Bolton’s fumble kick off Chiefs 28-24 win over Broncos | Ap thread

DENVER (AP) – Linebacker Nick Bolton 86 yard fumble return After Melvin Ingram III darted into the Denver backfield intact and stripped Melvin Gordon propelled the Kansas City Chiefs to a 28-24 victory over the Denver Broncos on Saturday.

With their 13th straight victory over the Broncos, the Chiefs (12-5) kept their hopes of securing the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs alive.

They need Houston to upset Tennessee on Sunday to get pole position; if not, they’re the second seed and will host a wildcard game next weekend in their quest to reach a third straight Super Bowl.

The Broncos (7-10) were leading 21-20 and attempting another touchdown when Ingram passed tight end Noah Fant and blew the game up just as Drew Lock handed the ball to Gordon.

Bolton recovered the ball and scolded for 86 yards to give the Chiefs their biggest lead, and goaltender Patrick Mahomes on the 2-point conversion made it 28-21.

Lock and the Broncos quickly recovered to scoring position, but coach Vic Fangio, who fell to 19-30 as Denver head coach, decided on a field goal on the third and 9 of the 13. as the crowd relentlessly booed the decision.

McManus had 31 yards, but the Broncos were still down by fours and would need a touchdown if they could stop Mahomes.

They weren’t.

In the third and -8 of the Denver 17s, Mahomes found Travis Kelce for an 11-yard gain on the two-minute warning as the Broncos burned all of their timeouts.

The Chiefs lined up in lineup for the win as time passed and the crowd of 61,441 – there were nearly 15,000 empty seats – poured in for the outings, a fifth consecutive losing season in the books and their drought in the playoffs now stretched to six.

Jerick McKinnon made three tackles en route to a 14-yard touchdown that gave Kansas City a 17-14 lead on the first down of the third quarter.

Lock responded with a 31-yard dart to Tim Patrick on the third and 13th – that pass went over Lock’s total distance in the first half – then Gordon burst into the line for a touchdown from 47 yards that gave Denver a 21-17 lead the Broncos would take in the fourth quarter.

Harrison Butker’s 51-yard field goal took Kansas City to 21-20 early in the fourth quarter and capped a 10-play drive that covered just 25 yards.

Lock completed just 4 of 10 passes for 27 yards in the first half, but the Broncos took a 14-10 halftime lead thanks to Lock’s 5- and 23-yard touchdown passes.

Kelce’s 3-yard catch gave KC a 7-0 lead, but Zayne Anderson’s penalty to punter Sam Martin saved the Broncos from a second straight three-and-out, and Lock took advantage of his second chance to match him with his 5-yard scrum which equaled him at 7.

That practice began at Denver 33 after Butker slipped at kickoff. He also slipped twice in pre-match warm-ups and changed his cleats before the match.

Denver got their game on the ground to take a 14-7 lead when Lock kept it on his own and rushed into the middle of 23 meters. That made him the Broncos’ first quarterback with two TDs in a game since Tim Tebow in 2011.

The Broncos, missing three of their top four cornerbacks, lost two interceptions, one by Michael Ojemudia on Kansas City’s first practice and another at the goal line by Kyle Fuller.

Immediately after Fuller’s failure, Butker’s 34-yard field goal took Kansas City to 14-10.

AT YOUR HOUSE

The Chiefs were 11-point favorites according to FanDuel SportsBook, marking the third time in the past 42 years that the Broncos have been a double-digit underdog.

The others were in 1987 against the Raiders with substitutes during the players’ strike and last year when they faced the Saints with their four quarterbacks in COVID-19 protocols.

INJURIES

RB Chiefs Darrel Williams (toe) started early in the fourth quarter. RT Broncos Bobby Massie was added to the injury report on Saturday with concussion and was ruled out before kickoff. IILB Baron Browning injured his right shoulder midway through the third quarter but came back.

FOLLOWING

After the close call, the Chiefs cheer on the Texans.

The Broncos, who started the day with a minute’s silence for former coach Dan Reeves, who died at 77 on New Years Day, are heading into an offseason that will certainly include some big changes.

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