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Late defensive TD lifts Chiefs past Broncos

Sportsnaut
Jan 8, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) attempts a pass as guard Joe Thuney (62) defends against Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris (96) in the first quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) attempts a pass as guard Joe Thuney (62) defends against Denver Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris (96) in the first quarter at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Bolton returned a fumble 86 yards for a touchdown to spark a comeback, and the visiting Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 28-24 on Saturday.

Patrick Mahomes completed 27 of 44 passes for 270 yards, two touchdowns and also ran for 54 yards. Jerick McKinnon and Travis Kelce had touchdown catches and Mecole Hardman had eight receptions for 103 yards for the Chiefs.

Kansas City (12-5) secured at least the No. 2 seed in the AFC with its 13th straight win over Denver and will be the top seed if Tennessee loses at Houston on Sunday.

Drew Lock completed 12 of 24 passes for 162 yards and ran for two scores and Melvin Gordon III ran for 110 yards and a touchdown for the Broncos (7-10), who ended the season with four straight losses.

Denver led 21-20 midway through the fourth and drove to the Kansas City 9-yard line when Melvin Ingram III knocked the ball loose from Gordon. Bolton scooped it up at the 14 and ran it back for a touchdown, and Mahomes ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 28-21 with 7:42 left.

The Broncos answered with 31-yard field goal with 4:37 left but never got the ball back after that.

The Chiefs took the early lead when Mahomes finished a 91-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Kelce to put Kansas City ahead 7-0.

Denver, aided by a roughing the punter penalty, tied it when Lock scrambled up the middle for a five-yard touchdown late in the first quarter.

After the Chiefs punted Denver again marched down the field and took a 14-7 lead when Lock ran 23 yards on a third-and-seven with 7:49 left in the second quarter.

Harrison Butker kicked a 34-yard field goal with 2:18 left in the second to make it 14-10 at halftime.

McKinnon gave Kansas City a 17-14 lead in the third with a 14-yard touchdown pass but Gordon’s 47-yard touchdown put the Broncos ahead 21-17 with 9:02 left in the third.

The teams traded punts before Butker kicked a 51-yard field goal with 14:44 left in the game.

–Field Level Media