Here's a quick list of Denver's inactives – S Vernon Fox, RB Ryan Torain, LB Louis Green, DT Dewayne Robertson, T Erik Pears, G Dylan Gandy, WR Darrell Jackson and DT Josh Shaw.
Time for a little caffeine… grab what you need and get it together - it's just around the corner. Be sure to refresh throughout the game to grab all the latest madness...
KC takes the kick and immediately the flags fly. You gotta feel sorry for Herm Edwards. Ok, maybe not – Larry Johnson just busted a quick 65-yarder through the middle of the Broncos ultra-soft D line. Here we go again…inside the 20 and the Chiefs are knocking on the door quick. First and goal just inside the 10 – thanks again to Johnson. KC being KC stalls out, but it's good enough for a Nick Novak chip shot from 23. Broncos trail the Chiefs 3-0. This is the first time all season the Chiefs have had a lead in a game. The fact that it came against the Broncos kind of bites.
Broncos game plan should be pretty obvious – Cutler's taking on the Chiefs secondary. Perfect shot to Eddie Royal – and he coughs it up. Crowd is pumped…KC takes over on the Broncos 26 and there's still a heartbeat at Arrowhead.
Everybody's favorite QB is at the helm and Damon Huard gets them moving – 17-yard strike to Bowe moves it to the 12. I'm starting to feel a headache coming on. Johnson off tackle for 8 and KC's down to the 4-yard line before the defense tightens up. Novak's back for another easy one and the Chiefs extend the lead 6-0.
The sound you just heard was me kicking myself for laying out 9.5 on this one.
Cutler and Co. are back… and they're starting to make some progress. A few short ones and they move the chains for the first time in the game (you gotta be positive here). Up the middle for one – incomplete to Sheffler and a QB sack… so much for being positive. Kern shanks the punt and KC gets another short field.
Quarter comes to a close with the Chiefs embarrassing everyone in a Broncos uniform.
I keep waiting for the Chiefs to implode but it's just not happening. Huard moves it into Denver territory but stalls it at the Broncos 30. Can Novak hit it from 48-yards out? Not this time - Broncos catch a break – wide right. I'm back looking for the positives.
Cutler's taking a beating in the backfield. O line just got tagged for holding…what a shock. Roll out to Graham and he drops it. Second and 20 and the misery continues. Selvin Young up the middle for one if they get a good spot. Short toss to Pittman and he breaks it loose for 40 big ones. First signs of life all day. Dink and dunk moves it to the 16 where the Marshal connection comes through again… FABULOUS leaping catch in the end zone for the score. I may be able to stop sweating soon. Broncos on top 7-6.
Rookie on rookie – Spenser Larson decapitates Dantrell Savage on the kick return. You gotta check this one out on Sportscenter – it almost made me queasy.
Huard's back for more but the tide is turning. Broncos defense wakes up just in time to make things difficult. KC stalls it at their own 42 and is forced to punt. Kick rolls deep and JC will take it at the Broncos 5-yard line.
Near pick by Chiefs linebacker Jarrad Page stops the hearts of everyone on the Broncos sideline. Quick recovery with Young breaking out 18 on the ground. Deep to Sheffler tacks on another 26 and we're starting to see some action. I take it back… Cutler give a quick underhand toss to Marshall in the backfield and it's a fumble – picked up by Brandon Flowers who takes it all the way to the Denver 2-yard line. Shanny challenges but it's still a fumble. KC ball on the 2.
The sleeping giant awakes – Johnson up the middle for a touchdown and the place is going crazy. Shanahan's got that deer in the headlights look. Chiefs take a 13-7 lead with just under 3:00 left in the half.
Nice 27-yard return by Andre Hall spots it at the 25… if it's going to happen it needs to happen now. Cutler to Marshall picks up ten. Cutler to Stokley busts 32-yards at the 2:00 warning. Quick shot to Eddie Royal adds 15 and the Broncos are on a roll. Back to Stokley for 8 followed up by back to back incompletions to Marshall. It's up to Matt Prater to save the day from 28-yards out. No go – wide right (here come the Jason Elam comparisons). Chiefs take over with a buck eighteen left on the clock.
Now they're under the gun - .35 sec in the half and JC's got it at the KC 42. Short toss to Royal for six – quick spike to stop the clock. Cutler to Graham for three, runs out of bounds, and the Broncos are looking at 4th and one from the 33. Here comes Prater (ouch) to attempt a 50-yarder. Whistles blow – false start on Polumbus moves it back another five (I bet Prater loves that). Now we're looking at a 56-yarder from the guy who just jacked from 26. No worries – Prater nails it and becomes everybody's new best friend. Half comes to a close with KC still on top – 13-10.
