Broncos 17

(8-6, 3-4 away)

Chiefs 45

(6-8, 3-4 home)

1:00 PM ET, December 19, 2004


1 2 3 4 T
DEN 7 3 0 717
KC 14 14 7 1045

Denver puts itself in bad spot in wild-card race

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- After three straight wins, the Kansas City Chiefs have to be careful not to pout about what might have been.

"What might have been was the 13-3 (record of) last year," said fullback Tony Richards. "But the thing that matters most is we're starting to come into our own."

Taking advantage of numerous Denver mistakes, the Chiefs (6-8) romped to a 45-17 victory Sunday.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen Broncos at Chiefs: Does Shanahan need a change of scenery? The Broncos are a proud organization that hasn't really contended for a Super Bowl since John Elway retired. This organization isn't used to not making the playoffs, and I can't see the fans there being happy about that fact. The moves that Shanahan has made since Elway's retirement haven't worked out for the most part. He's hit the ten-year mark as a coach and it may be time for him to resign and take a year or two off to recharge his batteries. There would be no shame in him doing that and letting some fresh blood coach this proud organization.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

The Broncos (8-6), who have lost three of their last four, committed 100 yards in penalties. They also let Jake Plummer get sacked six times and generally looked nothing like playoff contenders.

"This game was not a fun game," said Plummer, whose two interceptions both led to Kansas City touchdowns. "It was a bad day."

Larry Johnson and Eddie Kennison each scored two touchdowns and Dante Hall returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for another score for the Chiefs, who dropped out of playoff contention with a four-game losing streak in November.

The Chiefs scored on four of their first five possessions en route to their biggest margin of victory in the long series since a 31-point win in 1983.

"It was a Kansas City Chief day," said coach Dick Vermeil. "We had a lot of things go our way."

Kansas City's third and sixth touchdowns came off Dexter McCleon's interceptions of Plummer, who was fined $5,000 last week for making an obscene gesture to a fan in Denver.

"We were trying too hard," said Denver safety John Lynch. "We had missed assignments and fell apart."

Plummer has eight interceptions and only one touchdown pass in his last three games. He was 23-for-41 for 292 yards.

"This team does not give up," Plummer said. "We will not give up. We should be producing more."

Typical of Denver's day was a fourth-quarter play when Tatum Bell took a screen pass and went 58 yards before Greg Wesley punched the ball out of his hands at the 5. The ball went into the end zone and out of bounds, making it a touchback and giving Kansas City possession on the 20.

"We're going to have to do something about that," said Denver coach Mike Shanahan. "He gets the ball inside the 5-yard line and somebody shoots him from the stands."

Johnson, the second-year running back who spent most of the year in Vermeil's doghouse, had 151 yards on 30 carries, including touchdown runs of 5 and 32 yards. Finally getting a chance to showcase his skills, the former first-round draft pick has gone over 100 yards in each of his last three games and scored five TDs.

Trent Green completed 16 of 19 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns. He had touchdown tosses of 7 and 18 yards to Kennison, who beat star cornerback Champ Bailey each time.

Kennison's second TD capped a 10-play, 99-yard drive that included penalties against Bailey for illegal use of hands and Al Wilson for roughing the passer.

Rookie Samie Parker, making his first start, got behind the Denver defense for a 48-yard catch-and-run in the third period that put Kansas City on top 35-10.

It took Hall just 13 seconds to put the Chiefs on top. Taking the opening kickoff on the 3, he went right, cut left and found a clear path down the left side, going the distance virtually untouched for his second kickoff return TD of the year.

"I think you should go talk to (the blockers) because all I had to do was run," Hall said. "I didn't even get touched."

Plummer threw the ball right to McCleon in the second period and the Chiefs corner returned it 22 yards. Six plays later, Kennison beat Bailey in the end zone for a 7-yard TD catch and a 21-7 lead.

"I just missed my man," said Plummer. "It is something that can't happen. But it did."

Johnson made it 28-7 when he appeared to catch the Denver secondary out of position and went through a big hole up the middle for his 32-yard TD.

Plummer hit Rod Smith on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and Jason Elam's 27-yard field goal cut the lead to 28-10 with 4 seconds left in the half.

Game notes

In his first extensive action, Parker caught three passes for 84 yards for the Chiefs. ... Reuben Droughns started at running back for Denver but had only four carries for 27 yards, giving way to Bell, who had nine for 50. ... Johnson's 151 yards against the Broncos matched the total recorded by the Chiefs' Priest Holmes in the season opener at Denver. Holmes is out for the season with strained knee ligaments. ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Chiefs are the first team in NFL history with three different backs going over 150 yards in a game in one season. In addition to the big games by Johnson and Holmes against Denver, Derrick Blaylock rushed for 186 against New Orleans.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
kcFG5:35Lawrence Tynes 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 46 yds, 1:08
kcTD4:23Larry Johnson, 32 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 41 yds, 2:29
Drive info: 6 plays, 44 yds, 2:16
Drive info: 6 plays, 41 yds, 2:29
denTD4:17Garrison Hearst, 4 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 61 yds, 1:10
Drive info: 6 plays, 44 yds, 2:16
Drive info: 6 plays, 61 yds, 1:10
Drive info: 9 plays, 64 yds, 4:36
kcTD5:12Larry Johnson, 5 yd run
Drive info: 11 plays, 87 yds, 6:03
Drive info: 9 plays, 64 yds, 4:36
Drive info: 9 plays, 90 yds, 5:14
Drive info: 11 plays, 87 yds, 6:03
Drive info: 9 plays, 90 yds, 5:14
denFG0:07Jason Elam 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 60 yds, 1:44
Drive info: 10 plays, 99 yds, 5:54
Drive info: 10 plays, 99 yds, 5:54