Denver Broncos Erupt on Kansas City, Causing Haley to Erupt on McDaniels
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It took until the end of the game for Todd Haley to respond. That being with one pointed finger and a series of pointy words aimed directly at Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels during the traditional post-game coaches' handshake.
More on this later, but there was certainly a game within a game going on.
The Denver Broncos Finally Do the Blowing Up
It’s been a long time coming under Josh McDaniels, but the Denver Broncos have finally blown up an opponent.
And a division rival at that.
For the second time this season, the Denver Broncos wore their orange jerseys at home to re-ignite the fire for the fans. The Broncos last wore orange against the New York Jets in a close game at home, only to get blown out by the Raiders while wearing the usual blue jerseys at home the following week.
The fire burned bright for the fans on a very cold autumn afternoon in Denver, with snow in the high country and on the way to the Mile High City. It turned into a cozy home return for the Denver Broncos and the faithful.
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It was just like hot chocolate to the senses. In fact, it was the perfect way to spend a late afternoon in the month of November, whether at the game or nice and cozy at home watching the dismantling of the first-place Chiefs.
The game was essentially over at halftime, though the Broncos did surrender 10 straight points going into the break. Todd Haley, meanwhile, was noticeably working on getting his troops up for a second-half run that eventually fell short.
It took exactly eight games and one drive to get the run game going, and officially 25 games to finally get Knowshon Moreno up and over the 100-yard milestone. He finished the game with 106 yards on 22 carries, with his longest carry going for 14 yards.
What that tells you is the Broncos were giving Moreno constant running lanes that made the Chiefs' defense look mild compared to some of their earlier efforts. Denver finished with 153 yards on 31 carries, good for an average of 4.9 yards per carry.
That was the most encouraging sign on the day. The pass game opened up the Broncos' run play calls.
The Broncos opened up throwing like they usually do, but the real difference here was the emphasis placed on stretching the field and going for broke. The Broncos had a total of two runs (both for first downs) on the opening drive and had six passes.
The last of which was another rarity; a 17-yard screen pass for a touchdown to Knowshon Moreno.
The message was sent. Kansas City’s response was six plays and a punt.
That was about the last chance the Chiefs had on the day of winning the game. The irony was the Denver faithful saw a similar sight just three short Sunday’s ago with the shoe on the other foot.
Perhaps the 59-14 loss to the Oakland Raiders served as inspiration for this drubbing of the Chiefs. The only time it was really close was at kickoff.
Denver scored three offensive touchdowns in the first quarter alone. Then down near the goal line, Tim Tebow connected with Spenser Larsen on a short pass play that served as a milestone for both.
It was Larsen’s first career touchdown and Tim Tebow’s first NFL touchdown pass. The Broncos later racked up a defensive touchdown return on a Matt Cassel fumble return by linebacker Jason Hunter 75 yards to make the score 35-0 in favor of the orange and blue.
The route was ensconced upon the day, and the Chiefs were officially erupted upon.
It was a ho-hum game and a little boring from that point on. But the Broncos showed they came to play and had a lot of fight in them.
Perhaps they were sending a message to their fans, themselves, and the rest of the teams on their schedule to be aware.
The second-most impressive stat was the four sacks of Matt Cassel for minus 36 yards by the Broncos front seven.
Denver was edged in the Time-of-Possession, losing by almost four minutes. It’s a strong indicator of the nature of the game.
The Broncos scored early and often, then essential relegated their defense to playing a cautious game the rest of the way to protect the big lead.
The Broncos wound up yielding 26 points to the Chiefs while only scoring 14 the rest of the game.
The Chiefs ended the game with 484 net yards, just edging out the Broncos who had 452.
On the Broncos' offensive side of things, one area they have been deficient in is third-down efficiency. Against the Chiefs, the Broncos got better in a big way, converting 60 percent of their third downs.
The Broncos forced three fumbles and recovered two to help their cause.
This was the sort of game the Denver Broncos had to have. They are now just two games out of first place in the AFC West at 3-6 on the season.
A Final Note on Todd Haley’s Post Game Reaction
Todd Haley lost his composure in somehow feeling the 2-7 Denver Broncos were running up the score on the division leading Kansas City Chiefs.
Keep in mind this is an embattled Josh McDaniels on the other sideline. By the time the post-game handshake came around, Todd Haley chose to point his finger and his words at Josh McDaniels, refusing to shake his hand.
The issue here is this: Todd Haley certainly does film study on the opposition, so he's seen film on the Raiders' blowout of the Broncos. Not just once, but two weeks in a row now.
He had to know the Broncos might be ready to go off. Apparently, he never told his team, and he forgot the Chiefs blew out the Broncos in Denver last year.
Furthermore, the Denver Broncos sent a warning shot with an opening drive that went the length of the field and ended on a Knowshon Moreno screen pass.
These two teams have, in fact, hooked up in three consecutive blowouts, two in the Broncos favor and one in the Chiefs. So if you can dish it out, but can't take it, you're in the wrong business.
The bottom line is Todd Haley needs to grow up. The Broncos did not exactly have the game on ice while they were giving up touchdowns with the Chiefs comeback.
If nothing else, the foundation for re-vamping a division rivalry has been laid.
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