It was far from a stellar performance, and at times it was pretty ugly as the Broncos pulled out a win against arguably the worst team in football. But a win’s a win, and Denver won’t make any apologize’s for getting a W in this league. The Broncos improved to 8-3 on the year, and with the Chargers finding another incredible way to lose yesterday, Denver has all but wrapped up the AFC West at this point.
The game was a struggle right off the bat on Kansas City’s first possession. Denver nearly forced a turnover, but a fumble recovery was overturned by officials, retaining possession for the Chiefs. The KC offense drove inside the Bronco 20, but on third down an ill advised Peyton Hillis to Brady Quinn play call ended the drive, forcing the Chiefs to settle for 3. Disaster almost started Denver’s opening possession, as Manning threw an interception on third down; however, just like the on the previous drive, the turnover was overturned, and the Bronco offense started the game with a three and out. Javier Arenas gave a solid punt return of 20 yards to give KC great field position as the Chief offense began the drive from inside Denver’s 40. KC drove the ball inside the 10, but on a big third and goal, the Denver D held the Chiefs out of the end zone, keeping the deficit at just 6 points. Manning and the offense tried to answer with a score on their own on their next drive, but Matt Prater pushed his kick wide right, and Denver was trailing 6-0 after one.
After a Chiefs 3 and out, Manning heaved a deep ball for Eric Decker, but Brandon Flowers came up with the pick, snuffing out another Denver possession. After keeping the Chiefs next drive alive with a 4th down penalty, KC was in scoring range again, but on third down, Wesley Woodyard sacked Brady Quinn, pushing the Chiefs out of field goal range and forcing a punt. On the ensuing Bronco’s drive, after a Manning and Stokley 31 yard hook up, on 3rd and goal Manning hit Jacob Tamme to finally put the Broncos on the board, as well as give Denver it’s first lead of the afternoon, as at intermission they held a 7-6 advantage.
On their first drive of the second half, the Broncos seemed poised to add onto their lead, but Matt Prater clanked his 33 yard attempt off the left upright, his second miss of the game that kept the score at 7-6. On the Chiefs next drive, the KC offense faced a critical 4th and 1 from the Denver 31. Romeo Crennel opted to go for the field goal, which was converted, giving the Chiefs the lead back at 9-7. That lead would not last for long, as Manning found Demaryious Thomas to finish off Denver’s next drive to put the Broncos up by 5 entering the final quarter of play.
There wasn’t much that happened for most of the 4th quarter, as both teams combined for an astonishing 7 consecutive punts, something I thought would be unattainable in the current NFL. The final Bronco drive of the game would be the clincher, as Manning and co. went 68 yards in 12 plays, and most importantly, taking up over 6 minutes of critical time and adding a field goal to extend their lead to 17-9. The Chiefs never truly threatened to tie the game, and Denver walked out of Arrowhead Stadium with their 6th consecutive victory.
There’s really not much to say about this one, the Broncos were not on their A game, perhaps they were overlooking their dreadful opponent. But as all the elite teams have proven this year, including the 10-1 Texans and Falcons, every team has games like this, it’s just unavoidable. Tough to give out a game ball in an ugly performance like this, but I guess I’ll give shout outs to Demaryious Thomas, who had another solid game with a TD; and Knowshon Moreno, who filling in for the injured Willis McGahee churned out 85 yards on 20 productive carries. The Broncos host Tampa Bay next week in Denver, looking for their 7th win in a row
About the Author
Written by Alex Summers
Lifelong sports fan, love the NFL, and big fan of a basketball and baseball