The Broncos fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 29-19 at Arrowhead Stadium, dropping to 3-4 on the season. Listen to KOA NewsRadio postgame interviews with Coach Vance Joseph, Trevor Siemian, Zaire Anderson, Shane Ray, Shelby Harris and Cody Latimer.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Broncos entered their Monday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs with questions surrounding the play of quarterback Trevor Siemian, and Denver's 29-19 loss did little to tamp down the brewing quarterback controversy.
Coach Vance Joseph admitted a change at quarterback is possible after the Broncos fell to 3-4, leaving them 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Chiefs (6-2) in the AFC West.
"I am not sure, but losing three games in a row and having five turnovers tonight, anything is possible," Joseph said.
Joseph has options if he chooses to make a move at quarterback. Former Broncos starter Brock Osweiler returned to the team as a free agent last month, and last year's first-round draft pick, Paxton Lynch, recently returned to practice following a shoulder injury.
Siemian admitted after the game Monday that he made too many mistakes, including three interceptions.
"Just turned it over, a couple of bad decisions," Siemian said. "Tough to win, tough to beat good teams when you turn it over.
The Broncos rallied a bit after halftime. "I think when we came out of half, we played well in that third quarter," Siemian said. "We got a couple of drives going. I thought the guys up front played well enough for us to win."
Joseph said he stuck with Siemian because his team remained in the game until late in the second half despite the turnovers. "I stayed with Trevor because he is our guy," Joseph said. "He has worked all week, so that was my decision to stay with him."
Siemian said he is not concerned his starting spot may be in jeopardy. "That's not really my job," Siemian said. "My job is to play quarterback, to play the best I can, and I've got to play better. I can't turn it over."
--The Chiefs threw their first interception of the season, but it did not originate from the arm of quarterback Alex Smith. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill took a pitch from Smith and swept to the left side before shot-putting a pass toward tight end Ross Travis. Denver safety Darian Stewart easily picked off the ball.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Hill begged his coach to call the trick play for a while.
"He was a little short on it, I'd say," Reid said. "He had done a great job during the week."
Hill considers himself a bit ambidextrous but is primarily a left-hander, yet he threw the pass with his right hand. He said he looked forward to running the play all week. "I kind of messed it up for myself," Hill said. "I know Coach Reid will never give me another opportunity."
The Chiefs' win ensures that Hill's interception turned into an amusing anecdote rather than the cause of a disastrous loss, but Reid agreed with Hill's assessment on the play's future. "He probably won't get it again," Reid said.
--Kansas City shuffled its defensive secondary with cornerback Steven Nelson returning from injured reserve and cornerback Kenneth Acker earning the start on the right side opposite Marcus Peters.
Nelson entered the game as the team's slot nickel corner, and the Broncos tested him right from the start. He recorded four total tackles and broke up a pass. Nelson admitted he felt nervous entering the game.
"Absolutely, especially for me being out and not being able to do what I love," Nelson said. "I was cheering my teammates on, but it was bittersweet, but I am definitely glad to be back in there." Reid gave Nelson high marks for his first game of the season.
"I felt like early he was making plays on the ball and he had opportunities there and made them and took advantage of them," Reid said. "Later in the game there weren't quite as many opportunities, but that was just because of where the quarterback was going with the ball. But I thought he really played well."
Acker earned his second start for the Chiefs, taking the place of Terrance Mitchell, who started the team's first seven games at right corner. Reid said the demotion did not mean a lack of faith in Mitchell.
"Sometimes it's OK if you have a guy, a young guy that might need a step back to take a step forward." Reid said. "Sometimes that happens."
Mitchell and fellow cornerback Phillip Gaines took the brunt of the blame after Kansas City's loss last week to Oakland. The Chiefs yielded 417 pass yards to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
Reid said Acker proved enough in practice to deserve a start. "He had had some snaps for us before last year," Reid said. "We felt like he deserved an opportunity there, and he did a nice job with it."