Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning once again dominated the Chiefs and Denver easily won 29-16 over Kansas City on a chilly night at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday night.
Manning threw two touchdown passes, recently signed Connor Barth was perfect on five field-goal attempts and the Broncos rolled to a 29-16 victory, their sixth straight over Kansas City and one that kept them alone in first place in the AFC West.
The Chiefs drop to 7-5 and are likely hoping for a wild-card berth after dropping both games to Denver this year. Coach Andy Reid said after the game that the Broncos "got us" and outperformed the Chiefs.
"There's really not a phase I can point to that was a positive in this game," Red said. "We all have to do better. We're all in it together."
Barth matched the franchise record for field goals in a game set twice by Jason Elam. C.J. Anderson added 168 yards rushing with a 15-yard touchdown catch, and Demaryius Thomas also had a TD grab to help the Broncos (9-3) remain a game up on San Diego in the division.Alex Smith had 153 yards passing and two touchdowns for the Chiefs, the second of them to Jamaal Charles to make it 26-16 early in the fourth quarter. But Smith's pass on the two-point try fell incomplete, and the Broncos added another field goal to put the game away.
Smith was sacked six times and Denver held Kansas City to 151 yards of total offense.
It certainly wasn't the kind of performance expected of the Chiefs, who emerged in a frenzy before the game wearing all-red uniforms for the third time in franchise history.
The Chiefs were honoring veteran safety Eric Berry, who will miss the rest of the season after a mass suspected to be lymphoma was found in his chest. Berry has professed his love for the red-on-red look, which the Chiefs wore last year against Dallas and this year versus New England.
While the Chiefs won both of those games, they hardly gave themselves a chance Sunday.
Manning capped an effortless 74-yard drive with a 23-yard third-down pass to Thomas in the first quarter. Then, after the Broncos forced a second consecutive three-and-out, Manning found Anderson out of the backfield on third down for a 15-yard touchdown strike to make it 14-0.
Anderson, an undrafted rookie, was coming off a 167-yard rushing performance last week against Miami. Starting in place of the injured Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman, he proved that it was no one-week fluke, gashing the Kansas City defense with nearly every touch.
Even when the Chiefs' porous defense stopped the Broncos, they were usually within range for Barth, who was signed this week to replace ineffective kicker Brandon McManus.
Meanwhile, very little was going right for the Chiefs on offense, either. They had minus-10 yards in the first quarter and were still at 66 yards through the third quarter.
After recovering a fumble deep in Denver territory early in the second half, they managed three yards before kicking a field goal. On their next possession, Smith had a pass batted at the line and intercepted by DeMarcus Ware, the first pick he'd thrown in 179 attempts. And on the Chiefs' next possession, Smith was sacked by Ware on third-and-1 to force another punt.
Then, when the Chiefs finally held Denver on third down, backup cornerback Marcus Cooper inexplicably let the punt to bounce off his leg. The Broncos recovered for a fresh set of downs.
Barth added his fifth field midway through the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Fans had hoped that the Chiefs would come out pumped up when playing for Berry.
The last 10 days could not have gone much worse for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Beginning with a humiliating loss to Oakland, a team that had lost 16 consecutive games, and ending with the sobering news that popular and talented safety Eric Berry could have lymphoma, it has been a period marked by frustration, anxiety and uncertainty.
Charles dedicated the game to two teenagers who drowned in a Northwest Missouri farm pond last weekend. He recalled this week meeting one of them at training camp a few of years ago.
It's not as if the Broncos haven't had to overcome their own adversity lately.
After losing Montee Ball to a groin injury and Ronnie Hillman to a foot issue, they have leaned on second-year, third-string running back Anderson to balance the offense.
Tight end Julius Thomas remained limited in practice this week after hurting his ankle Nov. 16 against St. Louis and they dealt with a kicker change.
The Broncos have not lost at Arrowhead since 2010.
Reid said he has to do a better job preparing his players. They next visit the Arizona Cardinals (9-3), which has lost two straight.
"We have to do a better job putting players in the right position and we have to do a better job executing when we're in that position," Reid said. "We get that fixed we'll be back on track, but we've stalled the last two weeks. We have to get this thing turned around."
REINFORCEMENTS: The Chiefs signed Jason Avant last week to bolster one of the NFL's worst wide receiver corps. Avant played for Reid in Philadelphia and should be up to speed in time to play Sunday. "I know I can play," said Avant, who was released by Carolina. "If you ever see me play, I'm a very competitive person. I like to prove those people right that acquired me."Copyright 2014 KCTV and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.