The Denver Broncos had numerous opportunities to win today's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but ultimately the Chiefs escaped with a 10-6 victory. The Broncos were luck to even score two field goals. Now 3-9, Denver has officially been eliminated from AFC West title contention.
The biggest problem today was Kyle Orton's inability to be even a decent quarterback. He went 9-of-28 for 117 yards for no touchdowns and a 46.27 QB rating. When the Broncos needed to come up big in the fourth quarter, Josh McDaniels called all passing plays, which Orton threw most for incompletions. Josh McDaniels did not go at all to running back Knowshon Moreno on the groud during the final three possessions.
Moreno had the best game of his young career by rushing for 161 yards on 23 carries. He had a long run of 24 yards in the fourth quarter and then didn't rush the ball anymore. He did, however, catch one ball for 14 yards. Too little, too late.
Orton also lost the ball late in the fourth quarter when the Chiefs' Tamba Hali sacked Orton and then stripped and recovered the ball. To end the game, Orton threw a deep pass to Brandon Lloyd that fell for an incompletion--much to no one's surprise. And Orton would have had several interceptions if not for the failure of the Chiefs' secondary to put some hands on the balls.
Cornerback Champ Bailey played one of his best games as a Bronco, dominating Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe all game long. Bowe was Matt Cassel's target three times, but didn't record a catch. His Broncos counterpart, Brandon Lloyd, suffered as a result of Kyle Orton's abysmal showing. He caught two passes for 31 yards.
The Chiefs Jamaal Charles rushed for 116 yards and Thomas Jones caught four passes for 54 yards. Outside of Matt Cassel's two-yard touchdown pass to Leonard Pope in the first quarter, the Broncos' defense was dominant.
The play that best summed up this game came late in the fourth quarter when the Chiefs made their last punt of the game. The play eventually resulted in the Broncos having the ball at their eight-yard line, but before the referees determined that, it appeared the Chiefs recorded a safety. The Broncos player who recovered the ball kept faling back and wound up in his own end zone. Thankfully, the Chiefs' Tony Moeaki touched it earlier at the eight-yard line.
Kyle Orton should be held accountable for his poor play, but Josh McDaniels needs to answer for his odd fetish for passing the ball late in the game while Knowshon Moreno was clearly ready to pound the Chiefs. McDaniels should not be sitting comfortably after this loss, and with Kyle Orton's poor play there will be even more pressure to play Tim Tebow.
The Broncos head to Phoenix next Sunday to face the Arizona Cardinals at 2:15 p.m. MT.