Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Final from Denver: Broncos 38, Chiefs 3

PAUL KLEE Updated: December 30, 2012 at 12:00 am

DENVER — Boy, that Peyton Manning sure knows how to throw a party, huh?

Thanks to their MVP-worthy quarterback — and another helping hand from his former team — the Broncos will let the good times roll at home.

Denver’s 38-3 rout of Kansas City on Sunday felt more like a premature New Year’s bash. Sports Authority Field erupted when the Indianapolis Colts beat the Houston Texans, and the celebration continued all the way through Denver’s 12th straight win.

That combination assured the Broncos of the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Denver won’t have to leave home unless it’s for a trip to Manning’s home, New Orleans, for the Super Bowl.

Manning was 23-for-29 for 304 yards and three touchdowns.

More coverage from Mile High coming later on Gazette.com

Broncos Live Report — Denver 35, Kansas City 3 — 12:05 left in the third quarter — Sports Authority Field

-With Denver ahead 35-3, Brock Osweiler took over quarterbacking duties. The former Gonzaga basketball recruit got almost a full quarter to show his stuff.

-Official attendance: 73,684.

-Here's a tip: Root for Houston next weekend. Don't want Cincinnati going to Denver.

-Osweiler completed his first career pass to Matthew Willis for a first down.

Back in a few. Klee

Broncos Live Report — Denver 21, Kansas City 3 — 9:30 left in the third quarter — Sports Authority Field

-How important is homefield advantage in Denver? The Broncos are 13-3 in home playoff games — and have lost four straight road playoff games.

-Peyton record watch: Manning now holds Broncos marks for most passing yards in a season (4,573), most completions in a season (394) and passing TDs (36)... and counting.

-Expecting his postgame news conference to be just like the others: "We wanted to get better today, and I felt like we got better," Manning will say.

-That north breeze is chilling out the south stands.

-Still feels more like a party than a football game. Fans aren't going anywhere — unless it's to find the beer man.

-The Broncos outgained the Chiefs 277-89 in the first half. The AFC West will be theirs for as long as Manning is the quarterback.

Back in a few. Klee

Broncos Live Report — Denver 14, Kansas City 3 — 3:19 left in second quarter — Sports Authority Field

-Wonder how many of the coaches here today will be with their respective teams to start next season? John Fox isn't going anywhere. Jack Del Rio and Mike McCoy will have head coaching opportunities, I believe. Romeo Crennel is coaching his final game for KC.

-With the news of the No. 1 seed in Denver's reach, it feels like Mile High hosted a party and a football game broke out. Fans are eating (and drinking) it up.

-Here's a nugget: The Broncos will win 13 games for the fifth time. Guess how many of the previous seasons resulted in a Super Bowl triumph. One (1998, 14-2).

-Another MVP performance from Peyton Manning. After a second touchdown drive, he's 12-for-14 for 166 yards and a touchdown and a QB rating of 139.9. And he hasn't yelled at anyone on the sideline. It's early.

Back in a few. Klee

Broncos Live Report — Denver 7, Kansas City 3 — 13:10 left in second quarter — Sports Authority Field

-The Broncos' butterfingers emerge again. Ronnie Hillman — for the umpteenth Live Report, still don't understand that draft pick — fumbled away a promising drive.

-Wondering how the Broncos would lose a home playoff game? That's how.

-Biggest development so far: Orlando Franklin going to the locker room with an injury. On an offensive line about to regain Chris Kuper, Broncos can't lose their right tackle.

-We've seen a few Derek Wolfe jerseys in the stands today.

-The Colts score was shown on the videoboard. Peyton Manning was talking to Mike McCoy and didn't look up. They know.

Back in a few. Klee

Broncos Live Report — Denver 7, Kansas City 0 — 9:56 left in first quarter — Sports Authority Field

-Denver's defense forced a 3-and-out on Kansas City's first possession. The crowd knows what's at stake and is fired up.

-Peyton Manning then directed a 69-yard touchdown drive. It took only eight plays. Knowshon Moreno scored it with 9:56 on the clock. Didn't take long to see Denver isn't looking past KC.

-Houston is the big loser today. Not only did the Texans drop one in Indianapolis, they now must face Cincinnati next weekend. I see two AFC teams capable of beating Denver, and the Bengals are one of them. You know the other one.

-Full house at Sports Authority Field. Maybe a few empty seats up in Section 528. That's it.

Back in a few. Klee

Broncos Live Report — Kansas City (2-13) at Denver (12-3) — Sports Authority Field — Kickoff

-The Broncos defense was introduced prior to kickoff. Champ Bailey, the final player out of the inflatable horse head, receives the loudest cheer.

