|Date of game: 11/30/2014
Recap: Kansas City vs. Denver
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Peyton Manning threw two touchdown passes and C.J. Anderson shined once again running the ball as the Denver Broncos led wire-to-wire in a 29-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Manning passed for a season-low 179 yards on 17-of-34 efficiency, but Anderson was the story in Denver's 11th straight road win against an AFC West foe. The second-year running back out of California rushed for a career-high 168 yards on 32 carries, a week after gashing up Miami's defense for 167 in a win over the Dolphins.
Anderson's last two games were the two best rushing performances this season. Montee Ball, who started the season as Denver's lead back, had a season-high 67 yards in Week 1 and Ronnie Hillman went for 109 yards on Oct. 23.
"I think you need to be able to win different types of football games," Manning said. "We wanted to establish the run."
Demaryius Thomas and Anderson caught TD passes and Connor Barth, who Denver (9-3) signed on Tuesday to replace rookie kicker Brandon McManus, went 5- for-5 on field goals in his debut with the team. McManus was waived after hitting just 3-for-6 over his last five games.
Alex Smith threw two touchdowns and an interception for Kansas City (7-5), which lost its second straight game on the heels of a five-game win streak.
The Chiefs finished with just 11 first downs and only converted 1-of-9 on third down.
"We've got to do a better job putting our players in the right position and we have to do a better job at executing when we are in those positions," said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
The Broncos got everything they wanted on their first drive following a three- and-out from Kansas City to start the game. Anderson carried four straight times for 26 yards to start the series before Manning found Emmanuel Sanders for a 20-yard gain. Two plays later, Manning floated a pass toward the left pylon and Thomas chased it down, opening the scoring with his ninth TD of the season.
Denver turned another Chiefs punt into points on its next series. Sanders was tackled hard by Justin Houston behind the line of scrimmage to set up 3rd- and-11 from the Kansas City 15, but the Broncos had the perfect play dialed up. Manning dumped off a quick pass to Anderson out of the backfield, and he beat Houston to the end zone to make it 14-0.
Kansas City finished the first quarter with negative-10 yards, the lowest total in the NFL this season.
Early in the second, Denver picked up a first down near midfield after lining up in punt formation on 4th-and-7 and snapping directly to David Bruton. Bruton ran to his left for 13 yards.
The fake punt led to a short Barth field goal and 17-0 lead.
The Chiefs finally picked up a first down eight minutes into the second, with Smith finding Dwayne Bowe for 10 yards. Jamaal Charles then ran for 11 yards on 4th-and-1 before back-to-back completions down the field to tight ends led to a touchdown. Travis Kelce ran a slant for 19 yards to set up Anthony Fasano's 20-yard touchdown.
Barth hit again from 24 yards to send the Broncos into halftime with a 20-7 advantage.
Cairo Santos and Barth traded field goals in the third, but neither team found the end zone in the stanza.
Barth kicked a 33-yarder on the fourth play of the fourth quarter as the lead grew to 26-10.
Less than three minutes later, Charles' 12-yard touchdown catch capped a brief 7-play, 62-yard trek that gave the Chiefs life. However, the ensuing two-point conversion failed as Smith's throw across his body to Fasano was knocked away.
One more Barth field goal, a 37-yarder with 7:33 remaining, put the finishing touches on Denver's win.Game Notes
Denver improved to 6-0 against the Chiefs with Manning under center ... Denver
tight end Julius Thomas missed his second straight game with an ankle injury
... DeMarcus Ware, who also had an interception, passed Kansas City great
Derrick Thomas for 14th on the all-time sack list. He has 127 for his career
... Manning is now 30-3 against quarterbacks who were drafted No. 1 overall
... The Chiefs haven't allowed a 300-yard passer in 14 straight regular-season
games ... Houston had Kansas City's only sack. He leads the NFL with 14.0
sacks ... Barth was away from football last season after tearing his right
Achilles tendon in 2012.