Cover 4: Broncos fall 27-23 as Chiefs complete fourth-quarter comeback
Associate Editor, DenverBroncos.com
DENVER — The Broncos built a 23-13 lead over the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, but Denver couldn't hold on in the fourth quarter and fell to 2-2 with a 27-23 loss.
With the Broncos leading 23-20 with 2:53 to play, it appeared Denver would need just one more big play to seal the win. The Broncos got their chance when the Chiefs faced a second-and-30. A stop there would've made the Chiefs' task nearly impossible. But Patrick Mahomes found a way to make a play. The first-year starter rolled to his right to escape the Denver pass rush and found Demarcus Robinson for 23 yards to set up third-and-7. That's when things got worse for the Broncos. Mahomes found a wide-open Demetrius Harris for 35 yards for a first down. The Chiefs would score a touchdown a few plays later to take the lead, and the Broncos were unable to complete a last-minute comeback. They nearly pulled it off, as Keenum led the Broncos into Chiefs territory. But Keenum missed an open Demaryius Thomas for the game-winning score, and the Broncos couldn't convert their second fourth down of the drive. The Chiefs got the ball back, and the Broncos fell to 2-2.
In-game photos: Broncos vs. Chiefs
Photos from the Broncos' photographers of game action during the Broncos' game against the Chiefs.
Denver Broncos action against the Kansas City Chiefs during the game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, October 01, 2018.
Photo by Gabriel Christus
The Broncos held the Chiefs to 13 points through three quarters — and then Kansas City more than doubled that output in the final seven minutes. Mahomes found Travis Kelce for a 2-yard score with 6:27 remaining, and Kareem Hunt scored another touchdown with 1:39 to erase a double-digit deficit.
For three quarters, Denver played good enough football to win, but the team couldn't quite finish off the contest. As Broncos fans reflect back on this edition of "Monday Night Football," it will be hard to forget Kansas City's 14 fourth-quarter points.
With 8:48 to play in the second quarter, Courtland Sutton showed the nation why Broncos fans are so excited about the young receiver. Down seven points, Keenum looked down the right sideline and found Sutton, who made an impressive catch with Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller draped all over him. The play set up the Broncos' first touchdown of the game — and it was Denver's second-longest reception of the young season.
Rookie running backs Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay continued their strong starts to the season as they combined for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Freeman tied Giants running back Saquon Barkley for the most rushing touchdowns this season among rookie running backs. Freeman also joined good company in Broncos history. Only Terrell Davis and Jon Keyworth rushed for as many touchdowns through four weeks during their rookie seasons as Freeman.
Fullback Andy Janovich also made his presence felt, as he again made a series of key blocks and also caught a 32-yard pass on a wheel route to set up a Denver field goal.
Safety Justin Simmons gets a nod here for his defensive performance. He led all Broncos defenders with eight tackles. Todd Davis, meanwhile, tallied the second sack of his career. Davis, Simmons,Brandon Marshall and Darian Stewart all played a role in slowing Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who totaled seven receptions but went catch-less in the first half.