KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has consistently said if the Broncos think the moment is right, he will let quarterback Peyton Manning “do those things he’s done better than anybody else in an offense.’’
And Thursday night that meant putting Manning back in the shotgun in a three-wide receiver set -- despite their struggles in the season opener Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. Just after the half, it led Manning to another milestone. He become only the second quarterback to throw for 70,000 career yards.
But, down 14-0 with 6 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half and with Manning just having thrown a 55-yards pick-six, the Broncos took over on their own 20-yard line. Kubiak turned back the clock to Broncos 2014.
With the Broncos in a three-wide set for eight of the drive’s 10 plays, the Broncos went 80 yards for a touchdown -- a 16-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders. The scoring play came with the Broncos having emptied out of the backfield.
Manning was 5-of-8 passing on the drive for 60 yards with most of the work coming in Manning’s post-neck surgery comfort zone between the numbers. After Aqib Talib quickly ended the Chiefs’ next possession with an interception, the Broncos let Manning work that way again.
In four plays from the Chiefs 15-yard line, the Broncos tied the game at 14-14. In the first half Manning was 7-of-8 for 75 yards and the touchdown inside the numbers, just 4-of-9 outside the numbers with the interception.