Chiefs Stock Watch, Week 8: George Karlaftis provides bright light during a dark week

The defense provided the opportunities, but the offense could not get out of their own way.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos / Justin Tafoya/GettyImages
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That was about as ugly of a loss as we have witnessed during the Patrick Mahomes era. Stupid mistakes, poor red zone execution, and a terrible offensive game plan are how the Kansas City Chiefs broke their 16-game winning streak against the Denver Broncos.

There are going to be excuses upon excuses thrown around after this game. Patrick Mahomes was sick. This was Denver's Super Bowl. The linebackers all hurt. Yada yada yada. The fact is the Chiefs did not bring their A-game with them on the trip to Denver and got exposed.

The defense created several opportunities for the offense to take the momentum they built off big plays, only to have every single one of those opportunities squandered—save for one. The only reason they took advantage was because they did not have enough time left in the half to screw it up.

Andy Reid's offense did not score a touchdown the entire game and scored as many points as you and I did in the second half against statistically the worst defense in the NFL coming into this game. They visited the red zone only three times and only had six points to show for it. They turned the ball over five times, the most since November 19, 2018, in their 54-51 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football.

The wide receivers were nowhere to be found, which left Patrick Mahomes with no help outside of Travis Kelce, who was being blanketed all game. The Broncos knew that the Chiefs wide receiver corps was their weak point on offense and forced those receivers to beat them, which they clearly could not. The Chiefs eventually had to lose to Denver, but falling to this Broncos team in the fashion they lost is a tough pill to swallow.

Let's look at whose stocks are going up and whose are going down after that dark performance.

Stock Up: Drue Tranquill

Drue Tranquill is panning out to be one of the best free-agent signings of the Brett Veach era. With Nick Bolton going onto the injured reserve, the responsibility of running the defense on the field falls to Tranquill, and he has performed the task admirably.

Tranquill led the team in tackles again with seven, including three solo tackles and a sack. That sack was the biggest play of the game for him as he was matched up one-on-one with Russell Wilson on a fourth-and-two and was able to stop him in the open field short of the first down marker.

Tranquil is now tied for the lead in tackles with L'Jarius Sneed with 36 and also has 2.5 sacks on the year. The Chiefs will need his efforts to continue for at least the next three games while Bolton is on the shelf. Chiefs Kingdom should be confident that Tranquill is going to keep showing out.