Cutler's risky passes backfire against K.C.

Sunday wasn't Jay Cutler's best game. The Denver Broncos quarterback threw for 361 yards but had a pair of costly interceptions against Kansas City. Denver lost 33-19.

One interception, to Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson, came on a third-and-long. The next one was tougher to explain, because Cutler rolled to his left, then threw all the way back to receiver Brandon Marshall. Chiefs rookie Brandon Carr picked off the pass.

"Bad decisions," Cutler said.

Marshall said he deserved some of the blame for the second interception.

"That was a ball that I misjudged," Marshall said.

Cutler has a great arm, and one of the reasons he is among the best quarterbacks in the NFL so far this season is he is willing to take a chance. The Broncos know that they will have to live with some plays where Cutler tries to make a big play and gets burned.

Against Kansas City, the Broncos offense not only had four turnovers but didn't play well in the red zone, scoring only one touchdown. Cutler said the defense, which allowed 33 points, didn't deserve the blame for the loss.

"We put them in some holes offensively, especially me with back-to-back picks," Cutler said. "We left them on the field a long time."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Jay Cutler faces a Buccaneers team that is ranked 21st in pass defense. However, Tampa Bay is tied for the NFL lead with eight interceptions. Cutler has to be more careful with the ball than he was against Kansas City.

--RB Selvin Young posted a solid stat line against Kansas City, with 11 carries for 49 yards. But the Broncos never controlled a previously poor Chiefs defense on the ground. This week, Young goes against a Buccaneers defense that is allowing less than 100 rushing yards per game.

--RB Andre Hall couldn't play for most of the second half Sunday with a sprained wrist. Hall said he wants to play, and coach Mike Shanahan said he should be fine, but he'll probably have to practice and prove he can hold onto the ball with his bad wrist.

--WR Brandon Marshall caught a touchdown against Kansas City, but he also lost a key fumble. Marshall should continue to post big numbers because Jay Cutler continues to look his way, even when he's facing tight coverage.

--WR Eddie Royal had his second 100-yard game in four weeks. As long as Denver keeps passing the ball as often as it has, Royal will post solid numbers. He just won't be too consistent because he isn't the top option in the passing offense.

--WR Darrell Jackson could return to practice this week, and the Broncos could use him with Cliff Russell coming off a neck injury he suffered at Kansas City.

--TE Tony Scheffler caught only one pass against Kansas City. Scheffler was open on a few other plays, most notably one where he was running down the middle open but Jay Cutler threw an interception when he forced a pass to Brandon Marshall. He will have more big games going forward.

--K Matt Prater missed a short field goal against Kansas City, but that shouldn't overshadow that he has started his first season as the Broncos kicker by hitting nine of 10 attempts, including three 50-yarders. The Broncos are pleased with Prater's performance thus far.

--LB D.J. Williams was a bright spot for the Broncos in an upset loss to Kansas City. His speed and explosiveness is being used well now that he is back at weakside linebacker.

--CB Jack Williams, a rookie, took over as Denver's new nickel cornerback last week. He gave up a few catches, but coach Mike Shanahan said he thought Williams played well. Williams is a physical corner who made some big plays in preseason.

--DE Jarvis Moss was active for the second consecutive week but didn't provide much pass rush against Kansas City. He could continue to be active as long as the Broncos are facing teams with decent passing offenses.



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