The Kansas City Chiefs may have come away with the 30-6 victory over the Denver Broncos on Thursday night — improving to 5-2 on the season — but the greater concern is about the near future for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes left the game in the second quarter after injuring his right knee on a fourth-down quarterback sneak.
Entering the game midway through the second quarter, backup Matt Moore went 10 of 19 for 117 yards, highlighted by a perfect 57-yard pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill to extend the lead to 27-6 in the third quarter.
Despite being at the Denver 3-yard line after Mahomes exited the game, the Chiefs could not get in the end zone, settled for a 20-yard field goal to make it 13-6 midway through the second quarter. On the ensuing possession, Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens sacked Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco. Reggie Ragland was there to pick up the ball, taking it five yards for the touchdown and a 20-6 lead.
The Broncos struck first in the game when running back Royce Freeman scored a 1-yard touchdown on Denver’s first drive of the game. Chiefs defensive end Alex Okafor was called for encroachment on the extra point and the Broncos opted for a 1-yard two-point conversion attempt — but it failed.
Prior to leaving the game, Mahomes was 10 of 11 for 76 yards and a 21-yard touchdown to Mecole Hardman. Hardman’s catch came on a short pass to Mahomes’ left. Hardman ran it in for the score and lead — which the Chiefs never lost.
The Chiefs defense had its best game of the season, holding the Broncos to 205 net yards, 1 for 13 on third down and 9.0 sacks. Frank Clark, Anthony Hitchens and Alex Okafor each had two sacks in the victory.
Chiefs stats of note
- QB Patrick Mahomes: 10 of 11, 76 yards and 1 touchdown | 1 carry for 2 yards
- QB Matt Moore: 10 of 19 for 117 yards and 1 touchdown
Oh, come on.
On a night the Chiefs’ defense finally seemed to click — Frank Clark woke up, Anthony Hitchens played fantastic in his return to the lineup and the defense exploded for nine sacks — and it was all ruined due to Patrick Mahomes’ second-quarter injury.
Whether the defense showed such wild improvement because of seven games together, Joe Flacco moving a lot worse than Deshaun Watson and Jacoby Brissett can or some combination of both, the fact is it does not really matter until we learn the diagnosis (and prognosis) of Mahomes’ injury.
It was a good win and an extremely positive sign for the defense. But the Chiefs are not a Super Bowl team without Mahomes.
So now... we wait.