Game Update: Chiefs vs. Broncos from The Mothership
In what has felt like a heavyweight championship boxing match, the Broncos struck the next blow of the game with a scoring drive of 10 plays, covering 79 yards in 4:18 as Broncos RB Montee Ball scored on a one-yard TD run. DEN 17 KC 7.
Alex and the Chiefs offense got a boost from its Pro Bowl RB
Jamaal Charles, who broke off a 35-yard rush, well into Broncos territory. Charles was spelled by rookie RB Knile Davis, who took a carry for seven yards, before an 11-yard reception from Smith. The Chiefs were knocking on the door, facing a third-and-goal from the Broncos one-yard line, where Jamaal was stopped by Denver LB Steven Johnson, leading to a 20-yard FG attempt and make by Chiefs K Ryan Succop. DEN 17 KC 10.
Week 11: Stats, Pics And Commentary from The Mothership
CHARLES CROSSES 7,000 SCRIMMAGE YARDS: RB
Jamaal Charlesrecorded 72 yards from scrimmage in Sunday night's game (78 rushing). He now owns 1,186 scrimmage yards for the 2013 season, giving him 7,004 career yards from scrimmage, becoming just the fifth player in franchise history to cross the 7,000-yard plateau.
CHIEFS RECORD BOOK - MOST SCRIMMAGE YARDS, CAREER
1. 10,954 Tony Gonzalez (14 rush, 10,940 rec.) 1997-08
2. 8,447 Priest Holmes (6,070 rush, 2,377 rec.) 2001-07
3. 7,467 Otis Taylor (161 rush, 7,306 rec.) 1965-75
4. 7,384 Larry Johnson (6,015 rush, 1,369 rec.) 2003-09
5. 7,004 Jamaal Charles (5,339 rush, 1,665 rec.) 2008-13
KCChiefs.com Photo Gallery: Chiefs vs Broncos Game Photos
KCChiefs.com Video: Postgame With Reid Ferrin And Mitch Holthus
KCChiefs.com Video: GameDay: Chiefs vs Broncos Highlights
KCChiefs.com Video: Dante Hall - A Look Back
NFL.com Video: Chiefs Postgame Press Conference
Puh-Leeze: Chiefs' Defense Could Have Used A Teeny Tiny Bit Of Help From Offense from FS Kansas City
Beating Manning doesn't have anything to do with sacks. Beating Manning has everything to do with containing him and getting your defense off the field as often as possible.
The Chiefs did just that for much of the game Sunday night. In fact, during the most critical part of the game -- when the Chiefs trailed just 17-10 late in the second quarter and through much of the third quarter -- the Chiefs played tough defense against Manning and got off the field.
You Can't Pin Loss To Broncos Entirely On Alex Smith from FS Kansas City
The only thing Dexter McCluster caught consistently was grief. There was no one between Donnie Avery and Mount Evans on a beautiful first-half seam route, and the cat still whiffed on the grab.
Anthony Sherman, alone in the flat, fielded a swing pass deep in Denver territory and fumbled the ball right back to the hosts, killing a gift-wrapped shot at early momentum.
And Dwayne Bowe: 14 targets, four receptions.
Hang on, hang on, hang on. How is Denver 27, Chiefs 17 somehow Alex Smith's fault?
The NBC broadcast gave the previously undefeated Chiefs a lot of credit for staying competitive, but this was probably Denver's most comfortable win since Week 4 against Philadelphia. Denver's defense is a different group whenVon Miller and Wesley Woodyard are on the field at the same. The Broncos could have the fastest linebacker group in football.
Kansas City Chiefs Get Nothing For Moral Victory from NFL.com
The good news for the Chiefs: There will be no talk this week of being "exposed" as a fraudulent contender by Peyton Manning. The Kansas City defense didn't succeed in putting Manning on his back, but it did keep him from taking the game over. Manning threw for 318 yards but just one touchdown pass -- a season low.
Chiefs' Loss Doesn't Spell Doom from Chiefs Spin
Relax, Chiefs fans.
The team wasn't going 16-0 and Sunday night's 27-17 loss to the Denver Broncos isn't the end of the world.
It's also not a big surprise.
