The Chiefs gutted out a 31-27 win over the Broncos on Sunday to win their 17th straight December home game. Larry Johnson’s second touchdown of the game gave the Chiefs the lead for good with 9:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. After that it was up to the defense to secure the victory.
After Johnson’s touchdown, the Chiefs held the Broncos to a three-and-out to preserve the lead. Later in the fourth, the Broncos had one more shot. They were close to midfield and faced a fourth-and-one from their own 47. The Chiefs appeared to stop Broncos running back Mike Anderson short of the marker, but the spot gave Denver the first down. Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil challenged the spot and it proved to be the right decision. After viewing the tape, the officials overturned the spot and Kansas City was awarded the ball on downs with 2:01 to go.
The Chiefs then played through three timeouts and the two-minute warning, gaining two first downs to milk all but 1:58 on the clock. With three seconds left, the Chiefs turned the ball over to Denver, but a Hail Mary attempt fell short by Broncos QB Jake Plummer and the game was over.
Johnson finished the game with 140 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while Trent Green passed for 153 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Eddie Kennison caught four passes for 107 yards.
With the win the Chiefs improved their record to 8-4 on the season, which keeps them in the playoff hunt, but they’re still not in possession of a post-season spot. Jacksonville and San Diego are currently the two Wild Card teams. The Jaguars are 9-3 and the Chargers are 8-4—San Diego has the edge over Kansas City because they beat the Chiefs on October 30. The Chiefs and Chargers meet in Kansas City on Christmas Eve. Kansas City is also a game out of first in the AFC West.