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Strong Defensive Effort Not Enough to Overcome Manning, Broncos

Posted Nov 25, 2012

An early lead, a relentless Chiefs defense and the accurate foot of K Ryan Succop couldn’t outlast the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos, who defeated the Chiefs 17-9 at Arrowhead.

The Chiefs let it be known early, they wanted to run the ball. Kansas City opened the game with three-consecutive plays on the ground to move the chains. The following set of downs saw Chiefs QB Brady Quinn go to the air, connecting with WR Dexter McCluster for a seven-yard gain and three plays later, McCluster matriculated the ball around the right end for 19 more yards.

The Chiefs later faced a third and three on Denver’s 16-yard line, where Chiefs RB Peyton Hillis’ pass attempt to Brady Quinn fell well short, a foreshadow of struggles that plagued the passing game all day.

Enter Succop, who made good on a 34-yard field goal, his first of three makes on the day. 3-0 KC.

Denver QB Peyton Manning’s first touch of the football came with 9:20 on the clock, when he handed off to RB Knowshon Moreno, who was stopped after two yards by Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson. On the very next play, Manning threw short to Moreno, who DJ stopped again, this time for a loss of four yards. The Broncos were forced to punt two plays later.

Facing a third and four on their next drive, Quinn hit Chiefs TE Tony Moeaki for 19 yards and a first down. Three plays later, Kansas City again called on Succop for points and he delivered, this time from 22 yards out.

Two drives, two field goals and the Chiefs led early, 6-0.

Manning’s second drive began on his own 47-yard line, where Chiefs LB Justin Houston sacked him for an eight-yard loss. The 36-year old QB then operated out of shotgun formation on his next three snaps and found success (completions of five, 29 and eight yards). However, the Chiefs defense and a Broncos penalty forced Denver into a field goal attempt by K Matt Prater, who missed from 47 yards out.

The first quarter ended with Kansas City holding to a 6-0 lead and dominating the time of possession, 10:23 to Denver’s 4:37 with the ball.

The Chiefs were unable to move the ball effectively on their drive that opened the second quarter. Denver’s next drive began on its 20-yard line. Five plays later, the Chiefs defense again stepped up.

Manning attempted to connect with WR Eric Decker but Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers had other plans. Shifting into a higher gear, Flowers accelerated to intercept Manning’s overthrow, he then tossed a lateral to S Abram Elam, who ran an additional 10 yards.

The ensuing drive included two yellow flags against the Chiefs, which stalled the drive and led to a Dustin Colquitt 37-yard punt that pinned the Broncos on their own six-yard line.

Manning then showed what makes him a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Using both run and pass, Manning orchestrated the next five plays that put his team on the Chiefs 29-yard line with two minutes to play in the half.

Justin Houston had seen enough and imposed his will over the would-be blockers to drop Manning for a four-yard loss, his second sack of the day. However, just like the Chiefs said all week, Manning gets knocked down and gets right back up, which he did and four plays later he found TE Jacob Tamme for a seven-yard TD.

Denver’s 11-play drive covered 94 yards and lasted 4:57, giving them a 7-6 lead at the half.

Time of possession in the second quarter was nearly even, Denver 7:31, Kansas City 7:29.

The Broncos opened the third quarter with a drive that took them to the Kansas City 15-yard line. Unable to convert on a third and four, Prater then missed his second kick of the day, this one from 33 yards out.

The Chiefs began their first drive of the half with a healthy dose of RB Jamaal Charles, who ran for five and 11 yards on his first two carries of the second session.

Charles had three more carries on the drive that covered 14 yards, leading to a third and seven on Denver’s 37-yard line. Quinn connected with WR Dwayne Bowe, one yard short of the first down.

Succop split the uprights again, his third and final field goal, from 49-yards out. Chiefs lead 9-7.

Manning led the Broncos on the very next drive and used 2:54 to go 80 yards, ending with a 30-yard TD pass down the left sideline to TE Demaryius Thomas. Denver leads 14-9.

The score remained the same into the fourth quarter and with eight minutes left, Kansas City’s defense and the Kingdom noise helped to force a three and out, giving Quinn and the offense another shot.

However, the Kansas City offense wasn’t able to move the ball, was forced to punt and didn’t see the pigskin again until :14 seconds remained on the clock.

Manning and the Broncos used a 12-play, 68-yard drive that lasted 6:10 and ended with 34-yard FG by Prater. Denver leads 17-9.

Trailing by eight points with one second to play, the game ended in the hands of Broncos S David Bruton, who intercepted Quinn’s Hail Mary attempt.

Kansas City, now 1-10, will play for that elusive home win next week against the Carolina Panthers, who are in Philadelphia on Monday night to face off against the Eagles.

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