The Denver Broncos have not had the upper hand of the AFC West rivalry with the Kansas City Chiefs since Peyton Manning was under center, and it appears it will remain that way as long as Patrick Mahomes is the Chiefs quarterback. Mahomes has never lost to Denver and the Broncos have not defeated Kansas City since September of 2015 -- falling to the Chiefs for the 10th consecutive time Sunday.
The game wasn't close as Kansas City thrashed Denver 43-16, as the Chiefs were aided by a defensive and special teams touchdown en route to the blowout win in snowy Denver. Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles has been part of seven of those 10 consecutive losses -- never beating Kansas City in his four-year career. Even though Denver hasn't been involved in a one-score game with Kansas City in two years, Bolles believes the Broncos are on the verge of actually beating the Chiefs.
"I think we're neck-and-neck. That's just me, personally. I don't think there's really anything that makes them more spectacular than us," Bolles said after Sunday's loss. "We have a lot of dogs in this locker room. We have a lot of people. We match them speed for speed. Our defense is probably better than their defense, but it comes down to the little mistakes that we continue to make."
Denver held Kansas City to a season-low 286 totals yards and 0 for 8 on third down, but the Broncos had four turnovers of their own -- three of which led to 13 points for the Chiefs. Kansas City also had a kickoff return for a touchdown, so the game is much closer without the mistakes.
"We turn over the ball. We turn over the ball with the Super Bowl champs -- a team like that with [Patrick] Mahomes -- they're going to put points on them," Bolles said. "Look back [at] what the [Las Vegas] Raiders did. They controlled the game clock, they controlled the fill and they ended up winning 42-20. You look at things like that and that's the thing that we're just not doing. It's very frustrating for me, it's very frustrating for the offensive line, in general. We've got to go back, and we've got to, like I said, we've got to take a gut-check and figure out how we can stop those wounds that keep bleeding."
Bolles had the score wrong in the Raiders' upset win over the Chiefs, as Vegas beat them 40-32 two weeks ago. The Broncos have been outscored 96-25 by the Chiefs over the last three meetings, so the matchup isn't as close as Bolles tends to think. The Chiefs even outrank Denver in points allowed this season, although Sunday's loss does skew those numbers.
This may be just a blip on the radar for Kansas City, but could easily serve as motivation for the Chiefs to beat the Broncos for the 11th consecutive time.