Early Defensive, Special Teams Scores Push Chiefs Ahead in 43-16 Win Over Broncos

The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t need their offense to gain traction in a 43-16 win over the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium on Sunday.
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The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t need their offense to gain traction in a 43-16 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

After gaining a 10-6 lead over the Broncos in the first quarter, the Chiefs’ offense only stepped on the field two more times before halftime, with both drives ending in punts.

With the offense on the sideline, Kansas City turned to its defense and special teams units to build a 15-point halftime lead.

"I love that," head coach Andy Reid said. "When all three phases can contribute like that, that's tough to beat. That's how the points got to where they were. I guess they were a bit skewed there, that wasn't all offense, it was everybody contributing."

The Broncos turned the ball over four times, with two occurring at the hands of Denver quarterback Drew Lock.

Only one of Lock's passes found the end zone on Sunday, but it was the wrong one. Chiefs safety Dan Sorenson jumped Lock's pass and took it 50 yards to the opposite endzone in giving Kansas City a 17-6 lead.

"I thought defensively, we were just sharp, sharp, sharp," Reid said. "They had a couple runs, but other than that, there wasn't much there on that. I think this is a good football team. "

The defense allowed Denver to add a field goal following the pick-six, but return specialist Byron Pringle answered on the ensuing kickoff, taking the ball 102 yards for a touchdown.

The score was Pringle’s second in the NFL, occurring on a rare return for the former Kansas State wide receiver.

"He was a good player in college with the return game," Reid said. "He was good in preseason when we did it, he was healthy, so we wanted to give him an opportunity back there to return. You see how he hits it, that becomes important on kickoff returns. I thought he did a nice job with it. He hid it hard and fast, and everything else."

The Chiefs did not score their second offensive touchdown of the game until the fourth quarter with a 10-yard pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes to wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

“We try to score every time we have that ball offensively, it wasn’t going that way,” Reid said. “But, listen, as many points as you can get on the board in the NFL, that’s a good thing. These teams are just too stinking good and I’ll take them from anywhere If you’re giving me points I’ll take them. You need them in this thing. Teams are just too explosive.”