|Other Week 17 Game Recaps|
|ATL at TB||BAL at OAK||CHI at DET||CIN at NYJ||GB at ARI||IND at BUF||JAX at CLE||KC at DEN|
|NE at HOU||NO at CAR||NYG at MIN||PHI at DAL||PIT at MIA||SF at STL||TEN at SEA||WAS at SD|
Week 17 Game Recap: Kansas City Chiefs 44, Denver Broncos 24
Kansas City Chiefs
|QB Matt Cassel, Pass: 13 - 24 - 207 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0 (1 targets)|
Sunday was an efficient and effective day for Cassel. The first time these two teams played it was arguably Cassel's worst performance of the season. Cassel corrected that on Sunday as the Chiefs came out firing downfield on their first drive. He did throw one interception in this game, but Bobby Wade slipped on his route or else it was likely going to be a completion for Cassel. He showed good poise in the pocket, and kept his eyes downfield when under pressure. Having a back like Jamaal Charles certainly helped keep the defense honest, but Cassel made the throws when he had to and kept the chains moving on Sunday.
|RB Jamaal Charles, Rush: 25 - 259 - 2, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets)|
Charles ran for a Chiefs record 259 yards against the Broncos on Sunday, and crushed the Broncos hopes of getting back in this game with big runs in the 4th quarter. Kansas City got him the ball in a number of different ways, but the speedy back only needs a sliver of daylight to have a big gain. He was regularly getting to the second level of the defense, and in the end averaged over 10-yards per carry. Once again Charles ran with good authority between the tackles, and was very dangerous outside if the Broncos failed to set the edge. Charles also showed great balance as he ran under control and was hard to bring down with just a shoulder hit. He looked like Chris Johnson out there and kept his feet moving after contact which allowed him to gain positive yardage on plays where it looked like he might be dropped for a minimal gain. His running style is fearless despite his size, and he is very aggressive when he runs the football. Charles becomes the first player in NFL history to have over 1,100 yards rushing on less than 200 carries.
|RB Tim Castille, Pass: 0 - 1 - 0 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 3 - 19 - 0 (1 targets)|
Castille got a few carries for the Chiefs when Jamaal Charles needed a breather. He was also a blocker for Jamaal Charles when the Chiefs used the old school "full house" formation, with two fullbacks in the backfield. Castille actually attempted a pass in this game when the Chiefs ran the ole "QB drag" play. Castille took the handoff and ran to the right, but his eyes were clearly on Matt Cassel sneaking out of the backfield to the left. The Broncos read the play easily, and Cassel was triple covered. The pass was easily picked off by Andre Goodman, and it looked more like a punt than a pass.
|RB Mike Cox, Rush: 2 - 3 - 1, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (1 targets)|
Cox got into the end zone on Sunday against the Broncos in the first quarter. The Chiefs quickly went down the field with their first possession, and they were inside the red zone after two big passing plays. One quick pass to Dwayne Bowe left the ball on the 1-yard line, and Cox punched it in on the next play. He also caught one pass out of the backfield, and was effective as a blocker for Jamaal Charles record setting day on the ground.
|RB Javarris Williams, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0 (1 targets)|
Williams saw the field in garbage time, and most of his production came after Jamaal Charles had his record setting day. Williams was targeted as a receiver out of the backfield, and did a nice job of hauling in a swing pass with one hand while Champ Bailey was covering him. The big back did have one foot out of bounds, but a flag was thrown on the play and it looked like it was going to be pass interference on the veteran cornerback. Instead, the officials picked up the flag and declared there was no penalty because there wasn't enough contact to warrant pass interference.
