Chiefs get narrow NFL win over Broncos
Linebacker Nick Bolton's 86-yard fumble return after Melvin Ingram III darted into Denver's backfield untouched and stripped Melvin Gordon has powered the Kansas City Chiefs to a 28-24 NFL victory over the Denver Broncos.
With their 13th consecutive win over the Broncos, the Chiefs (12-5) kept alive their hopes of getting the No.1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
They need Houston to upset Tennessee on Sunday (Monday AEDT) to get the pole position; otherwise, they're the second seed and will host a wild-card game next weekend in their quest to reach a third consecutive Super Bowl.
The Broncos (7-10) were ahead 21-20 and driving for another touchdown when Ingram sped past tight end Noah Fant and blew up the play just as Drew Lock handed the ball to Gordon.
Bolton scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 86 yards to give the Chiefs their biggest lead, and Patrick Mahomes' keeper on the 2-point conversion made it 28-21.
Lock and the Broncos quickly got into scoring position again, but coach Vic Fangio, who fell to 19-30 as Denver's head coach, decided on a field goal on third-and-9 from the 13 as the crowd relentlessly booed the decision.
McManus nailed the 31-yarder, but the Broncos still trailed by four and would need a touchdown if they were able to stop Mahomes.
On third-and-8 from the Denver 17, Mahomes found Travis Kelce for an 11-yard gain at the two-minute warning, with the Broncos having burned all their timeouts.
The Chiefs lined up in victory formation as the clock ticked down and the crowd of 61,441 streamed for the exits, a fifth-straight losing season in the books and their playoff drought now stretched to six years.
Meanwhile, Dak Prescott threw a career-high five touchdown passes against Philadelphia backups, Cedrick Wilson and Dalton Schultz each had two scoring catches as Dallas kept their slim hopes for a No. 2 seed going with a 51-26 win.
The Cowboys still had seeding to play for against an Eagles team that rested Jalen Hurts and other key starters ahead of an NFC wild-card game next week.
The NFC champion Cowboys (12-5) need losses Sunday by reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay against last-place Carolina and also for the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals to lose to earn the No. 2 seed.
There also is a path to the No. 3 seed for Dallas. The Cowboys can't finish worse than the fourth seed. The Eagles (9-8) could still be the sixth seed.
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