Denver — Linebacker Nick Bolton’s 86-yard fumble return after Melvin Ingram III darted into Denver’s backfield untouched and stripped Melvin Gordon powered the Kansas City Chiefs to a 28-24 victory over the Denver Broncos on Saturday.
With their 13th consecutive win over the Broncos, the Chiefs (12-5) kept alive their hopes of getting the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
They need Houston to upset Tennessee on Sunday to get the pole position. Otherwise, they’re the second seed and will host a wild-card game next weekend in their quest to reach a third consecutive Super Bowl.
The Broncos (7-10) were ahead 21-20 and driving for another touchdown when Ingram sped past tight end Noah Fant and blew up the play just as Drew Lock handed the ball to Gordon. Bolton scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 86 yards to give the Chiefs their biggest lead, and Patrick Mahomes’ keeper on the 2-point conversion made it 28-21.
Lock and the Broncos quickly got into scoring position again, but coach Vic Fangio, who fell to 19-30 as Denver’s head coach, decided on a field goal on third-and-9 from the 13 as the crowd relentlessly booed the decision. Brandon McManus nailed the 31-yarder, but the Broncos still trailed by four and would need a touchdown if they were able to stop Mahomes.
►Dallas 51, Philadelphia 26: Dak Prescott threw a career-high five touchdown passes against Philadelphia backups, Cedrick Wilson and Dalton Schultz each had two scoring catches and Dallas kept itr slim hopes for a No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs alive.
The Cowboys still had seeding to play for against an Eagles team that rested Jalen Hurts and other key starters ahead of an NFC wild-card game next week.
The NFC East champion Cowboys (12-5) need losses Sunday by reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay against last-place Carolina and also for the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals to lose to earn the No. 2 seed. There also is a path to the No. 3 seed for Dallas. The Cowboys can’t finish worse than the fourth seed. The Eagles (9-8) could still be the sixth seed.
Prescott stayed in the game until the fourth quarter, the lead increasing seemingly with each throw and so, perhaps, the risk of injury for a QB nearly 15 months removed from the gruesome compound fracture of his right ankle that ended his 2020 season.
Prescott was 21 of 27 for 295 yards and no interceptions. He came out unscathed — and with the Cowboys’ record for touchdown passes in a season with 37. Tony Romo threw 36 in 2007. Prescott threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Corey Clement early in the fourth quarter to make it 37-20 and set the mark and, mercifully for the Eagles, get him out of the game.