GAME OBSERVATIONS

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Beyond the Surface: 10 Observations from Chiefs vs. Broncos

The Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) won a thriller Monday night against the Denver Broncos (2-2) by a score of 27-23 to remain perfect on the season.

Here are 10 observations from the game:

1. The Chiefs showed they can win another way

Up until Monday night, the Chiefs had gotten off to fast starts in each of their first three games of the season. They had other teams playing catch up all day long by outscoring them 49-6 in the first quarter.

They hadn't even trailed in a game until Monday night—let alone having to overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter on the road.

But that's what they faced against the Broncos, who had called this a "Championship" game because of all the success the Chiefs have had against them recently.

The Chiefs matched their intensity and came away victorious—sitting alone now as the only undefeated team left in the AFC after four weeks.

The offense made plays when they had to, the defense got key stops when it mattered, and the entire team showed a level of toughness that some outsiders questioned whether or not they had.

That question seemed to be answered.

The Broncos had won 65-straight games when entering the fourth quarter leading by double-digits, the Chiefs ended that streak on Monday night.

2. It was a night for Mahomes' Magic at Mile High

It was billed as Show Time in Prime Time, and it did not disappoint.

It was another performance from Chiefs' second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes that nobody will soon forget, and this time the whole country was watching.

The Chiefs were trailing 23-13 in midway through the fourth quarter and needed a touchdown drive to stay in the game, and behind Mahomes' ability to make plays outside of the pocket, the Chiefs' offense went 75 yards on 12 plays and found the end zone on a 2-yard touchdown throw to tight end Travis Kelce, which brought the game to within three points at 23-20.

On that drive, Mahomes went 8 of 10 for 97 yards and a touchdown. His favorite target in the second half was Kelce, who had seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown on the day, and all of it came in the second half.

Then, the Chiefs' defense forced a key three-and-out and got the ball back to the offense with 4:35 left in the game.

On the next drive—the final drive, Mahomes converted a second-and-30 after penalties put their backs even further against the wall, then he threw a left-handed pass outside of the pocket on third-and-5 to Tyreek Hill for a six-yard gain, and then he hit Demetrius Harris for 35 yards on a key third-and-7 play that set up the game-winning touchdown.

It was crazy. It was special. It won't be forgotten, and everyone was involved.

On the final two drives with the Chiefs trailing in the fourth quarter on the road against a divisional opponent, Mahomes went 13 of 16 for 166 yards and a touchdown.

With such a fast start to each game so far this season, there were a lot of people who wanted to see how Mahomes would react with the Chiefs' trailing and having to overcome a little adversity.

Well, we saw.

Mahomes finished the game 28 of 45 for 304 yards and a touchdown.

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3. Allen Bailey picks up key fourth-quarter sack, again

On the Chiefs' ensuing defensive possession following the first fourth-quarter touchdown, which brought the game to within three points at 23-20, the defense forced a three-and-out after veteran defensive lineman Allen Bailey forced a sack by chasing Case Keenum out of bounds on the far sideline.

It gave the ball back to the Chiefs' offense with 4:35 left in the game.

It's the third time in four games that Bailey had a key sack in the fourth quarter.

4. Kareem Hunt has a huge game

For all that's going to be made of Mahomes' performance, this was the best game of the year for Chiefs' second-year running back Kareem Hunt.

He finished with 19 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown, adding three receptions for 54 yards in the passing game as well.

Hunt appeared to be "running angry" all night long, and his desire on a few chunk plays, as well as the few he just grinded out while forcing missed tackles left and right, was a source of energy for the Chiefs' team when they needed it the most.

It was Hunt who took it in from four yards out for the touchdown with 1:43 left in the game that proved to be the game-winner.

5. Eric Murray made the best play of his career

On the Broncos' first offensive play of the second half, quarterback Case Keenum attempted a deep corner shot to tight end Jeff Heuerman, but Chiefs' safety Eric Murray, who had great coverage, was able to reach up at the last second and snag the ball out of the air with one hand.

If the ability to break up the pass wasn't impressive enough, Murray actually secured the ball as he came to the ground near the out of bounds line. It was a key interception for the Chiefs' defense right after they had tied the game, 13-13.

It was the first career interception for Murray, and it's easily the best play of his young career.

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6. Dee Ford steps up to stall Broncos' first offensive drive

It didn't take Dee Ford long to make an impact in Monday's game.

On the Broncos' first offensive drive, following a few chunk plays that got them within striking distance deep in Chiefs' territory, Ford stepped up on back-to-back plays.

It started with a huge sack on second down when he beat the tackle to the edge, and then he followed it up with another pressure on third down that forced Keenum out of the pocket for a quick throw that was short of the first down.

The Broncos first drive went for 51 yards on seven plays and ended with a 42-yard field goal by Brandon McManus, which gave the Broncos a 3-0 lead.

It was the first time all season the Chiefs had trailed, and it was Ford's third sack of the season.

Later in the game, Ford missed time with a groin injury. He was listed as questionable to return.

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7. Andy Reid goes for it on a key fourth down early in the game

Andy Reid wasn't messing around early in this game.

On the Chiefs' first offensive drive, they were facing a fourth-and-1 from their own 34-yard line.

And Reid decided to go for it.

It's the first time he had gone for it inside his own 35-yard line in the first half since arriving in Kansas City five years ago, and he had only done it three times in his entire coaching career.

But it worked, and it resulted in points. The play went to Kareem Hunt up the middle for a gain of two yards.

Just two plays later, Hunt would take a short pass from Mahomes, juke a couple of defenders and run over Broncos' safety Justin Simmons to finish off a gain of 27 yards. That chunk play helped set up Harrison Butker's 33-yard field goal, which tied the game, 3-3.

It was a huge gamble by Reid, who showed confidence in his offensive line and the decision paid off in the form of three points.

8. Kareem Hunt's 45-yard run broke open Chiefs' drive in second quarter

Hunt was the Chiefs' offense early in the game.

On second-and-10 from the Chiefs' 33-yard line on their third offensive drive, Hunt took the stretch run out to the left and thanks to a great block from left tackle Eric Fisher, had a chance to get to the edge.

Hunt looked like he was almost out of bounds after he got to the edge, but he managed to stay in bounds and break down the Broncos' sideline for a gain of 45 yards.

That play from Hunt led to a Mahomes' 8-yard touchdown run, which gave the Chiefs a 10-3 lead.

After the Chiefs' first three drives, Hunt had 93 total yards of offense, which included 66 yards rushing, and 27 yards receiving.

9. The Broncos' answered back and took a halftime lead

The Chiefs went into halftime trailing the Broncos, 13-10.

The story for the Broncos' offense in the first half was their running game, which was led by the rookie duo of Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay.

Together, those two combined for 11 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown in the first half. They had four rushes of 10-plus yards.

Photos from the Chiefs Week 4 matchup against the Broncos

Sammy Watkins left with a hamstring injury

Watkins left the game in the middle of second quarter and didn't return. He was officially ruled out for the remainder of the game before halftime.

He was targeted one time and didn't have a catch.

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