Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Her­bie Teope

DEN­VER — The Kansas City Chiefs de­feated the Den­ver Bron­cos, 30-6, Thurs­day night but might have lost some­thing more mean­ing­ful for an un­de­ter­mined amount of time.

With the Chiefs hold­ing a 10-6 lead over the Den­ver Bron­cos in the sec­ond quar­ter and threat­en­ing for more points at the Bron­cos’ 5yard line, Pa­trick Ma­homes suf­fered a right knee in­jury on a quar­ter­back sneak.

Play­ers im­me­di­ately waved to the side­lines for med­i­cal per­son­nel, all of whom rushed to Ma­homes’ side as the sta­dium went silent. Chiefs and Bron­cos play­ers were on their knees as Ma­homes was tended to, but the sig­nal-caller even­tu­ally got to his feet and re­ceived as­sis­tance leav­ing the field. Then, Ma­homes went straight to the locker room with­out as­sis­tance be­fore be­ing de­clared out.

A source later told The Star that Ma­homes suf­fered a dis­lo­cated kneecap and there doesn’t ap­pear to be a frac­ture. Ma­homes is sched­uled Fri­day to un­dergo an MRI, More in­for­ma­tion should be known then, the source said, but early in­di­ca­tions ap­pear pos­i­tive.

Mean­while, the Chiefs didn’t fal­ter in the game with­out the league’s reign­ing MVP.

In­stead, the Chiefs ral­lied on both sides of the ball by scor­ing 10 straight points to end the sec­ond quar­ter with vet­eran Matt Moore un­der cen­ter to take a 20-6 half­time lead.

Har­ri­son Butker capped the drive on which Ma­homes was hurt with a 20-yard field goal, then the Chiefs de­fense came up big af­ter line­backer An­thony Hitchens pro­duced a sack-fum­ble on Bron­cos quar­ter­back Joe Flacco. Line­backer Reg­gie Ragland, who re­ceived his first start of the night, scooped up the loose ball at the Bron­cos’ 5-yard line and ran it back for a touch­down.

The Chiefs de­fense came up big Thurs­day night with nine sacks, which marked an ob­vi­ous sea­son high, and a turnover. Hitchens, de­fen­sive end Frank Clark and de­fen­sive Alex Okafor each recorded two sacks. The nine sacks tied as the third-most in a sin­gle game in team his­tory.

With the Chiefs’ pass de­fense click­ing, the run de­fense stepped up and held the Bron­cos to 71 yards rush­ing and a touch­down on 21 car­ries, a no­table achieve­ment given the past month’s strug­gles.

Op­po­nents had gashed the Chiefs on the ground lately, to­tal­ing 761 yards and over the past four games. The Bron­cos found the go­ing tough with Ragland in­serted into the start­ing lineup along­side Hitchens and Damien Wil­son in the Chiefs’ 4-3 base de­fense.

The Bron­cos en­tered Week 7 on a two-game win­ning streak be­hind their de­fense and run­ning game, but rush­ers Phillip Lind­say and Royce Free­man found yards dif­fi­cult to ac­quire, com­bin­ing to av­er­age 3.4 yards per at­tempt. With the Bron­cos be­com­ing one-di­men­sional, the Chiefs’ de­fense lim­ited Den­ver to con­vert­ing just one of 13 third-down at­tempts.

Hitchens, who missed Week 6 with a groin in­jury, re­turned with a vengeance in lead­ing a spir­ited de­fen­sive ef­fort and fin­ished with six tack­les, two sacks and two quar­ter­back hits. Ragland pro­duced an ex­cep­tional al­laround game with two tack­les, a sack, a quar­ter­back hit and a fum­ble re­cov­ery.


Chiefs quar­ter­back Pa­trick Ma­homes (15) comes off the field with the aid of train­ers af­ter he in­jured his knee in the sec­ond quar­ter against the Bron­cos on Thurs­day in Den­ver.

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