The last sliver of hope Broncos fans had of a playoff birth went out the door as the Broncos fell to the Chiefs 23-3.
It was a disappointing game for the entire team, but especially Drew Lock, who snapped back to reality. Here are the other disappointing figures, as well as a few brightspots.
If it wasn’t for Vic Fangio’s incredible red zone defense, this game could’ve been much, much uglier.
The Chiefs scored on every single possession of the first half, yet only carried 15 points into the half as Denver’s defense held them to 12 points on four redzone possessions.
In the second half, the Broncos allowed their lone red zone touchdown but also came away with an interception, bringing the Chiefs’ total to 20 points on six redzone possessions.
Shelby Harris continues to get better as the season goes on, which should make re-signing him a top priority for the Broncos once the season ends.
Harris recorded three tackles on the day for the Broncos and also tallied two sacks of Patrick Mahomes, bringing his season total up to six. That breaks Harris’ previous season-high total of 5.5 sacks.
Harris was also a huge reason as to why Denver was successful in stopping the Chiefs’ ground game. The Broncos were able to hold the Chiefs under 70 yards until the final 10 minutes of the game and held them under four yards per carry for the entire game.
While DaeSean Hamilton continues to be a disappointment, Tim Patrick continues to be a pleasant surprise for the Broncos.
Tim Patrick finished the game with three receptions for 26 yards, though two of those receptions were massive third-down conversions.
Although no one is coming for Courtland Sutton’s crown as the go-to-guy in clutch situations, Patrick is making it clear that he should be that second option in key situations.
Lock came back down to earth against the Chiefs after a lights-out performance in Houston.
While his box score stats of 45 percent completion percentage, 208 yards, zero touchdowns, an interception and a passer rating of 50.8, as well as his overall play, should raise eyebrows, Broncos fans shouldn’t be alarmed.
The Chiefs pass defense is undeniably a top-10 unit, Arrowhead Stadium is the league’s toughest road environment, he had no protection, the weather was terrible and Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has Rich Scangarello’s number, holding Denver to two of it’s three lowest point totals.
Mix all of those things together, and it isn’t surprising Lock played as poorly as he did.
Chris Harris Jr.
Chris Harris Jr. is a Denver legend and a future Ring-of-Famer, but John Elway and the Broncos would be beyond foolish to re-sign him to a contract worth anywhere near the amount he’s currently paid.
Harris Jr. is currently the league’s 11th-highest-paid cornerback on an annual basis, and will likely ask for a raise this offseason and pack his bags if he doesn’t get one.
The Broncos should let him walk as Harris Jr. has been one of the defense’s biggest liabilities ever since the Minnesota game when he was the key figure in giving up the Vikings’ comeback.
Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman
The Broncos needed a huge game from Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman in order to upset the Chiefs, and instead, they turned in one of their worst performances of the season.
After an opening carry that netted him 13 yards, Lindsay gained just 19 yards on his next six carries and had two bad drops in the passing game.
Royce Freeman was held to just 12 yards on five carries and 14 yards on 4 receptions, giving him an average of 2.89 yards per touch.