Broncos Report Card vs. Kansas City

Even though the Denver Broncos will have a tough time making the playoffs even if they win out, they looked motivated to play their best game on Sunday against Kansas City and did. The Broncos are still holding onto the hope they can sneak into the playoffs.

REPORT CARD VS. CHIEFS

PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler had his best game, statistically. He threw four touchdowns with no interceptions. He made great decisions the entire game and didn't throw any passes that were in jeopardy of being turned over. The Broncos got a huge game from receiver Brandon Marshall, who had two touchdowns and is turning into one of the best young receivers in the NFL.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A-minus -- Broncos tailback Selvin Young had a huge first half with 144 yards on 11 carries. Travis Henry added a touchdown in a relief role. Denver had more than 200 yards rushing as a team, even though it didn't do much damage on the ground after halftime.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- Denver got after Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle with four sacks. Croyle had 132 passing yards. Champ Bailey had an interception that set up a touchdown. The only Chiefs player to have a productive game Sunday was tight end Tony Gonzalez, who scored Kansas City's only touchdown and had 76 yards. The Broncos have had some issues covering tight ends this season, but it isn't cause for alarm this week considering how good they were against everyone else.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Broncos were fantastic against Chiefs running back Kolby Smith. Smith had 12 yards on 13 carries. Kansas City had 16 yards on 17 carries as a team. That was the third-lowest average the Broncos have allowed in their franchise history. Denver often played eight in the box, and the Chiefs had no counter for it.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Denver covered kicks very well, with Jamie Winborn leading the way with four special-teams tackles. Aside from a notoriously bad game against Chicago a couple weeks ago, the Broncos' special teams have played very well after a slow start this season.

COACHING: A -- As Kansas City showed, teams can be prone to terrible efforts late in the season. Even though the Broncos will have a tough time making the playoffs even if they win out, they looked motivated to play their best game on Sunday and did. The Broncos are still holding onto the hope they can sneak into the playoffs.



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