Videos: Von Miller, Broncos survive overlooking the Kansas City Chiefs
Broncos players and coaches talked up the 1-9 Kansas City Chiefs prior to meeting them at Arrowhead Stadium yesterday, as they stressed in post-game interviews following a 17-9 victory. But anyone who sat through the brutally ugly contest knows better. It was clear from the earliest moments that Denver hadn't taken KC seriously, or at least not seriously enough.
Indeed, the main reason the Broncos emerged with yet another W (their sixth in a row) was the bone-deep mediocrity of the Chiefs offense, led by none other than former Denver pretty boy Brady Quinn.
On the Chiefs first play from scrimmage, running back Jamal Charles (a man who'd be a star on plenty of other, better squads) slashed for six yards -- the first of many successful bursts en route to a 100-yard-plus performance. And he wasn't alone. Everyone from Shaun Draughn to Dexter McCluster made positive plays as KC drove deep into the Broncos' territory. Only the Chiefs' lack of confidence in Quinn -- on a key third down, the staff called on Peyton Hilles (another Josh McDaniels-era Broncos cast-off) to throw the ball to Quinn, rather than the other way around -- allowed Denver to escape with just a three-point deficit.
Maybe Brady Quinn should consider a career as a male model.
The Broncos' answer to that embarrassment? A couple of desultory plays to Knowshon Moreno -- promoted to starter due to Willis McGahee's injury -- that resulted in an overall loss of yardage, followed by a near-interception when Brandon Stokley was mugged by Javier Arenas on the way to the ground.
And so it went for much of the first half. The Chiefs continued to run the ball well even though anyone with a functioning brain stem understood that's precisely what they planned to do, chewing up clock and keeping quarterback Peyton Manning off the field in the process. Moreover, the Chiefs' offensive line managed to all but nullify sack monster Von Miller via consistent double-teaming -- and the Broncos' failure to adjust meant Quinn had plenty of time to throw whenever he was directed to do so. Had he been even semi-competent, he would have made Denver pay, and pay big, for this lack of pressure.
Meanwhile, the Broncos' offense limped along, with Manning victimized by several dropped passes and some uncharacteristically poor decisions -- like a heave to a blanketed Eric Decker that resulted in an easy Brandon Flowers pick. And even when the O got into scoring position, the typically reliable Matt Prater acted as if his brain was on Shotgun Willie's, missing two consecutive kicks of the sort he'd drill 99 percent of the time.
Given all that, how in the hell did the Broncos win?
Continue to read more about the Broncos-Chiefs game and to see three videos.