Question on the Chiefs: Was this simply a result of a bitter rivalry or did Denver expose a weakness?
Denver merely spotlighted a weakness the Bengals exposed a few weeks ago: the Chiefs' woeful run defense. The lack of defense is going to be a hindrance to the Chiefs because it could allow good teams to keep up with its explosive offense. This defense has to start helping the offense or it could lead to an early playoff exit.
Question on the Broncos: Was there some extra motivation because of Kennison's comments last week?
There was motivation for the coach Shanahan, but maybe not the players. I'm sure Kennison's comments sharpened his play calling and probably helped this team play a flawless game. I'm sure Shanahan wants more opponents to talk before games.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
But receiver Rod Smith had other ideas. He wanted Portis to
score and finish things off right.
That's just what he did.
Portis scored from 53 yards for his team-record fifth touchdown
and finished with 218 yards, helping Denver stay in the AFC playoff
hunt with a wild 45-27 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on
"Jake was like 'Just protect the ball, let's move the ball and
we can run out the clock," said Portis who finished 10 yards
short of his career high, set in the final game of 2002.
"Rod was like 'Just score.' And I did. I need to stop taking
Jake's advice and listen to Rod more often."
Portis impressed teammates with a 34-carry, 170-yard game in the
rain last week against Oakland, but was even better this time.
He had touchdown runs of 11 and 1 yards in the first half, then
added scores of 59, 28 and the final 53-yarder in the second.
Portis had 188 yards after halftime and finished with his fifth
consecutive 100-yard game -- third straight with at least 160 yards.
He has 2,960 yards his first two seasons, moving past LaDainian
Tomlinson (2,919) and Ottis Anderson (2,957) for fourth in league
"I kind of expect it, because every time he touches the ball
he's got a chance to go the distance," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan
said. "He has made so many big plays and it seems like he gets
stronger as the game goes on."
Portis' effort helped Denver (8-5) tie Miami for the final AFC
playoff spot and prevented Kansas City (11-2) from winning its
first division title since 1997.
"I don't know what the problem was," Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil
said. "We couldn't make a first down, we couldn't stop them. When
that happens, you're not going to win many football games."
Denver scored on three of four possessions in the first half,
and kept rolling in the second to finish with 508 yards.
The Broncos opened the third quarter with a 78-yard scoring
drive, capped by Reuben Droughns' 3-yard touchdown catch that put
the Broncos up 24-21.
Portis took over from there.
He broke free up the middle on Denver's next drive, freezing
safety Jerome Woods with a move around the 30 before going in for a
Portis seemed bottled up at the line on Denver's next drive, but
waited for the hole to open and burst through for a 28-yard
He completed the rout on Denver's next play from scrimmage,
going off left tackle to put the Broncos up 45-21.
"It was an unbelievable day," Chiefs cornerback Eric Warfield
said. "It was his day. Not ours."
The second half was a contrast to the first, when the teams
traded scores as though it was an Arena League game.
Portis opened with an 11-yard touchdown run on Denver's first
drive. The Chiefs answered quickly, moving 66 yards in 13 plays for
Holmes' 2-yard touchdown run.
Kansas City had an answer -- of course -- scoring on Holmes'
1-yard dive. Dante Hall set it up with a 61-yard kickoff return to
Then something odd happened: Denver had to kick a field goal.
Jason Elam's 47-yarder made it 17-14.
Kansas City followed with a 42-yard touchdown pass from Green to
Eddie Kennison, who rankled the Broncos by predicting a Chiefs win
and criticizing coach Mike Shanahan.
Kennison celebrated by winding up for a windmill spike behind
the end zone, to the boos of the crowd. But it was Kansas City's
final points until Green scored on a 1-yard run with :02 left.
"It was humbling," Green said. "We had energy coming at
halftime and felt good about the position we had put ourselves. I'm
sure no one would have anticipated the way the second half
The NFL record for touchdowns in a game is six, held by
Ernie Neverls, Dub Jones and Gale Sayers. ... Denver's Shannon
Sharpe caught six passes to become the first tight end to reach 800
receptions (805). ... Kansas City G Will Shields played in his
172nd straight game, breaking Jack Rudnay's team record. ... Denver
played without WR/PR Deltha O'Neal, who spent most of last week in
the Bay Area with his father, who has cancer. ... The Broncos
averaged 8.44 yards per carry -- 270 yards on 32 carries -- breaking
the team record 8.09 set last Dec. 29 against Arizona.
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