Patrick Mahomes throws TD pass, Travis Kelce has big game as Chiefs beat Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes runs.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs during the first half against the Denver Broncos on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

Patrick Mahomes threw for 306 yards and a touchdown, Harrison Butker kicked four field goals, and the Kansas City Chiefs held off the Denver Broncos 19-8 on Thursday night for their 16th straight win over their longtime AFC West rivals.

Travis Kelce had nine catches for 124 yards for Kansas City with Taylor Swift again cheering him on from an Arrowhead Stadium suite. But the Chiefs (5-1) leaned more heavily on their defense to shut down erratic Russell Wilson and the Broncos (1-5).

Wilson was held to 95 yards passing with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions, and woebegone Denver finished with just 197 yards of total offense.


Still, the Chiefs’ inability to turn red-zone trips into touchdowns nearly cost them.

Butker’s first three field goals helped them to a 16-0 lead, but Wilson’s touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton — ruled incomplete but overturned upon review — with about six minutes remaining kept the Broncos alive. And when Javonte Williams bulled into the end zone for the two-point conversion, what had been a one-sided shutout was a one-possession game.

The Broncos’ league-worst defense couldn’t make a stop, though. Mahomes converted third-and-two with a 28-yard pass to Rashee Rice, and that put Butker in position for a 52-yard field goal with 1:55 left that put the game away.

The Broncos have not beaten the Chiefs since Sept. 17, 2015, the year Peyton Manning led Denver to the Super Bowl. That was six head and interim coaches ago, and nothing changed with Sean Payton leading them Thursday night. In a league built for parity, their losing streak is the fourth-longest for any team against another in NFL history.

As bad as the Broncos’ defense has been this season, it was Wilson and their offense that kept dragging them down. He had 37 yards passing in the first half, and the only drive Wilson led past midfield ended on fourth down.

Sam Farmer makes his picks and predictions for Week 6 of the 2023 NFL season, starting with the Denver Broncos taking on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Oct. 12, 2023

The Chiefs weren’t doing a whole lot better.

Their first three forays into the red zone netted three points, thanks to an interception by Justin Simmons and a failed tush-push out of a field-goal lineup on fourth down. Mahomes, who has struggled by his standards all season, only found his rhythm once in the first half, when he ended a 62-yard drive with a short touchdown pass to Kadarius Toney.

Butker made it 13-0 at the break when he drilled a 60-yard field goal as time expired.

The Chiefs’ red-zone woes continued in the second half. They began by swiftly marching downfield and setting up first-and-goal at the Denver eight, but that quickly turned into fourth-and-goal at the seven-yard line and Butker was forced to kick another field goal.


That was all Kansas City could muster until his clinching kick in the final minutes.

Isiah Pacheco carried 16 times for 62 yards for the Chiefs.