Recap: Chiefs beat Broncos, clinch playoff spot for second straight year

Despite the security of a guaranteed playoff spot, the Chiefs jumped on the Broncos early.

Arrowhead Stadium Wikimedia

On Christmas day at Arrowhead Stadium, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 33-10, and received the gift of a playoff berth.

The Chiefs actually made the playoffs before kickoff. About an hour and a half prior to the start of the game in Kansas City, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Baltimore Ravens, eliminating Baltimore from playoff contention and clinching a playoff spot for the Chiefs.

Despite the security of a guaranteed playoff spot, the Chiefs jumped on the Broncos early.

On their first possession of the game, the Chiefs went 77 yards on 7 plays in 3:51, grabbing a quick 7-0 lead on a rushing touchdown from quarterback Alex Smith. This was followed by a 70-yard wide receiver Tyreek Hill touchdown run in the Chiefs’ ensuing drive. Denver responded with points of their own with 2:35 remaining after picking off a pass from Smith. Broncos running back Justin Forsett traveled up the middle 1 yard for the touchdown. The Chiefs came right back with another touchdown about a minute later, this time an 80-yard score by tight end Travis Kelce.

A quiet second quarter only saw a field goal from Denver kicker Brandon McManus, and the Chiefs headed into the half on top with a 21-10 lead.

The Chiefs added one more touchdown late in the fourth quarter with a direct snap to defensive lineman Dontari Poe, who floated a jump pass over the defensive line to tight end Demetrius Harris for a 2-yard score.

"I was in coach Reid's ear, like a true offensive player would be," Poe said in a press release. "I was kind of egging coach Reid on to call it. The fans started cheering for me and he listened, so we got it done."

Sunday night saw a very balanced offensive performance from the Chiefs.

"To have the balance we did, to run and pass for whatever it was, 230 [yards] each, I think that says a lot about where we want to be as far as balance, spreading the ball around, keeping them on their heels, different types of runs, different types of passes," Smith said in a press release.

Hill became just the third rookie with a receiving, rushing, punt and kickoff return touchdown in a single season. Kelce set a new single-game record for a Chiefs tight end with 158 receiving yards and reached his first career 1,000-yard season. Smith’s 10-yard touchdown run made him the record holder for most rushing yards by a Chiefs quarterback. Poe, at 346 pounds, became the heaviest player to complete a touchdown pass.

Kansas City concludes the regular season against the San Diego Chargers New Year’s Day at Qualcomm Stadium. This is the second meeting between the two teams this season; in Week 1, the Chiefs defeated the Chargers 33-27 in overtime. The game starts at 3:25 PM CT and will be broadcasted on CBS.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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