Final: Kansas City 29, Denver 13
It was a bitter-sweet day for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, although, admittedly, mainly bitter, as the Chiefs come into Sports Authority Field at Mile High and demolish Denver. Of course, Manning entered the game only needing three yards to break Brett Favre’s passing yardage record, so one had to figure that he was going to hit that mark on his very first completion. He did so on a four yard out route to C.J. Anderson on his second drive in the first quarter. He finished the day with 71,871 total passing yards in his career, and there is a chance that this might be the final tally forever; but more on that later.
Manning was intercepted four times in this game and benched in favor of Brock Osweiler in the third quarter of this contest. In fact, he actually completed fewer passes to his own team beyond the line of scrimmage (3) than he did the defense (4). That’s right, the Chiefs got the “sheriff” a total of four times in this one. Manning finished the game a dismal 5/20 for 35 yards with that handful of thrown interceptions. His quarterback rating for the game? A 0.0. This has not happened in the league since 2004 when Jeff Garcia did it. So clearly, besides the historic achievement of breaking Brett Farve’s passing record, this was a truly forgettable day for Mr. Manning.
Let’s not forget to hand out credit where credit is due, however. The Kansas City Chiefs played a heck of a game on both sides of the ball. They thrived in the passing game much more so than they did against Denver in Week 2. Of course, the absence of cornerback Aqib Talib from this one helped. Nevertheless, they were able to find success throwing the ball as well as running it. Charcandrick West compiled 152 total yards from scrimmage and scored twice, including an 80 yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to seal the game. Cairo Santos connected on five of his six attempted field goals on the afternoon as well. He is an underrated kicker in this league, if there is such a thing.
As solid as the Chiefs offense looked, it was the defense that became the story of the game. The secondary put out one of the best performances out of any team on the season. Denver receivers struggled to get open and their running game got almost no traction whatsoever. Demaryius Thomas was a no-factor while Peyton Manning was in the game. When Brock Osweiler came in, he was a bit more noticeable, but was still not making great separation. The tight ends were completely wiped out by the linebackers and the Denver offensive line was absolutely manhandled by the Kansas City pass rush. It was an all-around dominant effort by the Chiefs on the road.
Reports have surfaced after the game stating that Peyton Manning has suffered from Plantar Fasciitis. Obviously he won’t admit that the injury affected his play, but one has to think that it did not help the cause at all. Because of the injury, Manning may have to sit out next week against Chicago. Plantar Fasciitis is an injury that takes quite a long time to heal. He may not be able to shake this one for a bit. Also, Brock Osweiler needs to accumulate some real game action for some experience. Sitting Peyton seems like the best move at this point. It is widely believed that this could be Manning’s final season as well. If Osweiler can come in and produce immediately, there may be no need to go back to the future hall of famer. With that being said, there is an outside chance that this could have been Peyton’s last start in the NFL. They may return to him later in the year if the Arizona State product struggles. After all, he did not look overly impressive in this game against the Chiefs.
Denver could be fading fast here if the defense doesn’t get back to its old ways. Furthermore, let’s not count out the Chiefs just yet. They have split the season series with the Broncos and are climbing back to .500 with a manageable back-end to their schedule. If the defense can continue to play like they did in this contest, and Alex Smith can keep on playing mistake-free football, this could be a sleeper team to pay attention to in the AFC come playoff time.
- Even though he was awful on the day, Peyton Manning did manage to break Brett Favre’s passing record in this
game. He now is the NFL’s all-time leading passer with 71,871 yards
- The Kansas City defense recorded five interceptions in this game and allowed only 152 yards through the air
- Cairo Santos kicked at least five field goals for the second time in a game this season
- Peyton Manning was benched in favor of Brock Osweiler in the third quarter. The youngster did not look any more impressive in relief
- Marcus Peters intercepted Manning for the second time this year and continues to build a strong case for the rookie of the year award
- Even after this game, Alex Smith has not thrown an interception since Week 2 at Green Bay