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The $245 Million Dollar Game

Posted 11/10/2023 by Miles Kahn

The Denver Broncos triumphing against the Kansas City Chiefs to end their eight- year losing curse. photo courtesy of Jack Dempsey

The Denver Broncos had not beat the Kansas City Chiefs since September 17th, 2015. 

Until the explosion of a game that took place on October 29th, the Denver Broncos had a continuous loss streak against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Broncos dominated the game, holding the lead through the finish and successfully ending the biggest upset this NFL season. Denver quarterback Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers. 

The Denver defense had a wild day, stopping Kansas quarterback Patrick Mahomes from throwing a single touchdown despite his average 2.7 touchdowns per game. Not only did Denver stop Mahomes from throwing any touchdowns, they also managed to hold the Chiefs to only three field goals and zero touchdowns overall.

Before the game, Russell only had 13 total touchdown passes out of a total seven games. Though he typically averages less than two touchdowns a game, Wilson played extremely well and threw three touchdown passes against the Chiefs. Wilson is the fifth-highest paid player in the NFL having signed a five year contract worth $245 million with the Broncos in 2022. However, disappointment quickly followed the team’s acquisition of the previously incredible player – Wilson led the team to repeated losses in culmination with a defense that was referred to by many as the worst defense in the NFL. It has since been over a year and a full season and the team has not improved on paper or in the eyes of the public. 

This was a landmark game for Denver – not only does it bring hope to future success of the team, but this game was the first time that the Broncos had beat the Kansas City Chiefs in over eight years. That means that prior to this weekend’s game, the Broncos had won a Super Bowl more recently than they had beaten the Chiefs. The Chiefs, however, have been a dominant team in the NFL for multiple seasons, having won the Super Bowl not only in 2020 but also in the most recent 2023 season. Furthermore, this victory for Denver brings great hope to the fanbase about future success for the team. Given that the Chiefs are the reigning Super Bowl champions and are ranked the number one seat for their Division, it is a very significant win for Denver. 

In a post game interview with Sean Payton, the head coach of the Broncos, he reaffirmed fans’ thoughts of the game. “Defensively, we did a fantastic job,” said Payton. “It’s an important game for us… Obviously we are playing a good team… But we got a new roster, and the focus was really on this game.” His commentary, as well as the Broncos’ performance, has given the Denver football community hope that the past is in the past and that the roster that Denver has now is focused on winning. In the interview, Payton also analyzed the game’s power dynamics. “We were plus four in the turnover battle and we rushed the ball better than they did,” he described. “I thought we did a fantastic job defensively with their offense.” 

Not only has the victory excited fans of the Broncos, it has captured the attention of NFL staticions, prediction makers, players, and fans in general. The game made it clear that the Broncos have a new strategy, new roster, and a way of executing their plays that has resulted in success. Ending Denver’s losing streak to the Chiefs has brought new life into the community and gives fans hope that the Broncos are about to become a powerhouse, perhaps retaining the Super Bowl trophy that they once were able to claim as their own. As one of the best teams in the league, the only question remaining is if the Broncos will be able to maintain the aggression that they have displayed in this game throughout the season.