Chiefs take 21-14 lead into the locker room

AP

The Broncos and Chiefs are playing for first place in the AFC West on Sunday and it’s proving to be a battle worthy of such a prize.

Kansas City leads 21-14 at halftime thanks in large part to big plays by their defense and special teams. The Chiefs turned a pair of Peyton Manning interceptions into touchdowns and Knile Davis returned a kick 108 yards for the other touchdown in a half that got things off to a better start than they had in the first meeting with the Broncos this year.

A big reason for that is the defense, which is generating more pressure than in the game at Denver even without linebacker Justin Houston in the lineup. Manning has connected with Eric Decker for a pair of big gains, but there’s been limited success overall and finished the half hitting five of his final 11 passes.

Smith also slowed after a hot start as the Chiefs went three and out a couple of times in the second quarter, but he’s made plays with his feet to go with two touchdown passes. Jamaal Charles and Davis have added 66 yards on 12 carries as Kansas City tries to even up the season series and claim the top spot in the division three-quarters of the way through the season.