KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Are the Chiefs a dirty and reckless team, a new version of the nasty Raiders of yesteryear? Or, do players for the Denver Broncos like to whine when they lose a game, especially one to an AFC West rival?
Denver’s seven-game winning streak over the Chiefs came to an end Sunday, when Kansas City dominated the Broncos 29-13 at Sports Authority Field. Afterwards, at least one guy in blue and orange believed the visitors were victorious and playing outside the rules.
In the fourth quarter, Broncos safety T.J. Ward was thrown out of the game when he took a swing at the head of Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. The action took place at the end of an 80-yard touchdown play, after Maclin attempted to block Ward.
His excuse for losing control? Ward said it was dirty play by the Chiefs.
“That last play he came over and tried to cheap-shot me again and I got emotional,” Ward told the Denver media after the game. “I didn’t really mean to punch him. I don’t even think that I punched him, if you see it, but it looked like a windup. You can take it how it is.”
Ward said the Chiefs initiated the after-the-whistle pushing and shoving that was prevalent in the game.
“They were a pretty dirty team — the O-linemen, receivers and tight ends,” Ward said. “They were doing it last game and they continued to do it this game. It took an effect on me.”
The Broncos came into the game leading the NFL in personal foul penalties with 16, including five they picked up in the first game with the Chiefs back in September. Denver’s defense was flagged four times that night for roughing the passer and unnecessary roughness penalties, as outside linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller and defensive linemen Malik Jackson and Darius Kilgo were caught by the officials.
The Chiefs wanted to make sure that performance would be answered in the second game.
“We came out with a lot of fire and took the fight to them, which was important against that crew,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “That crew has a tendency to play through the whistle and do their thing. We had some incidents in the last game that we played them … nobody likes to be pushed around if you take pride in what you do.”
The Chiefs picked up their own personal foul in the first quarter when right tackle Jah Reid knocked Miller to the ground, and then jumped on him. The play drew a 15-yard penalty on the offensive lineman for unnecessary roughness.
“We had the one call, but everything from there was cut and dried,” said the Chiefs head coach.
Denver only added one personal foul call, and that was Ward’s play involving Maclin at the end of an 80-yard TD catch and run by Chiefs running back Charcandrick West.
Ward’s penalty and ejection came a week after he was fined $17,363 by the NFL for a hit on Indianapolis wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. He was penalized in that game and the league ruled afterwards that Hilton was a “defenseless player” when Ward smacked him in the chest.
Maclin was hardly shaken by Ward’s charges of dirty play. Replying by Twitter after the safety’s comments were passed on to him, Maclin wrote: “I’m cheap and dirty but you got ejected … oh ok makes sense.”
Reid was confident that his team, with that one exception, played within the rules.
“It was hard-nosed football and I’m sure there are sore bodies on each team,” he said. “That was a physical game. People are going to say things; that’s how things roll.
“The bottom line is you win the game and you do it within the rules.”