Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs vs. Broncos: Breaking Down Kansas City's 3rd Loss

The Kansas City Chiefs have lost three games in a row, and two of those losses have come against the Denver Broncos.

It’s not as if Denver has been dominant, because the Chiefs have done some great things. Overall though, the Broncos have just been smarter, more balanced, and better equipped to win the shootout type of games that these matchups have become.

Like any good analyst would, I went through and re-watched the Chiefs’ 28-35 loss to the Broncos. I wrote down thoughts as they came to me.

Even in a loss, there’s much to learn and reflect on. Enjoy the process.


1st Quarter

–Love the decision to come out throwing the ball. This offense works best when Alex Smith is in a good rhythm and the pass is used to set up the run.

–Cyrus Gray sighting in the first quarter? Interesting. Charles was running hard, perhaps he needed a breath.

–Horrible interception from Alex Smith. Chiefs had a chance to go up 7-0 or at least 3-0 on the first drive and you just can’t throw an interception. The worst part was Anthony Fasano was wide open. I’m not sure Smith saw Wesley Woodyard.

–It’s good to see Tamba Hali out there.

–Gotta love when Eric Berry flies around out there. He’s such a dynamic playmaker.

–Speaking of playmakers, Quintin Demps with the big INT. Love how this defense picks up its offense.

–Outside of Aaron Rodgers, who is hurt, Alex Smith is probably one of the most underrated runners in the NFL (for a QB).

–Touchdown Junior Hemingway. If he can get more involved in the offense, this passing attack starts to look a whole lot better.

–On that big screen play to Knowshon Moreno, Eric Berry was literally inches away from making a shoestring tackle that would have saved a bunch of yards.


2nd Quarter

 –Not surprised that Eric Decker beat Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis up the middle for Denver’s first touchdown. To be fair, let’s not blame Lewis that much, looked like a two high safety look at Eric Berry got sucked down with the play action and a tight end.

–Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how good Kansas City’s special teams unit is. Knile Davis makes the play with the huge kick return for the touchdown (108 yards). Great way to respond to a big TD strike from Peyton Manning.

–Side Note: Knile Davis has the potential to be a star in my opinion.

—I need to start writing about Derrick Johnson more, because he is incredible against the run.

–Marcus Cooper with the interception. So far, the Chiefs are doing a great job of capitalizing on rare mistakes from Manning.

–That illegal formation penalty was costly, but I love the resilience the offense showed to get back into a rhythm and punch the ball in again. Anthony Fasano is an X-factor for this team. He’s incredibly consistent.

–At this point, Alex Smith playing a bit like one of those elite quarterbacks that many say he isn’t.

–Up 21-7 with 9 minutes to go in the first half and your defense forces a punt? You’ve got to score on that drive and really put the pressure on Manning and the Broncos. I firmly believe this game could have been different if Kansas City even just got a field goal here. Honestly, as much as I want to see the offense overcome, that failed drive goes on Dexter McCluster. He made a special teams error on that punt return that we don’t even see in high school. Inexcusable to field the ball at your own three yard line. Let that thing bounce into the end zone.

–Somebody has got to cover Eric Decker. Am I right?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

–Very patient throw from Peyton Manning for Denver’s second touchdown. He went through all his progressions and found Moreno in the flats for the almost walk-in TD. Sean Smith tried to make a play, but instead of dive at his legs, why not wrap up and drive back?

–Feels like we haven’t seen Jamaal Charles for a bit at this point. 4:07 in the 2nd up one touchdown? I’d like to see the Chiefs give it to him all the way down the field. Luckily the Broncos weren’t able to pick up more points getting the rock with about 1:50 left in the half.

–Thankfully, the Chiefs’ D once again comes up big and gets the offense the ball with just under 1:30 left in the half with two timeouts left. Of course, because why not? Smith tosses a horrible interception. Thankfully, again, a flag bails the Chiefs out.

–This is exhausting.

–Garbage intentional grounding call. Smith was out of the pocket. Barely, but he was out. Flags giveth, flags taketh away.


3rd Quarter

 –Coming out at half with a 21-14 lead, the defense playing opportunistic and offense playing pretty well. I’ll take that any day of the week.

–Montee Ball looks pretty good in the NFL, doesn’t he?

–Eric Decker with another touchdown catch. Brandon Flowers and a safety once again trailing in his dust.

–I love how Alex Smith runs the ball, but at this point of the season—and I know he was trying to get the first down—but he’s got to slide. Love the aggressiveness and competitive spirit, but if you’re the starting quarterback and you’re on the sideline or on a stretcher, you’re not helping your team. Also, if you’re going to run the rock, hold on to it and switch it to your outside hand.

