For the first time in the Patrick Mahomes era, Denver has defeated him. A new streak against Kansas City has just started, as Denver Broncos pass rusher Jonathon Cooper said post-game. The Denver Broncos have finally defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, and move into a 3-5 win-loss record heading into the Bye week.
To be specific, the Denver Broncos defeated Kansas City by a 24-9 score in their week 8 matchup. The team executed in all three phases of the game nearly to perfection. With that being said, here are my main takeaways from Denver's EPIC win over a huge AFC West division rival, the Chiefs...
1. Vance Joseph executed the perfect defensive plan:
After a few weeks in the season, many people, including me, wanted Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph fired, especially after allowing 105 combined points in two weeks against the Washington Commanders (35), and Miami Dolphins (70). Denver was dead last in points allowed per game, also in yards/game in both, passing and rushing.
The defense has been improving since then, and against the Chiefs on Sunday, they played insanely well. A huge shout-out to Joseph and the players. Vance planned the perfect game plan against a top-tier offense like the Chiefs, and the players executed that good game plan on the field.
The Broncos' defense held Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and company, to nine points, yes nine, as impressive as it sounds. It was only the third-ever game in Patrick Mahomes' career where he was unable to score a touchdown (Super Bowl 55, and 3-27 loss at Titans in 2021). Not only were Mahomes and KC's offense unable to score a touchdown, but the Broncos defense had three sacks (Browning x2, Zack Allen and Jonathon Cooper 0.5 each), two interceptions (McMillian 1, Simmons 1), and two fumbles (Jewell 1, Browning 1). Additionally, the special teams unit had a fumble recovery on a muffed punt.
2. Run game was key:
One of the things that I mentioned in my "Keys to beat KC" article ahead of the game was having a good running game, and man, what a huge thing it was. Not only did the Broncos have their combined season-best rushing game (153 yards), and Javonte Williams also had his season-high in rushing yards in a game (85), but the run game was a huge factor that held the Chiefs' powerful offense out of the field. Running the ball helped the Broncos to literally EAT the game clock.
Denver took care of the game clock and had a combined time of possession of 33:47 minutes out of the 60 minutes played.
Yes, the Broncos had 40 rushing attempts, and only 3.825 yards per attempt, but it was enough to keep Patrick Mahomes and his offense out of the field. Besides, both, Javonte Williams and Jaleel McLaughlin had a couple of 10+ yard runs.
3. Despite lost fumble, Russell Wilson did what he needed to do:
With the help of the run game, Russell Wilson only needed to throw the ball nineteen times, which is not a big number. Still, he completed twelve of those attempts, for 114 yards, three being touchdowns to Javonte Williams, Jerry Jeudy, and Courtland Sutton respectively.
Wilson's completion percentage was 63.16%. As 114 yards doesn't look like a big number, Russ did enough, completing important passes and also rushing for 30 yards. Since the main game plan was to run the ball, he did not have to throw the ball much, but most of the time where he needed to, he did well. Overall, a good game from Russ, his second consecutive without an interception too.
Chiefs' star tight end Travis Kelce had the same amount of receiving yards (58) as the last time Denver defeated Kansas City, before Sunday (Week 2, 2015). He led the team in that category in both games, and Denver won both games.
Now the Broncos are headed into their Bye week, with Buffalo next ... Enjoy it Broncos Country, it was a HUGE DUB! We all deserved it!