Broncos' 10 straight losses to Chiefs include two subpar games from Drew Lock

DENVER -- Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock tried. Oh, how Lock tried to tell anyone who would listen that facing the Kansas City Chiefs was "just a regular game."

Lock, who is from Lee's Summit, Missouri, just outside of Kansas City and whose father played for Chiefs coach Andy Reid at the University of Missouri, had his second consecutive painful ride on the developmental curve against the Chiefs -- a 43-16 loss at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday.

"It's my hometown and at the same time I can't let that change the way I play," Lock said this week. "It's just a regular game."

Alas, it was not. Lock completed 24 of 40 passes for 254 yards, with most of those yards coming during just-close-it-out time for the Chiefs. He had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. He looked unsettled much of the time, often passed on open receivers for short gains in favor of much tighter throwing windows down the field that turned into incompletions. He was sacked three times.

It all looked suspiciously like his performance against the Chiefs last December -- also in the snow -- when he completed 18 of 40 passes for 208 yards with an interception and two sacks.

And on a day when Patrick Mahomes threw only one touchdown pass and one in which the Chiefs' offense did not convert any third downs (0-for-8), the game was still never really in doubt after the second quarter.

Two words: That's 10. As in 10 in a row. The Chiefs have tipped the scales in this long-time rivalry. It's a streak that started during Peyton Manning's four-interception game in 2015 in Denver.

And with Mahomes at quarterback for the foreseeable future in Kansas City, the Broncos are going to have to raise their game to make it interesting again.

Troubling trend: It's the same old story. The Broncos opened the day with plenty of success running the ball, usually in bigger personnel groupings -- two backs or two tight ends as well as a smattering of three tight end sets -- but can't seem to resist the lure of the three-wide look as soon as they get behind by even one score.

And the trouble just keeps coming for offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur in those three-wide sets. In the first half alone, Lock's interception for a touchdown, two sacks, a lost fumble and an intentional grounding penalty were all out of three-wide sets. The Broncos continue to struggle to protect in that look and opposing defensive coordinators have certainly noticed.

QB breakdown: Lock has four interceptions in the past two games. He looks to be pressing at the moment as the team struggles to score -- they have one touchdown in the past two games. The Broncos have the Chargers, Falcons, Raiders and Dolphins over the next four games, and if Denver has any hope of saving part of this season, it has to find what works for Lock in those games and try to claw its way back toward .500.