The Kansas City Chiefs ended their NFL skid by topping the Denver Broncos 30-6 after Patrick Mahomes left the game due to injury.
The normally struggling Broncos had been playing well as of late and entered the contest on a two-game win streak, while the Chiefs were facing their first three-gaming losing run since Mahomes took over as starting quarterback in 2018.
Ultimately, Kansas City triumphed and snapped a two-game losing streak away to the Broncos in Denver, where Mahomes hurt his knee and did not return in the second quarter.
Three takeaways from the Chiefs' road win over the Broncos
Reid's play-calling caused a serious problem
Long-time Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has been under fire this season for some questionable play-calling. Before Thursday, the most egregious error was not utilising Mahomes on a crucial fourth-and-one versus the Indianapolis Colts. The eventual loss in Week 5 started the team's losing streak.
Reid's latest mistake was a very questionable decision to use Mahomes, who has not been 100 per cent since injuring his ankle in that matchup with the Colts.
Mahomes tried to sneak his way through a crowded line to get a first down as the Chiefs were pressed up to the goal line in the second quarter. Once the pile cleared, reigning MVP Mahomes — who earned two yards on the play, enough for a new set of downs — was lying on top of his own lineman unable to get up. He remained on the ground, appeared to have his knee popped back into place and eventually limped to the locker room with assistance from trainers.
He was later ruled out for the remainder of the game with a knee injury. Mahomes finished 10-of-11 passing for 76 yards and one touchdown before exiting.
Matt Moore came in for the injured Mahomes. The Miami Dolphins scout-turned-backup quarterback finished 10-of-19 passing for 117 yards and one touchdown.
Chiefs' defense stepped up when they needed to the most
Kansas City's defense have not been able to do much as far as stopping their opponents, especially on the ground.
The Chiefs had allowed a 100-yard rusher in four consecutive weeks. The number would have increased to five if not for the Oakland Raiders' Josh Jacobs finishing with 99 yards on just 12 carries in Week 2.
However, against the Broncos, the Chiefs made a key stop on the ground when Denver attempted a two-point conversion after their only score of the night.
Later in the second half, the defense secured a sack fumble and returned it for a touchdown. It was a much-needed score considering it happened just a couple of plays after Mahomes left with his injury.
All in all, the defense played lights out, holding Denver to 205 total yards (71 of those on the ground) and sacking Joe Flacco eight times (nine in total). This is coming from a defense that had 11 total sacks entering the game.
Broncos went back to looking like ... the Broncos
It was a nice thought for Denver fans: the chance at a three-game winning streak and a near-.500 record. But the thought went away — and quickly.
The Broncos showed a glimpse of what they could do when Flacco led a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive. It would, however, be the team's only highlight ... and score ... on the night.
From the sacks, to the 12 three-and-outs and the missed opportunities on defense, there is not much to take away from Denver's performance in a game they needed to win.
Flacco, who was booed by fans toward the end of the game, finished 21-of-34 passing for 213 yards with those eight sacks.