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Russell Wilson suffers concussion, Broncos fall to Chiefs 34-28

Dec 11, 2022, 4:54 PM | Updated: 6:46 pm

DENVER (AP) — L’Jarius Sneed intercepted Broncos backup quarterback Brett Rypien late in the fourth quarter, Patrick Mahomes atoned for a three-interception day by leading Kansas City on a clock-chewing drive, and the Chiefs held on for a 34-28 win on Sunday over Denver, which lost QB Russell Wilson to a concussion.

The Chiefs (10-3) extended their dominance of Denver with their 14th consecutive win over the Broncos (3-10), who made a game of it by scoring three touchdowns in a 3 1/2-minute stretch spanning halftime after falling behind 27-0.

Mahomes threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, including a no-look hook pass on one of Jerick McKinnon’s two TD receptions.

“Just three bad decisions,” Mahomes said of his interceptions. “Luckily for me, the rest of the team stepped up. Defense made a lot of stops in some critical moments when we were putting them in some bad situations. Even my special teams. (Punter) Tommy (Townsend) flipped the field a couple of times for us.”

The Broncos, well, they came up short again and lost a one-score game for the seventh time this season under rookie coach Nathaniel Hackett.

“We never finish the way we want to,” Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy said after a career-best three-touchdown day, “but the one thing I can say for sure is that we never quit.”

The last of Jeudy’s touchdowns came from Rypien after Wilson took a hard hit on a 14-yard scramble to the Kansas City 2 early in the fourth quarter. Wilson was escorted off the field and the Broncos ruled him out with a concussion shortly thereafter.

The Chiefs reached double digits in wins for the eighth straight season and inched closer to winning their seventh consecutive AFC West crown. A Chargers loss Sunday night to the Dolphins would clinch the division for Kansas City, which hasn’t lost to Denver since 2015.

The Broncos lost their fifth straight game. They have lost eight straight when hosting Kansas City. Denver also has lost eight consecutive AFC West games for the first time since divisional play began with the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

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After a pair of Kansas City field goals, Mahomes was scrambling for the first down on third-and-2 when he shook defensive lineman D.J. Jones and flung a pass across his body to a wide-open McKinnon, who raced down Denver’s dejected sideline for a 56-yard touchdown and a 13-0 lead.

Mahomes and McKinnon connected on a 10-yard TD on Kansas City’s next possession. At that point, Mahomes had 224 passing yards to Wilson’s 33.

On fourth-and-2 at his own 45-yard line, Wilson tried to throw a screen pass to Brandon Johnson but didn’t get it high enough. Linebacker Willie Gay deflected the throw, corralled the ball in his left hand and stiff-armed Wilson with his right, sending him tumbling as he raced 47 yards for the touchdown.

That put the Chiefs in charge at 27-0 with 4:32 left in the half.

Jeudy caught his first two touchdown passes, from 18 and 5 yards out, after Mahomes uncharacteristically threw interceptions — to Josey Jewell and Patrick Surtain II — on consecutive possessions, making it 27-14 at the half.

On the opening drive after halftime, running back Marlon Mack caught a short pass from Wilson and raced 66 yards for the end zone to pull Denver within 27-21. Mahomes countered with a 4-yard TD strike to JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Jeudy’s third TD came with 10:49 left.

INJURIES

Wilson got hurt with 12:02 remaining and didn’t return. Broncos LG Dalton Risner (back) sat out and three players rotated into the game his place. RB Mike Boone was carted off with an ankle injury in the second quarter and didn’t return.

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