Kansas City’s latest disappointment is a 20-play drive that has been abandoned
KANSAS CITY MO. Five hours before kickoff, a Chiefs fan was in the parking lot and made an expletive about Broncos. He then used a blowtorch for his grill.
This sums up December in Kansas City, Kansas for the Broncos.
The Broncos lost 22-9 to the Chiefs in a game that featured one of the most frustrating drives in franchise history. This was before a sell-out crowd at Arrowhead Stadium, or whatever they call it now.
Coach Vic Fangio said, “The loss makes it feel empty.”
It doesn’t matter what the name is. The results are the same. In Kansas City, the Broncos were 3-20 in December.
The Broncos missed a chance at first place and were forced to finish last in the AFC West. They were beaten again by Chiefs and their ineffective offense.
Since Peyton Manning was quarterback, the Chiefs have never been beaten by the Broncos. Teddy Bridgewater was not about to change this. He completed 22 of 40 passes for 257 yard, but it was a tough night. He lost his four-game streak of turnover-free play with two interceptions and a pick six. The offense was forgettable, except for rookie Javonte Wilkins — who became the first Broncos rookie to surpass 100 yards rushing and 75 receiving yards in one game.
The defense deserves better. After a bye week, Andy Reid, Chiefs coach, improved to 20-3.
Did the Broncos lose the game when they won the coin toss? Fangio chose to accept. It looked simple, as rookie Williams pinballed for nine yard. Following a Kansas City script that is more predictable than a Hallmark movie, the Broncos only gained one yard in their five next plays.
On their first drive, the Chiefs accelerated like they were on a flight. Patrick Mahomes looked relaxed before turning in for a touchdown of 10 yards. The Chiefs’ Harrison Butker made a wind-aided 56 yard field goal to give them a 10-point cushion after a Broncos third-and-out.
The Broncos gave up on playing the role as the tomato can. Bridgewater reached out to Jerry Jeudy and gained a 36-yard touchdown, which lifted Denver off the floor. The run game was gaining momentum. The Broncos had first-and-10 at the 14-yard line. They were penalized for interference on Courtland Smith and intentional grounding on Bridgewater.
The Broncos lost road games because field goals are not allowed, but Brandon McManus’ 42 yarder was enough for them to win.
The next part was equally jaw-droppingly and perplexing. The Broncos got to work and put their hands up. They completed a 20-play, 11 minute, 8 second drive in record time. This is one of the longest drives in NFL history. They converted fourth downs of between two and seven yards. It was both beautiful and terrifying. Although the Broncos tried to play keepaway, they couldn’t stop the march.
Bridgewater was forced to complete the incompletion when it came down to third-and-2. The Broncos would never again kick the ball, so it was an odd choice. They had two yards to go between the Broncos, and Williams was on the first down. Although it made sense, context was required. The Broncos seemed confused. Williams looked towards the sideline as the ball snapped.
The Chiefs attacked with a vengeance. Williams was smothered by Melvin Ingram and Willie Gay for a 1-yard loss. Fangio acknowledged that the play was not in sync before the snap but it was too late to call a timeout. Fangio had no regrets about going for it, rather than taking a shot kick.
He said, “You must score touchdowns to defeat that team.”
John Elway was there Sunday to witness the rise of The Drive and become NFL royalty. The Stall will be remembered forever by the 2021 Broncos.
Bridgewater stated, “It just sucks to man, to move the ball all of the way down the field without scoring.”
Denver had a date and rented a limo and tuxedo. But, they didn’t go to prom. They took 18% off the clock, and they walked out without a gift.
It was amazing, bizarre, and terrible. The squirms were real. Instead of scoring a touchdown, the Broncos were left empty-handed. They ran 37 plays in the first half to Kansas City’s 27, They won possession time, but it doesn’t count in standings, despite what Pat Shurmur, the offensive coordinator, might have you believe.
It’s instead cotton candy, which is empty calories and without touchdowns.
The Broncos defense was strong enough to win an upset for the second consecutive season. The Broncos offense did not carry their water for the second consecutive year. They held the game without scoring a touchdown in the final three quarters.
Bridgewater has shown that he is capable of taking care of the ball. Bridgewater hasn’t proven that he can handle the ball and take risks. Juan Thornhill, who was attempting to intercept him in the middle field, ended his streak of four games without turning the ball over.
Although the Chiefs did not score on that drive they capitalized on a mistake made by special teams. Diontae Spencer was settling under a punt when Caden Sterns and him collided. Chiefs’ Byron Pringle was then blocked in between them both. The Chiefs took control of the 20-yard line and added a field goal.
It is a sobering fact that 16-3 felt like an offensively-challenged 30-point lead for the Broncos.
With 9:42 left, Kansas City put Denver out its misery. The Broncos were three wide on fourth-and-2 at the 27-yard mark. Ben Niemann, a blitzing linebacker, deflected Bridgewater’s pass meant for Tim Patrick. Daniel Sorensen received the ball and raced 75 yards to score. Bridgewater tried to tackle him, but he bounced off him.
Williams also added a fourth quarter touchdown for fantasy owners and pride. This was a well-deserved prize.
Fangio had been with the Chiefs for three years and the team had outscored Broncos 140-50. Since Manning, there have been 10 quarterbacks. None of them have ever beaten the Chiefs. The Broncos remain in the playoff race. They are still hopeful at 6-6 but they will need to win four of their last five games.
According to recent history. They will need to win four consecutive games since the Chiefs are still waiting for the season finale.
“Kareem” Jackson said it best in his locker room. Bridgewater stated that every game left “is like a playoff match.”
Mike Purcell, nose tackle, was the only one who was not inactive. McTelvin Agim was used by the Broncos to try and create an interior pass rush that is more efficient. …
Pat Surtain II recorded his third interception in just two games, and now has four for the season. This is tied for third all-time for Broncos rookies.