Sammy Watkins held the football over the orange corner pylon as he danced across the sideline.

In one fluid motion, he curled around the back of the end zone, dropped the ball and spread his arms out wide to morph into a human airplane.

Starship 14 was taking off, and so were the Chiefs.

On an afternoon where the Chiefs used a surge in the second and third quarters to put away the Broncos with a 30-23 victory, Watkins' emergence jump-started Kansas City to its seventh win of the season.

Watkins, the Chiefs' fourth offensive weapon behind Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt, led the Chiefs (7-1) with eight receptions for 107 yards, but it took him and quarterback Patrick Mahomes a couple of tries to get going.

In the first quarter, Mahomes targeted Watkins three times in a row before the two finally connected on the third attempt for a nine-yard gain.

In the second quarter, the connection between the two strengthened even more when Mahomes hit Watkins for a 24-yard completion.

Watkins beat linebacker Todd Davis five plays later for a 13-yard touchdown reception over the middle.

Once across the goal line, Watkins jumped forward and high-stepped to the back of the end zone before throwing the ball down on the ground and thumping his chest.

It was his first trip to the end zone since scoring his first touchdown as a Chief against the 49ers in Week 3.

But Watkins wasn't done there.

On the Chiefs' first drive of the third quarter, Watkins picked up 24 yards on a catch-and-run before scoring his second touchdown of the day a couple plays later.

This time, Mahomes hit him as he cut across the field toward the Broncos' sideline. Watkins sprinted to the corner of the end zone for the 10-yard touchdown reception.

That score gave Watkins his first multi-touchdown game since he scored two against the 49ers on Sept. 21, 2017.

It was a breakout game for Watkins, but the rest of the Chiefs' offensive mainstays also put together solid games.

Mahomes threw four touchdown passes, joining Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks to throw 25 touchdowns in the first eight games of a season. He also had his seventh consecutive game of 300 yards as he completed 24 of 34 passes for 303 yards.

For the second week in a row, Hunt hurdled a defender en route to an impressive run. This time, Hunt leaped over safety Will Parks before dragging Justin Simmons into the end zone with the help of his teammates. The 27-yard catch-and-run (and hurdle) ended in the end zone to give the Chiefs a 30-14 lead with 1:53 to go in the third quarter.

And Kelce was key in converting long downs. Mahomes found Kelce for an 18-yard pass on the first drive of the third quarter, setting up Watkins' second touchdown. Kelce finished with six receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown, his first since the first meeting with the Broncos in Week 4.

Hill had three catches for 70 yards and exited the game early with a groin injury.

The Chiefs high-powered offense faltered briefly early in the fourth quarter when Mahomes threw his first pick of the afternoon, overthrowing a pass intended for Kelce. Instead, the ball wound up in the arms of Broncos safety Justin Simmons. But the Chiefs' defense, which struggled at times Sunday afternoon, picked up the slack.

Dee Ford sacked Broncos quarterback Case Keenum and forced the ball loose on third-and-9 from about midfield. Rookie Breeland Speaks made his second big play of the day, recovering the ball with 12:16 to go. Speaks also recorded his first career sack in the first half.

That was the big play the Chiefs needed, and it promptly swung momentum back in the Chiefs' favor. The Broncos added a 36-yard field goal with 1:52 to go, but Anthony Sherman recovered the onside kick to effectively end Denver's threat of a rally.