Broncos v. Chiefs Report Card

How did the Denver Broncos grade out in their 33-19 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday?

PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus - The Broncos had 361 yards passing, but the costly mistakes overshadowed that production. Quarterback Jay Cutler threw two interceptions. Receivers Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall each lost fumbles that led to Chiefs points. Cutler also misfired a few times in the red zone, which is a reason the Broncos had only one touchdown in four red-zone trips. RUSHING OFFENSE: C - The final numbers looked fine, with 94 yards on 22 carries. But 18 yards came on the final meaningless play of the game, and Denver never controlled the game on the ground. That was disappointing considering the Chiefs had been allowing more than 200 yards per game. PASS DEFENSE: B-minus - Damon Huard's numbers weren't great, with 160 yards on 28 attempts, but he was efficient. He completed 75 percent of his passes, had a key fourth-quarter touchdown to Tony Gonzalez and didn't throw an interception. Denver gave up too many yards through the air the past two weeks, and even though it contained Kansas City's passing game better, the big plays the Chiefs made were a difference in the game. RUSH DEFENSE: D - On the second play of the game, Chiefs running back Larry Johnson burst through the middle for a 65-yard gain. Even taking that run off the board, Johnson had 133 yards, or 198 total. The Broncos were already giving up too much in the passing game, now they have to add run defense to their list of concerns. SPECIAL TEAMS: D - The Broncos allowed some big plays at bad times. A 51-yard kickoff return after Denver cut Kansas City's lead to seven points in the fourth quarter was a momentum-killer. Matt Prater missed a 28-yard field goal, although he rebounded to hit four field goals. When Denver had a chance to get a final onside kick, the ball skipped out of Spencer Larsen's hands and was recovered by the Chiefs. COACHING: D - The pitfalls of having a young team is it's hard to convince them they can lose a game like they did Sunday. The Chiefs were 0-3 coming in, but played an inspired game. The team had letdowns in every facet of the game, and for the 11th time in 14 regular-season tries as Broncos coach, Mike Shanahan left Arrowhead Stadium with a loss.



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