–I firmly believe all quarterbacks should spend time each practice doing running and ball security drills with the running backs.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

–Marcus Cooper is going to have a hard time living down the tape of him getting faked out of his socks on an outside in move by Demaryius Thomas. Chiefs are getting beat deep at an alarming rate.

–Seriously, somebody has got to cover Eric Decker. Third touchdown of the day. He’s wearing No. 87.

–If A.J. Jenkins or Fasano catch either one of those pretty nice deep balls from Smith, I bet you Kansas City eventually ties this game up at 28 on that drive. Instead, the drive ends with a punt. More proof that in the NFL, the difference between winning and losing is usually just a few plays .

–Junior Hemingway, special teams hero.

–Frank Zombo sighting. He’s no Justin Houston, but he’s a very capable backup.


4th Quarter

–Eric Decker again, really? That’s just silly, but Denver obviously has found a matchup they like. Decker on anybody in a Chiefs uniform.

–At this point you can feel momentum changing. Chiefs’ defense is getting torn up by Manning and Decker, and the offense is losing that confidence.

–Great catch on third and long by Hemingway and I loved the decision to go for it on fourth, down by 14 with just over 12 to go. Defense can’t stop Manning, so go get those points now.

–Donnie Avery has dropped two must-have huge passes. No words for that.

–Like the toss play to get Charles on the edges and in open space. Would like to see some more of that.

–Speaking of something I’d like to see more of from the Chiefs offense? Knile Davis, and specifically screen passes to him.

–Huge touchdown and field goal from the Chiefs to cut it to 7 points with just over six to go in the game. Love the play calling, the screens and the use of Charles and McCluster.

–Not sure why the Chiefs didn’t take Cooper off Decker. Obvious mismatch that Denver was looking to exploit.

–For the record, I do think that was a PI on Sean Smith. The whole secondary did a horrible job of jamming at the line and there were more than a few times where somebody got burnt off a good release.

–How many yards did Moreno carry half of Kansas City’s defense for on that big catch and run? Again, flag on Denver helps out the Chiefs.

–Down seven and the defense finds a way to force a punt with about three and a half minutes left to go. This game is now on the offense, which is a bit scary.

–Donnie Avery dropped another pass, which is no surprise at this point. Surprised Eric Decker didn’t somehow intercept it for a touchdown.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

–A.J. Jenkins makes up for a big drop earlier with that huge catch on third and long. Beautiful throw by Smith under immense pressure. Dexter McCluster and Bowe follow that up with great catches of their own, and now KC is picking up yards in chunks.

–Third and eight, game on the line. I’m okay with the screen play to Jenkins assuming that it’s four down territory. I get sending a guy into the end zone, but why not throw five hitches on four and four, or at least call a bunch of effective, shorter, high-percentage throws? Not a fan of the play on fourth and game.

–Denver runs the clock out, and that’s all she wrote.

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Tags: A.J. Jenkins Alex Smith Andy Reid Derrick Johnson Dexter McCluster Donnie Avery Dwayne Bowe Eric Berry Eric Decker Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Marcus Cooper Peyton Manning Sean Smith

  • tm1946

    Just one game on top of two other bad games. Coaching, game plan, or players the other teams did what they needed to do, we did not.
    Take the game film and trash it. Get ready for next sunday.
    Still a good breakdown, just hate to lose to anyone especially those in the West.

  • trinity

    Long story short, Denver is just simply a better team. Kansas city is only the 3rd best team in the AFC, and that won’t cut it

    • Davé

      Barely and you may be surprised who would win in that third match up if it happens.

      • trinity

        hahaha. dude, stop it. after getting beat TWICE, the denver vs kansas city ship has sailed. i feel embarrassed for anyone still delusional enough to think it has’nt. the chiefs will get the 5 seed, win the first round, and then get sent home by denver or new england. whoever gets them first. just sit back, watch, and enjoy the nice run you guys made this season.

        • Davé

          Just shows you know very little about this team or any other. Only a know-nothing bandwagon fan would count the Chiefs out of any match up going forward including at Denver or at New England. I am not stupid enough to guarantee a win, but I am smart enough to know that we are just as likely to win versus lose against any of those teams come playoff time. You have seen an offense that has taken off and a Defense that is suffering without Hali and Houston. If you ask around I am the exact opposite of a Homer. I just know football and you my friend do not.

