The Denver Broncos can’t say they weren’t fooled by the Chiefs’ fake punt, but at least they made a play to stop it.
The Chiefs faked a punt from their own 28-yard line in the third quarter. They put backup quarterback Brodie Croyle in the game and lined up in an odd formation, which the Broncos said they had seen before in practice.
Kansas City still got a receiver wide open to the left, but rookie tight end Richard Quinn jumped and tipped the pass down incomplete.
“It was a shame that it didn’t work out because we had somebody wide open if I could have just gotten it over that guy,” Croyle said.
“I was just trying to make a play,” Quinn said. “Anything to help the team.”
Broncos offensive tackle Ryan Harris, who missed four starts with a toe injury, lasted only 10 plays before suffering another injury. Harris was carted to the locker room in the first quarter after leaving the game. He had his foot examined on the sideline for a while before going off for tests.
“I don’t know anything yet – at that point we didn’t feel good about him going back in the game,” Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. “It was not just a recurrence. It was a little bit of a different deal.”
Tyler Polumbus replaced Harris at right tackle.
McDaniels and the players were well aware of the Broncos’ putrid history at Arrowhead Stadium. Denver was 1-17 all-time at Kansas City in December, and former coach Mike Shanahan posted a 3-11 record at Arrowhead. The Broncos didn’t leave anything to chance, setting a franchise record for most points in a game at Arrowhead.
“The team understood the history, it wasn’t great,” cornerback Andre Goodman said. “We want to change that tradition.”