DENVER (AP) — Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, Justin Simmons had two of Denver’s five takeaways and the Broncos stymied an ill Patrick Mahomes in snapping their 16-game losing streak to Kansas City with a 24-9 win over the Chiefs on Sunday.
The Broncos (3-5) were serenaded off the field to the sound of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” blaring throughout Empower Field. Swift wasn’t on hand to witness Travis Kelce’s six catches for 58 yards and the awful day by the Chiefs (6-2).
The Broncos handed Mahomes his first AFC West road loss in beating Kansas City’s quarterback for the first time in 13 tries.
Denver made a 14-9 halftime lead hold up by controlling the clock and keeping Mahomes and Kelce cooling their cleats on the sideline in the second half. Kansas City had just three second-half possessions before getting the ball back for one meaningless snap at the end.
The Chiefs punted, muffed a punt that led to a touchdown, turned it over on downs and lost the ball on an interception in the second half.
The Broncos came in averaging a meager 22 carries per game, next to last in the league, but on a bitterly cold day they ran it 40 times for 153 yards and threw it just 19 times.
Javonte Williams led the way with 85 yards on 27 carries and added three receptions for 13 yards and a touchdown. Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton also caught TD passes for the Broncos, who won back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 2-3 of last season.
The Broncos blew the game open when rookie Drew Sanders recovered Mecole Hardman’s muffed punt at the Chiefs 10-yard line, and two plays later Wilson hit Sutton in the left corner to make it 21-9.
Nobody had scored more than 20 points on Kansas City this season.
Mahomes drove the Chiefs (6-2) to the Denver 27 but Skyy Moore couldn’t bring in a perfectly placed toss in the end zone on fourth down with 7:35 left.
Simmons, who had a fumble recovery in the first half, intercepted Mahomes with about 5 minutes left and the Broncos added a short field goal with 31 seconds left.
The Chiefs, who never trailed by more than 10 points in any of their 16 consecutive victories against Denver, fell behind 14-3 early on and never recovered despite pulling to 14-9 on a Harrison Butker field goal as the first half expired.
The Broncos ate up almost 8 1/2 minutes on the opening drive in the third quarter, but they came away empty-handed when safety Justin Reid got away with an early jump to block Wil Lutz’s 38-yard field goal try.
Reid was whistled for a similar infraction in the waning minutes.
The Broncos had a trio of first-half takeaways, including two turnovers by Mahomes, who was intercepted by cornerback Ja’Quan McMillian and strip-sacked by Baron Browning with Jonathon Cooper recovering the loose ball.
Wilson threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Williams and connected with Jeudy from 11 yards out for a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter.
That marked the biggest lead by Denver since their 16-game skid against the Chiefs began on Nov. 15, 2015.
The Broncos couldn’t capitalize on McMillian’s interception at midfield when Wilson fumbled out of bounds short of the first-down marker on fourth-and-2 from the Kansas City 40.
Mahomes threw a 39-yard pass to Rashee Rice, setting up Butker’s 34-yard field goal to make it 14-6.
Browning’s strip-sack gave Denver another prime scoring opportunity but Wilson was sacked by George Karlaftis and linebacker Willie Gay recovered the loose ball at the Denver 48 with 9 seconds left.
That was enough time for Mahomes to throw an 11-yard pass to Jerick McKinnon, setting up Butker’s 56-yarder as the first half expired.
Mahomes completed 24 of 38 passes for 241 yards with two interceptions and three sacks. It was the first time he was held without a touchdown throw since Dec. 5, 2021, in a 22-9 win over Denver.
Mahomes played the entire game despite feeling under the weather and despite the frigid conditions. It was in the 20s after an overnight storm dumped up to 10 inches of snow on the city.
Mahomes’ wife, Brittany, recently posted on social media that the couple’s two children had been ill with a stomach bug and that she had contracted the illness as well.