The Broncos looked out of sync at home Sunday despite beating the Baltimore Ravens 19-13 on a last minute interception. Thursday they will look to get to 2-0 as they travel to Arrowhead Stadium to play the 1-0 Kansas City Chiefs.
Denver QB Peyton Manning failed to throw a touchdown pass and put up just 4.4 yards per attempt in the win over the Ravens, and overall the Broncos offense just looked old.
They got the luxury of having a great night from rookie kicker Brandon McManus, who hit on four field goals, two from beyond 55 yards, and may have been the best player on the field in the 6-point win.
The Broncos defense stepped up to make sure the Ravens wouldn’t rally for the win. Denver limited the Ravens to 173 yards while coming up with two huge second-half interceptions of Joe Flacco.
Aqib Talib returned the first 51 yards for a go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter and Darian Stewart sealed the win with an interception at the goal line with 28 seconds left.
Manning, who said after the game the Broncos offense was a ‘work in progress,’ threw for 179 yards at Kansas City back on November 30th, but threw two touchdowns and the Broncos rushed for 214 yards in a 29-16.
The Broncos have won four straight at Arrowhead, and are 17-1 against division opponents since Manning came aboard in 2012.
Denver may be missing a big part of their run game, as C.J. Anderson is nursing ankle and toe injuries. ”We’re beat up,” Denver coach Gary Kubiak said. ”That was a physical game (Sunday).”
Alex Smith and the Chiefs got off to a great start Sunday in Houston, as the QB threw three first-half touchdown passes and the Chiefs were penalized just twice in a 27-20 victory.
Travis Kelce had two touchdown catches and put up 106 yards on six catches, while offseason addition Jeremy Maclin added five receptions for 52 yards to support 103 yards from scrimmage from running back Jamaal Charles.
“We’re more balanced,” said Smith, who was 22 for 33 for 243 yards. “I think we have a lot of weapons, a lot of guys who can do multiple things so I think that presents a lot of different problems for defenses.”
The Chiefs defense should give fits to Manning and co. and with the Broncos run game in doubt with Anderson banged up, points for Denver could again be hard to come by.
Look for the Chiefs to finally get one on Manning, as Kansas City should be able to use their balanced offense enough to pound out 17 points, which will be enough to kickoff week two.
Kansas City 17 Denver 10
Denver – Peyton Manning 198 yards 1 TD, Ronnie Hillman 65 yards rushing, Emmanuel Sanders 55 yards receiving 1 TD
Kansas City – Alex Smith 220 yards 1 TD, Jammal Charles 105 yards 1 TD, Jeremy Maclin 75 yards receiving 1 TD, Travis Kelce 60 yards receiving
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