The bad news for the Broncos is that their offense clearly missed running back Willis McGahee in their first game since he went down with a knee injury. The good news is they were playing the Chiefs, so they won anyway.
Denver’s offense took a long time to get going today in Kansas City, with Peyton Manning and Co. not even getting on the scoreboard until the final minute of the first half, but the Chiefs’ scoring was limited to three field goals, and in the end the Broncos managed to escape with a 17-9 win. That makes the Broncos 8-3 on the season, and they’ve all but clinched the AFC West. The terrible Chiefs fall to 1-10.
Peyton Manning completed 22 of 37 passes for 285 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception — not bad numbers, but not up to Manning’s usual standards. Knowshon Moreno, who started in place of McGahee, was OK but not great, with 20 carries for 85 yards. Denver’s offense never seemed like it was firing on all cylinders.
But the Chiefs’ offense was totally broken down, with Brady Quinn managing just 126 yards on 13-of-24 passing. When you’re playing the Chiefs, you don’t have to bring you A game.
So Denver got away with a win today, while bringing their B or C game. The question is whether they’ll be able to turn it up on offense without McGahee, when they’re playing better opponents than the Chiefs.