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Chiefs edge Broncos, boost chances of being AFC’s No. 1 seed

Jan 1, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) celebrates with guard Joe Thuney (62) after scoring against the Denver Broncos during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns and the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the visiting Denver Broncos for the 15th consecutive time with a 27-24 victory, bolstering their chances of claiming the AFC’s No. 1 seed for the postseason.

Jerick McKinnon caught two touchdown passes and Blake Bell also made a scoring grab for the Chiefs (13-3). Isiah Pacheco rushed for a touchdown for Kansas City, which recorded its ninth win in the past 10 games and is battling the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals for a first-round bye.

Denver (4-12) fell for the 11th time in the past 13 games while playing under interim coach Jerry Rosburg after the firing of Nathaniel Hackett on Monday.
Russell Wilson rushed for two touchdowns and passed for one for the Broncos. Wilson completed 26 of 38 passes for 222 yards and one interception. Albert Okwuegbunam had a touchdown catch.

Wilson engineered a 12-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by his 4-yard run to pull Denver within 27-24 with 6:14 left in the contest.

The Broncos got the ball back with 3:53 remaining but the drive ended with Wilson’s incompletion under heavy pressure from Chris Jones with 1:19 left. Kansas City took over and ran out the clock.

Mahomes completed 29 of 42 passes and was intercepted once while going over 5,000 passing yards for the second time in his career. He has 5,048, just shy of his franchise-record 5,097 in 2018.

The Broncos took a 17-13 lead when Wilson threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Okwuegbunam with 6:35 left in the third quarter.

Kansas City moved ahead by three when Mahomes tossed a 17-yard scoring pass to Bell 10 seconds into the final quarter.

The Chiefs made a big play on defense when L’Jarius Sneed picked off Wilson and returned it 25 yards to the Broncos’ 17-yard line. Four plays later, Mahomes hit McKinnon on a 3-yard score to make it 27-17 and it was the latter’s eighth touchdown (one rushing, seven receiving) in the past five games.
Mahomes passed for 239 yards in the first half as the Chiefs led 13-10 at the break.

Pacheco scored on a 5-yard run midway through the first period to get Kansas City on the board. Holder Tommy Townsend fumbled the extra-point snap.

Brandon McManus kicked a 49-yard field goal with 10:46 left in the first half for Denver. Wilson ran 16 yards for a touchdown to give the Broncos a 10-6 lead with 4:40 remaining.

Kansas City moved back ahead when Mahomes tossed a 6-yard scoring pass to McKinnon with 1:02 left in the half. It was the fifth straight game in which McKinnon caught a touchdown pass, making him the first running back to achieve the feat since Hall of Famer Bill Dudley for the Detroit Lions in 1947.

–Field Level Media