NFL Recap: Denver Broncos run game helps earn divisional win over Kansas City Chiefs, 29-16.


Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs the ball as Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Josh Mauga (90) defends during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos established the run game early which led to a 29-16 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday night. Arrowhead Stadium is notorious for their loud, energetic venue yet Broncos fans were out and about, showing why Denver has one of the best fan bases in the league.

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There were a lot of things I liked from this game, especially from the defensive side of the ball. Denver’s defense was all over Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, recording a total of six sacks throughout the game. Five different players were credited with a sack (T.J. Ward, Brandon Marshall, Quinton Carter, DeMarcus Ware, and Von Miller). Derek Wolfe received .5 of a sack, sharing one with Miller.

Denver established the run game right away and never looked back. C.J. Anderson recorded his second-straight 160+ yard rushing game, carrying the ball 32 times which resulted in 168 yards – 5.3 yards per carry. Back-up Juwan Thompson added 39 yards of his own on 10 carries. Anderson has certainly cemented his spot as the team’s number one back moving forward, even when Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman return.

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Pounding the rock takes a lot of pressure off the quarterback, in this case Peyton Manning. Manning passed for a season-low 179 yards, completing just 17-of-34 passes as Denver tried to take various shots down the field. Manning did record two touchdown passes (Demaryius Thomas, C.J. Anderson), helping Denver capture their 9th win of the season.

Just like in their last meeting back on Sept. 14th, Denver kept Jamaal Charles away from the end zone – although he left the game with an injury in a 24-17 Broncos victory. Denver’s 2nd-ranked defense at stopping the run did their job, holding Charles to just 35 yards on 10 attempts. Doing that made Kansas City one-dimensional by throwing the ball, which doesn’t suit their style of play.

After releasing kicker Brandon McManus this past week, newly signed kicker Connor Barth made his presence known in the victory. Barth tied a Broncos single-game record for five field goals made – tying Jason Elam‘s record. Barth is wearing Elam’s jersey number as a tribute to the former Broncos great.

The Denver Broncos (9-3) resume action next Sunday afternoon as they host the Buffalo Bills at Sports Authority Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 PM EST, 2:05 PM MST.