The Denver Broncos were completely unrecognizable, and the Kansas City Chiefs exploited it, dominating the Broncos at home, 29-13.
In Week 2, everything that could go wrong did go wrong for Kansas City. In Week 10, everything that could go right did.
The game was full of highs and dotted with an occasional low.
• Rookie cornerback Marcus Peters and his ability to pick off Denver quarterback Peyton Manning is phenomenal. Peters hauled in a 55-yard pick six in Week 2’s matchup. In Week 10, he almost did it again. On Denver’s opening drive, Peters snatched the ball intended for Denver tight end Vernon Davis and returned the ball for 28 yards. Peters continued to be at the right place at the right time and nearly came up with two more interceptions before the first quarter was over.
Even though Peters has foiled a handful of Manning’s passes this season, that doesn’t mean Peters doesn’t respect the future Hall of Fame quarterback. On Denver’s following offensive drive, Manning threw a short, 4-yard, pass to Denver running back Ronnie Hillman, which was the pass that moved Manning to No. 1 in all-time passing yards. After Manning was recognized after the pass, Peters walked over near Manning and saluted him.
14 players have intercepted Manning this season. Peters, Cleveland’s Karlos Dansby and Oakland’s Charles Woodson are the only three players to have picked off Manning twice during the 2015 campaign.
Three of those 14 are other Chiefs and all three of these picks came during Week 10. Cornerback Sean Smith picked up his second interception of the season, linebacker Josh Mauga grabbed his first interception of the season and safety Ron Parker nabbed his second interception of the season in the game.
“We had four interceptions on a legend, so it doesn’t get better than that,” Peters said in a postgame interview.
When Manning was relegated to the bench, that didn’t stop the Chiefs from racking up interceptions. Safety Eric Berry picked off Brock Osweiler in the end zone for the fifth Chiefs interception on the day.
• The Chiefs defense as a whole effectively shut down Manning and the rest of the Denver offense. Before the two minute warning in the first half, Manning had plummeted to a 0.0 passer rating. Manning joins his father, Archie Manning, and his brother, Eli Manning, in players who have completed a game with a 0.0 passer rating. The most recent Manning’s 0.0 passer rating is the 67th time a player has accomplished the lowly feat.
Manning’s former coach, Tony Dungy, took to Twitter halfway through the game, giving his analysis of how he felt Manning looked.
I have never seen Peyton Manning look as bad as he looks today. 3 INTs in the first half and no explosive plays. I have to think he’s hurt.
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) November 15, 2015
• Leading the Kansas City’s defense was linebacker Derrick Johnson. Johnson nearly filled out the stat sheet with 7 total tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss and 1 quarterback hit.
• Kicker Cairo Santos was 5 of 6 on field goals and 2 of 2 on extra points on the day for Kansas City. The game marked Santos’ second game this season with 5+ field goals. Aside from Santos’ two field days on field goals, only three other kickers have hit that mark this season.
• Running back Charcandrick West bounced into the end zone on Kansas City’s first offensive drive of the game. West’s touchdown also was the first touchdown all season where a Denver opponent scored on its first possession.
West also hauled in an 80-yard touchdown reception that put the final nail in Denver’s coffin. West’s two touchdowns were the third and fourth touchdowns of his NFL career.
“Coach Reid called a great play, the offensive line did a great job of blocking, picking up their guys, and I just did the rest,” West said in a post game interview about his 80-yard touchdown.
• In the first quarter, quarterback Alex Smith scrambled for a gain of 16 yards on third-and-6, but an unnecessary roughness flag on offensive tackle Jah Reid negated the play. Smith’s scramble would have put the Chiefs in Denver territory. Kansas City couldn’t convert a third-and-21 and had to punt the ball away.
• After Manning was benched, Peters’ composure started to deteriorate as he instigated back-to-back penalties. He was penalized for illegal use of hands and then defensive pass interference.
• Smith was sacked twice for a loss of 7 yards. Those two sacks put Smith up to 30 sacks on the season. That puts Smith on pace to be sacked 53 times this season. If that were to come to fruition, Smith would be tied for 25th all-time on the single-season sacked chart.
• Kansas City was extremely close to shutting out Denver, but close couldn’t quite cut it. With five minutes left, Hillman ran in the ball for a 1-yard touchdown. Denver wide receiver Andre Caldwell added to Denver’s offensive statistics with a 7-yard touchdown reception inside the two minute warning.
• Safety Tyvon Branch sustained a foot injury during the game and was ruled out. Sean Smith was ruled questionable to return with a knee injury.
After the game, coach Andy Reid said Branch will undergo and MRI and Smith sustained a knee contusion and should be day-to-day.