Hunt’s hurdling TD catch helps Chiefs to sweep of Broncos
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kareem Hunt did everything but score on his best run against the Bengals, spinning away from a pair of would-be tacklers and hurdling another before getting dragged down short of the goal line.
He made sure to cap another incredible run against Denver with a score.
This time, Hunt grabbed a shovel pass from Patrick Mahomes, darted through the arm-tackles of two Denver defenders and then leaped over cornerback Will Parks. Justin Simmons leaped onto his back, and Hunt proceeded to drag him the rest of the way for the Chiefs’ clinching touchdown on Sunday.
“That might have been the best run of the season anywhere,” said Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who had a TD catch of his own. “It makes you want to block for him every time he takes the rock.”
The Chiefs (7-1) got production from just about everyone on Sunday, though.
Mahomes threw for 303 yard and four touchdowns, Sammy Watkins had 107 yards and two scores, and Tyreek Hill had three catches for 70 yards before leaving late with a minor groin injury.
“I don’t know how many plays they’ve got,” Broncos linebacker Von Miller said. “Whatever plays they’ve got, they’ve got counters off that. So, they can show you the same play 10 times, run it 10 times, and then on the 11th time switch it up. They’re extremely well coached.”
As for the Broncos, well, their coaching has been increasingly called into question.
They committed 10 penalties for 83 yards, and that doesn’t count several that were offsetting or declined. Many of them wiped out big gains by undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay, who still managed to run for 95 yards and a touchdown in his first career start.
The Broncos (3-5) also had two late turnovers that spoiled any chance of a comeback.
“Without those penalties, without being pushed back, we never get in those third-and-longs, and we control the game,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “They never stopped us until we got those penalties. Again, we’ll go back and look at the tape and see whether those penalties are good or bad, but again it’s over. We can’t go back and play the game over again.”
No, the Chiefs get to look ahead to a trip to Cleveland while the Broncos have to begin preparing for a home date with Houston. Here are five takeaways heading into the next week:
Hill appeared to tweak his groin early in the game, but he continued to play until the fourth quarter. That’s when the Chiefs’ wide receiver joined Frank Zombo (hamstring) and fellow LB Anthony Hitchens (ribs) in the trainer’s room.
The Broncos lost LB Brandon Marshall (knee) and WR Isaiah McKenzie (hip) during the game.
Along with winning their seventh straight over the Broncos, the Chiefs won for the 19th time in their last 21 games against the AFC West. They are 3-0 in the division this year as they seek back-to-back-to-back titles for the first time in franchise history.
BRONCOS BRIGHT SPOT
Denver played without rookie running back Royce Freeman, who was out with an ankle injury. Lindsay answered with a big performance, though, and Devontae Booker had 78 yards rushing on just nine carries as the Broncos averaged 6.3 per attempt against the Chiefs defense.
“I knew Book was going to play well because he’s just been waiting for his chance,” Joseph said. “I knew Lindsey was going to play well. I knew we could block them up front.”
The Chiefs produced five sacks and six tackles for loss, despite playing without $100 million pass rusher Justin Houston. Dee Ford had three of the sacks, including one that produced a fumble that Kansas City recovered. Breeland Speaks and Chris Jones had the others.
O-LINE HOLDS UP
The Chiefs were missing C Mitch Morse (concussion) and two injured offensive guards, yet they managed to hold up fairly well. Austin Reiter made his second NFL start and first for the Chiefs at center while Andrew Wylie held down the right guard spot.
“Me and Wylie were talking about that, when we get in the huddle and see Tyreek and we see all those guys in there, Kareem, we’re like, ’Wow, there’s a lot of weapons on this offense,” Reiter said. “It’s really fun to play with those guys.”