DENVER – Patrick Mahomes engineered a go-ahead drive ending in Kareem Hunt’s 4-yard touchdown run with 1:39 remaining, and the Kansas City Chiefs remained undefeated by beating the Denver Broncos 27-23 Monday night.
Mahomes completed 28 of 45 for 304 yards and a touchdown, breaking through in the late going against a defense that had bottled him up for much of the night. Kansas City improved to 4-0 and Denver fell to 2-2.
Case Keenum completed 21 of 33 for 245 yards. Phillip Lindsay had 69 yards rushing on 12 carries while Royce Freeman ran for 67 yards on eight attempts.
Brandon McManus’ third field goal, a 46-yarder with 12:47 remaining, boosted Denver’s lead to 10 points but Mahomes and the Chiefs offense responded with a 75-yard drive, getting key yardage on completions to tight end Travis Kelce, who made little impact until the fourth quarter. Mahomes connected with Kelce on a 2-yard scoring pass to pull the Chiefs to within three points with 6:27 left to play.
Kansas City’s defense followed with a key stop and Marquette King shanked a punt that traveled just 35 yards to the Chiefs’ 40.
That set the stage for a go-ahead drive in which Mahomes showed ingenuity and remarkable athleticism to defy Denver’s all-out pass rush.
With pass-rushing linebacker Von Miller bearing down on him, the right-handed Mahomes switched the ball to his left hand and shoveled a 6-yard completion to Tyreek Hill. He overcame a pair of penalties that set back the Chiefs with a 23-yard completion to Demarcus Robinson and then a 35-yard reception to Demetrius Harris, all the while dodging pressure. Hunt ran twice to cover the last 11 yards, the second a 4-yard touchdown to put the Chiefs back on top.
Keenum drove the Broncos to the Chiefs 28 but a fourth down pass fell incomplete in the final seconds, sealing the Chiefs’ sixth win in a row over the Broncos, including the last four in Denver.
A 19-yard run by Lindsay and an 18-yard gain on an end around by Emmanuel Sanders sparked a drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown run by Lindsay. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick’s pass interference penalty for grabbing receiver Courtland Sutton gave the Broncos a 1st-and-goal at the Kansas City 5 and Lindsay finished the drive with a pair of runs for a 20-13 lead late in the third quarter.
Denver cornerback Adam Jones knocked away a pass in the end zone intended for wide receiver Chris Conley and the Chiefs again settled for a field goal by Harrison Butker of 21 yards, evening the score at 13-all with 9:32 remaining in the third quarter.
The Broncos took a 13-10 halftime lead on McManus’ second field goal of the game, a 34-yarder as time expired in the second quarter.
Denver evened the score at 10-all on Freeman’s 14-yard touchdown run. He took a pitch from Keenum and bolted through traffic on the left side before faking his way past cornerback Kendall Fuller and dragging linebacker Anthony Hitchens the last few yards into the end zone. It was the rookie’s third game in a row with a touchdown.
McManus kicked a 42-yard field goal to culminate the Broncos’ opening possession. Hunt shook free for a 45-yard run to set up Mahome’s 8-yard scramble for a touchdown. Butker kicked a 33-yard field goal midway through the first quarter after cornerback Bradley Roby knocked away a third down pass intended for Sammy Watkins.
Notes: RT Jared Veldheer left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury and did not return. ... Rookie WR Courtland Sutton had a 42-yard reception in the second quarter, the second longest reception of the season for the Broncos.