KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs won the time of possession battle Monday night against the Broncos, controlling the ball just more than 35 minutes, and that played a critical factor in the team's 27-23 win in Denver.
The Chiefs offense ran 78 plays, keeping the Broncos defense on the field for large periods of time in the second half.
That allowed the Chiefs defense another light day, which certainly helped at the altitude. The Chiefs defense played just 60 snaps.
OFFENSE (78 snaps)
Patrick Mahomes 76 (100 percent)
Kareem Hunt 45 (58 percent)
Spencer Ware 24 (31 percent)
Anthony Sherman 4 (5 percent)
Damien Williams 3 (4 percent)
Hunt entered the game averaging 42 snaps per game, so he remained right at his typical work load despite the big performance. The Chiefs targeted Hunt on 23 of his 45 snaps, reiterating once again that when Hunt's in the game, half the time the play involves him.The Chiefs went light on Sherman's workload this week without many power run packages or use of a backfield blocker in the passing game.
Travis Kelce 73 (94 percent)
Demetrius Harris 31 (40 percent)
The Chiefs went with a multiple tight end look about a third of the time agains the Broncos, and that worked in the second half. Kelce and Harris combined for 15 targets with nine catches for 137 yards and a touchdown. The majority of the work came fro Kelce, but Harris came up big with both his catches, particularly the 35-yard third-down conversion that setup the winning touchdown.
Tyreek Hill 70 (90 percent)
Chris Conley 73 (94 percent)
Demarcus Robinson 45 (58 percent)
Sammy Watkins 15 (15 percent)
De'Anthony Thomas 9 (12 percent)
Conley and Robinson both saw a jump in snaps with Watkins leaving with a tight hamstring, but Robinson took the biggest share of the load, jumping from 11 snaps against San Francisco to 45 on Monday night. The Chiefs went with three receiver sets the majority of the game.
Eric Fisher 78 (100 percent)
Cam Erving 78 (100 percent)
Mitch Morse 78 (100 percent)
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif 78 (100 percent)
Mitchell Schwartz 78 (100 percent)
Jordan Devey 1 (1 percent)
The Chiefs ironman offensive line remains in tact once again. Devey entered the game as an extra lineman on the third-and-1 from the Kansas City 34-yard on the team's first drive when Hunt rushed up the middle for no gain. The Chiefs went the exact opposite on fourth-and-1, lining up in a spread formation and Hunt picked up the first down.
DEFENSE (60 snaps)
Allen Bailey 52 (87 percent)
Chris Jones 48 (80 percent)
Xavier Williams 27 (45 percent)
Derrick Nnadi 11 (18 percent)
Jarvis Jenkins 10 (17 percent)
Bailey and Jones played a lot of snaps at altitude but looked no worse for wear. Bailey now has a sack in three-straight games for the first time in his career and remains on pace to crush his career-high of five sacks in the 2014 season. Jones turned in the best average yards of separation for any of the team's pass rushers. He looks very strong when the Chiefs kick him outside and line him as a five-tech on the shoulder of the offensive tackle.
Justin Houston 58 (97 percent)
Dee Ford 30 (50 percent)
Tanoh Kpassagnon 18 (30 percent)
Breeland Speaks 16 (27 percent)
Kpassagnon and Speaks both split time filling in for Ford after he re-aggravated his groin injury. Defensive coordinator even found some formations to get pass rushers on the field at the same time. Speaks looks like he struggled a bit, particularly against the run, but Kpassagnon had some good snaps rushing the passer.
Anthony Hitchens 58 (97 percent)
Reggie Ragland 26 (43 percent)
Terrance Smith 11 (18 percent)
Dorian O'Daniel 2 (3 percent)
Hitchens turned in arguable his roughest game since joining the club, picking up just three tackles and missing a couple of opportunities. The Chiefs spent a lot of time in nickel packages with three defensive linemen early, then shifted to a dime late in the second half, which meant less time for Ragland. O'Daniel saw some snaps as a dime linebacker, and it would be nice to see him expand that package of plays in the next few games.
Steven Nelson 60 (100 percent)
Kendall Fuller 60 (100 percent)
Orlando Scandrick 41 (68 percent)
Chiefs deployed their nickel and dime packages two-thirds of the time against the Broncos, a little bit less than in recent games. Rookie corner Charvarius Ward was active instead of fellow rookie Tremon Smith, but he didn't see any time on defense.
Ron Parker 60 (100 percent)
Eric Murray 60 (100 percent)
Armani Watts 12 (20 percent)
Watts averaged nine defensive snaps through the first three games but saw 12 plays against the Broncos. But most notably those snaps came at some critical junctures and proved very productive.He took the field in the dime look in the fourth quarter, picking up a sack and two quarterback hits on Case Keenum. Watts looks like he's developing into a nice situational piece, and his speed as a blitzer adds a new dimension to the secondary.
SPECIAL TEAMS (28 snaps)
Special teams only: Jordan Lucas 19 (68 percent), Marcus Kemp 18 (64 percent), Ben Niemann 14 (50 percent), Charvarius Ward 11 (39 percent), Harrison Butker 11 (39 percent), Dustin Colquitt 9 (32 percent), James Winchester 9 (32 percent) and Andrew Wylie 5 (18 percent)
Offensive players: Harris 23 (82 percent), Sherman 20 (71 percent), Thomas 16 (57 percent), Robinson 13 (46 percent), Damien Williams 7 (25 percent), Duvernay-Tardif 5 (18 percent), Morse 5 (18 percent), Fisher 5 (18 percent), Schwartz 5 (18 percent), Devey 5 (18 percent), Ware 5 (18 percent), Hill 3 (11 percent) and Conley 1 (4 percent)
Defensive players: Terrance Smith 23 (82 percent), Watts 18 (64 percent), O'Daniel 15 (54 percent) Kpassagnon 8 (29 percent), Murray 5 (18 percent), Fuller 5 (18 percent), Hitchens 5 (18 percent), Jones 5 (18 percent), Bailey 5 (18 percent), Nnadi 5 (18 percent) and Scandrick 5 (18 percent)
Niemann returned after missing two games with an injury and contributed immediately on special teams.Ward made an immediate contribution in his first game, picking up two special teams tackles and assisting on a third.