-Never get tired of watching the parachutists who drop into Mile High prior to kickoff.

-Think about this stat: Keith Brooking has played in 191 consecutive games — the third-longest streak among active players.

"I think as you get older, you train smarter, but not necessarily harder," Brooking told me the other day. I need to write that column.

-The Broncos remarkable luck (Luck?) continues. Indianapolis beat Houston to give the Broncos control of their playoff seeding. With a win today, Denver will be the No. 1 seed in the AFC tournament for the first time since its second Super Bowl title, in 1998.

-Weather: 35 degrees at kickoff. Temps dropping into low 20s by game's end.

Back in a few. Klee

Broncos Live Report — Kansas City (2-13) at Denver (12-3) — Sports Authority Field (2:25 p.m.)

-Ronnie Hillman's in the north endzone having a conversation with special-teams ace David Bruton. Jim Leonhard's getting his punt-return on. Solidifying their punt return is one of the Broncos' points of emphasis today.

-Scoreboard watch: Indy 28, Houston 16 (12:06, third). Broncos fans applauding the long touchdown pass from Andrew Luck, the Stanford grad, to T.Y. Hilton, the Florida International product.

-I was hoping Merril Hoge got something special for Christmas: A reality check. Definitely didn't happen.

-Good conversations with Joel Dreessen and Mitch Unrein last week. Hope to put together a column on the Colorado natives in the near future. Unrein spent Christmas in his hometown of Eaton. He also got in a duck hunting trip with his girlfriend, Cory Cogdell, who is an Olympic trap shooter.

Back in a few. Klee

Broncos Live Report — Kansas City (2-13) at Denver (12-3) — Sports Authority Field (2:25 p.m.)

-Fans are filling into Mile High, and cheers erupted when the Colts took a 21-16, third-quarter lead on the Texans. The Jumbotron is on RedZone and has the fans' attention.

-Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop is testing his distance. He went 2-for-3 from 55 yards out.

-Meanwhile, Matt Prater's splitting the uprights from 45. The Broncos kicker again has the highest touchback percentage this season in the NFL (68.4).

-To a man, the Broncos believe Wesley Woodyard will be a Pro Bowl pick next season. Champ Bailey said "it's a popularity contest" that is usually a year behind — meaning Woodyard got voters attention this season and it will pay off next season.

Back in a few. Klee

Broncos Live Report — Kansas City (2-13) at Denver (12-3) — Sports Authority Field (2:25 p.m.)

Afternoon everyone. Paul Klee joining you from Mile High for the Broncos regular-season finale. Plenty at stake today for the Broncos — appreciate you stopping by. I'll be here through the final horn with updates and observations from inside the stadium.

-On the field warming up right now: Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn and Broncos tight ends Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen.

-Another sunshine-filled afternoon at Mile High. It's 44 degrees and some (hearty) loyalists were tailgating in T-shirts.

-NFL RedZone is showing on the giant videoboard. The game of interest is in the second quarter: Colts 14, Texans 6.

-Denver will be the No. 1 seed if it wins and Houston loses. Denver will be the No. 2 seed if it wins and Houston wins.

-Can't fathom a scenario where Denver loses today. The Broncos are 16-point favorites — the largest spread of their season. And this locker room has only tunnel vision.

"I like the fact that we have a chance to improve as a team this week and it’s a great test for us going against this defense," Peyton Manning said, reiterating the season-long company line.

-The AFC's scary team is Cincinnati. And that doesn't bode well for Houston, which, if it loses today, would have to face the Bengals pass rush next weekend. The Bengals are the better team at the moment.

-Ironically, the Broncos and Chiefs had the same number of Pro Bowl selections (five). One of Denver's said there are two areas the Broncos are looking to improve today.

"Third down and the red (zone) area," Ryan Clady said.

-The latest in the Peyton record watch: Manning needs eight completions and 172 yards to trump the current Bears quarterback for most completions (385) and passing yards (4,527).

-Wrote about Champ Bailey for today's Gazette. Is the 14-year veteran the best defensive player to suit up for the Broncos? The numbers suggest he is.

-That column prompted this email from reader Joe: "Water covers 75 percent of the earth... Champ covers the rest."

Feel free to chime in via email (paul.klee@gazette.com) or Twitter (@Klee_Gazette). Back in a few.

Comment Policy
Colorado Springs Gazette has disabled the comments for this article.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
JUL
25
JUL
26
JUL
27
JUL
28
JUL
29
JUL
30
JUL
31
AUG
1
AUG
2
AUG
3
AUG
4
AUG
5
AUG
6
AUG
7
Advertisement