Controversial TD call, questionable Broncos coaching decision help Chiefs to win

DENVER – The Kansas City Chiefs were on the good end of a controversial touchdown call at the end of regulation and a questionable decision by Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak in overtime, but they won’t turn down a win.

The Chiefs came out with an unlikely 30-27 win at the end of overtime. The teams traded field goals to start overtime, then on fourth-and-10, Kubiak decided to let Brandon McManus try a 62-yard field goal. The kick was  short and the Chiefs took over at Denver’s 48-yard line.

The Chiefs moved the ball a bit in the final minute of overtime, including a 16-yard catch by Travis Kelce, setting up Cairo Santos for a 34-yard field goal. Santos’ kick hit the left upright but the ball bounced in and the Chiefs had a thrilling win.

The kick was so crazy that some Broncos fans cheered as if Santos missed, and some Chiefs didn’t think the boot was good:

Denver got the ball first in overtime and got a field goal from McManus. Because the Broncos didn’t score a touchdown, the Chiefs got a possession. They drove to the Broncos’ 19-yard line and tied the game on a field goal with 4:19 left.

Siemian made a great throw to A.J. Derby for 10 yards on third-and-3 to put the Broncos into Chiefs territory right at the two-minute warning in overtime. But the Broncos stalled, and on third down Bennie Fowler, who caught a 76-yard TD late in the fourth quarter, couldn’t haul in a diving catch. Then Kubiak decided to go for a field goal that was only 2 yards shorter than the NFL record.

The win keeps the 8-3 Chiefs one game behind the Oakland Raiders in the AFC West and pushed the Broncos to to 7-4.

The game appeared to be over in regulation, before an unusual call on a replay review at the end of regulation.

Tyreek Hill caught a pass in tight coverage against Bradley Roby but it seemed his knee was down at the 1 before he rolled into the end zone. Officials on the field said he was down and the clock kept running. Kansas City had no timeouts left. But officials stopped the clock with a second left – the Chiefs would not have been able to get another snap off – to review the play. The officials ruled that Hill didn’t have full possession of the catch until he was already in the end zone, so it didn’t matter if his knee was down at the 1 as he was hauling it in. The call was a touchdown.

The Chiefs still had to hit a two-point conversion. They lined up in a shotgun set, Smith rolled right and hit Demetrius Harris in the end zone. Tie game.

There wasn’t a ton of action before the fourth quarter, but the NBC viewers who stuck around ended up with a good game.

Tyreek Hill scored three touchdowns for the Chiefs on Sunday night (AP)
Tyreek Hill scored three touchdowns for the Chiefs on Sunday night (AP)

Trevor Siemian had a huge fourth quarter to give the Broncos a lead. He hit a 64-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders, which set up a 35-yard touchdown to Sanders later in the drive to put the Broncos ahead 17-16. Then he lobbed that 76-yarder to Fowler with three minutes left, and Denver led 24-16.

With the way the Broncos’ defense was playing, it seemed the game was over. But the Chiefs had a comeback in them.

The Chiefs drove inside the Broncos’ 20-yard line in the final minute. Alex Smith threw incomplete three times from the Broncos’ 14-yard line, and on fourth-and-10 he hit Hill for a first down to the Broncos’ 3-yard line with 15 seconds left. Then he hit Hill for the controversial touchdown, and Harris for the game-tying conversion.

It looked for a while in overtime like the game would be the third tie in the NFL this season. Kubiak gambled on his kicker, and the Broncos ended up losing.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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