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The Lake News Online
  • Chiefs lose to Broncos 27-17

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    • Five things we learned from Chiefs vs. Broncos
      Here are five things we learned from a game that featured the best combined record of two opponents this deep into the season since the NFL merger in 1970:

      PROTECTIVE BRONCOS...
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      Five things we learned from Chiefs vs. Broncos
      Here are five things we learned from a game that featured the best combined record of two opponents this deep into the season since the NFL merger in 1970:
      PROTECTIVE BRONCOS: There was some concern about Manning's long-term health coming into the game, given that the Broncos offensive line had allowed three blindside sacks and fumbles and an assortment of other blows to his lower legs over the previous three games. Tackles Chris Clark, Orlando Franklin and the rest of the line rose to the challenge against the league's leading sack team. Manning didn't get sacked. Didn't even really get his uniform dirty. "To go sackless against the leading sack defense in the NFL, that's a great testament to those guys," Manning said.
      STOUT CHIEFS: Granted, they gave up more points than they had all season, more than double the league-leading 12.8 they'd been allowing coming into the game. And yes, the Broncos still amassed 427 yards in offense. But the Chiefs' defense was hardly a pushover, the way so many defenses are when they come up against Manning and the Broncos. The Chiefs forced three three-and-outs, six punts and two field-goal attempts of more than 50 yards. They held an offense that adjusts at halftime and averages 24 points in the third and fourth quarters to 10 in the second half. And those 27 points? Might not seem great but it was Denver's lowest total of the season.
      VON WHO?: While so much of the talk about Denver's defense has revolved around Von Miller's absence and return, one of the players the Broncos brought in this season to augment the pass rush is putting up career numbers. Tenth-year veteran Shaun Phillips, formerly of San Diego, had a huge game: 10 tackles, two of those for loss, two quarterback hits, two deflected passes and 1½ sacks to bring his total to nine for the season. His career high was 11 1/2 in 2006.
      NOT BUILT FOR COMEBACKS: Good as they've been this season, the Chiefs don't score enough to hang with Denver. At least not yet. They average 23 points. They came into the week ranked 26th on converting trips inside the 20 into touchdowns. Though the offense grinded, Alex Smith was held to 230 yards and Jamaal Charles only gained 78 on the ground. Their formula of solid defense was good enough to win nine straight against weaker teams, but Andy Reid needs to figure out a way to squeeze a few more touchdowns out of this offense for the rematch.
      START THE SEARCH: Jack Del Rio is a popular guy these days and figures to keep getting more popular. The defensive coordinator-turned-interim head coach confirmed that he'd been contacted during the bye week by his alma mater, Southern Cal, which is searching for a new head coach. He insists his focus is in Denver. "Down the road, who knows where that goes," he said. If the college thing doesn't pan out, there could be some NFL offers rolling his way, as well, especially if he keeps going this way. He's 2-0 running things in Denver while John Fox recovers from heart surgery. The players like him and, so far, he's pulling all the right strings.
  • DENVER (AP) — Peyton Manning put more hits on the Kansas City Chiefs than they put on him.
    Manning saved a touchdown by tackling linebacker Derrick Johnson, and the Chiefs were utterly unable to return the favor Sunday night, failing to add to their NFL-leading sacks total in a 27-17 loss to the Denver Broncos.
    "Our plan was to get to the QB but the ball is coming out quick," Tamba Hali said. "He did a great job. Their team did a great job protecting him."
    The only time they got to Manning was in the postgame scramble to shake the four-time MVP's hand after he handed them their first loss of the season.
    "To go sackless against the leading sack defense in the NFL, that's a great testament to those guys," Manning said about his much-maligned offensive line that came under fire after he took such a beating of late.
    Manning had his ankles heavily taped but he wasn't hit or hurried by the Chiefs, who came into the game with a league-high 36 sacks and left the Rocky Mountains without adding to that number.
    "I thought he did a good job getting the ball out fast and I thought he worked the pocket well," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "There were times when we had pressure and you saw him slide and throw the opposite (way) which isn't an easy thing to do. Most guys wouldn't be able to get away with it."
    The Chiefs finally found a defense every bit as good as their own and ran into a quarterback they couldn't bring down.
    The teams are tied atop the AFC West at 9-1 with a rematch looming Dec. 1 at Arrowhead Stadium.
    This marked the first loss with the Chiefs for Reid, who fell to 13-2 after the bye, and for the 32 Chiefs who weren't a part of last year's 2-14 debacle.
    Although the Chiefs stifled Manning for much of the night, they never led in the game pitting teams with the best combined record this deep into the season since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
    Treating the four-time MVP like all those backups they beat up on over the last six weeks, the Chiefs had Manning flustered well into the second half, but he still finished with 323 yards passing, his eighth 300-yard game of the season, continually finding Wes Welker or Demaryius Thomas for timely big plays that set up scores.
    Julius Thomas caught a touchdown pass and rookie Montee Ball had two TD runs.
    Most disturbing of all for the Chiefs was that the Broncos took a page right out of Kansas City's playbook in locating two long-lost ingredients that are essential for any team with designs on winning a championship in today's pass-happy NFL: a good ground game and a stout defense.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Broncos only gained 104 yards on 36 carries for a 2.9-yard average, but it was enough and it was effective, keeping the chains moving and the pass rush off Manning.
    The Chiefs hadn't surrendered more than 17 points to any opponent all year, and the Broncos had that just 5:55 into the second quarter when Ball bulled his way in from a yard out for a 17-7 lead.
    Ball's 8-yard scamper in the third quarter made it 24-10.
    It was quite the comeback by Ball, who couldn't get the handle on a handoff from Manning in the first half and Johnson scooped it up and was rumbling toward the end zone for what would have been the Chiefs' sixth defensive TD when he was tackled by Manning at the Denver 18.
    On the next play, Anthony Sherman fumbled the ball right back as Quentin Jammer pounced on it at the 26.
    Manning then hit Demaryius Thomas for 70 yards, setting up Julius Thomas' 9-yard TD catch and a 10-0 Denver lead.
    Manning wore gloves on both hands with the temperature in the low 40s. Many of his passes were short and he finished 24 for 40. But he wasn't sacked and never even hurried.
    Alex Smith, on the other hand, was sacked three times and finished 21 for 45 for 230 yards and two TDs. His final six passes after making it a 10-point game with five minutes remaining went for minus-6 yards.
    Johnson didn't drudge off the field downtrodden, however.
    "They ran the ball a lot tonight and they got the ball out of Peyton's hands," Johnson said. "If we can get up on them or keep the score down a little bit (next time) ... they're coming to our house so it will be a lot better.
    "We'll get a handle on it. I'm not worried. We're not sitting back shocked like we're not this team that we thought we were. We're 9-1 and things are still looking up for the Chiefs."
    Notes: G Jon Asamoah (calf), T Eric Fisher (shoulder) and DE Mike DeVito (knee) left with injuries.

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