Broncos 27

(9-3, 3-3 away)

Chiefs 31

(8-4, 5-1 home)

4:15 PM ET, December 4, 2005


1 2 3 4 T
DEN 7 14 3 327
KC 7 14 3 731

Top Performers

Passing: J. Plummer (DEN) - 276 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: L. Johnson (KC) - 30 CAR, 140 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: E. Kennison (KC) - 4 REC, 108 YDS

Johnson powers Chiefs past Broncos for third straight win

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Kansas City Chiefs gained a much-needed victory -- and greater respect for the courage of officials viewing instant replay.

It was over when ...
On fourth down just before the two-minute warning, the Broncos went for it and were rewarded with a first down. But Dick Vermeil challenged the call, and officials overturned the spot, giving the ball to the Chiefs, who ran down the clock.
Game ball goes to ...
Larry Johnson, whose monster fourth quarter lifted K.C. to a win. Johnson finished with 140 yards, his fifth straight game with more than 100, and two scores.
ESPN's take ...
Sean Salisbury Larry Johnson is the present and future of the Kansas City Chiefs. It's hard to say this, but Priest Holmes shouldn't be the starter next season when he returns. Johnson brings a punishing inside running style to the Chiefs and that's something that the Chiefs sorely need, but that Holmes can't bring to this team.
-- Sean Salisbury

Reversing a crucial call on the field, referee Bill Leavy took a first down away from Denver near midfield with 2:01 to play. The Chiefs, relieved of the danger of facing a final threat from the Broncos' offense, ran the clock down to 3 seconds and danced away with a 31-27 victory.

"Sometimes it's just a lot easier for them to go with the flow of the game and not make the big reversal," said Chiefs guard Brian Waters. "I think that was a gutsy call."

The win brought the Chiefs (8-4) within one game in the AFC West of the Broncos (9-3), who had won four in a row and could have buried Kansas City in the division. Instead, the Broncos have a fight on their hands and are left with virtually no chance of overtaking unbeaten Indianapolis for the top seed in the AFC.

"This is a big win for us," said Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil. "A big, significant win."

Mike Anderson, on fourth-and-1 from the Denver 47, plunged into the right side of the line.

Officials on the field gave him a first down and Chiefs players went into a frenzy of protest over the spot, particularly cornerback Patrick Surtain.

"You saw me going berserk out there," said Surtain, who earlier intercepted Jake Plummer's pass from the KC 4.

"I was saying, `It's our ball, it's our ball.' "

A few minutes later, the call was reversed.

"It was clear to me he didn't reach the first down and the right thing to do was reverse it and give the ball to (Kansas City)," Leavy said.

When the Broncos got the ball back, they had time for one desperate heave as the Chiefs won their 17th straight home game in December.

Defensive end Jared Allen, who made the tackle with help from Lionel Dalton, was confident the spot was wrong.

"I knew when I hit him he didn't make it," Allen said. "I ran right down the line and hit him backward. It was no contest."

The Broncos watched helplessly as their offense was forced to leave the field.

"I didn't see what happened. I thought we had a first down," said Denver coach Mike Shanahan.

Trent Green threw two touchdown passes and Larry Johnson rushed for 140 yards and two more scores for the Chiefs, who have won four of last five to climb back into contention.

Plummer, who went 229 passes without an interception until the Dallas Cowboys got one last week, was also picked off by Kawika Mitchell on his first throw of the second half.

"We had opportunities we didn't take advantage of," said Plummer, 18-of-29 for 276 yards and one TD. "If you do that on the road, and at a place like this, you are going to end up on the wrong side of the win-loss column."

Following Mitchell's interception, Lawrence Tynes kicked a 34-yard field to put Kansas City up 24-21, but Jason Elam tied the game with a 22-yarder.

After Darrent Williams intercepted Green's pass on the Chiefs' next possession, Elam kicked a 40-yarder to put the Broncos on top 27-24.

Johnson, with his fifth straight 100-yard game, scored on a 4-yard run to make it 31-27 with 9:58 left.

Eddie Kennison caught four passes for 108 yards for the Chiefs.

On the Broncos' second play, Anderson took Plummer's pass in the flat and went 66 yards, putting a move on Greg Wesley in the middle of the field that left the Chiefs' safety face-down in embarrassment.

After the Chiefs took a 14-7 lead, Anderson scored on a 1-yard run.

Dante Hall got behind Denver cornerback Champ Bailey in the first half, and Green hit him with a 41-yard TD pass. Kennison had a 54-yard catch on the Chiefs' next possession and Johnson scored from the 1.

Kennison had a 27-yard catch to set up Green's 25-yard TD pass to Tony Gonzalez for a 21-14 lead, which the Broncos erased with 22 seconds left in the half on a trick play.

Second-year reserve quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt lined up behind center as Plummer was flanked left on second-and-goal from the 7. Van Pelt took the snap and went almost untouched into the end zone for a TD on his first NFL play.

Game notes

Johnson's fifth straight 100-yard rushing game tied a club record set by Priest Holmes in 2002. His 470 yards in the last three games is the best three-game total in team history. ... Denver has had five streaks of three or more wins broken at Arrowhead Stadium since Shanahan became head coach in 1995. ... Chiefs DT Ryan Sims, out since the season opener with a foot injury, saw limited action.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1924
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6060
Total Yards388421
Yards per play6.57.0
Total Drives1311
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-40-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

denTD9:28Mike Anderson, 66 yd pass from Jake Plummer (Jason Elam kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 80 yds, 0:38
kcTD5:56Dante Hall, 41 yd pass from Trent Green (Lawrence Tynes kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 74 yds, 3:12
kcTD10:10Larry Johnson, 1 yd run (Lawrence Tynes kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 74 yds, 3:31
denTD3:30Mike Anderson, 1 yd run (Jason Elam kick is good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 56 yds, 6:28
kcTD1:46Tony Gonzalez, 25 yd pass from Trent Green (Lawrence Tynes kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 61 yds, 1:33
denTD0:26Bradlee Van Pelt, 7 yd run (Jason Elam kick is good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 50 yds, 1:07
kcFG10:07Lawrence Tynes 26 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 9 yds, 3:27
denFG3:12Jason Elam 14 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 12 plays, 69 yds, 6:50
denFG13:36Jason Elam 32 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 22 yds, 12:25
kcTD10:03Larry Johnson, 4 yd run (Lawrence Tynes kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 71 yds, 3:28