The Denver Broncos held the Kansas City Chiefs scoreless for two full quarters on Sunday night, but it was everything that happened in the two other quarters that saw them on the wrong side of a 33-10 game and out of the playoff picture.

The Broncos gave up 21 points in the first quarter and 12 in the fourth, while the Denver offense sputtered for all four quarters. With the loss, Denver has been eliminated from the playoffs for the first time in six years.

Denver had to give Kansas City the ball to start the second half, having allowed 330 yards in the first half – Denver’s worst single-half performance in 34 years. Still, Denver was within striking distance thanks to a near-pick-six by Justin Simmons and Justin Forsett’s first Broncos touchdown. A Brandon McManus field goal had the Broncos within 11 to start the half, but a failed fake field goal could have had things closer.

The defense bowed its neck to start things, forcing a punt, but a shaky recovery from Kalif Raymond pinned Denver back on its own 8-yard line. Trevor Siemian connected with Emmanuel Sanders for 26 yards on third down to start Denver’s first drive of the half, but a holding penalty on Donald Stephenson and some questionable game-managment forced Denver to punt. Gary Kubiak negated a 9-yard run that would have set up third-and-one, instead opting for a second-and-five. The pass to Sanders was Denver’s longest play of the game to that point.

Alex Smith and Travis Kelce both beat Denver with their legs on the next drive, first Smith to elude pressure for 24 yards and then Kelce after a catch for a total of 17. But the rest of the KC offense couldn’t contribute and the Chiefs were forced to punt again.

Siemian and the offense sputtered again, though, going three-and-out. Bennie Fowler made a great special teams tackle to keep Tyreek Hill from making any headway on the punt.

The third quarter would come to an end with Kansas City holding the ball, and neither team having scored a point in the period. Kelce set a Chiefs franchise record with a 15-yard reception to give him 158 on the day to that point. Not to be outdone, Smith took off again himself for a 13-yard first-down run to the Denver 12. The Denver defense held firm at that point and Kansas City was forced to kick a field goal, extending their lead to 24-10.

Kalif Raymond made his second mistake of the night (he had muffed a punt in the first half), and this one hurt. Raymond fumbled the kickoff after a return 29 yards, giving the Chiefs the ball back at the Broncos’ 36-yard line. Kansas City couldn’t turn it into seven points, and a 39-yard Santos field goal made it a three-possession game.

As the game, and Denver’s postseason hopes, entered desperation mode, the Broncos offense looked like it might be starting to click a little. Jordan Taylor made a nice catch and run for 26 yards and Devontae Booker had a couple of decent runs, but a holding penalty on Donald Stephenson set up a play that more or less defined the day for Denver.

Devontae Booker, trying to pick up a first down, had the ball dislodged by Daniel Sorensen. Michael Schofield had a chance to recover the fumble, but sent it flying back up into the air. After a bit of pinballing, the ball eventually found its way into Sorensen’s hands. Donald Stephenson took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the play to cap an ugly play all the way around.

The Chiefs rubbed salt in Denver’s wound on the ensuing possession when nose tackle Dontari Poe lined up as a fullback, took a direct snap and then passed for a touchdown to Demetrius Harris to cap the scoring, 33-10.

That wasn’t the end of Denver’s bad night, though. Trevor Siemian was intercepted on the final play of the game and Denver was officially eliminated when Eric Berry took a knee.

Denver still has one game left to play, a home contest against Oakland, who could be fighting for a No. 1 seed with backup quarterback Matt McGloin at the helm.

Here’s how the MHS team and the rest of the Denver media saw the second half, and the effective end of Denver’s season, unfold…