The Chiefs led 14-0 late in the first half, and they led 24-17 late in the second half. And yet, they lost at home to the Broncos on Thursday, as Denver scored 14 points in nine seconds to shock Arrowhead and steal a win.
“The city is just in shock over the way that thing ended,” former Chiefs quarterback and current CBS Sports NFL analyst Trent Green said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “So yeah, the people are a little depressed around here today.”
Peyton Manning looked awful through the first quarter-and-a-half. He was inaccurate, he was missing receivers, and he even threw a pick-six to put the Broncos in a 14-0 hole.
“Wasn’t that shocking?” Green asked. “It was to the point where I was sitting there with one of my sons and it was 14-0 and Peyton couldn’t complete a hitch and I was like, ‘I don’t know if he’s going to finish this game. They may end up putting (Brock) Osweiler in in the second half.’ And then all of a sudden they just clicked.”
Manning finished 26-of-45 for 256 yards, three touchdowns and the aforementioned interception.
“He didn’t start throwing the tightest spirals in the world, but he started being accurate again,” Green said. “And then that final drive, some of the throws he made to Demaryius Thomas were unbelievable. Those were vintage Peyton. That final drive, he was placing the ball wherever he wanted to place it. The defensive backs were in position, but there was nothing (they) could do. I was telling my son, ‘It’s hard to defend the perfect throw because that was in a spot where only Thomas could get it. So as much as the city hated it, it was fun to watch Peyton being Peyton again. That was good.”
Thomas had eight catches for 116 yards, while Emmanuel Sanders had eight catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
Kansas City, meanwhile, was far less explosive. Alex Smith was 16-of-25 for 191 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions, and no Chiefs receiver had even 60 yards
Why didn’t the Chiefs force the issue more offensively?
“Well, I think some of it has to do with they had all the turnovers down in the red zone,” Green said. “That was an issue. And then the other thing is there just was no time. There was a reason why Baltimore was so ineffective offensively last week and why (Joe) Flacco had such a bad game. That’s a good defense. Even though Jamaal was able to gash them for a couple big runs and that’s how he ended up over 100 yards, for the most part they kept Jamaal in check other than a couple of those big chunks. So there really was’t a lot of time for Alex. I know the one interception – at least the last one there – he got his arm hit. I wasn’t real sure they were going to throw in that situation. I thought considering the way it was set up, they were in field goal range. That shows me they were still being aggressive.
“But yeah, I think some of it has to do with line protection,” Green continued. “You have to remember it’s five different offensive linemen than what they anticipated or what they had a year ago. So it’s really still a work in progress. I know they did well in the first half against Houston last week. But then in the second half you look at what he was able to do – they held them to no points – so there is still some growing pains and some adjustments that group is going to have to deal with.”