Wait, don’t the Chiefs win games like this at home?
Turning turnovers into touchdowns, taking kickoffs back for touchdowns, breaking off big runs—these are the things that define the Chiefs.
It doesn’t matter, not when Peyton Manning comes to town, even when Manning breaks bad for a quarter. Manning’s mind is just too good. His arm (no matter how wobbly the passes) simply follows.
The Broncos now stand in sole possession of first place in the AFC West; even better, they are in complete control of their own destiny. If they want the first seed, they can do more than wish for it for Christmas.
Hmm, loading up to stop the run against a Peyton Manning-led team? That’s exactly what the Chiefs opted for on Sunday.
The strategy was anything but predictable, but the result was, as the Broncos (10-2) overcame a 21-7 deficit and hung on for a 35-28 (Gamebook) win over the host Chiefs (9-3), completing a season sweep and giving them a commanding advantage atop the AFCW.
It was a record-setting day for Peyton Manning, whose five touchdown passes gave him a new franchise mark of 41 on the season, and for Eric Decker, whose four scores set a new Broncos single-game record.
Inactives: Broncos - Derek Wolfe, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Julius Thomas, J.D. Walton, Chris Kuper, Zac Dysert, C.J. Anderson
Chiefs - Justin Houston, Tyler Bray, Nico Johnson, Eric Kush, Rokevious Watkins, Rishaw Johnson, Kyle Love.
Welcome to my sixth rewrite in the last twenty minutes.
This was supposed to be a story about Petyon Manning and Tom Brady dueling; it was supposed to be about two teams playing until the bitter end; hell, it was supposed to be about the near perfection of the Broncos running game.
Instead, we’re going to be talking about bouncing balls for a whole damn week.
Actually, I should probably be more specific. Wes Welker didn’t give Tony Carter enough time to clear a bouncing punt, which now makes Tony Carter look really dumb.
What a letdown, and what a silly way to lose a game. There’s just no rewriting that.
For thirty minutes of play, Manning/Brady 14 did not appear to have much of a chance of living up to billing. Of course, it was a matchup between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and Sunday night’s game did not disappoint.
But bouncing footballs were the stars of the show, rather than the future HOF quarterbacks.
The Broncos (9-2) stormed out to a 24-0 lead, allowed the Patriots (8-3) to score 31 straight points, and then forced overtime with a fourth-quarter touchdown drive, before ultimately succumbing in a 34-31 (Gamebook) classic.
Inactives: Broncos - Julius Thomas, Champ Bailey, Ronnie Hillman, Michael Huff, J.D. Walton, Chris Kuper, Zac Dysert
Patriots - S Steve Gregory, DL Chris Barker, WR Josh Boyce, DL Jake Bequette, DL Marcus Forston, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, and LB Steve Beauharnais
For the third straight week, Kansas City's
overrated vaunted defense allowed over 400 yards, and the Chargers (5-6) knocked off the Chiefs (9-2) in an epic 41-38 shootout.
Philip Rivers threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns, including a last-minute 26-yarder to Seyi Ajirotutu, giving the Broncos a chance to take sole possession of first place in the AFCW tonight with a win at New England.
Happy Sunday, friends. I had some time materialize on my calendar yesterday, so I used it to watch the Patriots’ last two games.
In Week 9, they hung a franchise-worst 55 points on the Steelers, and won 55-31, and in Week 11, they lost a hard-fought game to the Panthers, on what was frankly a screwjob call by the officials as the clock expired.
The Steelers game was a clear outlier among a ragged group of offensive performances this season, and everything worked well in that game, as they had for Patriots teams of past years. Against the better Panthers defense, the Patriots had a harder time stringing together the drives they had two weeks earlier.
Denver/KC was billed as the game of the year, or even among the best of all-time, based solely upon the teams' W/L records.
But in reality, these were the squads ranked 3rd and 16th in overall efficiency according to Brian Burke's rankings.
In other words, it was something of a mismatch, and it played out precisely that way (not that these things always do).
Monday night's showdown between the rising Panthers and always contending Patriots turned out the better matchup, and may have been the season's best game to date.
It’s simple: keep Peyton Manning clean, the Broncos win.
It’s true when he’s healthy. It’s true when he’s feeling a little average. And it’s true when his ankle is as hurt as an Alex Smith checkdown.
The Broncos just restored order to the NFL with their 27-17 win, which could have been a lot more lopsided. The NFL simply can’t have teams like the Chiefs masquerading around like a legitimate Super Bowl contender.