Peters led the way as the Chiefs ended their defensive slump and, more importantly, their two-game losing streak with a 29-19 win against the Denver Broncos on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium. The 6-2 Chiefs have a commanding lead in the AFC West of 2½ games over the 3-4 Broncos and three games over the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers, each 3-5.
The Chiefs didn’t completely shut down Denver’s offense, a disappointment given the Broncos’ recent struggles with the ball. But the Chiefs’ defensive play was still an improvement over recent weeks.
For that they can credit Peters, who set the tone early in the game when he ripped the ball away from former teammate Jamaal Charles, recovered the loose ball and ran it back 45 yards for a touchdown and the first score of the game. Peters followed that up later in the first period with an interception of Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian, one of two the Chiefs would get on Monday night.
The Chiefs wasted that takeaway when they asked Tyreek Hill to try a pass into the end zone. It was intercepted, the first pick thrown by the Chiefs this season.
That didn’t matter because Peters had already set the tone. The Chiefs had five takeaways, four on defense and one on special teams.
Peters is the Chiefs’ defensive game-changer, so they’re used to good things happening when he’s involved in a turnover. The Chiefs are 14-4 since 2015 when Peters gets an interception, forces a fumble or recovers a fumble. They’re 5-1 when he has at least two such plays in a game.
Peters hadn’t been completely quiet in the turnover categories this season. He entered the game with two interceptions and a forced fumble that teammate Justin Houston returned for a touchdown in a Week 4 Monday night win against Washington.
But until the win over the Broncos, Peters’ season was more notable for national anthem protests — he usually sits, but on Monday night he didn’t arrive on the sideline until the anthem was finished — and screaming at fans or, at least in one instance, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.
The focus was on football on Monday night, just in time for the Chiefs to claim a much-needed victory.