          • trinity

            Dude, come on. You’re embarrassing yourself. What exactly makes you think i don’t know football? Lol the fact that i don’t like your team? Get ahold of your emotions and lets talk football yes? Ok, your offense. Yes, they have had some good games of late. But they are not built to consistently compete in shootouts or score in bunches. This is a fact because if you know anything about football, then you know that teamsvery often go as the quarterback goes. Alex smith is a game manager, not a game winner. Going all the way back to the san fran days, we know that Alex smith is capable of riding great defenses and running games to lots of victories, while mostly staying out of the way himself. I’ve said it before and i will say it again. Without the defense to win for him, Alex smith is a loser. They had the opportunity to tie. For him to actually even win for you guys in this last game. He failed to make the play. Against big time competition, Mark my words. Alex smith will not win a damn thing for you guys. Your only hope is the defense. Now, lets focus on them. Don’t give me that BS about how they are suffering without Houston and hali being 100%. Because this defense was starting to get exposed even with them there. They have 1 sack in the last 6 games. ZERO sacks on manning. Not to mention that peyton absolutely embarrassed your secondary on Sunday. In Denver, or in your house, you guys have absolutely no defensive answer for peyton manning. But guess what? Lol the thing is, there is no defensive answer for peyton manning! He can’t be stopped. Even in his 2 losses, he wasn’t stopped. By that i mean, he scored 33 and 31. In peytons entire career, do you know what his opponents record is when they score fewer than 21 points? 4-105….take a moment to let that sink in. That means, the only way to beat him is with offense. Alex smith and this offense have failed twice, and considering that the facts say that this offense isn’t built to play shoot out, i bet they will fail again. Mark my words

          • Davé

            I don’t have to mark the words of an idiot bandwagon fan. The fact you type all those things about Alex Smith is laughable. The guy was phenomenal last game and it was his receivers that failed him. If you watched any football at all you would have seen an Alex Smith in San Fran under Harborough that had several awesome games and to say he is just another Trent Dilfer shows you know jack shit about football. Serious I am not the least bit a Alex Smith homer but I know I saw a player that was more than capable of beating the Donkeys on Sunday, if only his WR would catch a fucking ball. He did not lose that game in the least if you think he did I do not know why I am wasting time even responding to you. Team isn’t built to score? Whats it built to do then? Waste time while the offense is out? Oh you mean they don’t have Manning, Brees or Brady so it is impossible to score. I would count you lucky had you not one of the best QBs in history on your team you wouldn’t have any reason to jump on a bandwagon and troll other fan sites.

            Peyton can’t be stopped? Is that why he beat Baltimore last year? Is that why he has all those Super Bowl trophies? If your bullshit team makes it to the Super Bowl (which I doubt because Belichik is a fucking genius) you will have to eat your own “Can’t be stopped” words because Seattle with Beast Mode Lynch will roll all over them in the NY snow.

            In the mean while go get a life. I know that this is the only Fansided football site that has followers (I been over to that Donkey one where Nobody ever responds) but we don’t need your presence here. Maybe you can go find a pub where you have like minded Manning Jersey wearers and you all can discuss how you would give Peyton a hand job if only he would ask.


          • trinity

            :) thanks for bringing to mind the Trent dilfer thing dude. That’s the perfect comparison for Alex smith! Really brought a smile to my face. Lol! As for me being a loser. Hmmm. Well, i guess you have a point. I mean, as a chiefs fan, you would certainly be the authority on losers right? Lmao! Anyway, have with the 5th seed :). I’m sure your “elite team” will put on a cute display before getting bounced by DEN or NE. hahahaha

          • Davé

            lol i confused you for a Denver fan, but reading previous comments its apparent you are a 49ers fan. You aren’t trolling the Chiefs, you are trolling Alex Smith. You are seriously so pathetic you are following his career beyond San Fran just so you can make fun of him. Did he hurt you that much? Did he steal your girl friend? LOL god what a great laugh. Let it go man, must let it go. He is now a Chief. Do you think we are going to Vikings sites to comment on Cassel? I was very correct in calling you a loser.

