The Denver Broncos have had a hard time beating the Kansas City Chiefs in recent years, running up a long streak of losses to their AFC West rivals.
Whatever demons plagued Denver over that stretch, they were exorcised Sunday as the Broncos (3-5) took home a convincing 24-9 win over Patrick Mahomes and the vaunted Chiefs (6-2).
Denver Broncos Snap Long-Running Skid vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Coming into Sunday’s clash with Kansas City, Denver had lost the teams’ last 16 meetings dating back to 2015. The Chiefs had swept their twice-a-year matchups each of the last seven seasons, a relative rarity in the NFL given parity across the league.
MORE: Denver Broncos Depth Chart | Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart
The Broncos did not play like an overmatched team Sunday, however, pulling ahead 14-3 in the second quarter and 21-9 early in the fourth quarter as they held the Chiefs in check.
Denver captured its first win over Kansas City since Sept. 17, 2015, in the process, a day on which they prevailed 31-24 thanks to Peyton Manning completing 26 of his 45 pass attempts for 256 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Alex Smith was Kansas City’s starting quarterback that day.
Sunday’s victory also avenged a 19-8 loss to the Chiefs that came just two weeks before.
The recent run of losses came on the heels of the Broncos winning the teams’ previous seven meetings, including season sweeps in 2012, 2013, and 2014 before the 2015 split.
Denver then trolled Kansas City after the game by playing Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” an evident reference to Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s ongoing relationship with the famous singer-songwriter.
“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift pic.twitter.com/cwwBx55GQW
— Romi Bean (@Romi_Bean) October 29, 2023
Denver also snapped Kansas City’s long-running streak of consecutive games without losing by 5+ points, which had spanned 40 games, according to CBS. It’s a streak that underscores the Chiefs’ dominance in recent years and makes the Broncos’ win all the more unlikely.
Denver has now won back-to-back games after last week’s 19-17 win over the Green Bay Packers and rebounded a bit from their 1-5 start.
Chiefs’ Miscues Prove Costly
A plethora of mistakes on an all-around sloppy day for Kansas City contributed to the ultimate result.
The Chiefs’ typically potent offense could not muster a single touchdown as their only points came on three made field goals by Harrison Butker, two of those coming after drives stalled out in the red zone.
Miscue after miscue plagued the offense, starting with a fumble by Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a drive early in the second quarter that Denver capitalized on with a touchdown to pull ahead 14-6.
Kansas City turned the ball over again on its next possession as Patrick Mahomes had a pass picked off by Ja’Quan McMillian, though the Broncos did not score in the wake of that interception. A second turnover by Mahomes, this one a fumble on a sack by Baron Browning, ended a promising Chiefs drive at the Broncos’ 19 late in the second quarter.
Denver then punted early in the fourth quarter, holding just a 14-9 lead with the Chiefs poised for a prime opportunity to pull closer or retake the lead. Instead, Mecole Hardman muffed the punt, and it was recovered by the Broncos’ Drew Sanders, setting up a touchdown pass two plays later that extended their lead.
Mahomes then threw one more interception with just under five minutes left in the final period that all but sealed the final result as Denver milked much of the rest of the clock.
Needless to say, the Chiefs have plenty to clean up ahead of a crucial matchup with the Miami Dolphins (6-2) on Sunday, Nov. 5 in Frankfurt, Germany.
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