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Denver is stunning Kansas City

DENVER -- What is going on here?

The Denver Broncos are walloping the Kansas City Chiefs. Denver took a 21-0 lead with 1:19 to go in the first quarter. Denver rolled down the field on its first two possessions.

Denver took the 21-0 lead on a long pass from Kyle Orton to Jabar Gaffney. Kansas City challenged that Gaffney didn’t have possession of the ball on the diving catch. After a long break, the officials announced that the machinery used to reviews plays was inoperable, thus the ruling on the field stood. Kansas City coach Todd Haley was none too pleased with that announcement. There was no word if the machine would be operable later in the game.

Orton threw three touchdowns in the first quarter, tying a team record. It was the first time this season Denver scored on its opening drive. Prior to Sunday’s game, Denver scored just seven points in the first quarter.

This is a drastic change from the last time Denver was at home. It was drubbed, 59-14, by Oakland amid a storm of boos. It’s a different story Sunday for the 2-6 Broncos.

Denver, which entered the game last in the NFL in rushing, had 69 yards rushing in the first quarter. That was more than Denver’s totals in five of its first eight games. Denver starting running back Knowshon Moreno has 47 yards on six carries. He is running harder than he has since about this time last year. Denver‘s offensive line is fully healthy for the first time.

Meanwhile, middle linebacker D.J. Williams entered the game on Denver’s second defensive series. He was replaced by Wesley Woodyard for the first series as part of his punishment for creating a distraction by being arrested under the suspicion of drunken driving early Friday morning. Williams was also fined and stripped of his captaincy.

Denver went back to using the 3-4 defense as its base defense. It had been using the 4-3 defense often in the past three games due to injuries.