DENVER -- A look at an unexpected 49-29 blowout that shakes up the AFC West.
What does it mean: Do you hear those loud cheers from Oakland and San Diego? The AFC West is up for grabs. Kansas City’s shocking blowout loss drops its record to 5-4. It is now in a first-place tie with Oakland, which is on a bye. San Diego, which is also on a bye, is in second place at 4-5 and it has won two straight games. Denver, which was competitive in its first six games, is now 3-6 and suddenly only two games out of first place.
Tomorrow’s talker: It is remarkable how different this game was the last time Denver played at home. On Oct. 24, Denver was completely humiliated in a 59-14 loss to Oakland. It was one of the all-time low points for the team. Denver coach Josh McDaniels was booed as he departed the field and he apologized after the loss. Sunday, the Broncos jumped out to a 35-0 lead over the Chiefs in an equally stunning game.
Reason for hope: Denver ran the ball well. It had 154 yards on 30 carries. Starting running back Knowshon Moreno had his best game of the season, running for 106 yards on 22 carries. Denver entered the game with the worst running game in the NFL. Denver’s offensive line is completely healthy for the first time this season and Sunday’s performance gave it hope for balance for the rest of the year.
Secret weapon man: Denver rookie backup quarterback Tim Tebow was on the field for two plays Sunday. He ran for his third touchdown of the season on one play and he threw for a touchdown on the other play. It was Tebow’s first NFL pass. Expect to see Tebow play often down the stretch. He certainly gives defenses something to think about when he enters the game.
What’s next: Kansas City hosts Arizona in a winnable game next Sunday and Denver plays at San Diego on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”