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Broncos 35, Chiefs 28: Epic Rematch Game Balls

Eric Decker and Montee Ball lead the host of Broncos who get Game Balls from the Mile High Report staff following Denver's 35-28 victory over Kansas City Sunday.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Decker

Prior to Sunday's game Eric Decker had three touchdowns for all of 2013. He has been absent since grabbing 8 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts, Decker has gone 4 for 42, 3 for 52, 5 for 71 and went 1 for 5 yards last week playing the New England Patriots. Marcus Cooper started the day covering Demaryius Thomas, but following a shoulder injury to Thomas, Cooper switched over to covering Decker and it was game over from there on out. Decker made Cooper (a seventh round rookie cornerback) look like a seventh round rookie cornerback. One more touchdown in Kansas City and Decker would have been entered amongst All Time Greats Jerry Rice and Kellen Winslow with five touchdowns in a game, but I think that fans are perfectly happy with his four touchdowns. Peyton Manning gets his game form back too. - Ian Henson

Montee Ball

13 rushes, 117 yards. If it isn't for Montee Ball on the ground, the Broncos don't get the Chiefs to bite so damn hard on Decker's 3rd TD of the night for the go-ahead score and first lead of the game. If it isn't for Montee Ball, the Broncos start on their own 5 yard line and probably fail to pick up a first down because Adam Gase thinks that the easiest way to go 95 yards is 1 yard at a time. If it isn't for Ball, Manning doesn't get to take a knee to end the game. Look, Decker will get his gameball, Manning will get his too, but the unsung hero of the game was Montee Ball. You just can't mess with a dude averaging 9 yards per carry against a dominant rush defense. How was our offense doing without Montee being an affective rusher? Oh yeah, that's right, they were DOWN 21-7. It wasn't until the Chiefs were forced, yes, FORCED to respect the running game did the offense get working, and it's largely in part because each time Montee touched the ball, he got a 1st down (exaggeration, don't go all Topher on me and point out that there were a few rushes that didn't produce a 1st down). My point stands that without Montee, the offense struggles because they couldn't get the passing game going until the Chiefs had to respect the running game. - Big Pete

Peyton Manning

Since arriving in Denver last summer, Peyton has thrown for 78 touchdowns in 28 games and is 10-0 in division play.

This season, Manning has averaged 3.4 passing touchdowns per game. At that rate, he is on pace to throw 13 touchdowns in the final four games of the season and finish the year with 54 scores, breaking Tom Brady's 2007 single-season record of 50. Manning and wide receiver Eric Decker feasted on rookie cornerback Marcus Cooper on Sunday afternoon and Manning finished the night with five scores. Since arriving in Denver last summer, Peyton has thrown for 78 touchdowns in 28 games and is 10-0 in division play. With Peyton leading the team, there's much to be excited about in Denver with the postseason quickly approaching. - Jon Heath

Jack Del Rio

If for no other reason that he used both of his challenges to overturn two obvious fumbles. The Chiefs had all five of their fumbles ruled as non-fumbles by the officiating crew. This makes perfect sense given the fact that the fumble luck has not been with the Denver Broncos all season long. They lose fumbles and when other teams fumble, its not really a fumble. Given these facts, it should have been obvious to us all that neither challenge was going to be successful, but I commend Jack Del Rio for doing the right thing and challenging Lady Luck on this against the odds crap. She better even things out come playoff time. - Tim Lynch

Wesley Woodyard

Woodyard had a huge interception on the first drive of the game. Wood picked up Alex Smith in the end zone. This took 7 points off the board, and who knows how the game would have went from there. Wood is the captain of our defense, and captain make big plays like that. The Broncos need to pay the man this offseason. - Scotty Payne

Mike Adams

The clutch, game-saving play of safety Mike Adams is getting overlooked in the Denver area. He's not a highlight reel player, and he lost his starting job to Duke Ihenacho this offseason, but he has filled in admirably for the injured Rahim Moore. In Week 13 he proved vital. Adams tied for the team lead in tackles with six, which merits mention, but it was his end zone pass breakup of Alex Smith to Dwayne Bowe that really deserves praise. Had Adams looked elsewhere, the Chiefs would have converted that fourth down end zone try, likely sending the game into overtime. - Monty

Honorable Mentions

Chris Harris' stat line was impressive; he co-led the team in tackles and also had three pass break-ups... Manny Ramirez, Zane Beadles, and Louis Vasquez opened up huge holes for Montee Ball and also executed some terrific blocks for Knowshon Moreno to exploit on screen passes. Indeed, the entire offensive line deserves an honorary mention game ball... Demaryius Thomas injured his shoulder on the first play but still hauled in a 77-yard grab with 106 yards total. Said Manning, "DT (Demaryius Thomas) got hurt on the first play of the game. That third down to him, in that type of play usually, he can go up and make it. He couldn't even reach with his other hand. He goes up with one hand and obviously tips it, and it ends up getting intercepted. I probably told him he could have told me that earlier, that he only has one hand and I might not have thrown to him. So I knew he wasn't 100 percent."

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