Is the Broncos’ luck starting to turn?

Cairo Santos’ 34-yard field goal doinked off the left post and somehow went in. It capped a 30-27 Chiefs’ win over the Denver Broncos in overtime.

The good, the wild and the devoted of Sunday's Broncos tailgate. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)Sports Authority Field, Mile High Stadium
The good, the wild and the devoted of Sunday's Broncos tailgate. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite) Sports Authority Field, Mile High Stadium
The Broncos are 7-4 after their loss to the Chiefs. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

A lot of success in sports is about luck. As much as we like to tell ourselves the best team always wins, so much of the game is a roll of the dice — especially in the NFL, where there are only 16 regular season games and 22 men on the field at one time.

One thing the Broncos have had over this run that dates back to 2015 is luck. They went 9-3 in one-score games last regular season. The Broncos were 2-1 in such contests prior to their game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Teams that fare well one year in one-score games tend not to the next. Regression kicks in.

So it was a solid bet that the Broncos’ luck in tight games might shift over the final six games of the season on a play like, say, the one that decided the game Sunday night.

Cairo Santos’ 34-yard field goal doinked off the left post and somehow went in. It capped a 30-27 Chiefs’ win over the Denver Broncos in overtime.

A lot of weird things happened in the game. Consider:

  • Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian played a fantastic game. He completed 20 of 34 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Game manager™ Alex Smith threw the ball 44 times. He completed 26 of those passes for 220 yards and a touchdown.
  • The Broncos nearly overcame a safety and subsequent Tyreek Hill kick return touchdown. Hill scored three touchdowns total.
  • Denver limited Kansas City to 3.6 yards per play. It was just the second time this season a team won the game while averaging 3.6 yards per play or fewer.
  • In overtime, the Broncos tried a 62-yard field goal with 1:03 remaining. Kicker Brandon McManus missed it badly, which set the stage for…

The Broncos (7-4)  find themselves in third place in the AFC West and out of the playoff picture as it currently stands in large part because of a shaky field goal that hit the upright and went in. This came two weeks after Denver won a game largely because one of its players wore white shoes.

So it goes. The Broncos usually end up on the right side of games like that, as Von Miller pointed out.

Could it be Denver’s luck is starting to turn?

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Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food.