The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 29-19 on Monday night but for some Chiefs fans it didn’t feel like a big win. The Chiefs got up big early on the Broncos and then following the same script we’ve seen before they briefly let them back into the game before shutting the door for good.
So, why didn’t that win feel like a bigger win?
We look at everything in the context of the playoffs. That’s why a game in October can seem so great or so awful. Chiefs fans look at every game in the context of how they would play in the playoffs. The team that played tonight with their quarterback going 14/31 and the defense giving up a buck fifty on the ground wouldn’t last long in the postseason. That’s why some Chiefs fans aren’t as happy despite a 10-point win over your rival.
The Chiefs didn’t keep their foot on the gas. At some point during the game last night you probably said the Chiefs should be up 28-0. The Chiefs won by two scores but the Broncos and their awful offense were within one score in the second half. I was pretty confident the whole game because that Denver offense was so bad and they kept turning it over but even slightly more competent quarterback play makes this game a lot more uncomfortable.
The Chiefs run defense still stinks. The Broncos ran over the Chiefs pretty regularly throughout the night — 29 carries for 157 yards from the running backs (and another 20 from Trevor Siemian). If Denver hadn’t gotten down big early and forced to abandon the run, it could’ve been a different game. They started off the second half running all over the Chiefs but because they were down by so much they couldn’t do that all game. The issues are all over the place from Daniel Sorensen not being Eric Berry to Derrick Johnson clearly losing a step.
The Chiefs turned it over twice. It didn’t really matter because the Broncos turned it over five times themselves but their formula is not to turn it over. Eric Fisher was beat on one pass which probably isn’t avoidable every snap the rest of the season. What is avoidable is not having Tyreek Hill throw interceptions.
Alex Smith didn’t play well. He was 14/31 for 202 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Chiefs fans are familiar with that line because we’ve seen one like that in the past few years with Alex. It was not the New Alex Smith in this game because he just seemed off throughout the game -- and a credit to the really good Denver defense.