|WR Chris Chambers, Rec: 5 - 80 - 0 (8 targets)|
The veteran receiver showed his savvy on a couple of plays during the game. In the 1st quarter he basically played defensive back, and knocked a bad pass down that Champ Bailey was looking to intercept -- but he wasn't done there. Chambers was matched up against Andre Goodman for most of the game, and was able to make the veteran cornerback look silly at times. With under 8 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter Chambers gathered his biggest pass of the day -- a 43-yard strike on the right sideline of the field. How he caught it was amazing. Goodman was playing tight coverage with his back to the ball, so Chambers pretended the pass was coming in low which prompted Goodman to flash his hands down in an attempt to block the incoming throw. Instead the pass was coming in high, and Chambers easily plucked the ball out of the sky with his long arms.
|WR Terrance Copper, Rec: 2 - 57 - 0 (2 targets)|
The Chiefs came out firing against the Broncos, and their first pass of the day was a 50-yard completion to Copper right in stride down the seam. The Chiefs brought Copper in motion, then play action faked to Jamaal Charles. Copper just streaked up the field and ran right past Brian Dawkins as he came up in coverage, but was peeking in the backfield. Copper also made some plays on special teams, and had one more reception on the day.
|WR Bobby Wade, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (5 targets)|
Wade only hauled in one pass on Sunday, but once again he and head coach Todd Haley were yelling at each other on the sidelines. Near the end of the 3rd quarter with Matt Cassel working out of the shotgun Bobby Wade was targeted with a short pass on the right side of the field. Wade slipped when running his route, and the pass was easily intercepted by Ty Law. The veteran cornerback returned the ball to the Chiefs 3-yard line, and the Broncos scored a touchdown three plays later to pull within three points. Wade and Haley had to be separated from each other after the interception on the Chiefs sideline.
|WR Dwayne Bowe, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (1 targets)|
Bowe was hardly involved in the gameplan on Sunday. He ended the contest against the Broncos with only one catch, and was blanketed by Champ Bailey in coverage most of the day.
|TE Leonard Pope, Rec: 1 - 29 - 0 (3 targets)|
Pope only had one reception against the Broncos on Sunday, but it was a big one that went for 29-yards. The Chiefs came out attacking Denver through the air, and they took advantage of Brian Dawkins playing too aggressively in coverage. Pope's lone reception was the second play of the day for the Chiefs, and came directly on the heels of Terrance Copper's 50-yard catch and run. Pope was able to gain significant yards after the catch, and was tackled inside the Broncos 10-yard line.
|TE Jake OConnell, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0|
O'Connell's only reception on the day came near the beginning of the third quarter. The Chiefs were inside the Broncos 10-yard line, and quarterback Matt Cassel hit O'Connell on a short pass to the left side of the field that only went for three yards.
|QB Kyle Orton, Pass: 32 - 56 - 431 - 1 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 2 - 16 - 0|
Orton once again struggled to make good decisions with the football on Sunday. He threw 3 interceptions against the Chiefs, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns by linebacker Derrick Johnson. Orton was not pressured very much by the Chiefs defense, and when the game started it seemed like he only had eyes for Jabar Gaffney. The veteran wideout had 10 receptions at halftime, but the Chiefs changed their coverage schemes so Orton looked to find other receiving weapons. He showed good chemistry with Brandon Lloyd for the second week in a row but failed to recognize when the Chiefs linebackers were sitting down in zone coverage. Orton did not look overwhelmed for most of this game, and even dove head first to pick up a first down at one point during the contest. The veteran quarterback knew what was on the line, and he wasn't pressing -- he just didn't have a good day.
|RB Knowshon Moreno, Rush: 14 - 50 - 2, Rec: 3 - 48 - 0 (3 targets)|
Moreno ran hard and scored a couple of times against Kansas City, but the short yardage woes continued for the Denver Broncos. A bigger day was there for Moreno, but he seemed to be too impatient behind the line of scrimmage and did not properly allow his blocks to develop. Moreno continued to run out of control, and when he would try to make a move he would sometimes slip down and fall. He didn't gain enough yards in this game to go over the 1,000 yard mark for the season, and has plenty to work on in the offseason.
