They did it. The Kansas City Chiefs finally beat the Denver Broncos with Peyton Manning (until he was benched). The Chiefs won the game, 29-13 and move to 4-5 on the season, just one game out of the AFC playoff picture. The Broncos move to 7-2 on the season with their second straight loss.
Here's what we learned today...
Finally, the Chiefs beat the Broncos
This is the first win for the Alex Smith-Andy Reid Chiefs against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. It's only the second time the Chiefs have ever beaten Manning (the other time coming back in 2004). It's a big deal for the Chiefs to beat Manning given the way he has owned KC in the past three years.
It's also great that the Chiefs won on this day...
One pic sums up the game
The day Peyton Manning was benched
That's what everyone will remember this day as. The day that Peyton Manning was benched. They made the move in the third quarter of the game as the Chiefs were up 22-0. I doubt it's for the rest of the season, although Brock Osweiler was obviously better today. It is surprising to me simply because Manning celebrated the all-time passing yards record in the first quarter. It's just odd to think that he would be benched two quarters later.
Manning threw four interceptions on the day. He was clearly not the same quarterback he has been in the past. I know his stats are worse this year but, boy, this was the worst I've ever seen him look. The physical skills are obviously eroding but it was some of the mental mistakes that surprised me.
The best part? Hearing the Broncos fans boo Manning and cheer Osweiler.
Wait, the best part is actually that both Peyton and Ryan Leaf had 0.0 QB ratings against the Chiefs.
Actually, no. The BEST part is Peyton breaking the passing record and then hearing the fans boo him off the field one drive later.
That stat line pic.twitter.com/0PJ5taGJRw— Arrowheads Abroad (@KCChiefs_UK) November 16, 2015
We will forever be known as the team that got Peyton benched. https://t.co/fmSAxufUWx— Clay Wendler (@ClayWendler) November 15, 2015
The Chiefs defense is getting good at the perfect time
The Chiefs four games before this they had given up 10, 13, 16 and 18 points. It's becoming clear that the first month of the season was an anomaly and that the Chiefs defense is much better than that. They're not a 30 points per game defense; more like a top 10 defense. Manning is clearly worse but also credit the Chiefs defense for playing as well as they did.
Great day from Eric Berry
He had an interception but it was more than that. I can think of three different plays where he blew up the receiver, including one that would've been a long gain down the middle of the field. Berry is most definitely back.
Best I've ever seen Eric Berry play today. Flying all over the field— Sully (@SullyFootball) November 16, 2015
Some perspective on Alex Smith's game
It was interesting to see that I had more tweets from folks complaining about Alex Smith than I did from those saying the Chiefs defense was playing well. I'll just say that this is the defense that held Aaron Rodgers to 77 yards passing and Joe Flacco to 117 yards and two interceptions.
Sure, Smith did not have a great game but he also didn't really have to with the way his defense was playing. Sometimes you need a quarterback not to screw it up and that's basically what Smith did today. And sometimes when you're winning by four touchdowns you don't complain so mucha bout what went wrong.
Chiefs remaining schedule
The Chiefs are 4-5. They probably need to get to 9-7 to have a shot at the playoffs. How many more wins do you see here?
Week 11: @ San Diego Chargers (Nov. 22, 3:25 p.m., CBS)
Week 12: Buffalo Bills (Nov. 29, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 13: @ Oakland Raiders (Dec. 6, 3:05 p.m., CBS)
Week 14: San Diego Chargers (Dec. 13, 12 p.m, CBS)
Week 15: @ Baltimore Ravens (Dec. 20, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 16: Cleveland Browns (Dec. 27, 12 p.m., CBS)
Week 17: Oakland Raiders (Jan. 3, 12 p.m., CBS)