Chiefs stun Broncos with heroics from Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt



October 2, 2018 - 10:35 AM

DENVER — Patrick Mahomes is lethal with his right hand.
Turns out, he’s not bad with his left hand either.
Trailing by three in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, the Chiefs needed a miracle.
The quarterback performed one. Heck, he didn’t just perform one, he performed multiple.
In the place where his legend was born nine months ago, Mahomes achieved something close to immortal status just four games into his career as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback. With a three-minute, 60-yard scoring drive, Mahomes pulled a win from the gnashing jaws of defeat and gave the undefeated Chiefs a 27-23 win over the Broncos in front of a national audience in Denver at Mile High Stadium.
Using his left hand, Mahomes shoveled off a six-yard pass to Tyreek Hill to pick up a first down with three minutes left.
With a 23-yard throw to DeMarcus Robinson a couple minutes later, Mahomes all but erased a second-and-30 situation.
And then, the Chiefs (4-0) got lucky.
With the play clock clearly at zero on the next play, Mahomes snapped the ball and fired off a 35-yard pass to tight end Demetrius Harris with 1:54 left in the game.
Then, thanks to a defensive offside flag on Von Miller, the Chiefs were five yards away from the end zone with 1:49 left.
Kareem Hunt made up the difference in two plays, running into the end zone from four yards out to give the Chiefs a lead with 1:39 left.
Until then, the Chiefs’ high-flying offense looked out of sorts for most of the game.
For the first time all season, Mahomes (28-of-45, 304 yards, TD) didn’t have a touchdown throw in the first half. He did manage to score his first rushing touchdown, scrambling in from eight yards out in the second quarter. But that was the Chiefs’ only touchdown of the half.
The Broncos’ defense pressured Mahomes, chasing him out of the pocket and forcing him to attempt circus-like throws. The Chiefs lost one offensive threat early when Sammy Watkins left the game with a groin injury in the first quarter and didn’t return.
Every time the offense seemed to get going, a penalty stripped it away. Left tackle Eric Fisher had two false starts — including one that erased momentum gained from safety Eric Murray’s first career interception in the third quarter.
While the Chiefs’ offense stagnated, the Broncos (1-3) remained steady with their ground assault.
Anchored by the rookie tandem of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, the Broncos averaged 8.5 yards per carry in the first half and 7.2 overall.
The Broncos set the tone early, picking up runs of 17 and 18 yards in the first drive, which resulted in a field goal — the Chiefs’ first deficit of the season.
By the end of the game, Royce rushed for 67 yards on eight carries, while Lindsay had 69 yards on 12 carries. Each scored a touchdown, making them the first rookie pair in Broncos team history to each rush for 60 yards and have a touchdown in the same game.
But Hunt countered with a rushing attack of his own for the Chiefs, carrying the ball 19 times for 121 yards.
In the end, Hunt’s final touchdown made the difference, adding another score on top of Mahomes’ two-yard pass to Travis Kelce in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs defense, one that struggled to contain the Broncos all game, came up with the biggest stop of the day thanks to a few more doses of luck on Denver’s final drive.
Case Keenum had a wide open Demaryius Thomas streaking toward the end zone. But he overthrew it.
With one final shot to score facing fourth-and-10, Keenum fired off a pass to rookie Courtland Sutton. But Sutton dropped the pass and the Chiefs got the ball on downs.
Mahomes trotted back out one last time to take a knee, preserving his perfect record in Denver.