Chiefs Overcome Broncos, Extend Win Streak
Kansas City might have clinched a spot in the playoffs with its 22-16 win over Denver, but the Chiefs haven't been their normal dominant selves over the past several weeks.
Check out the key takeaways from this Sunday Night Football matchup.
1. Chiefs narrowly escape
Coming into Sunday night, KC averaged the most total yards per game (425.8) and second-most points per game (31.6) in the league.
But the Broncos held the high-powered Chiefs offense in check, allowing just 22 points, Kansas City's lowest output this season.
Mahomes and Co. failed to convert on multiple scoring opportunities and consistently leaving the door open for the Broncos to remain in the game.
Close games have become a trend over the past month for Kansas City trend in recent weeks, as the Chiefs have won their last four contest by a combined 15 points.
Sure, some credit must go to the Broncos, who had the league’s fourth-best red zone defense entering Sunday.
But in the last two games, the Chiefs’ red zone offense has been an issue, including last week, when Mahomes finished with 462 yards and three passing touchdowns against Tampa Bay, but KC earned just two field goals and a fumble from three drives into the red zone against the Bucs.
2. Patrick Mahomes lacks MVP mojo
Heading into Sunday night's game, Mahomes led the league in passing yards per game (317.9), sat second in passer rating (115.5), was third in touchdowns (30), and had a league-low two interceptions.
Against the Broncos, Mahomes managed to throw for 318 yards, but tossed just one touchdown, marking only the second time this season he's thrown for a single score in a game (the other occasion was also against Denver in Week 7).
Kansas City Kicker Harrison Butker was the team's MVP on Sunday. He nailed all five of his field goal attempts – including a 48-yarder – and the lone PAT of the night, scoring 16 of the Chiefs' 22 points.
3. The touchdown that never was
Sunday wasn't without its oddities.
Early in the second quarter, Kansas City superstar receiver Tyreek Hill got loose behind the Broncos’ defense with his typical Cheetah-like speed, and snagged a touchdown after it bounced off the defender and landed on him.
However, the officials ruled it incomplete and even Hill ran to the sidelines thinking he had dropped the pass, so the Chiefs punted the ball away without even considering a challenge.
Fans on Twitter couldn't believe their eyes, as they clearly saw a catch, including King James.