In a Sunday night prime time matchup that had all the drama and suspense a Scriptwriter could ask for, the Denver Broncos lost an Overtime thriller to AFC West Division rival Kansas City Chiefs, 30-27. A Safety, a Touchdown return off of a Free Kick, 24 penalties and 11 Sacks between the two teams made made this donneybrook more of a barnburner, but ultimately, this one fell on a coaches decision when Gary Kubiak was forced to weigh all the factors in a last minute 62-yard Field Goal.
That option backfired, but the Bronco head coach didn’t regret his choice to go for the victory.
“My thing is that we’re going to try to win around here. I made that decision and it just didn’t work out. I have a lot of confidence in Brandon. I have a lot of confidence in our football team. That’s why I made that decision.”
“It was very tough. The fact that we had no timeouts made me want to go in that direction. If you did have your timeouts maybe you think about punting it down there and see if you can get the ball back. I don’t know. We’re going to try to win. I’ve seen ‘B-Mac’ do that many times in practice. It’s on me. I just gave them a chance. I thought we could do it and we didn’t get it done. Give them credit.”
A tough loss to be sure, this drops the Broncos record to 7-4 and into 3rd place in the AFC West behind the 9-2 Raiders and the 8-3 Chiefs. The season isn’t done by any means, but it’s an uphill climb over some rocky terrain if Denver is to claim their 6th consecutive division title. However, they play in the NFL’s toughest division and remain in good shape to make the postseason tournament.
- Jordan Norwood’s muffed punt with 6:20 remaining in the 1st half that turned into 9 Kansas City points in 16 seconds. Three plays after Norwood’s decision to field a punt inside the 5 yard line, Trevor Siemian is Strip-Sacked by Justin Houston in the End Zone and Left Tackle Russell Okung recovered it for the Safety. I suppose it could have been worse.
Oh wait. It was.
- The ensuing Free Kick by punter Riley Dixon was returned 86 yards for a Touchdown by Tyreek Hill and Kansas City led 9-0 with 6:04 left in the 1st half.
- The penalty for overloading one side of the line during Cairo Santos’ Field Goal attempt that allowed the Chiefs a free 1st Down, which ended up turning into a Touchdown. Whether Special Teams Coordinator Joe DeCamillis takes that on himself or not, whichever player is responsible for counting all 11 players on the field should have caught that. That 4-point swing gave the visiting team a 16-10 lead instead of a 12-10 lead with a half a minute left in the 3rd Quarter.
- The Right Tackle situation needs to be stabilized. Ty Sambrailo looked like a T-Rex stuck in the La Brea Tar Pit trying to get in Justin Houston’s way. Perhaps Donald Stevenson got a burr under his blanket when the coach yanked the starting spot from him and he found some motivation. I still think the team needs an Offensive Line scout because the Broncos haven’t done very well in drafting on the O-Line. If not that, then maybe using higher draft picks on higher quality picks can solve that problem because I think its a talent level symptom and not a coaching issue.
Other than that, Justin Houston is as great a talent as Von Miller or Oakland’s Khalil Mack and San Diego’s Joey Bosa is looking like the next star pass rusher in the AFC West.
Houston’s domination when he was on the field led the Chiefs. He finished with 10 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 5 Tackles For a Loss, one pass bat down, 3 Quarterback Hits, 4 Hurries and a Forced Fumble that turned into a Safety.
Von Miller was just as dominant for the Broncos, with 10 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 4 Tackles For a Loss, one pass bat down, 4 Quarterback Hits and 4 Hurries.
This loss may hurt a bit more because Trevor Siemian responded with the performance Denver needed from him, finishing 20-34, for 368 yards to seven different receivers, a 58.8% Completion rate, 3 Touchdowns and no Interceptions for a 125.6 passer rating despite being Sacked 5 times. The Running game got 124 yards, with rookie Running Back Devontae Booker gaining 79 of those yards on 24 carries. Booker added a 23-yard catch and run on 3rd and 8 in Overtime to help set up Brandon McManus’ 44-yard Field Goal to put the Broncos ahead 27-24. Emmanuel Sanders had a stellar 162 yards and a Touchdown on seven catches, further proving that the Denver Offense did perform better than they have in recent weeks.
In any rate, this loss doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as losing my Dad this week. Or having pneumonia. I don’t have a problem with Kubiak’s decision to go for the win, as we have witnessed “going for the loss” by John Fox too often and too recently to second guess the head coach of the defending Super Bowl champions. That is what he gets paid to do.
Nope. It’s off to Jacksonville and back to the Drawing Board.
– Kaptain Kirk