          • trinity

            Actually Dave, your first assumption was correct :). I am a Denver fan, not a san francisco fan, even though i do love me so frank gore. Lol i guess the truth really does hurt considering how you’re flying off the handle. Haha. I’m a bit confused on why you insist on making this a personal thing i have against Alex smith. In truth, I feel about Alex smith the same way i feel about tony romo, Matt Ryan, and Philip rivers. Even though the 3 of them are far more talented than Alex smith, i don’t think any of them will ever win a damn thing. Just like Alex smith won’t lol. I am not a blind broncos fan. I am confident that the broncos are better than the saints and 49ers, but i acknowledge that it’s a tossup between them, the patriots, and the seahawks. The entire point is that the chiefs are not included in that list of realistic threats. Simple. Your defense has been figured out, and you have a manager under center. That’s good enough to win some regular season games.but it won’t be nearly good enough to beat the broncos or patriots. The AFC is a two team race. Lol the fact that you think it’s more than that makes me feel embarrassed for you. Well…it also makes me feel amused lol :)! But yeah..also pity. Hahaha

          • Davé

            Your analysis of Alex Smith is completely incorrect. Personal attacks aside (I hate people that troll other fan sites tbh) your assumption that it is impossible to win with anything other than a top three QB is misguided. All it takes is balance and by the playoffs you will see that is what the Chiefs will become: a really balanced team. You did not watch Alex versus San Diego, only Denver. I was a hater of the trade for him, you can check under my comments as Chiefswatch. Then I did some research and discovered that the kid can throw with the best. He proved this in weeks ten and eleven scoring 38 against San Diego with truly great throws and then again against Denver. He would have been over 80% completion had his receivers not dropped so many passes Sunday. He honestly is another Russel Wilson capable of making throws and capable of making downs with his legs. The difference between Sea hawks and Chiefs is the secondary and that is why you and all Denver fans should fear the Sea Hawks. It’s not as if you dominated the Chiefs by any stretch and even a fan of Denver knows that last game could have easily gone in the Chiefs favor had those drops not happened or if Reid used Jamaal Charles more. Going back to the Sea Hawks, they also have an awesome tight end in Zach Miller, something the Chiefs don’t have though Fasano is pretty good . I am operating under the assumption our receivers will bounce back, Avery has been much better and they will learn to throw more to Dex down field. On the Defensive side the coaches will have a game plan in place and you can expect Cooper will not be out there to be taken advantage of. Hali and Houston will be at full strength, and while you think they didn’t get any pressure game 1 you have to note Peyton got the ball out in under three seconds; no team could get pressure in that time. We took away the crossing route in game 2 and the 2 second throw but without Hali and Houston in game 2 (Hali was obviously gimped) we couldn’t get pressure so you hit Decker and Thomas down field as a result. If you do have to face the Chiefs again, I truly hope the players take your outlook as a guaranteed win. What should scare your team greatly is that we are coming off a 2 win season and were one play away from winning on Sunday. Beating us three times in a row statistically is scary, let alone if we continue with great offense and our Defense get’s itself figured out again. This year If you can’t get past us, Seattle or the Patriots next year will only gets tougher. We will be year two into the Andy Reid era and will our team will only go up. Denver on the other hand will be playing with a 39 year old Peyton and will lose Del Rio and Decker, Rodgers Cromartie, and Moreno will be UFA as will a lot of your depth. The window for Denver is insanely small, while the Chiefs are just starting.

          • trinity

            First, when in the world did i say that you can only win with one of the 4 elite? Um, never because i don’t believe that’s true. Russell Wilson is outside of that class, and his team is the best in the league. Colin kaepernick is outside of that class, and i am not ruling out the 49ers. So yes, i do think you could win without one of the 4 elite. Second, i just simply disagree with you about Alex smith. I think that he has proven that he can’t be trusted to keep up this level of play consistently. He isn’t built that way. He has a very high completion %, but you have to remember that that is because his average pass is only 6.1 yards. He isn’t a horrible thrower, but he has literally proven that he certainly can’t be relied upon to shoot it out consistently. I simply think that this is what will do the chiefs in.

    • BarryLuvsReggie

      I agree Denver is the better team, but at any level of competition it’s hard to be the same team 3 times in a row. Personally I’d rather be a 3 or 4 seed to keep momentum playing. Seems 1 and 2 seeds always get knocked off.

  • AFL1962

    As a Chief fan coming out of a nice draft, picking up Alex Smith, I was looking for a better year then 2012. Going 9-0 to start the season was awesome. But I also knew they hadn’t gone into division play yet and that would be the test. Well all three loses came at the hands of the West rivals. So they have work to do, to get better. Take a look at last years super bowl teams, 6-6 & 8-4 not that great. Six (6) teams in the NFL have 9 wins or more, the Chiefs are one of them. The Hawks have 11 wins can you imagine what the West would look like if they were still in the West? So like all Chief fans making the playoffs would be great, winning the first playoff game would be gravy. Go Chiefs!