In the NFL’s Week 8, the (6-1) Kansas City Chiefs went on the road to conclude their 2023 business with the (2-5) Denver Broncos — and try to extend their winning streak over Denver to 17 games. But after falling behind 14-3 in the first half, Kansas City never really had a chance. The Chiefs gave up five turnovers in a sloppy 24-9 loss that dropped their season record to 6-2.
The Broncos won the opening coin toss, deferring the decision to the second half. That gave Kansas City initial possession, starting from the 25-yard line after a touchback.
The Chiefs quickly went three and out to start the game. Two drop backs by quarterback Patrick Mahomes turned into a loss of yards and an incompletion, despite plenty of time in the pocket. Broncos took over after the punt.
Denver pounded the rock with starting running back Javonte Williams, leaning on him to eventually enter the red zone. Then, quarterback Russell Wilson found Williams on a screen pass; the play scored from four yards out, giving Denver an initial 7-0 lead.
Kansas City got the offense rolling first with running back Isiah Pacheco, who bounced off a tackle and gained 19 yards on a handoff to start the drive. Then, Mahomes found wide receiver Justin Watson on the sideline to penetrate Denver territory. The Chiefs entered the red zone after Mahomes eluded tacklers and scrambled a first down.
A negative play set the Chiefs back, and eventually a failed third down turned into a successful field goal. Kansas City cut into Denver’s lead, 7-3.
The Broncos continued attacking a Chiefs’ run defense that was absent starting linebacker Nick Bolton. However, linebacker Willie Gay Jr. stepped up on a second down with a strong tackle to force third down. From there, cornerback Trent McDuffie pressured Wilson into an incompletion, leading to a punt.
Looking to score again, a promising Chiefs drive was stopped early when wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scanting fumbled after a reception. The Broncos took over at midfield.
On the first play of Denver’s drive, Wilson went to wide receiver Jerry Jeudy 39 yards down the field — giving him a chance to catch the pass over safety Justin Reid. Two plays later, the duo hooked up in the back of the end zone, giving the Broncos a 14-3 lead.
An ugly start to the game got uglier, when Mahomes was intercepted on a downfield throw a few plays into the drive. Cornerback Ja’Quan McMillan made the impressive snag, setting the Broncos up at the Chiefs’ 48-yard line.
The Chiefs’ defense stepped up, stopping the Broncos on all four downs to get the offense the ball back. The fourth-down attempt was stopped by linebacker Drue Tranquill, tackling Wilson short of the line to gain.
Wide receiver Rashee Rice busted out for 39 yards to start the ensuing drive, but eventually missed an important block on third down. It forced the Chiefs to settle for a field goal, tightening Denver’s lead to 14-6.
The Broncos continued running through the teeth of the Chiefs’ defense; Williams drove through arm tackles for 15 yards to convert a second down. Two incompletions later, Denver faced third down, and defensive end Mike Danna ended the drive with a swarming sack. The Broncos had to punt.
Kansas City drove to midfield before the two-minute warning, looking to be in prime scoring position thanks to completions to wide receiver Mecole Hardman and Travis Kelce. Out of the break, a big completion to Kelce got into the red zone, but Mahomes was stripped in the pocket, leading to the team’s third turnover in the first half.
Denver tried to score with less than 40 seconds remaining in the second quarter, but it was stopped by defensive end George Karlaftis forcing a fumble of Wilson. The ball was recovered by Willie Gay Jr.
Two plays later, kicker Harrison Butker nailed a 56-yard attempt to tighten the Chiefs’ deficit to 14-9 at halftime.
The Chiefs’ defense looked to get the ball back for the offense quickly, setting up a third down — but the Broncos converted with an impressive grab by Courtland Sutton over cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. That set up the run game to carry Denver past midfield.
A few plays later, a third-down sack by defensive lineman Charles Omenihu was negated by a holding penalty called on Sneed. That gave Denver new life, along with a Wilson scramble that set the Broncos up inside the Chiefs’ 15-yard line. However, the Kansas City defense tightened up, finished off by a second sack by Karlaftis.
