Nov 30, 2014 10:48 PM
Broncos lead Chiefs 23-10 after 3 quarters
The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Peyton Manning threw a pair of touchdown passes, Connor Barth hit three field goals and the Denver Broncos took a 23-10 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs into the fourth quarter Sunday night.
Manning capped an effortless 74-yard drive with a 23-yard third-down pass to Demaryius Thomas in the first quarter. Then, after the Broncos forced a second straight three-and-out, Manning found C.J. Anderson on third down with a 15-yard touchdown strike.
Barth, who was signed this week to replace Brandon McManus, added a pair of short field goals in the second quarter and another in the third to push the lead to 23-10.
The Chiefs, coming off a disastrous loss in Oakland, had minus-10 yards of offense in the first quarter. They didn't pick up a first down until there was 6:45 left in the first half, and didn't get on the board until Alex Smith hit Anthony Fasano with a 20-yard scoring strike.
Cairo Santos added a short field goal in the third quarter for Kansas City.
The Broncos (8-3) entered the game with a half-game lead over San Diego (8-4) in the crowded AFC West. The Chiefs (7-4) needed a victory to forge a three-way tie in the division.
Kansas City was dressed in all red uniforms at chilly Arrowhead Stadium to honor Eric Berry, their veteran safety. Berry was found to have a lump in his chest last week that is believed to be lymphoma. He is still undergoing tests at Emory University in Atlanta.
Berry has professed his love for the red-on-red look, which Kansas City wore for the first time last year against Dallas and broke out again earlier this season against New England.
When he first learned of his illness, Berry initially asked coach Andy Reid if he would be able to play against Denver. The Chiefs' porous defense sure could have used him Sunday night as they tried to end a five-game losing streak against their longtime rivals.
Anderson continually gashed the Chiefs for long runs one week after the undrafted free agent had his coming-out party with 167 yards rushing in a victory over Miami. Starting in place of the injured Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, Anderson already had 80 yards rushing by halftime.
Meanwhile, Kansas City kept making mistakes.
After recovering a fumble deep in Denver territory, the Chiefs moved just three yards before kicking a field goal. On their next possession, Smith had his pass batted at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by DeMarcus Ware, the first pick he'd thrown in 179 attempts. And on their next possession, Smith was sacked by Ware on third-and-1 to force another punt.
Then, when the Chiefs finally forced a punt, the ball inexplicably bounced off cornerback Marcus Cooper and was recovered by Denver for a fresh set of downs.
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