|RB Correll Buckhalter, Rush: 6 - 18 - 0, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (4 targets)|
Buckhalter started the game, and showed his trademark electricity on a few plays against the Chiefs. The Broncos tried to use him as a receiver out of the backfield, but the plays were quickly read and shut down by Kansas City. Buckhalter ended up getting dinged up in this game, and had to limp across he field to get to the Denver sideline. He returned to the lineup later in the 4th quarter but did not do much with his touches.
|RB Peyton Hillis|
Hillis was only used on special teams against the Chiefs. Versatile fullback/linebacker Spencer Larsen did the lead blocking for the Broncos on Sunday.
|WR Jabar Gaffney, Rec: 14 - 213 - 0 (19 targets)|
Gaffney did his best Brandon Marshall impression on Sunday, and ended up having the best day of his career. With his 14 catch performance on Sunday one has to wonder why he wasn't more involved in this offense earlier in the year. Gaffney did it all, and made all sorts of different catches as the game went on. He caught high passes, low passes, had one-handed catches, and even made a David Tyree-like reception where he trapped the ball against his helmet as he was falling to the ground. He was clearly in the zone, and knows this offense like the back of his hand. Gaffney is also showing a good rapport with quarterback Kyle Orton
|WR Brandon Stokley, Rec: 5 - 43 - 1 (8 targets)|
Stokley was back on the field after getting ejected in the game last week against the Eagles. He caught a short touchdown pass in the 3rd quarter to bring the Broncos within 3 points, but most of his production (3 of his 5 catches) came in garbage time when the Chiefs were up by 20 points. The touchdown pass was a thing of beauty as Stokley jumped and fully extended his body parallel to the ground to haul in the catch.
|WR Brandon Lloyd, Rec: 4 - 95 - 0 (13 targets)|
The veteran receiver was active for the second week in a row, and continued to show a great rapport with quarterback Kyle Orton. The two played together in Chicago last season, and it's clear that Orton trusts Lloyd when looking for a big play. The veteran would sell out to make a catch, even if he was going to take a big hit when going up for a reception. Lloyd also went low and slid down for a couple of catches on Sunday. His best catch of the day was tipped by cornerback Brandon Carr, yet Lloyd showed great concentration and secured the ball as he was falling to the ground.
|WR Brandon Marshall|
Marshall was inactive for this game because of a coach's decision. Head coach Josh McDaniels did not like Marshall's attitude when dealing with a hamstring injury from practice earlier in the week. Instead of consulting the receiver and seeing if he could try out the hamstring in pregame warmups, the rookie head coach instead told Marshall he wasn't going to play on Friday.
|WR Eddie Royal|
Royal was also inactive for this game, but unlike Marshall or Scheffler, he missed the game due to injury. It was a disappointing way to end a disappointing sophomore season.
|TE Daniel Graham, Rec: 4 - 29 - 0 (8 targets)|
Graham had a couple of key drops in this game, as he does most games when he sees an increase in targets. One of those targets that hit the turf was in the end zone when the Broncos were at the Chiefs 1-yard line in the second quarter. The second interception returned for a touchdown by linebacker Derrick Johnson was intended for Graham as Orton was feeling pressure in the pocket. Graham saw all of his receptions come when the Broncos were down by 13 points or more. He even seemed to sustain a knee injury in the final quarter but stayed in the game. After getting banged up Graham didn't move the same as a receiver or a blocker.
|TE Richard Quinn (1 targets)|
The Broncos traded back into the second-round of the 2009 NFL Draft to get Quinn even though he only had 12 career receptions in college at North Carolina. Without Scheffler in the lineup, some thought we'd see more of Quinn but he did not record a reception on Sunday.
|TE Tony Scheffler|
Just like Brandon Marshall, the athletic tight end Scheffler was inactive for this game because of a coach's decision. Scheffler has never really fit in Josh McDaniels scheme, and has likely played his last game for the Broncos.