Patrick Mahomes threw for 318 yards and a touchdown, Harrison Butker was perfect on five field goals, and the Kansas City Chiefs overcame some red-zone woes and big mistakes that cost them two more scores to hold off the Denver Broncos 22-16 on Sunday night.
Travis Kelce had eight receptions for 136 yards and the go-ahead TD grab late in the third quarter, and Tyrann Mathieu twice picked off Broncos quarterback Drew Lock – the second with 24 seconds left to seal the win – as the Chiefs clinched a playoff berth by improving to 11-1 for the second time in franchise history.
It took some defense to do it.
The Broncos (4-8) forced the Chiefs to punt after a holding call wiped out Tyreek Hill’s 48-yard touchdown reception – he also missed out on a TD because of a coaching gaffe earlier – and Denver managed to move to midfield before stalling. But rather than going for it on fourth-and-3 with 6 minutes to go, coach Vic Fangio elected to punt the ball away.
The Chiefs melted most of the clock before Butker kicked a 48-yard field goal with 1:06 remaining, and the Kansas City defense forced Lock into a wild fourth-down throw that Mathieu intercepted to put the game away.