|Other Week 13 Game Recaps|
|BAL at GB||DAL at NYG||DEN at KC||DET at CIN||HOU at JAX||MIN at ARI||NE at MIA||NO at WAS|
|NYJ at BUF||OAK at PIT||PHI at ATL||SD at CLE||SF at SEA||STL at CHI||TB at CAR||TEN at IND|
Week 13 Game Recap: Denver Broncos 44, Kansas City Chiefs 13
|QB Kyle Orton, Pass: 15 - 25 - 180 - 2 TD / 1 INT|
Orton seemed a little off on some of his throws Sunday against the Chiefs. The Broncos were able to move the ball effectively both on the ground and through the air, but Orton's passes weren't as crisp as they usually are. His first interception of the game came on a deflected pass in the end zone, but the pass was ill advised to begin with. He tried to squeeze it in to Tony Scheffler at the back of the end zone, but Chiefs defenders were swarming around. His shorter passes seemed to either hit the dirt or sail high, and a few of his deep targets were swatted away at the last minute. Orton did a good job with play action passes, and was able to stay confident against the Chiefs pass rush.
|QB Chris Simms, Rush: 3 - -4 - 0|
With six minutes left in the game the Broncos took Kyle Orton out, and inserted Simms as the quarterback. He did nothing but hand off to Peyton Hillis for seven straight plays, then kneeled down three times to seal the victory.
|RB Knowshon Moreno, Rush: 21 - 86 - 2|
Moreno received a bulk of the workload against the Chiefs, and he did not disappoint. He ran with great authority between the tackles, and was constantly slashing for extra yardage once he reached the second level of the defense. Even when the Chiefs seemed to have him bottled up in the backfield he would find a way to spin out of the grasp of a tackler and pick up a couple of yards. Moreno really wore down the Chiefs defense, and seems to be getting stronger as the season goes along. His first touchdown was a plunge up the middle, but his second touchdown was a thing of beauty. On a fourth down and two yards to go the Broncos ran to the left side behind Ryan Clady. Moreno found himself in the clear but showed an extra little burst to get into the end zone untouched from eighteen yards out. Denver is averaging around 190 yards rushing per game the last two weeks, and their trust in Knowshon Moreno continues to grow as we enter the stretch run of the season.
|RB Correll Buckhalter, Rush: 12 - 113 - 0, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (3 targets)|
Buckhalter was able to take advantage of a defense that had been abused by rookie running back Knowshon Moreno. Cbuck was a perfect change of pace back, and provided an instant spark for the Broncos anytime he was on the field. He was gashing the Chiefs defense, and would seemingly get to the second level in the blink of an eye. His biggest run of the day (26 yards) could have been even bigger if not for a shoestring tackle by Mike Brown that tripped up Buckhalter in the open field when nobody was in front of him. The last two weeks the Broncos seem more committed to the run then ever before, and Buckhalter's running has greatly helped this team.
|RB Peyton Hillis, Rush: 7 - 47 - 0|
Hillis actually got a few carries this week in garbage time for the Denver Broncos. With the game well at hand, Denver decided to put the bruiser in and grind out the final six minutes of the game. All of his seven carries came in a row at the end of the fourth quarter and it was classic Peyton Hillis. He ran with good power and forward lean, and kept his feet moving to pick up extra yardage. The Broncos were able to run rough shod over the Chiefs all day long, and the carries for Hillis were just icing on the cake.
|WR Brandon Marshall, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 7 - 94 - 1 (10 targets)|
Surprisingly, Brandon Marshall didn't receive the first reception of the game for the Broncos -- but once again he was heavily involved in the passing game. The Broncos relied on their ground game to pound the Chiefs defense, but did take a few shots with Marshall downfield. His touchdown catch came on a bubble screen to the left where he was able to use his run after the catch ability to dance into the end zone from 8-yards out. His longest reception of the day came in the fourth quarter on the Broncos final scoring drive. Out of trips formation Marshall was able to haul in the quick screen and turn upfield quickly. He raced for 49-yards before Jon McGraw knocked him out of bounds.
|WR Eddie Royal, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 2 - 32 - 0 (4 targets)|
The Broncos first play of the game was a play action pass to Eddie Royal for 18 yards. It looked early on like the Broncos were going to exploit the mismatch between Royal and cornerback Brandon Flowers. However, as the game went on the targets to Royal never materialized. His second, and final, reception of the game came on a play where Brandon Carr was giving him a 10-yard cushion before the start of the play. Orton identified it early, and quickly threw the ball to Royal out int he flat. Kyle Orton tried to hook up with him on a few short routes, but the passes were off the mark.
|WR Jabar Gaffney (1 targets)|
Gaffney's best plays came as a blocker on running plays, and also on a few quick screens to Brandon Marshall. He was targeted with one pass on the day in the second half, but it fell incomplete.
|TE Daniel Graham, Rec: 2 - 20 - 1 (3 targets)|
Graham was used a couple of times on tight end screens, and both times it resulted in good things for the Denver Broncos. Early in the first quarter Orton faked an off tackle hand off to Knowshon Moreno, turned, and was able to hit Graham in the flat for a 13-yard gain. Later in the quarter they ran the same play to the same side, and this time Graham was able to get into the end zone untouched from 7-yards out. As always, Graham was also a good contributor as a blocker in the run game, as the Broncos decided to attack KC on the ground.
|TE Tony Scheffler, Rec: 1 - 19 - 0 (4 targets)|
The Chiefs have struggled to stop athletic tight ends, and it looked early on like the Broncos may exploit the mismatches that Scheffler creates every time he's on the field. He did catch a pass late in this game, but it was the only one of the contest. He was targeted in the end zone by Kyle Orton on the Broncos opening drive, but the pass was deflected and intercepted.