The evening featured a tough road game against Peyton Manning. And no matter how anybody tries to slice it following the loss, the Chiefs are 9-1 and tied for first in the AFC West with the Broncos.
Recap: Manning Leads Broncos To 27-17 Win Over KC from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
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.
Rapid Reaction: Kansas City Chiefs from ESPN
The Chiefs fell behind by 10 points at two different junctures in the first half. That's the first time this season they have trailed by more than a touchdown. Predictably, things didn't go well after that for the Chiefs, who were never able to catch up. Entering the game the Chiefs had not scored a touchdown on offense in six quarters. They managed two touchdowns against the Broncos, one coming with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
It's True, Kansas City Chiefs Really Are NFL Frauds from The Denver Post
Kansas City was never the main threat to the Broncos for AFC supremacy. That is the job more suited to New England.
You served a noble purpose, forcing the Broncos to earn a victory that was more grit than glamour.
Now, go sit on the porch, young pups, and leave the real AFC fight to the big dogs.
Locker Room Buzz: Kansas City Chiefs from ESPN
Two starters on the offensive and defensive lines were injured in the defeat. Right tackle Eric Fisher injured his shoulder, guard Jon Asamoah his calf, defensive end Mike DeVito sprained his knee and defensive end Tyson Jackson strained his abdomen. Fisher, DeVito and Jackson were scheduled for MRIs.
Chiefs Lose But Can Still Learn From It from The Associated Press via ABC News
No reason to be embarrassed by losing to Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Denver on Sunday night, even if they were the last unbeaten team in the NFL.
Indeed, the argument could be made that the Chiefs played well enough in a 27-17 loss that they have legitimate hope when the two teams meet two weeks from now in a rematch in Kansas City.
That, of course, will be predicated on finding some more offense because no one is going to beat the Broncos without putting a healthy number of points on the scoreboard.
Hobbled Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos Run Over Chiefs For AFC's Top Spot from The Denver Post
The Broncos were up 17-7, but again Smith steadily led the Chiefs on a time-consuming march until they had a first-and-goal advantage at the 2.
Running play left. Run up the middle. Running play right. Denver's defense stacked up all three runs - and the Chiefs settled for a short field goal. The Broncos were still up 17-10, but on their next four possessions, Manning's offense left the field frustrated.
Broncos' Defense Struts Its Stuff In Beating Chiefs from The Denver Post
With the Chiefs and the Broncos both 9-1, a tiebreaker to decide the champions of the AFC West and the No. 1 seed in the AFC becomes a genuine issue. It's quite possible that the common opponents of the Broncos and the Chiefs could be brought into play.
And there have been a lot of common - very common - opponents on both schedules.
Perhaps it says something about the Broncos' season and how high the bar has been set that Manning had his ninth 300-yard passing game and the Broncos were "held" to 427 yards and 27 points, and it all still went down as a rough-around-the-edges affair. But it was just that at times, with Manning nursing an injured right ankle encased in a brace.
The Broncos needed something else. They needed to run for more than decoration on offense and they needed their defense, a defense that has enjoyed life in the jet wash of the Broncos' offense for much of the season, to stand up and raise its hackles.
They needed their defense to roll up its sleeves and get to work.
Loss To Broncos Exposes Possibly Fatal Flaw In Chiefs' Game from Sports Illustrated
The Chiefs (9-1) didn't fail miserably in this big-stage setting, but they did fail. And the skeptics will say this is what happens when Reid's team isn't facing a backup quarterback, as it seemed to do so often over the course of its somewhat charmed season. Or they will say that this is what happens when the Chiefs' running game doesn't dominate, their pass rush doesn't overwhelm, and their game-manager quarterback (Alex Smith) doesn't have a lead to preserve and protect. This game illustrated that Kansas City's margin of error is relatively small on offense, and it can't survive against good teams when it turns the ball over in the red zone (as it did on fullback Anthony Sherman's fumble at Denver's 16-yard line in the first quarter), or settles for chip-shot field goals (a 20-yarder by Ryan Succopin the second quarter) instead of touchdowns.
The Chiefs were never really out of this game, but in some ways, it felt as if they were never really in it, either.
