1. The Chiefs hung with the Broncos to the final play
Despite the two touchdown spread on the game, the Chiefs managed to hang with Denver up until the very last play.
The Broncos kicked a field goal to extend their lead to 24-17 with 3:27 left. The Chiefs got the ball back and drove all the way to the Broncos 30-yard line with under two minutes remaining.
Alex Smith dropped back to pass and was drilled from his blind side, fumbling the ball with the Broncos recovering ... BUT the refs reviewed the play and determined that it was actually an incomplete pass by Smith, NOT a fumble. Incredible reversal. A Smith-to-Bowe pass then got the Chiefs inside the 10-yard line.
The Chiefs finally moved to a fourth and goal at the 2-yard line. With the game on the line, Smith's pass was batted down at the line. What a way to lose.
2. Punting on 4th-and-1 at midfield is questionable
The Chiefs faced a fourth down and about a half yard to go at midfield midway through the second quarter. The Chiefs were trailing the Broncos 14-10 and at the time had over 100 rushing yards averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Andy Reid chose to punt the ball there. Immediately everyone pointed to that as a huge mistake for the Chiefs head coach. Reid punted it away and the Broncos got it back and did what everyone expected -- drove back down and scored a touchdown before halftime. The Chiefs entered the half down 21-10 after that.
3. Chiefs have a kicker problem
The Chiefs started the second half with an 18-play drive that last a whopping 10 minutes. Just an amazing drive for the Chiefs -- except for the result. Kicker Cairo Santos missed the field goal on the drive so all that work and the Chiefs ended up with nothing.
Most impressive was that the Chiefs completed five third down conversions on the drive. Three of them came from Alex Smith passes, including an 11 and 18-yard conversion. Two more came by penalty. But all that was for naught with the missed field goal.
Reid indicated after the game that they would be sticking with Santos.
4. Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry injured
Charles took a handoff up the middle which didn't go anywhere. Broncos S TJ Ward pushed Charles down from his head area. Charles got up and slightly limped off the field. Doctors then looked at his left ankle on the sidelines. He later left the field and went to the locker room. Knile Davis saw some good work with Charles out, carrying the ball 22 times for 79 yards.
No word on how serious Berry's ankle injury is. He left in the second quarter. He was replaced by Ron Parker, who has played cornerback for the Chiefs. Remember, Berry had the heel injury during preseason. We are not sure yet if that's related.
5. The refs kind of sucked
The Chiefs were out of their challenges by the second quarter. Andy Reid was successful on the first one -- a ruling that gave the Chiefs a first down with a short reception from Knile Davis inside the 10-yard line ruled a catch. The second one was questionable but it was whether Demaryius Thomas fumbled the ball. CBS referee expert Mike Carey said the play was "as tight" as it could be but the refs decided to keep their ruling on the field that Thomas did not catch the ball therefore there was no fumble. Then there was the offsides call at the two minute warning which I don't even...
6. Catch of the season so far from Anthony Fasano
I'll never know how he came down with the catch. On 3rd-and-2, Smith's pass was slightly long but Fasano tipped it back to himself, tumbled and somehow kept the ball from hitting the ground and making the reception. You will see replays of this for a while. Fasano is more of a run blocker for the Chiefs but he does have good enough hands that he's not a liability running routes. This catch demonstrates that.
7. Can't blame Chiefs for all of Peyton Manning's TD passes
The first TD pass to Julius Thomas (Eric Berry in coverage) and the third TD to Demaryius Thomas (Chris Owens in coverage) were simply perfect throws that could not be stopped. Those plays could not be defended.
Other things we saw during the game
- First play of the game: Emmanuel Sanders 48-yard pass from Peyton Manning. Marcus Cooper was in coverage.
- Julius Thomas scored on a fade route with Eric Berry in coverage. The coverage was fine but the pass was perfect. That's four touchdowns in two weeks for Thomas.
- 25-yard run by Knile Davis the first play after filling in for Jamaal. Excellent block by Eric Fisher and the offensive line on the play to create a huge hole.
- The Broncos had an 80-yard screen to Demaryius Thomas called back to a penalty (or he might've stepped out of bounds -- either way, really long play).
- New Chiefs DT Kevin Vickerson got into the backfield and drilled Montee Ball for a loss.
- Alex Smith had a 25-yard run on a 3rd-and-4, which is awesome to see.
- It's currently the second quarter and I can't remember hearing Justin Houston or Tamba Hali's name.
- Great to see Rodney Hudson 15 yards down the field blocking on one run play for Knile Davis.
- Donnie Avery had a 39-yard catch brought back due to a penalty.
- The Chiefs had three tight ends in on one play -- Demetrius Harris caught it for a first down.
- Facing a third down where they needed a stop, the Chiefs actually stopped one of the Broncos pick plays. Chris Owens did a great job recognizing it to stop the receiver from scoring.
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