Ingram’s strip, Bolton’s return, gives Chiefs win at Denver

The Kansas City Chiefs rallied on a strength of an 86-yard return for a touchdown by rookie linebacker Nick Bolton, ending the regular season with a 28-24 victory over the Denver Broncos on Saturday afternoon.

Kansas City moved into the #1 seed in the AFC with the victory, but slipped back to the #2 seed after Tennessee won at Houston on Sunday afternoon, giving the Titans the first-round bye.

The Chiefs, by their own admission, did not play their best, with the Broncos leading 21-20 in the fourth quarter, and moving into the red zone looking for scoreboard insurance, when mid-season acquisition Melvin Ingram III blitzed and separated Melvin Gordon from the football.  Bolton picked up the ball and outraced Broncos quarterback and former Mizzou teammate Drew Lock to the end zone for the game-winning score.

Kansas City will play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, January 16th in the Wild Card Round of the AFC playoffs, pushing their winning streak over the rival Broncos to 13 games in a row.  Denver, finishing the season at 7-10, fired head coach Vic Fangio before the weekend had finished.

The matchups for the NFL’s “Super Wild Card Weekend” were set after Las Vegas beat Los Angeles in overtime on Sunday night, a dramatic victory that clinched a playoff spot for the Steelers and eliminated the Chargers.

With 14 teams in the playoffs, and only two teams (Tennessee and Green Bay) receiving first-round byes, there will be six games this coming weekend, including the first-ever “Monday Night Football” postseason event.

On Saturday, the #5 seed Las Vegas Raiders play the AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati at 3:30 on NBC, followed by the #6 seed New England Patriots playing in Buffalo against the AFC East champion Bills at 7:15 on CBS.

Three games are on the postseason docket for Sunday, with the NFC’s #7 seed, the Philadelphia Eagles, battling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium at 12 noon on FOX.  The CBS afternoon game will air additionally on Nickelodeon, with the 49ers and Cowboys playing at 3:30 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  The Chiefs will host the Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium at 7:15 on Sunday night on NBC.

In an-all NFC West matchup on Monday night, January 17th, the Los Angeles Rams host the Arizona Cardinals at 7:15 on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, and ESPN+.