Broncos O-Line Quiets Critics In Handing Chiefs First Loss from USA Today
As both teams move to 9-1, it sets up what should be an epic rematch at Arrowhead Stadium in two weeks.
Perhaps things will be different for the Chiefs defense then, with a raucous crowd on their side. But the questions about Kansas City's offense will likely remain. In another chance to match scores with Manning, will Alex Smith and the Chiefs do a better job of keeping up?
"These games keep getting bigger," Smith said.
In Beating Chiefs, Peyton Manning, Broncos Re-Establish Top Status from Sports Illustrated
It may be enough to help the Broncos win their third Super Bowl and Manning his second. The Chiefs entered the game with the best record in the NFL. They left as the second-best team in their own division. The Broncos' 27-17 win over the Chiefs was not a blowout, but it was a methodical dismantling. Denver simply numbed Kansas City into a nap.
And if the Chiefs are discouraged, they ought to stop reading.
"We can play better," Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas said. "We're glad that we won, but we can play a lot better."
Chiefs Check Broncos Offense, But Still Lose Ground In AFC West from The Denver Post
It was little consolation for the Kansas City Chiefs that they held the Broncos to their lowest point total of the season Sunday night.
Or that in the 27-17 loss to Denver, the Chiefs looked like a legitimate threat in the AFC West, rather than what many in Colorado seemed to think they were - a team coming in undefeated mainly because of a soft schedule and a parade of backup quarterbacks playing for opponents.
"Listen, we played a good football team and they got us today," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid. "We'll bounce back, we'll learn from our mistakes. There are plenty of things we can learn from here and get those fixed."
Broncos Bring Nasty Attitude At Altitude, Stifle Chiefs from The Los Angeles Times
Eleven weeks of NFL Sundays are in the books, and this much is undeniable:
The Denver Broncos knocked the NFL's last remaining undefeated team off its perch Sunday night, beating the visiting Kansas City Chiefs, 27-17, to claim a share of first place in the AFC West.
Manning And Broncos Hand Chiefs First Defeat from The New York Times
Somewhat surprisingly, the Chiefs let Smith pass at will. Known as an efficient game manager, Smith had only thrown nine touchdown passes coming into Sunday's game, and the Chiefs have leaned heavily on running back Jamaal Charles.
But with a green light to throw, Smith showed success at times, finding receiver Dwayne Bowe repeatedly in the first half. After driving from deep in Chiefs territory in the first quarter, Smith connected with Bowe on a 6-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Broncos' lead to 10-7.
It was one of two touchdown passes for Smith, who finished 21 of 45 for 230 yards. He also rushed for 25 yards on five carries.
Primetime Letdown from Warpaint Illustrated
The biggest knock on Reid when he was head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles was his play calling and lack of aggression. With the Chiefs down 17-7 and facing a fourth down from the one-yard line, instead of going for it, he kicked a field goal.
At the end of the first half with a mile high breeze and a free play that extended the half, he didn't at least attempt a 64-yard field goal by Ryan Succop. Had he made it the Chiefs would have been down 17-13 at halftime.
Forget about the rematch against the Denver Broncos in two weeks. There's only one game on the Kansas City Chiefs' schedule that matters now, and it's next Sunday's meeting with the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs have to get their swagger back. They haven't played their game in several weeks, and on Sunday night they paid for it by losing for the first time this season, 27-17 to the Broncos.
Is Peyton Manning's Clock Ticking from ESPN
The message was clear. The Chiefs might be good. They might challenge the Broncos for the AFC West crown. They might have the superior defense. But for the division and presumably a first-round playoff bye, it is going to be a fight to the finish, because while a healthy Alex Smith is good, even a seriously hobbled Peyton Manning is better.
Broncos Expose Chiefs In AFC West Showdown from The Colorado Springs Gazette
In their performance, the Chiefs were nice.
If the Chiefs were a soccer match, they would be a friendly. If they were a Hollywood blockbuster, a Liam Neeson thriller is ideal - worth watching, but nothing R-rated.
This was as clear as the Colorado sky: the AFC West is, was and will be, for as long as Peyton Manning plays football in Denver, the Broncos to lose.