DENVER -- Rod Smith's head may have hurt, but he still didn't fall for Tommy Nalen's tomfoolery.
As the two walked off the field after Denver's 9-6 win over Kansas City in overtime Sunday, Nalen told Smith he'd been the hero.
"Tommy told me I scored the game-winning touchdown," Smith said. "Thanks, Tommy."
Smith wasn't even on the field during the Broncos' final drive in overtime. He was watching from the sideline with a concussion. Smith took a helmet to the head after making a 15-yard grab in the second quarter and had to be helped from the field. The initial injury report was that he'd had the wind knocked out of him.
In the fourth quarter, Smith hauled in a 1-yard reception and stayed down again. He finished with two catches for 16 yards.
"It's one of those things," Smith said. "Sometimes you're going to get dinged up. I'm good. I feel fine."
The victory helped ease Smith's headache better than ibuprofen. The prospects of falling to 0-2 were unthinkable.
"[Starting] 1-1 is disastrous," Smith said. "I have high expectations. We want to be the best. We've got to find our way a little bit."
With Smith on the sideline, Javon Walker and David Kircus stepped up. Walker had five catches for 79 yards -- including a 24-yard grab that put Denver in position for the game-winning field goal -- and Kircus had two catches for 26 yards.
"That's what team's all about," Smith said. "We found a way to win a game and that's most important. You're not going to get a chance to blow everyone out."
The defense again bailed out the offense. In St. Louis, the Broncos' defense kept the offense in the game by limiting the Rams to six field goals in spite of five turnovers. Denver's offense now has one touchdown in eight quarters, which is one more than the defense has allowed.
"We owe them," Smith said. "They expect us to play a lot better than that. We have to look at it, be hard on ourselves as a group and let's figure out what we're not doing."
No one has an answer.
"We struggled all day, but when we had to we put the yards together to win the game," quarterback Jake Plummer said.
With Smith helplessly watching from the sideline.
He wanted to be out there as the Broncos marched down the field to set up Jason Elam's game-wining 39-yard field goal.
Smith has made a career out of carving up Kansas City. He has 119 career receptions for 1,750 yards against the Chiefs. Only Oakland's Tim Brown had more against Kansas City (148 catches and 2,021 yards).
"As a precautionary measure, they told me not to go back in," Smith said. "You want to be out there. That's the part that's hard."