12/15 16:18 CST Chiefs roll to 23-3 victory over Broncos at snowy Arrowhead
Chiefs roll to 23-3 victory over Broncos at snowy Arrowhead
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) --- The Kansas City Chiefs turned Arrowhead Stadium into
their own winter wonderland Sunday, mushing through the snow to an easy victory
over the Denver Broncos as they march toward another postseason filled with
Patrick Mahomes threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns, and Tyreek Hill and
Travis Kelce were on the receiving end of many of his biggest throws, as the
AFC West champions romped to a 23-3 victory over the rebuilding Broncos to
remain in the hunt for the No. 2 playoff seed and a potential first-round bye.
"It was awesome. A lot of fun," said Mahomes, who showed no lingering effects
from the hand his bruised last week. "The guys were embracing it. We knew it
was going to snow. We practice in cold weather a lot. So you get there, you're
already accustomed to it, and you go out there and play."
Like a bunch of kids getting a snow day from school, the Chiefs enjoyed every
minute of it.
Hill caught five passes for 67 yards and both scores, and Kelce hauled in 11
catches for 142 yards to become the first tight end in NFL history with four
consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, helping the Chiefs (10-4) beat the
Broncos for the ninth straight time. Denver (5-9) hasn't won in Kansas City
since Nov. 30, 2014.
The Chiefs outscored their longtime division rival 53-9 this season.
"You just attack it. You can't let weather get into how you're playing the game
or disrupt how you're playing the game," Kelce said. "That's the biggest thing
in terms of mindset, going out there and not letting anything distract you."
Whether it was the weather or the suddenly stout Chiefs defense, the Broncos
were so inept offensively that Kelce had more yards receiving at the start of
the fourth quarter than they had total offense (139 yards). Phillip Lindsay was
bottled up on the ground, and former Missouri standout Drew Lock --- who grew
up in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit, Missouri --- spent most of the
day seeing red jerseys bearing down on him.
The rookie quarterback was 18 of 40 for 208 yards and an egregious interception
in the end zone.
"I think he handled the conditions well. I think it's a game under these
conditions that he can bank and learn from," said Broncos coach Vic Fangio,
whose team was eliminated from playoff contention for the fourth straight
season. "I didn't see him get flustered out there and frustrated so that part
That was about the only good part. The Broncos finished with 251 yards, went 5
of 14 on third down and 1 of 3 on fourth, and were penalized seven times for 72
yards. They also went 0 for 2 in the red zone.
"When you play a team as good as the Chiefs," Fangio said, "you can't do that."
Flurries began to fall overnight, far earlier than meteorologists had
predicted, and the intensifying snow caused major problems for people trying to
get to the stadium. There were spin-outs and car accidents throughout the metro
area, and there was some concern that players might be delayed in getting to
the stadium in time for warmups.
An hour before kickoff, dozens of workers were clearing off the yard lines, end
zones and sidelines as the snow swirled inside the stadium. It really began to
pick up again at halftime, obscuring Kauffman Stadium about a quarter mile
away, and stadium workers flooded the field to clear what they could during
It wasn't long until Andy Williams' sonorous voice over the loudspeakers made
the snow globe atmosphere complete.
And for the Chiefs, it seemed indeed like the most wonderful time of the year.
They effortlessly marched downfield for a touchdown on their opening drive,
then got a trio of field goals from Harrison Butker on their next three
first-half possessions to build a 12-3 lead. When they received the kickoff to
start the second half, Mahomes took them right downfield again, finding Hill
for their second TD connection of the game.
The Broncos didn't force a punt until there was about six minutes left in the
By that point, the game was pretty much over.
The biggest cheers the rest of the way were for the Cincinnati Bengals, who
were trying to knock off the New England Patriots. They couldn't hold an early
lead, though, and that left the Chiefs needing to win out and the Patriots to
drop one of their final two games to move ahead of them in the playoff pecking
"That was very fun," said Hill, who left the game after a couple of hard hits
but returned to finish it out. "This is my first snow game and I had a blast
with it. I don't want to do it again because it's very cold, but I had fun with
STATS AND STREAKS
Lindsay had 32 yards rushing and the Broncos finished with 52 as a team. ...
Broncos LB Von Miller had the 105th sack of his career. He needs one more to
move into the top 25 in NFL history. ... The Chiefs have held four straight
opponents to 20 points or fewer and two of the past three to 10 points or fewer.
Chiefs: DE Alex Okafor hurt his chest while sacking Lock in the first half and
did not return. ... RB Damien Williams (ribs) and CBs Morris Claiborne
(shoulder) and Rashad Fenton (hamstring) were inactive.
Broncos: TE Noah Fant left after landing hard on his right shoulder. He
returned in the second half. ... DLs Dre'Mont Jones (ankle), Marcus Walker
(ankle) and Adam Gotsis (knee) were inactive. OT Ja'Wuan James (knee) also did
Denver begins a season-ending two-game homestand against Detroit next Sunday.
Kansas City visits Chicago next Sunday night for its regular-season road finale.
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