The Kansas City Chiefs made it five victories in a row on Sunday night by defeating the Denver Broncos, 22-9, to maintain sole possession of first place in the AFC West.
Here are some quick notes about the victory.
1. The defense continued its recent stretch of domination.
Kansas City yielded a grand total of nine points on Sunday, marking the fifth-consecutive game in which the defense held the opposition under 18 points. The Chiefs are allowing just 11.2 points-per-game since Week 8 – the second-lowest mark in the NFL – while surrendering the lowest third-down conversion rate (25.8%) in that time.
One big part of that success has been the play of cornerback Charvarius Ward, who is allowing the lowest completion percentage this season among defensive backs with 40+ targets.
2. The pass-rush was getting after Broncos' QB Teddy Bridgewater all night long.
The front seven has also been a big part of the Chiefs' recent dominance on defense, and Sunday night's performance was no exception. Kansas City recorded a total of 18 pressures against Denver, doing so on 31.8% of Bridgewater's dropbacks.
Additionally, Bridgewater – who entered the game as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL against the blitz – completed just 5-of-10 passes with two interceptions when blitzed on Sunday. In fact, Bridgewater hadn't thrown an interception against the blitz all season (377 dropbacks) before throwing two against Kansas City.
The defense also made a huge play in the running game on Sunday, stopping Broncos' tailback Javonte Williams short of the line to gain on a short fourth down attempt deep in Chiefs' territory. The stop meant that Denver got nothing to show for a 20-play, 83-yard drive that chewed up more than 11 minutes. It was only the third time since 2001 that a drive of 20+ plays ended in a turnover on downs.
3. Chris Jones has been a monster during the Chiefs' winning streak.
Jones tallied five pressures all by himself on Sunday, recording his fourth-straight game with five or more pressures. He finished the game with a quarterback hit and two passes defensed.
Since Week 8, no player in the NFL has more pressures than Jones (29).
4. Daniel Sorensen recorded the fourth pick-six of his career.
Sorensen picked off Bridgewater midway through the fourth quarter and brought it all the way back for a 75-yard pick-six that essentially sealed the game. It was one of two interceptions for Kansas City on the night, as fellow safety Juan Thornhill also hauled in a pick.
5. Patrick Mahomes tallied a rushing touchdown on the Chiefs' opening drive.
Mahomes scrambled for a 10-yard touchdown on Kansas City's initial possession, giving the Chiefs a lead that they would never relinquish. It was the eighth rushing touchdown in the regular season of his career.
Mahomes completed 15-of-29 passes for 184 yards in the game.
6. Darrel Williams put together an impressive performance.
Mahomes' touchdown was Kansas City's only trip to the end zone on the night, but Williams' overall performance is still worth recognizing. He amassed 80 total yards from scrimmage (60 receiving, 20 rushing), including a 38-yard reception down the sideline to move the chains on 2nd-and-16.
Williams now has 720 yards from scrimmage this season, which ranks fifth among running backs with less than 150 touches.
7. Harrison Butker continues to re-write the franchise record books.
Butker connected on all three of his field goal attempts on Sunday, including a 56-yard kick into the wind. The successful kick marked Butker's fifth field goal of at least 50 yards this season, setting a franchise single-season record.
The previous record was shared by Nick Lowery (1980), Cairo Santos (2015) and Butker (2017 and 2020). The five-year veteran now has the record all to himself.
8. The Chiefs have now recorded at least one five-game winning streak in every season since 2013.
A five-game winning streak is no easy feat in the NFL, so the fact that Kansas City has tallied a least one stretch of five-consecutive victories in every season since 2013 is nothing short of remarkable. In that time, the Chiefs have notched streaks of nine-straight wins in 2013, five straight in 2014, 10 straight in 2015, five straight in 2016, five straight in 2017, five straight in 2018, six straight in 2019, 10 straight in 2020 and now five straight in 2021.
No other team has recorded a five-game winning streak in every season since 2013.
9. Kansas City has won 12 straight games against the Broncos.
Speaking of remarkable accomplishments, the Chiefs' recent run of success against Denver is nothing short of historic. Kansas City has won 12 consecutive games against their longtime division foe, which is the longest winning streak against a single opponent in franchise history.
It's tied for the eighth-longest streak for any team against a single opponent in NFL history and is tied for the longest active streak in the league, matching the New England Patriots' 12-game streak against the New York Jets.
10. The Chiefs continued their dominance over the AFC West.
Sunday's result was a continuation of Kansas City's incredible success against the AFC West since Coach Reid arrived in 2013. In that span, the Chiefs own the best record for any team against their own division in the NFL with a mark of 38-13.
The Chiefs also excel against divisional opponents in the month of December, as Sunday's victory was Kansas City's 17th win in its last 20 December matchups against the AFC West.
It all added up to a huge victory for Kansas City on Sunday, and they'll look to keep that divisional success going next week with a matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders.