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Something’s off about Patrick Mahomes, and it inspired the Kansas City Chiefs to be on their A-game Sunday night.
The Chiefs defeated the Denver Broncos, 22-9, in an AFC West matchup, confirming the identity of both teams: Kansas City as the sluggish victors and a Denver team hindered by their lack of offense with Bridgewater at quarterback.
After a flat first half that only saw one touchdown off a 10-yard Mahomes scramble, the Chiefs were expected to produce a vintage score-laden second half. Three Harrison Butker field goals and a defensive touchdown helped the Chiefs break the 20-point mark; meanwhile, the offense stayed in neutral — failing to reach scoring range for the final 9:42 of the fourth quarter.
Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater produced a solid night … for Drew Locke apologists. Bridgewater completed 21 of 40 passes, threw two interceptions and had 257 yards passing. He tossed a late-game touchdown to running back Javonte Williams — though the pass barely crossed the scrimmage line before the standout rookie ran for the remaining nine yards. Williams had a combined 178 yards of offense and a touchdown, taking the lion’s share of carries with 23.
Bridgewater wasn’t the quarterback to win the game, but the Bronco still out-performed former MVP Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes ran in for the touchdown in the first quarter, but produced a feable 184 passing yards for the game. He also got picked off once and never built momentum with Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce.
The KC offensive line allowed one sack on Mahomes, yet his top two receivers for the night were running backs Darrel Williams (3 receptions, 60 yards) and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (3 receptions, 28 yards).
All night, the consensus best young quarterback in the NFL sported a timid arm compared to the rocket seen from seasons prior. Hill and Kelce combined for 49 receiving yards. The former was responsible for the interception off Mahomes after the ball bounced off Hill’s hands. Mahomes tallied his 11th interception of the year Sunday night to extend his unlucky streak of mistakes.
The Chiefs defense did show up: holding the Broncos offense to their second-lowest scoring total of the year (9). Safety Daniel Sorensen had the defensive touchdown, picking off Teddy Bridgewater and running for the 75-yard pick-six.
Mahomes’ struggles may feel transitory, but the talent on the depth chart for KC still keeps fans eager for an end to Mahomes’ troubles and back to his signature stability at QB. Mahomes threw more turnovers than scores for his second-straight game: a combined goose egg in the TD column.
For all their faults on offense (eclipsing the 30-point mark just once in the past five contests), the Chiefs coaching staff keeps finding ways to stay winning.
Kansas City improves to 8-4 off their fifth-straight win, expecting their slate of AFC West games to continue with the Raiders and Chargers in the next two weeks.
The Broncos stay at the fourth spot in the AFC West, falling to .500 (6-6).
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela