and they lost to all of them… im not getting my hopes up for my Chiefs

  12. Chiefs fan in LA says:
    January 8, 2022 at 8:08 pm
    ugly win… need to see how hill n kelce are
    .
    broncos may not have won today, but they may have beaten KC next week.
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    We will never know, because the Broncos season is over. 1-5 in their own division. Enough said.

  13. Very weak effort by Lock to try to run down the KC DE’s fumble recovery scoop and score. Lock was not running at full speed to try to catch him.

  14. The donkeys haven’t beaten KC since 2014? That’s crazy, twice a year for 6 years and they can’t get a win. “Any given Sunday”, unless it’s Denver playing KC(And… Saturdays, Mondays, and Thursday’s)

  15. Kansas City is limping into the playoffs. If They don’t get that bye I wouldn’t be surprised if They went one and done. Denver gave that game away tonight.

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