Patrick Mahomes is aware of the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs offense remains to be making an attempt to place the whole lot collectively.
That was evident in the way in which they struggled in opposition to Denver within the third on Thursday night time. The way in which they stayed trapped in short-yardage conditions. And in how they repeatedly did not convert pink zone journeys into touchdowns.
“Happily for us, our protection is taking part in nice,” Mahomes stated.
Remarkably, Mahomes’ lone go and Harrison Butker’s 4 scores had been sufficient to clinch a 19-8 win over the Broncos, whose woeful offense may solely handle 197 yards behind a shaky efficiency from Russell Wilson.
“We have now starters on different groups that attempt to discover a method on the soccer area, and after they get on the sector, they make performs,” Mahomes stated of Kansas Metropolis’s protection. “And they’re taking part in with confidence.”
Mahomes completed with 306 yards passing and an interception, and far of his manufacturing went to Travis Kelce, who had 9 catches for 124 yards with Taylor Swift cheers him on again From the Arrowhead Stadium suite.
Nevertheless, the Chiefs’ (5-1) lack of ability to attain touchdowns as an alternative of area targets virtually proved pricey.
Butker’s first three area targets helped them take a 16-0 lead, however Wilson’s go to Courtland Sutton — dominated incomplete however overturned on assessment — with about six minutes remaining stored the Broncos (1-5) alive. And when Javonte Williams drove into the top zone for the two-point conversion, what was a one-sided shutout was a one-possession play.
Nevertheless, the Broncos’ worst protection within the league could not cease. Mahomes transformed a third-and-2 with a 28-yard go to Rashie Rice, placing Butker in place for a 52-yard area purpose with 1:55 remaining that put the sport away.
“Our protection was superb tonight, identical to it has been earlier than,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid stated. “However we have to handle enterprise within the pink zone. We had loads of yards, optimistic yards, however you possibly can’t procrastinate there.”
The Broncos have not overwhelmed the Chiefs since Sept. 17, 2015, the 12 months Peyton Manning led Denver to the Tremendous Bowl. That was six head and interim coaches in the past, and nothing has modified with Sean Payton main them on Thursday night time. In a league constructed for parity, their shedding streak is the fourth-longest for any group in opposition to one other in NFL historical past.
“I am dissatisfied, however I am not dissatisfied,” Payton stated. “Offensively, we struggled throwing the ball. Our third-down numbers had been unhealthy. Turnovers, in opposition to a group like that, it should be powerful to win the sport, and but we had been nonetheless within the fourth quarter. Typically you do not know how the sport goes to go.”
As unhealthy because the Broncos’ protection has been this season, it has been Wilson and their offense that has continued to pull them down. He had a 37-yard run within the first half, and Wilson’s solely drive by means of midfield ended on fourth down.
The Chiefs did not fare a lot better.
Their first three forays into the pink zone scored three factors, because of a Justin Simmons interception and a failed push exterior the sector purpose formation on fourth down. Mahomes, who has struggled by his requirements all season, discovered his rhythm solely as soon as within the first half, when he completed off a 62-yard drive with a brief go to Kadarius Toney.
Butker made it 13-0 at halftime when he kicked a 60-yard area purpose as time expired.
The Chiefs’ pink zone woes continued within the second half. They began by rapidly marching down the sector and organising first-and-goal on the Denver 8, however that rapidly become fourth-and-goal on the seven-yard line and Butker needed to kick one other area purpose.
That was all Kansas Metropolis may muster till its decisive kick within the ultimate minutes.
Because of the protection, that was all of the Chiefs wanted.
“I believe we did loads of good issues, simply the plain pink zone and a few third downs that we did not execute at a excessive sufficient degree,” Mahomes stated. “I nonetheless suppose there are loads of good issues we are able to profit from.”
Swift watched Kelce and the Chiefs for the third time Thursday night time. The 2 started a relationship a couple of weeks in the past, when he invited Swift to a Chiefs recreation after failing to satisfy her throughout the Eras Tour. Swift arrived from Los Angeles, the place she walked the pink carpet on Wednesday night time for the premiere of her musical.
Chiefs defensive sort out Chris Jones had a sack in his eighth straight regular-season recreation, which trails solely his 11-game streak in 2018 for the longest in franchise historical past. With at the least one residence run in his first 5 this season, Jones broke the membership document for begins in a season held by Corridor of Famer Derrick Thomas.