This past week’s Thursday Night Football matchup saw the Kansas City Chiefs headed to Mile High to take on the Denver Broncos. The Chiefs came in looking to snap a two-game losing streak after starting the season 3-0. The Broncos came in trying to figure out their team and their season, with a low powered offense and a defense that has looked like a shadow of their elite identity in the past few seasons. While the game itself did not make for an exciting story, one of the biggest NFL headlines of the week occurred during the second quarter when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes injured his knee on a QB sneak play. Despite losing the reigning league MVP before halftime, Kansas City still thoroughly beat Denver by a score of 30-6.
The Broncos got on the board first in the game with a one-yard rush by Royce Freeman to take the lead. However, a failed two-point conversion left the score at 6-0. After this early score, the game was all Kansas City. Five minutes later, Mahomes completed a 21-yard pass to Mecole Hardman for the Chiefs’ first score and to take a 7-6 lead. Kicker Harrison Butker kicked a 33-yard field goal in the closing minutes to take a 10-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Scoring in the second quarter started with a 20-yard field goal by Butker.It was on this drive when Mahomes dislocated his knee on a goal-line sneak and was replaced by backup Matt Moore. Reggie Ragland added another touchdown by scooping up a fumble by Joe Flacco after he was sacked. Going into halftime, the Chiefs had a commanding 20-6 lead.
The lone scoring play of the third quarter came on a 57-yard passing touchdown from Matt Moore to Tyreek Hill. The fourth quarter was equally low on offense, as the only score came from a 39-yard field goal by Butker to make the final score 30-6.
Before leaving the game, Patrick Mahomes was 10/11 on pass attempts with 76 yards and a touchdown. Before leaving the game, he became the fastest player in history to throw for 7,500 yards in their career, taking only 25 games to reach that milestone. His replacement, Matt Moore, added another 117 yards and a touchdown on 10/19 passing. LeSean McCoy added 64 yards on the ground on 12 carries. Tyreek Hill lead the KC receivers with 74 yards and a touchdown. The Chiefs defense came up huge in a game where they could not rely on their star quarterback. The defense sacked Joe Flacco eight times and also scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery. On the other side, the Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco had 213 yards on 21/34 passing but had no touchdowns on the day. Phillip Lindsay had 36 rushing yards but no touchdowns, while Royce Freeman had 35 yards and touchdown that came on his goal-line run.
While this game was certainly nothing to write home about, the loss of the reigning MVP is a big story and a huge hit to the Chiefs. However, the MRI of his knee showed no ligament damage, meaning that the dislocation is the worst of the problem. Between the knee injury and high-ankle sprain he was already dealing with, Mahomes will miss multiple weeks to make sure there is little chance for reinjury. Some good news for Chiefs fans, however, is that league sources have reported he could return in as little as three weeks. In the meantime, Kansas City will have to rely on Matt Moore along with the defense to keep them in the playoff hunt.