DENVER – A suddenly ambidextrous Patrick Mahomes rallied the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a 27-23 win over the Denver Broncos on Monday night.
Thanks in part to a left-handed throw from the right-handed Mahomes in the final minutes as he was about to get sacked on third-and-5 at midfield, the Chiefs (4-0) took a two-game lead over the Broncos (2-2) in the AFC West with their sixth straight win over their rivals.
Down 23-13, Mahomes directed a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ate up more than six minutes and culminated with a 2-yard TD toss to tight end Travis Kelce, then added a 60-yard touchdown drive, handing off to Kareem Hunt for the 4-yard score with 1:39 remaining.
On that last drive, Mahomes was getting dragged down by Von Miller when he shifted the ball to his left hand and threw it to Tyreek Hill for a first down.
“I didn’t know he threw it with his left hand,” Miller said. “He’s a great quarterback.”
“Patrick worked real hard on that left-handed throw,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid cracked. “Some amazing plays there. We’ve seen it in practice but not under those conditions.”
It was the first time since 2004 that the Broncos blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead at home.
After the Chiefs took the lead, the Broncos reached the Kansas City 28, but Case Keenum overthrew Demaryius Thomas who was open near the goal line racing down the right sideline. Then rookie Courtland Sutton caught a first-down pass but overhanded it back on a failed hook-and-ladder that resulted in a turnover on downs with 5 seconds left.
Phillip Lindsay’s 1-yard TD run broke a 13-all tie late in the third quarter, and Brandon McManus extended the lead to 10 with a 46-yard field goal.
Kelce’s TD catch got the Chiefs within three with 6:27 remaining. Denver’s three-and-out and shanked punt gave the Chiefs the ball at their 40 and brought the Broncos’ exhausted defenders right back onto the field with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
The Chiefs had to settle for Harrison Butker’s chip-shot field goal that tied it up at 13.
On Denver’s first drive of the second half, Keenum threw a 25-yard pass to tight end Jeff Heuerman, but Chiefs defensive back Eric Murray wrested the ball away as they tumbled out of bounds. Heuerman was starting in place of Jake Butt, who sustained his third ACL tear of his career while practicing special teams on Thursday, ending his season.
It was Keenum’s sixth interception with Denver, one fewer than he had all of last season in Minnesota.
The Broncos averaged a whopping 8.5 yards per carry in the first half but kept stopping themselves with pass plays even though Keenum had completed 14 of 19 throws at the half.
Royce Freeman took a toss from Keenum and slipped seven tackles on his way to a 14-yard touchdown in which he dragged linebacker Anthony Hitchens across the goal line to tie it at 10. The big play of the drive was a 42-yard catch by Sutton.
The Chiefs also had a big play on their first touchdown drive as Hunt rumbled 45 yards, setting up Mahomes’ 8-yard keeper to put the Chiefs on top 10-3.
Denver led 13-10 at halftime.
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