The Broncos fall apart in the second half, allowing the Chiefs to run their way to a massive victory.
Kansas City Chiefs (44) @ Denver Broncos (24)
The Broncos had no answer for the Chiefs Jamaal Charles, who shredded the Denver defense for 259 yards rushing and two touchdowns. In what started out an even ballgame, slowly developed into a Kansas City onslaught soon into the fourth quarter. Kyle Orton had an outstanding passing day, but threw three critical interceptions, with one being a major factor in the loss that was returned to the house when the Broncos still had a shot to win.
For a team that started out the season 6-0, this was a horrible way for it to end. The Broncos lost their final three AFC West home games, two of which to teams that will have top ten draft pick this year. Denver looked like they should have the number one pick in the draft after this debacle.
After Denver beat the Chiefs in Kansas City 44-13 earlier this season, their division foe returned the home field beat down in this contest. After the devastating interception by Orton that was returned sixty yards for a touchdown, it was then all Chiefs. Charles capitalized on the lead with another big run, slamming the door on any chance the Broncos had at making the playoffs.
This was not a defensive battle, though the Chiefs were helped by some touchdowns on the other side of the ball. Both teams managed to produce over 500 total yards of offense, with Orton tossing for 431 yards in the game. Orton received his chance to prove to the Broncos that he could get the job done, but turnovers once again played into the role of his demise.
The Broncos allowed 34 points in the second half of this divisional matchup, relatively comparable to how they finished this season after their undefeated start. The Broncos finished 2-8, including four consecutive losses to end the season. Denver did have a chance to win each of those last four ballgames, but the fourth quarter of those ballgames dictated the fourth quarter of their season.
This Broncos squad has some excellent talent with a ton of upside. Knowshon Moreno should blossom into an excellent NFL runningback. Josh McDaniels, despite this difficult ending, is a great young coach who will improve this team. Brandon Marshall, who returns to the Pro Bowl, is an elite talent, but needs to find a way to stay on the field, regardless of what may be keeping him off of it. The defense, at times, proved to be an elite unit. With some fine tuning, Denver can play their way into the postseason come next year.
Don’t dismiss this year as a complete collapse for Denver. This is a team that ended the season with a better record than most saw coming. The Broncos gave their fans something to cheer about early on, ultimately giving those fans some hope for what will ideally happen in the future for this franchise. If this team makes the right moves in the offseason, the Broncos could be right back on top of the AFC West very soon.
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Written by Josh Souder