Talk about pressure – I hope the Broncos pull it out a little better than some of my picks on the early games.
Jake Plummer is definately under the microscope and offensively the team needs a big one to open up at home. One slip and they'll be busting out the "We want Cutler" chant.
This blog updates frequently so make sure to refresh your browser for the latest updates on Plummer's future employment in the Rocky Mountains.
Keeping it simple – four consecutive running plays by starter Tatum Bell move it to the 38-yard line but Plummer sails it over the head of Rod Smith and the Broncos offense come up lame on the opening drive. So much for a strong start….
KC on the other hand, schools Denver's defense in the fine art of the rush. Tackling seems to have been overlooked in practice this week as the Chiefs eat up the clock moving it to the red zone. On third and five from the Broncos six, Larry Johnson coughs it up thanks to a helmet by Nick Ferguson and Denver dodges a bullet.
Despite a few good gains by Mike Bell the Broncos offense hits the wall – neither team pulls off anything even resembling a threat. The Chiefs offense looks about as uneasy with Damon Huard as the Broncos look with Jake Plummer, which is NOT a good sign.
An uneventful quarter comes to a scoreless close.
Ohhhhhh – here we go again. After holding the Chiefs at midfield the Broncos let a punt slide inside the one-yard line and everybody holds their collective breath as Plummer begins a drive in prime pickoff territory.
Plummer must be blessed – an inch away from an interception turns into a 20-yard completion to Kyle Johnson and the Broncos begin to show some life. A nice toss to Javon Walker picks up twenty and a quick shot to Rod Smith moves Denver into Kansas City territory for the first time all afternoon.
Say hello to the blitz…. Mike Bell gets dropped in the backfield and on fourth and ten from the KC 26-yard line Shanahan sends in Mr. Dependable (Jason Elam) to light the scoreboard. Kick sails wide left and the quarter remains scoreless with just over three minutes remaining in the half. Nice way to blow a 71-yard drive
In ninety-one meetings between Denver and Kansas City, dating back to the old AFL days, there has never been a scoreless first half. Two minutes remain till that record falls. Time to head for the hot dog line…..
Ok, I should have known, the record stands… KC connects on a 29-yard field goal with nine seconds on the clock and the Broncos get shut out hard as the first half comes to a close.
Now I lost my place in the buffet line…. thanks.
FIRST HALF NUMBERS:
Plummer – 6/10 for 75-yards, no touchdowns – no interceptions
Huard – 11/12 for 88-yards, no touchdowns – no interceptions
Denver – 5 ( 2 rushing, 3 passing)
Kansas City – 10 (7 passing, 3 rushing)
Denver – 103-yards (28-yards rushing)
Kansas City – 159-yards (71-yards rushing)
Despite only three points on the board, the Chiefs are completely outplaying the Broncos. Larry Johnson runs circles around a confused looking secondary – pulling out 83-yards to this point. Although the drive stalls, the Chiefs have made their mark and Denver begins to look a little gun shy. Once again KC's special teams come up huge – drilling the punt inside the Broncos five-yard line. Another long field, another shot at a major screw up.
There you go.... Plummer picked off - you knew it had to happen. Pressure and Plumber are obviously not the best of friends. KC converts the turnover with their second field goal of the game and the downward spiral continues at Invesco Field.
On a side note – sales on Jay Cutler jerseys appear to be running neck and neck with Coors Light.
KC coughs it up again – Huard gets his pass tipped – catches it and promptly fumbles. This could be the spark that Denver needs, then again it could be an exercise in futility if Plummer can't pull off anything better than a three and out. Broncos take possession on their own 38-yard line.
Riding the wave Denver gathers some momentum with back to back end arounds to Javon Walker. Tatum Bell knocks out fourteen going around the right end and Denver moves it to the five-yard line where they stall out on a Plummer to Scheffler incompletion. Elam makes good from 23-yards out and the Broncos finally find the scoreboard – trailing 6-3.
Riding the wave Denver gathers some momentum with back to back end arounds to Javon Walker. Tatum Bell knocks out fourteen going around the right end and Denver moves it to the five-yard line where they stall out on a Plummer to Scheffler incompletion. Elam makes good from 23-yards out and the Broncos finally find the scoreboard – trailing 6-3 as the third quarter comes to a close.
After a KC drive stalls out at the 47-yard line Denver makes a move. Walker comes up huge with back to back catches of 15 and 13-yards. Mike Bell moves it near the goal and Denver faces a first and goal from the one-yard line. This should be easy, but then again these are the Broncos and nothing surprises me – Bell up the middle – a loss of three-yards. Plummer to Scheffler incomplete – Plummer to Stephan Alexander incomplete. Fourth and four – Elam connects on his second field goal to tie the score at 6-6.
The clock continues to wind down and 68,000+ fans have yet to see a touchdown on either side of the ball. Nothing changes on the Chiefs side – three and out – punt sails out of bounds on the Broncos 16-yard line. Nothing changes for Denver – three and out - punt falls at the 31-yard line after an illegal block on the Chiefs tacks on an additional fifteen.
KC holds the cards now, winding down the clock as they chip away, looking to inch closer to a possible field goal. After an 11-yard pickup by Larry Johnson – Ian Gold closes the door, dropping Johnson for a three-yard loss. Two straight Huard incompletions force the Chiefs to punt – but with .13 seconds remaining Shanahan elects to kneel it out rather than risk another possible Plummer interception. Probably the best coaching move of the afternoon.
Fourth quarter comes to a close and Denver prepares for its first overtime game of the season. What are the odds on anyone actually scoring a touchdown?
Broncos win the toss – Cerick Cobbs almost nails his fate fumbling the kick – eventually recovering it at the sixteen yard line.
They're on a roll – Plummer to David Kircus for fourteen, T-Bell off left tackle for twenty – Plummer to Walker for twenty-four and the Broncos find themselves on the Chiefs 25-yard line.
T-Bell looses one-yard, T-Bell no gain – T-bell picks up five, bringing up a fourth down opportunity for Elam to send it home from the 26-yard line.
After the obligatory time out to try and freeze the kicker, Denver's lone shot splits the uprights and the Broncos escape by the skin of their teeth with a boring, ugly, and undeserved 9-6 win.
Plummer – 16/30 for 173-yards, no touchdowns – one interceptions
Huard – 17/23 for 133-yards, no touchdowns – no interceptions
Denver – 18 (8 rushing, 9 passing)
Kansas City – 16 (9 passing, 9 rushing)
TOTAL NET YARDS:
Denver – 318-yards (145-yards rushing – 173-yards passing )
Kansas City – 276-yards (145-yards rushing – 131-yards passing )
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past ten years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.
Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
Schon: Broncos v. Chiefs Game Blog
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