Cutler's 4th Quarter Comeback Puts Broncos Closer to Clinching The AFC West

Andrew GloverCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2008

Jay Cutler lead the Denver Broncos back from a 17-7 first half deficit, throwing a six-yard touchdown pass with 10:15 left in the game in a 24-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Broncos (8-5) maintained a three game lead in the AFC West, and can clinch with a win or a Chargers’ loss next week.

Cutler completed 32-of-40 passes for 286 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The Bronco quarterback led the offense on a 12-play 98-yard drive to score the game-winning touchdown. Cutler has led the Broncos on three fourth-quarter comebacks in the last five weeks.

Peyton Hillis led the Broncos in rushing with 58 yards on eight carries, and one touchdown. Tatum Bell had 52 yards on eleven carries.

Brandon Marshall led the Broncos in receiving with 91 yards on 11 receptions. Marshall scored two touchdowns including the game-winning touchdown. Tony Scheffler had 61 yards on five receptions. Eddie Royal had 42 yards on six receptions.

The Chiefs (2-11) remain in last place in the AFC West, and have lost eight of their last nine games. Kansas City was 1-for-3 in the red zone.

Tyler Thigpen completed 17-of-32 passes for 187 yards and one touchdown. Larry Johnson led the team in rushing with 36 yards on 11 carries, and Thigpen added 34 yards on six carries. Dwayne Bowe was the Chiefs’ leading receiver with seven receptions for 96 yards. Tony Gonzalez had 73 yards and one touchdown.

After both teams exchanged punts on their opening possession, the Chiefs got on the board first. Thigpen completed a 34-yard pass to Bowe that moved the ball to the Denver 11. The Broncos’ defense tightened up and forced the Chiefs to settle for a field goal.

The Chiefs would make up for it on defense. Maurice. Leggett intercepted a Cutler pass, and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown giving Kansas City a 10-0 lead.

On their next possession, the Broncos got on the board. The Broncos went 80 yards in 11 plays. Cutler was three-for-four for 30 yards on the drive. Hillis finished the drive with an 18-yard run. The Broncos trailed 17-14 at halftime.

The Broncos tied the game on their opening possession of the second half. Cutler completed a 13-yard pass to Darrell Jackson and an 18-yard pass to Royal. Matt Prater kicked a 33-yard field goal to tie the game at 17 with 8:21 left in the third.

The Chiefs would be forced to punt on their next possession. The Broncos were unable to score as Prater missed a 48-yard field goal.

The Chiefs could not take advantage of the Broncos missed field goal. Denver did not allow a yard on the next possession and D Colquitt got a 56-yard punt that was downed at the Broncos’ five.

Cutler hit Scheffler on a 17-yard pass on second down and nine, to move the ball to the Broncos’ 23. Royal caught an eight-yard pass on third down and one to move the ball to the Broncos’ 40. Marshall caught a 10-yard reception to midfield on second and 10. Bell gained 28 yards on first down moving the ball to the Chiefs’ 21. Marshall caught a six-yard pass on third down and three from the Chiefs’ 15. Cutler completed a six-yard pass to Marshall to put the Broncos ahead 24-17 with 10:15 left in the game.

Thigpen would try to lead the Chiefs back. Gonzalez caught a 12-yard pass on second and 10. Jamaal Charles moved the ball to the Broncos 42 on a 13-yard run on second and one. Thigpen lost 10 yards on a sack but made it up with a 19-yard pass to Bowe. Johnson got the first with an 11-yard run to the Broncos 22. Thigpen scrambled to the Broncos’ 10. On second down and 10, Thigpen gained five yards to the Broncos five. The Chiefs would be stopped on fourth down and five, as Thigpen came up a yard short.

The Broncos will travel to Carolina next week and face the Panthers (9-3). The Chiefs host the Chargers (5-8) next week.