Chiefs vs. Broncos: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Denver

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IINovember 17, 2013

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:   Quentin Jammer #23 of the Denver Broncos celebrates a fumble recover in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie #45 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos have claimed first place in the AFC West following a 27-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

The loss is the first of the season for Kansas City, moving the team to 9-1the same record as the Broncos.

Denver did an excellent job of protecting Peyton Manning in this game, keeping the Kansas City pass rush away from him. Offensively, the Broncos used a balanced attack to churn out 427 total yards of offense.

The Broncos will play on a national stage again next week, as they face the New England Patriots on Sunday night. Following that, they will travel to Kansas City to battle the Chiefs again.


Final Score

Chiefs - 17

Broncos - 27

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17:   Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts in the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 17, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Final Analysis

Passing Offense: Manning eclipsed the 300-yard mark yet again in this game, throwing for 323 yards and one touchdown. However, the story of the game was the protection he got from his offensive line.

Passing Defense: Denver made adjustments at halftime and didn't allow Dwayne Bowe to catch a single pass in the second half. Shaun Phillips played a great game, tallying 10 tackles, 1.5 sacks and two pass deflections.

Rushing Offense: Montee Ball is slowly becoming a bigger part of the offense. Though Knowshon Moreno was given 27 carries, Ball scored two touchdowns on just eight carries.

Rushing Defense: The Chiefs were able to gain 144 yards on the ground, but 52 of those came from quarterback Alex Smith. All in all, Denver did a great job of containing Jamaal Charles' big-play ability.

Special Teams: The 52-yard field goal that went wide left for Matt Prater in the second quarter was his first miss all season. Punter Britton Colquitt punted six times, averaging 45.8 yards per kick. His brother Dustin averaged five more yards per attempt on his seven punts for Kansas City.

Coaching: Interim coach Jack Del Rio improves to 2-0 at the helm in Denver amid a report by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer suggesting that Del Rio is being considered for the head coaching job at USC. Del Rio appears to have a good handle on the team.



1st-Half Analysis

Denver Broncos Game Grades
Positional UnitFirst-Half GradeFinal Grade
Passing OffenseA-A
Passing DefenseB-B+
Rushing OffenseCB-
Rushing DefenseB-B
Special TeamsB-B+
Week 11 vs. Chiefs

Passing Offense: Peyton Manning started the game completing just one of five passes, but he has been sharp since. Manning has picked on rookie cornerback Marcus Cooper to hit Demaryius Thomas for some big plays.

Passing Defense: Alex Smith was held to 110 passing yards in the first half, but wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has found some holes in the defense. Bowe averaged over 14 yards per catch in the first half and scored a touchdown.

Rushing Offense: Denver has stayed committed to the running game, but Knowshon Moreno has not been able to find much room to run. Montee Ball scored a touchdown from a yard out, but also dropped an exchange from Manning, leading to a fumble.

Rushing Defense: Jamaal Charles got a large chunk of his 53 yards on a 35-yard gain in the second quarter, which helped set up a Kansas City field goal. The Chiefs averaged just under six yards on their 15 first-half rushing attempts.

Special Teams: Trindon Holliday showed his unsure hands, muffing a first-quarter punt. Luckily, it bounced right back to him. Matt Prater kicked a 54-yard field goal in the first quarter, but missed from 52 late in the second.

Coaching: It was nice to see Jack Del Rio yank Duke Ihenacho out of the game after a ridiculous unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Denver has done a nice job of identifying mismatches in the passing game, but that's probably more on Manning than the coaching staff.