EditorsNote: Corrects to Chiefs with 19 wins in last 21 AFC West games; adds Travis Kelce’s first name; other minor edits
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes continued his torrid pace, passing for 303 yards and four touchdowns Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs downed the visiting Denver Broncos 30-23.
The win was the Chiefs’ 19th win in their last 21 matchups against AFC West opponents, as the division leaders improved to 7-1 with their seventh straight win against the Broncos (3-5).
After going three-and-out on its first drive, Kansas City scored on five consecutive possessions. Touchdown connections of 10 yards to Sammy Watkins and 23 yards to running back Kareem Hunt expanded a two-point halftime margin to 30-14 with 5:12 left in the third quarter.
The 300-yard aerial performance was the seventh straight for Mahomes, who padded his TD count to 26, best in the NFL, and went 24 of 34. Watkins caught eight passes for 107 yards and two scores.
The Broncos, who were hurt by 10 penalties for 83 yards, drew within 30-20 and then intercepted Mahomes in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Denver chances in that quarter, however, ended with a lost fumble and interception committed by quarterback Case Keenum, as well as a three-and-out.
A 36-yard field goal by Brandon McManus with 1:48 remaining was the Broncos’ only score in their last five possessions, including a last gasp from their own 15 with 4 seconds remaining.
Keenum was sacked five times, including three times by linebacker Dee Ford. Keenum finished with 262 yards passing, going 23 of 34. Running backs Phillip Lindsay and Devontae Booker added 95 and 78 yards rushing, respectively, as Denver generated 411 yards.
The Chiefs did not score on their opening possession for the first time this season. The Broncos then responded with an 81-yard touchdown drive, which included the longest gain of the season against Kansas City, a 49-yard pass from Keenum to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders that got the ball to the Chiefs’ 14-yard line.
Mahomes got cranking, however, engineering the Chiefs to a 16-7 margin with completions on nine straight attempts. He connected on TD strikes of 9 yards to tight end Travis Kelce and 13 yards to Watkins.
Denver managed a quick response before halftime, however, with a 75-yard march that took five plays and 49 seconds. A 24-yard pass from Keenum to wide receiver Tim Patrick made for a 16-14 score at halftime.
—Field Level Media