One of the major reasons that the Denver Broncos knocked off the Kansas City Chiefs was the presence of their pass rush down the stretch. The group of Zach Allen, Baron Browning, Nik Bonitto, and Jonathon Cooper made their impact felt in the 4th quarter, with the Broncos sacking Patrick Mahomes multiple times on the Chiefs' second-to-final drive, resulting in a game-sealing interception from Justin Simmons, who picked off Mahomes for the fifth time in his career.
The rush from the Broncos sealed their victory in week eight, putting Denver back in the playoff conversation, at least for now. Here is how the Broncos' pass rush stepped up in Week 8, even without major sack totals.
1) Perfectly timed sacks
When the Denver Broncos needed a sack the most on Sunday, they got it. Mahomes was on the ground multiple times in the fourth quarter when the Broncos needed to control the former MVP the most. With 6:33 left in the game, Mahomes, Kelce, and the Chiefs took over down 21-9. Mahomes' first pass fell incomplete, leading to a second-and-ten. On 2nd-and-10, Mahomes was dropped by a combination of Cooper, who was being held, and Allen, who made his biggest play as a Bronco yet. Next came a third-and-seventeen, where Mahomes was dropped by Browning, his second sack of the game.
Cooper, Browning, and Allen combined for two sacks for the Broncos when they needed them the most. On the next play, Mahomes was forced out of the pocket, hit by Cooper, and his pass fell into the hands of Justin Simmons, sealing the victory for Sean Payton and his team. The Broncos got to Mahomes when they needed to the most, a feature that the Broncos' defense had not done too much since the team moved on from the likes of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb over the last two years at the trading deadline.