But after the Broncos finally ended their 16-game losing streak with a 24-9 victory at Empower Field at Mile High, the guy who had been in uniform for more of those losses to the Chiefs than any of his teammates couldn’t have been happier.
“Man, it’s a complete effort. … Really proud of how the guys battled and played,” said safety Justin Simmons, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft who is the Broncos’ longest-tenured player. “… I get from the outside looking in that there’s this streak, but every year, it is a new team. … Some guys who have been here, myself having been here the longest, I’m just happy we won. Just feels good to win.”
The Broncos used five takeaways — four on defense; one on special teams — and their best defensive effort of the season to hold the Chiefs without a touchdown. It was the first time the Chiefs had lost an AFC West game on the road in which quarterback Patrick Mahomes had started.
It was also the Broncos’ first win vs. Kansas City since Sept. 17, 2015, with 12 of those 16 losses coming at the hands of Mahomes, including his first NFL start in the 2017 season finale.
On Sunday, Mahomes, who was sacked three times, finished 24 of 38 passing for 241 yards and two interceptions.
After the game, Mahomes said he had flu-like symptoms on Saturday night and had “stomach issues” during the game.
“He’s OK,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Mahomes. “He was sick. He’s not going to use that as an excuse.”
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who finished with six receptions for 58 yards, had just one reception for 8 yards after halftime.
“It’s like you can stop hearing about that,” Broncos linebacker Baron Browning, who had two sacks, said of the losing streak. “It was good to get a win against an opponent we haven’t beaten in a while.”
Added linebacker Josey Jewell: “We can put that to bed, so that will be nice to get rid of that. Hopefully, we go on a little streak here.”
The Broncos led 14-9 at halftime, and Kansas City got no closer as the Chiefs’ second-half possessions ended with a punt, a fourth-down stop by the Broncos, an interception and a one-play possession to end the game.
With Tuesday’s trade deadline approaching, Simmons and other Broncos players said they were hopeful that their third win in five games would help keep the team from dealing away any starters.
Broncos coach Sean Payton said Sunday the team isn’t actively pursuing trades at the moment.
“There’s no approach,” Payton said when asked what his approach with the trade deadline would be. “… We’re not the team looking to go out and buy. We can’t control the buyers who call. You always pick the phone up. You have to do that professionally.
“We’ve got a plan on where we see ourselves. … When I see or hear things, I chuckle, because I think I haven’t talked to anybody about that, and if I haven’t, then it’s probably not true.”
The Broncos have a bye next Sunday before they travel to play the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 13 on “Monday Night Football.”