2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Manning, Broncos top Chiefs 27-17

By PAT GRAHAM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-18 02:23

DENVER (AP) - Peyton Manning wrapped his tender ankles tightly in white tape, just to make sure they were secure against the league's best pass rush.

Turns out, he had nothing to worry about. The Kansas City Chiefs never got near him.

Manning was well-protected Sunday night, throwing for 323 yards and a touchdown to help the Denver Broncos top the Chiefs 27-17.

The Broncos (9-1) passed their first of three straight big tests and took apart the NFL's last undefeated team.

The Chiefs (9-1) struggled, with their vaunted defense getting almost no pressure on Manning, whose mobility has been hampered by those balky ankles.

''It's always great if your quarterback can play and not get hit,'' receiver Demaryius Thomas said.

The Denver win was Part I of this critical AFC West matchup. The rematch is in two weeks at Arrowhead Stadium.

Sure, the Broncos kept Manning clean, but they were hardly perfect. And the Chiefs made it competitive against the high-scoring Broncos, holding them two touchdowns below their 41.2-point scoring average.

Asked if the Chiefs in essence shut down the Broncos, Thomas simply said, ''We scored 27 points.''

Before they meet again, the Broncos must deal with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, while the Chiefs face San Diego.

''If we want to go all the way, then we need to figure out a way to beat Denver,'' Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. ''We're going to put this game behind us and get ready for the next one.''

Here are five things we learned from a game that featured the best combined record of two opponents this deep into the season since the NFL merger in 1970:

PROTECTIVE BRONCOS: There was some concern about Manning's long-term health coming into the game, given that the Broncos offensive line had allowed three blindside sacks and fumbles and an assortment of other blows to his lower legs over the previous three games. Tackles Chris Clark, Orlando Franklin and the rest of the line rose to the challenge against the league's leading sack team. Manning didn't get sacked. Didn't even really get his uniform dirty. ''To go sackless against the leading sack defense in the NFL, that's a great testament to those guys,'' Manning said.

STOUT CHIEFS: Granted, they gave up more points than they had all season, more than double the league-leading 12.8 they'd been allowing coming into the game. And yes, the Broncos still amassed 427 yards in offense. But the Chiefs' defense was hardly a pushover, the way so many defenses are when they come up against Manning and the Broncos. The Chiefs forced three three-and-outs, six punts and two field-goal attempts of more than 50 yards. They held an offense that adjusts at halftime and averages 24 points in the third and fourth quarters to 10 in the second half. And those 27 points? Might not seem great but it was Denver's lowest total of the season.

VON WHO?: While so much of the talk about Denver's defense has revolved around Von Miller's absence and return, one of the players the Broncos brought in this season to augment the pass rush is putting up career numbers. Tenth-year veteran Shaun Phillips, formerly of San Diego, had a huge game: 10 tackles, two of those for loss, two quarterback hits, two deflected passes and 1 1/2 sacks to bring his total to nine for the season. His career high was 11 1/2 in 2006.

NOT BUILT FOR COMEBACKS: Good as they've been this season, the Chiefs don't score enough to hang with Denver. At least not yet. They average 23 points. They came into the week ranked 26th on converting trips inside the 20 into touchdowns. Though the offense grinded, Alex Smith was held to 230 yards and Jamaal Charles only gained 78 on the ground. Their formula of solid defense was good enough to win nine straight against weaker teams, but Andy Reid needs to figure out a way to squeeze a few more touchdowns out of this offense for the rematch.

START THE SEARCH: Jack Del Rio is a popular guy these days and figures to keep getting more popular. The defensive coordinator-turned-interim head coach confirmed that he'd been contacted during the bye week by his alma mater, Southern Cal, which is searching for a new head coach. He insists his focus is in Denver. ''Down the road, who knows where that goes,'' he said. If the college thing doesn't pan out, there could be some NFL offers rolling his way, as well, especially if he keeps going this way. He's 2-0 running things in Denver while John Fox recovers from heart surgery. The players like him and, so far, he's pulling all the right strings.

---

AP National Writer Eddie Pells contributed to this story.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jake BequetteAug 28 08:52a

New England Patriots TE/DE Jake Bequette (undisclosed) was waived/injured Thursday, Aug. 27.

Miles AustinAug 28 08:32a

Philadelphia Eagles WR Miles Austin hasn't stood out, or received many chances to stand out, thus in training camp. His role is undetermined as he could start on the [ More ]

Nelson AgholorAug 27 10:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor should be the 'second-most productive receiver on the team when the season ends,' according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ryan MallettAug 27 07:52p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans QB Ryan Mallett missed practice Thursday, Aug. 27, because he overslept. Mallett was present for meetings later on, however. He will also be at practice Friday, Aug. 28.

Josh JohnsonAug 27 07:42p

Free-agent QB Josh Johnson (Bengals) signed with the New York Jets Thursday, Aug. 29. QB Jake Heaps was subsequently waived.

R. Griffin IIIAug 27 07:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (concussion) has been cleared to play Saturday, Aug. 29, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Earl ThomasAug 27 06:22p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) is on track to be ready for the start of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Markus WheatonAug 27 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Markus Wheaton could be primed for a breakout season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

Letroy GuionAug 27 04:52p

Green Bay Packers DE Letroy Guion will be suspended for the first three games of the regular season after his appeal was apparently denied.

Martavis BryantAug 27 03:02p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant has been suspended four games for violating the league's Substance Abuse Policy, according to league sources. He has filed an appeal.

Arian FosterAug 27 02:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has been working out in Houston, and he's expected to return to the field in some facet by Week 2 to Week 4, [ More ]

Pat DevlinAug 27 10:32a

Free-agent QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) signed with the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 27. OL Ryan Seymour was waived.

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeVante ParkerAug 26 04:23p

Miami Dolphins rookie WR DeVante Parker (foot) isn't sure if he'll be healthy enough in time for Week 1. He and the Dolphins don't want to have rushed return [ More ]

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group