By Sam Joseph, CNN
Swift was watching the Chiefs in person for the third time this season and has yet to see them lose. The singer was shown on the Prime Video broadcast sitting in the family suite next to the mom of two-time Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce.
And tight end Kelce, who was listed as questionable coming into the game after suffering an ankle injury in Week 5 against the Minnesota Vikings, ended up spearheading the Chiefs’ effort on the night. The 34-year-old had nine receptions for 124 yards (100 in the first half alone), the most receiving yards for a tight end in the NFL this season.
Kelce continued his theme of somehow always getting open as he toyed with the Broncos’ defense in the middle of the field, exploiting their zone coverage on multiple occasions.
Neither Kelce nor Swift have publicly commented on their friendship, but there’s been plenty of speculation the two are dating given that weeks after he said he fumbled giving the pop star his phone number, she’s shown up to support him playing.
“He’s kind of one of those guys you can give freedom because he knows this offense like the back of his hand,” said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes of Kelce after the game, per the NFL.
“In zone, he can work the middle of the field. It hurts some of our deep game, but at the same time, whenever you have a guy like that, that can work in the middle of the field, it helps out a ton.”
Mahomes, the reigning league MVP, put up an impressive stat line in the primetime slot. He went 30/40 on pass attempts and racked up 306 yards, throwing one touchdown to Kadarius Toney and one interception.
Despite the statistics, it was not the prettiest of wins for the Chiefs. Their usually high-flying offense was not in full flow as they struggled in the red zone (most notably when Mahomes was picked off by Broncos safety Justin Simmons at the goal line) and settled for field goals on four occasions. Kicker Harrison Butker stepped up when he was needed though, going 4/4 on field goals, including a 60-yard attempt.
Mahomes praised the defense after the game as did head coach Andy Reid, who lamented his team’s offensive woes.
“Our defense was incredible tonight, as it has been,” Reid told reporters. “Offensively, we have to take care of business in the red zone. We had a lot of yards, positive yards, but you can’t stall down there.”
It was another rough night for the Broncos, who slip to 1-5 and were ineffective on both sides of the ball.
Their defense, which ranked last in points allowed per game entering Week 6, has been leaky all season long, but the offense, led by quarterback Russell Wilson, really struggled. Denver put up 197 total yards to the Chiefs’ 389 with Wilson going 13/22 on passes, 95 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, per the NFL.
The touchdown pass (which was initially ruled as incomplete and then overturned) to Courtland Sutton came in the fourth quarter and the following two-point conversion brought the score to 16-8, putting the Broncos back in the game.
However, any hope of a comeback was snuffed out later in the quarter when Butker kicked his fourth field goal.
Wilson was also sacked four times in another torrid outing. Broncos head coach Sean Payton attempted to take some positives from the game but was fully aware of where his team needed to improve.
“I’m not discouraged,” he said after the game. “Offensively we struggled throwing the ball. Our third-down numbers were poor.
“Against a team like this, it’s going to be tough to win the game, and yet we were still in it going into the fourth quarter. Sometimes you don’t know how a game is going to unfold.”
The Broncos have 10 days to prepare for their next test – a home matchup against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday next week.
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