On fourth down, the field goal attempt was blocked by safety Justin Reid — who flew off the edge of the line with great timing to make the play.
The Chiefs looked to take advantage of good field position, pushing to midfield with the help the help of another big catch by Justin Watson. However, third down came up, and a long pass to Watson came up incomplete this time. The team punted from the Broncos’ 42-yard line.
Denver took over, going into the fourth quarter with possession and a few first downs under their belt.
The Broncos moved the chains by way of a defensive penalty on Kansas City once again, with Sneed attracting his third penalty of the game for pass interference. That and another quick completion got the Broncos onto the Chiefs’ side of the field, but a sack by linebacker Leo Chenal pushed Denver far enough back for them to punt.
However, Mecole Hardman muffed the punt, giving the Broncos possession at the Chiefs’ nine-yard line. Two plays later, a scrambling Wilson found Sutton in the corner of the end zone, giving the Broncos a 21-9 advantage with 10 minutes to go.
The Chiefs needed an answer, but quickly ran into fourth down; the offense converted with a quick pass to Kelce. Then, a third down was passed with a scrambling completion by Mahomes to tight end Noah Gray. In Denver territory now, the Chiefs faced another third down — and a hurried pass fell incomplete.
On fourth down, a deep pass to Skyy Moore looked accurate, but fell incomplete in the end zone. Denver took over at their own 27-yard line.
The Chiefs’ defense forced a quick stop, giving the offense the ball back with roughly seven minutes on the clock, still down 21-9. However, the offense did nothing with the opportunity, and eventually threw an interception that basically sealed the deal.
The Broncos had possession, running out the clock in the red zone as the two-minute warning hit. Eventually, they added on a field goal — putting the score at 24-9. The game ended soon after.
Safety Justin Reid stayed down after competing for a deep pass in the second quarter. He quickly returned to the game.
Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. injured his tailbone at some point, and was ruled as questionable to return in the fourth quarter.
Kicker Harrison Butker made a 23-yard field goal in the first quarter. He made a 34-yard kick in the second quarter. Just before halftime, Butker nailed a 56-yard attempt.
Punter Tommy Townsend sent his first punt 49 yards in the first quarter. In the third quarter, his second punt of the game was downed at the nine-yard line.
Punt returner Mecole Hardman muffed a punt in the fourth quarter, setting up a Denver touchdown.
|Yards per play||4.8||3.7|
|Yards per rush||3.90||3.80|
|Passing Gross Yards||241||114|
|Passing Net Yards||213||87|
|Yards per pass||5.20||3.50|
|Rushing first downs||3||10|
|Passing first downs||12||7|
|Penalty first downs||3||2|
|Third down (Made/Att/Pct)||3/10/30%||6/14/43%|
|Fourth down (Made/Att/Pct)||1/3/33%||0/1/0%|
|Goal to go (Made/Att/Pct)||0/0/0%||2/3/67%|
|Red Zone (Made/Att/Pct)||0/3/0%||3/5/60%|
|Extra Points (Made/Att)||0/0||3/3|
|Field Goals (Made/Att)||3/3||1/2|
|Two-Point Conv (Made/Att)||0/0||0/0|
|Gross Punting Avg Yds||41.0||41.5|
|Net Punting Avg Yds||25.5||42.3|
|Total Rtn Yds (No KOs)||-3||69|
|Punt Returns (Num/Yds)||3//3||1/31|
|Kickoff Returns (Num/Yds)||1/14||1/28|
|Int Returns (Num/Yds)||0/0||2/38|
|Time of Possession||26:13||33:47|
|Marvin Mims Jr.||1||0||0.0||0||0||1||3|
|CHIEFS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|BRONCOS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|Pat Surtain II||3||3||0||0.0||0.0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|CHIEFS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|BRONCOS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|Marvin Mims Jr.||1||28||28.0||28||0|
|CHIEFS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|BRONCOS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|Marvin Mims Jr.||1||31||31.0||31||0|