Kansas City Chiefs
|QB Matt Cassel, Pass: 10 - 29 - 84 - 0 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 17 - 0 (1 targets)|
Sunday was one of the worst days of Cassel's career with the Kansas City Chiefs. Like his counterpart for the Broncos, Cassel just seemed off for most of the day. He was replaced by Brodie Croyle in the third quarter after an incomplete pass to Chris Chambers. Cassel was harassed by the Broncos pass rush, and found it difficult to throw against the Broncos veteran secondary. He missed a big play opportunity with Bobby Wade early in this game, and it was all downhill from there. Wade could have dove for the ball, but Cassel could have put a little more air under the pass. The rest of the day Cassel worked some underneath routes, but was frustrated when the Broncos kept swatting passes away.
|QB Brodie Croyle, Pass: 6 - 14 - 50 - 0 TD / 0 INT|
Croyle came into this contest late in the third quarter to relieve an ineffective Matt Cassel. However, he was involved in a big play earlier in this game. With the ball on the Chiefs own 28-yard line Todd Haley decided to go for it on a fourth down. Croyle lined up in a punt formation and attempted to throw a pass to his long snapper. Gafford was actually open, but rookie tight end Richard Quinn jumped in the air and swatted the ball away. Later in the game when Croyle came in his play was not overly impressive. He was able to find a few open receivers in garbage time against a prevent defense, and head coach Todd Haley admitted he merely wanted to get Croyle some reps in the game.
|RB Jamaal Charles, Rush: 18 - 56 - 1, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (3 targets)|
Charles ran tough today against a Broncos defense focused on stopping him. He seemed to get a little banged up as the game went on, but kept coming back in and didn't miss much time overall. The Chiefs were successful running to the outside, where Charles is at his best. However, the scatback continued to show that he could be a determined and effective runner between the tackles too. Charles kept his legs driving after contact, and even delivered a blow to linebacker D.J. Williams on th sideline where he lowered his shoulders to pick up extra yards instead of running out of bounds. He could have had two touchdowns on the game, but Brian Dawkins was able to fight off left tackle Branden Albert on a sweep to the left and Charles was stopped for a 3-yard loss.
|RB Tim Castille, Rush: 3 - 26 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)|
Castille got a few carries for the Chiefs when Jamaal Charles was a little banged up. He was also a blocker for Jamaal Charles when the Chiefs used the old school "full house" formation, with two fullbacks in the backfield.
|RB Javarris Williams, Rush: 2 - -5 - 0|
The newly signed Williams was able to enter the game a couple of times when Jamaal Charles needed a breather or was a little banged up. He did next to nothing with his carries, and finds the NFL much tougher than the competition he saw at Tennessee State.
|RB Mike Cox (1 targets)|
Cox was the target for Cassel in the passing game, but couldn't haul in the pass. He was primarily a blocker for Jamaal Charles.
|WR Bobby Wade, Rec: 4 - 36 - 0 (12 targets)|
Wade could have had a much bigger day, but when he found himself wide open down the middle of the field, he couldn't catch the deep pass from Cassel. It was a blown coverage by Champ Bailey where he let Wade run by him while he stopped on a shorter route. Wade was streaking down the field but tried to haul in the pass with one hand, instead of diving with two hands after the ball. On the sidelines he got into a screaming match with head coach Todd Haley, and seemed frustrated the rest of the game.
|WR Chris Chambers, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (5 targets)|
Chambers was blanketed for most of the day by the Broncos veteran secondary. The Chiefs put together a 20-play drive in the first quarter, but missed an opportunity for a big play to Chambers. Matt Cassel pitched the ball to Tim Castille, and the big back headed to the right side of the line. He then turned back and threw it backwards to Cassel who was waiting for the ball. Cassel hauled in the lateral, and was looking for Chambers deep. The Broncos didn't bite on the play, and had safety help over the top so Cassel had to fire a comeback route. Chambers sat down on the route instead of coming back to the ball, and the pass was knocked away by safety Renaldo Hill.
|WR Lance Long, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (8 targets)|
Long was open underneath against the Broncos but Matt Cassel didn't look his way often. Long was able to get some garbage time yardage when Brodie Croyle was in the game and the Broncos were playing prevent defense.
|WR Quinten Lawrence, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)|
Lawrence's lone reception of the day came in garbage time with Brodie Croyle throwing him the football. He was able to catch a short pass underneath against basically a prevent look by the Denver Broncos.
|TE Brad Cottam, Rec: 3 - 21 - 0 (5 targets)|
Cottam dropped a couple of passes, and was also overthrown by Matt Cassel which is hard to believe because Cottam stands about 6'7" tall. When Brodie Croyle entered the contest in the fourth quarter he seemed to have better chemistry with the big tight end. Cottam hauled in three passes on the day, but did little after the catch.
|TE Leonard Pope, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (3 targets)|
Pope only had two receptions on the day, but his first catch was a big one that moved the chains for KC on a 20-play drive that moved them into scoring position. Pope was able to break a tackle by All-Pro safety Brian Dawkins, where he knocked Dawkins helmet off and damaged his chin strap. He then took it upfield where D.J. Williams had to tackle him after he picked up the first down. It was a huge momentum play for the Chiefs on their biggest drive of the game.