2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Slumping Chiefs lose again to Broncos, 35-28

By DAVE SKRETTA - AP Sports Writer
    2013-12-01 21:02

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Just a few weeks ago, the Kansas City Chiefs were unbeaten.

They were quickly becoming the NFL's ''it'' team, led by a seemingly impenetrable defense and a mistake-free offense.

That defense had slowly started to crumble. That offense is no longer playing so flawlessly.

The Chiefs are no longer undefeated, either.

Far from it.

Peyton Manning threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns on Sunday, four of them to Eric Decker, and the Denver Broncos rallied to beat the Chiefs 35-28 and seize control of the AFC West.

It was the third straight loss for the Chiefs (9-3), and the second to Denver (10-2) over that span.

That means the Broncos hold the tiebreaker in the division race, and Kansas City is virtually assured of playing a first-round playoff game on the road.

''You know, three in a row, any time you're doing that, you're not feeling good about that,'' Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. ''Losses are the nature of the game. You have to be able to overcome it. These last two we had a chance to win it, both times I felt like.''

The Chiefs certainly had a chance Sunday even after blowing a 21-7 lead.

Jamaal Charles scored from a yard out with 6:32 left to get Kansas City within a touchdown, and then the Chiefs forced a punt with 3:32 remaining to get the ball back.

Three long passes moved the Chiefs downfield, but Smith's pass to Dwayne Bowe in the end zone on fourth-and-4 with 1:45 left fell incomplete, allowing the Broncos to run out the clock.

''Hard-fought game,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. ''Two good football teams playing each other, and it came right down to the end.''

Smith threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns for Kansas City, while Knile Davis returned a kickoff 108 yards for another score. Charles finished with 93 yards rushing.

Decker had eight catches for a career-high 174 yards for the Broncos, who have the AFC's best record. Montee Ball added 117 yards rushing.

''It was a great, gritty effort on the road,'' said interim coach Jack Del Rio, who led Denver to a 3-1 mark while John Fox was recovering from heart surgery. Fox is due back Monday.

''We figured they would have some type of surge early and I loved the way our guys responded,'' Del Rio said. ''It puts us in first place and now we'll go welcome Coach Fox back.''

Denver won despite missing a slew of injured players, including three starters on defense and tight end Julius Thomas, who has developed into one of Manning's favorite red-zone options.

No need to worry. Decker more than shouldered the burden.

Manning has 41 TD passes, breaking his franchise record of 37 set last season.

''Sometimes, when you play a team close to back-to-back, there are some ideas that are fresh in your mind,'' Manning said. ''We thought there were some chances to get down the field in that first game that we never got to. We wanted to get to some of those plays.''

The Chiefs, who lost for the third straight week, squandered far too many chances, including one right out of the gate when Smith was picked off by Wesley Woodyard in the end zone.

Still, Kansas City seemed to have more energy in the first half.

The Chiefs took the lead when Smith hit Junior Hemingway for a touchdown. And after Decker beat Brandon Flowers for a tying score, Davis took the ensuing kickoff 108 yards the other direction.

It was the longest return in franchise history, and the first TD return by a Chiefs player since Jamaal Charles took a kickoff back against the Steelers during the 2009 season.

Smith's touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano made it 21-7.

That's went Denver scored 28 unanswered points.

Manning hit Knowshon Moreno for a short TD just before halftime, and then hit Decker with two more touchdown passes in the third quarter. Decker's fade catch for a TD made it 35-21 early in the fourth, and that turned out to be all the points the Broncos needed.

''Any loss in this league hurts. This one was big for us and we came up short,'' Chiefs defensive back Quintin Demps said. ''It definitely stings.''

Notes: Chiefs TE Anthony Fasano (concussion) and LT Branden Albert (knee sprain) left the game and did not return. ... Charles became the first Chiefs RB with four 1,000-yard rushing season. ... It was Decker's sixth career 100-yard game. ... Denver has won 10 straight vs AFC West. ... Manning went over 4,000 yards passing for the 13th time. ... KC has allowed 1,118 yards and nine TDs passing during its three-game skid.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

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