The Kansas City Chiefs extended their winning streak with a 22-9 win over the Denver Broncos in week 13 and are level with the top teams of the AFC. The decisive factor in the game was once again the strong defense of the home side, who took advantage of every mistake.
The Broncos started this game with two 3-and-outs, even marching backwards on their first drive after a 2nd and 1. The Chiefs, in turn, did better and scored a touchdown on their first drive – after 12 plays, Patrick Mahomes scrambled to find the end zone from 10 yards.
And before the Broncos even got into the game, it was 10-0 for Kansas City, as kicker Harrison Butker had raised with a 56-yard field goal. The Broncos then put down two long drives. The first went over ten moves and earned them a 42-yard field goal by Brandon McManus, the second took 11 minutes off the clock. But after 20 moves the Chiefs stopped the guests at their own 8-yard line at 4th and 2. Break: 10: 3 Chiefs.
After the break, the Broncos sensed an interception of Mahome’s morning air deflected by Tyreek Hill, but had to pound quickly. Butker added another field goal (45 YDS) a little later and then the Broncos experienced the next setback: Bridgewater tried a deep shot towards Jerry Jeudy, but overlooked the lurking safety Juan Thornhill, who grabbed the interception.
The Broncos defense quickly forced the next punt, but that resulted in a muff, which KC conquered at the end of the third quarter in the opposing red zone – a Broncos player was blocked in returner Diontae Spencer and he had no chance. to catch the ball. The Chiefs did not go ahead again, but Butker increased the lead with an easy 26-yard field goal at the start of the fourth quarter.
Chiefs vs. Broncos: Pick-Six makes the decision
The Broncos then made another drive deep into the opposing half, but Bridgewater threw a deflected interception under pressure to Safety Daniel Sorensen, who finally had a free path for a 75-yard return touchdown to decide.
The Broncos managed a touchdown after all – after eleven plays, Bridgewater found running back Javonte Williams on screen for a 13-yard score.
In the end there was the fifth success in a row for KC, which is now temporarily level with the top teams at the top of the AFC playoff seeding list – like the Patriots, Bills (play against each other on Monday), Ravens and Titans they are now at 8- 4 and still have every chance of winning the top seed at the conference.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-4) – Denver Broncos (6-6)
Result: 22: 9 (10: 0, 0: 3, 3: 0, 9: 6) BOXSCORE
Chiefs vs. Broncos – the most important statistics
- With his interception after the break, Mahomes stopped his career high at 12 (2018). 5 of them came after drops from his receivers and 3 – one in this game – went through the hands of Tyreek Hill. Both are highs in the NFL this season.
The Chiefs defense allowed a touchdown in this game for the first time since week 10 against the Raiders.
In between, however, there was a bye week in week 12. And with this victory, head coach Andy Reid improved his personal record after a bye week to 20-3.
With this victory, the Chiefs have now all won their last twelve games against the Broncos.
The star of the game: Melvin Ingram (Edge Rusher, Chiefs)
Ingram stands for the good front of the Chiefs, who didn’t always stand firm against the run, but made plays against the pass, which ultimately decided the game. Ingram was the best of the group with 3 pressures, 2 stuffs and half a sack. The Chiefs had a total of 12 pressures and thus especially forced the second Bridgewater interception.
Flop of the match: Courtland Sutton (wide receiver, Broncos)
Sutton led his team in targets for a long time, but also made a few unnecessary drops. Overall, he was noticed more often with apparently prematurely broken routes and – and this applies to his colleagues as well as to himself – he never managed to win his duels outside. Bridgewater occasionally tried deep shots, but it was Sutton who didn’t finish the routes or didn’t even get into position because he couldn’t go on a go route with an outside release that was otherwise a go is an important stylistic device for this offense.
Analysis: Chiefs vs. Broncos – the tactics board
Somewhat surprisingly, the Broncos mostly played with single high-safety looks, which the Chiefs didn’t immediately use for their beloved shot plays. Rather, they bet on short crossers, as usual, and hoped for yards after the catch.
In addition, the running backs were searched for in the passing game from time to time. In addition, the run game was used more than usual.
The Broncos, on the other hand, did without an excessive number of Blitzes and relied on making the tackles in the open field with light boxes in the sub-package. And that didn’t always work reliably.
If the Broncos had the ball, they were eager to run the ball and use it to control the game before the break. However, Bridgwater did not shy away from one or two deep shots. After the break, Bridgewater was looking for tight ends and running back Javonte Williams through the air. The chiefs tried to show two high looks for their part, but often preferred one of safety for run support.
What the Broncos game was a little lacking were targeted external passes to the receivers in single coverage. Mostly Courtland Sutton was searched here, but he ran some questionable routes and made life difficult for himself. So this theoretical matchup advantage evaporated very quickly from the guests’ point of view.