Broncos take the kick trailing the winless Chiefs by three- who would have thought. Another nice return by Hall – this one brings it out at to the 35. Cutler follows up with back to backs for Hall, moving it up five. Beautiful toss to Royal down the sideline on third and five – picks up 28. Cutler to Sheffler – ball bounces off his fingers. Incomplete to Royal streaking toward the end zone and the Broncos are looking at third and sixteen from the KC 38. Quick shot to Pittman adds five and Shanny's rolling the dice again – Prater hits it from 51-yards out. This guy deserves his own commercial. Game tied at 13-13 with a little over twelve minutes left in the quarter.
On a side note – injury report has Branden Albert dislocating his elbow. That's gotta be less than pleasant. I would have taken the cart too.
Broncos special teams gives up a chunk of real estate and Hurad starts the drive at the 37. Three Larry Johnson runs and two short passes and the Chiefs are looking to strike from the Denver 26. Not saying the Broncos defensive is looking awful – but Johnson's already broke 100-yards and we're midway through the third – you make the call. Novak makes a curtain call and nails it from 44-yards out – Cheifs back on top 16-13. It would have been so easy to play the points in this one… memo to myself: Broncos and point spreads don't mix.
Denver takes it at the 19. Cutler goes to the air – complete to Marshall who dances for 21-yards. Cutler to Clifford Russell who's not even aware he was involved in the play. Pass falls incomplete as everone in Arrowhead screams for offensive interference. The noise is deafening – Cutler is forced to call a time out in all the confusion… Screen to Graham falls incomplete and it brings up 3rd and ten. Cutler from the shotgun and its picked off by Derrick Johnson. Five dollars says Cutler didn't even see him. Chiefs resume the madness at the Broncos 40.
One and done – Larry Johnson fumbles after getting stripped by Champ Bailey and the Broncos get another shot at their own 45.
Two and done – Cutler tosses up his second INT of the game – a perfect shot to Brandon Carr. Chiefs get another crack…
Now it's getting sloppy – KC goes three and out and the Broncos go three and out. By looking at it, you certainly couldn't tell which team on the field came in here 3-0. Chiefs are exposing every weakness in the Broncos game plan. I repeat – the CHIEFS are doing this. I think I'm hypoglycemic…
Third quarter comes to an unceremonious end – Chiefs remain on top 16-13.
KC continues to drive it home moving into Denver territory. Huard hits Webb for a 15-yard gain, bringing it down to the Broncos 23. Quick toss to Bowe adds another 10 and these guys are unstoppable. Huard to the second greates tight end to ever play the game and Tony Gonzalez and the Chiefs open up a ten-point lead on the luckiest 3-0 team in the league.
The last three Broncos possessions have resulted in two interceptions and a punt… Cutler starts it off at the 22.
Shanny's breaking out the big guns – Cutler to Royal is the call of the drive. No huddle shotgun appears to be working and the Broncos are starting to move. Crossing it up between the rush and pass Cutler moves it down to the KC 3 facing third down. Everybody and their brother knows it's going to Royal – pass falls incomplete across the middle. Prater connects as a last resort and Denver narrows the gap 23-16. Fifteen plays, 75-yards and they walk away with 3 points – against the Chiefs. This is so hard to believe sober.
Where did these guys come from? Chiefs take the kick and promptly return it 51-yards before Champ Bailey finally tackles him. Clifford Russel gets nailed on the play and is still down on the field. Here comes the stretcher…jokes aside, this looks serious. Tremendous applause from the Chiefs crowd as he's taken off the field. The good sign is he waived slightly as he left… more info as it becomes available.
Chiefs look unstoppable – Hurad continues the march – nothing spectacular but it all seems to work. Beautiful strike to Gonzalez picks up 23. Three quick Johnson runs and Novak nails it AGAIN – back to a 10-point lead for the guys in red. Seven plays, 34-yards – maybe the Broncos should just gift wrap it next time and save all the effort.
Did I mention that the last time the Chiefs won at home was nearly a year ago?
Cutler's back at it – but the magic just isn't there. It's like Déjà Vu from Plummer's days – whole lot of dancing…very little points. Eight plays later Prater salvages what he can and the Broncos cut it to a 7-point Kansas City lead – 26-19 with just a shade over two minutes remaining. Way too little… way too late.
Onside kick works out about as well as anything else the Broncos tried – another short field for the Chiefs. Not that it matters at this stage – Larry Johnson just ran it in from 16-yards out and the embarrassment extends 33-19. Unfortunately KC only used .29 seconds off the clock so Cutler and Co. are forced to come out for one last hurrah.
Thanks to an illegal block above the waist call on Karl Paymah during the kick return, the Broncos take possession at their own 7-yard line. It's almost too painful to watch…
Any given Sunday – blah, blah, blah. No excuse at all. The fat lady's finished – Denver's reeling and Shanahan drops to 3-11 in the World's Noisiest Stadium. It's gonna be a long week in the 5280.
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