Hi folks! Time for another week of "Unfinished Business". I will talk about the victory over the Chiefs and the upcoming prime-time match-up between Denver and New England.
Chiefs - The Broncos showed the country what the Chiefs actually are: A solid defense and a limited offense. The game started off the way that KC did not want with a false start penalty and a three and out. Trindon Holliday returned the ball to the Denver 47 and the offense only could muster 12 yards on the drive. Matt Prater stepped out and nailed a 54 yard field goal. Kansas City got the ball back, got a first down and then stalled again with a huge sack by Shaun Phillips and Malik Jackson on third down. The Chiefs punted again only to see Denver have a three and out. Once again the Chiefs offense got the ball back and did nothing with it (see a pattern here?), but pinned the Broncos on their own three yard line. Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball got Denver some breathing room, but on 3rd and 1 a fumble caused by Peyton Manning and Ball gave the football back to KC with Derrick Johnson moving the ball to the Denver 18. On the next play, Anthony Sherman caught a short pass and was blasted by Danny Trevathan. Sherman fumbled as a result of the hit and Quentin Jammer recovered the fumble. Manning took advantage of the mistake by leading the Broncos on an 84 yard march topped off by Julius Thomas catching a slant for a TD.
Kansas City responded with an 80 yard touchdown drive that involved big plays by Dwayne Bowe as well as some idiotic penalties by Kevin Vickerson, Chris Harris Jr. and the dumbest one by Duke Ihenacho. Had Duke not been an imbecile on an incomplete pass, the Chiefs would have settled for a field goal. Alex Smith threw to Bowe for a TD to get them within three. Bowe pushed Kayvon Webster on the play, but no flags were thrown. Denver came back with a 79 yard touchdown drive with Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas getting a ton of yardage. Montee Ball scored with a run up the middle to make it 17-7. The Chiefs responded with a 78 yard drive that stalled out at the Denver 1. Jamaal Charles had a long run in the drive, but was stopped cold by Steven Johnson on third down. Denver took the ball down to the KC 35, but failed to get any points with Prater missing his first FG. KC took over and did nothing to end the half.
For much of the third quarter, the game was nothing but a slug-fest with both defenses dictating the game. Fortunately for Denver, Dustin Colquitt kept kicking the ball into the end zone whereas his brother, Britton, kept flipping field position and putting the Chiefs deeper into their own territory. Finally, Manning threw to Eric Decker for 33 yards which led to another score by Montee Ball. After another Chiefs punt, Denver drove the ball for another FG. KC finally responded with a TD drive that was aided by a 15 yard penalty and two 5 yarders. The game ended with the Broncos getting the win 27-17, giving the 1972 Dolphins their champagne celebration for another year.
As far at the game was concerned, the game was a hard fought AFC West battle. I have to give some major credit to the Broncos OL who did not let Peyton Manning get hit at all. Manning's stat numbers were pedestrian at best for him, but getting a win and no hits are the better numbers for now. Justin Houston only had one pass knockdown and Tamba Hali was effectively neutralized. The Denver defense was also fantastic in limiting the Chiefs offense. They only gave up a few yards on a couple of screen plays, but kept Charles from causing any damage in the screen game. While the Broncos scored the lowest amount of points at 27, they also gave up the fewest amount of points of the season at 17. Von Miller did some OK things, but did not keep containment on Alex Smith's long run. As for special teams, they covered kicks well and did not turn the ball over. Britton Colquitt had no touchbacks, but Prater has his first miss of the season.
Unfortunately, the Broncos did not get out of the game unscathed with Rahim having a leg injury, Wes Welker with a concussion and Julius Thomas getting hit in the knee. Moore will be out indefinitely, Welker might be back next week, but nothing is certain and Julius should be back. For right now, the Broncos are 9-1 and lead the AFC West. We get to see KC again in Arrowhead, but now we have someone else to focus on: The New England Patriots.
Patriots - Denver marches into Foxboro to face a Patriots team that has been playing more improved since the start of the season. They did have some devastating losses to their defense with season-ending injuries to Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo. As we all know, Tom Brady leads this team and his favorite pass catcher, Rob Gronkowski is back on the field. They will be coming off a tough played Monday night road game loss against the Carolina Panthers. In watching this game, the Pats played a mix of man and zone coverages on defense. Their pass rush is not too strong, but Rob Ninkovich could give Denver's OL some trouble from the outside. If Denver can get some quick passes on their secondary, they should see some success. Rushing the ball may be a challenge against their D.
Defensively, the Broncos must get pressure on Brady. He hates to get hit and he just took some abuse from Carolina the last game. With Gronk running up the seam on most of his routes, Denver must come up with a solid plan to shut him down. Vereen and Ridley are decent RBs, but they are similar to Ball and Moreno. If there is a time for Von Miller to step up, this would be the game. Giving Brady time will spell another loss. This looks like another opportunity for Denver to take another step to gain the AFC West and homefield in the playoffs as long as they play mistake-free football. I apologize for not having more info on the Pats, but they just aren't a team I keep track of unless it is scoreboard watching. If anything we will be in store for another classic Brady/Manning match. That's all for now and GO BRONCOS!!!