Kansas City
DenverKansas City
Broncos Sweep Chiefs Behind Decker's Big Day
Regular Season Game #12
NFL.com l Video Highlights

Alex Smith
Chiefs QB Alex Smith walked off the field after his 4th quarter pass to Dwayne Bowe fell incomplete.
Dec. 1- 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."

Individual Statistics
Kansas City Passing:
Alex Smith 26 of 42 for 293 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception

Denver Passing:
Peyton Manning 22 of 35 for 403 yards, 5 touchdowns and 2 interceptions

Kansas City Rushing:
Jamaal Charles 19 carries for 93 yards and 1 touchdown
Alex Smith 4 carries for 46 yards
Knile Davis 1 carry for 20 yards
Dexter McCluster 1 carry for 0 yards

Denver Rushing:
Montee Ball 13 carries for 117 yards
Knowshon Moreno 15 carries for 18 yards
Peyton Manning 3 carries for -3 yards

Kansas City Receiving:
Dwayne Bowe 3 receptions for 56 yards
Dexter McCluster 5 receptions for 43 yards
Junior Hemingway 3 receptions for 42 yards and 1 touchdown
A.J. Jenkins 3 receptions for 35 yards
Anthony Fasano 3 receptions for 28 yards and 1 touchdown
Jamaal Charles 2 receptions for 27 yards
Knile Davis 2 receptions for 18 yards
Donnie Avery 2 receptions for 17 yards
Sean McGrath 1 reception for 11 yards
Cyrus Gray 1 reception for 8 yards
Anthony Sherman 1 reception for 8 yards

Denver Receiving:
Eric Decker 8 receptions for 174 yards and 4 touchdowns
Demaryius Thomas 3 receptions for 106 yards
Knowshon Moreno 4 receptions for 72 yards and 1 touchdown
Wes Welker 3 receptions for 38 yards
Montee Ball 1 reception for 4 yards
Andre Caldwell 1 reception for 4 yards
Jacob Tamme 1 reception for 3 yards
Virgil Green 1 reception for 2 yards

Kansas City Tackles-Assists-Sacks:
Derrick Johnson 9-0-0, Marcus Cooper 8-0-0, Eric Berry 5-0-0, Sean Smith 5-0-0, Brandon Flowers 3-0-0, Dontari Poe 3-0-0, Frank Zombo 3-1-0, Quintin Demps 2-0-0, Tamba Hali 2-0-0, Allen Bailey 1-1-0, Tyson Jackson 1-0-0, Akeem Jordan 1-0-0, Kendrick Lewis 1-0-0

Denver Tackles-Assists-Sacks:
Mike Adams 6-0-0, Chris Harris 6-0-0, David Bruton 5-0-0, Wesley Woodyard 5-0-0, Champ Bailey 4-0-0, Danny Trevathan 4-0-0, Mitch Unrein 3-0-0, Kayvon Webster 3-0-0, Malik Jackson 2-0-0, Terrance Knighton 2-0-0, Von Miller 2-0-0, Robert Ayers 1-0-0, Duke Ihenacho 1-0-0, Quentin Jammer 1-0-0, Shaun Phillips 1-0-0, Sylvester Williams 1-0-0

Kansas City Fumble Recoveries:

Denver Fumble Recoveries:

Kansas City Interceptions:
Marcus Cooper 1 for 20 yards
Quintin Demps 1 for 0 yards

Denver Interceptions:
Wesley Woodyard 1 for 0 yards