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By SCOTT GARBARINI

STATS Writer
(AP) -- Although it hasn't come without doubts, the Denver Broncos' transformation is off to a positive start.

 

After Peyton Manning's latest performance raised more question marks, the Broncos look to continue their dominance of AFC West teams in Thursday night's showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

 

With Manning failing to throw a touchdown pass and averaging a meager 4.4 yards per attempt, Denver relied on defense and the kicking game to open the Gary Kubiak era with a hard-earned 19-13 home win over Baltimore. Brandon McManus made four field goals - two from beyond 55 yards - and the Broncos limited the Ravens to 173 yards while coming up with two huge second-half interceptions of Joe Flacco.

 

Aqib Talib returned the first 51 yards for a go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter and Darian Stewart sealed the win with an interception at the goal line with 28 seconds left.

 

Still, the postgame focus was on Manning, whose 175 passing yards marked the third time in six games he was held to fewer than 200. The five-time NFL MVP hasn't engineered a touchdown in 21 drives counting the preseason.

 

"Everybody's looking for these summaries of our offense and our team after Week 1. I just don't think you're able to do that," Manning said. "We're a work in progress."

 

Manning passed for 179 yards at Kansas City on Nov. 30, but threw two touchdowns and the Broncos rushed for 214 yards in a 29-16 victory that extended their series winning streak to six. Denver, winner of four straight at Arrowhead, is 17-1 against division opponents since Manning's arrival in 2012.

 

C.J. Anderson ran for a career-high 168 yards that day but mustered 29 on 12 carries against Baltimore while hampered by ankle and toe injuries. He's expected to play Thursday, as is Demaryius Thomas after the standout wide receiver briefly exited the opener with a sore hand.

 

Stewart (groin) and Omar Bolden (foot) sat out Monday's practice, though fellow safety T.J. Ward returns after being suspended for Week 1.

 

"We're beat up," Kubiak said. "That was a physical game (Sunday)."

 

The Chiefs were held to 151 yards at Kansas City last year and finished 25th in total offense in 2014. The unit appeared improved in the opener, however, as Alex Smith threw three first-half touchdown passes and the Chiefs were penalized just twice in a 27-20 victory at Houston.

 

Travis Kelce had two touchdown catches and amassed 106 yards on six catches, while offseason addition Jeremy Maclin added five receptions for 52 yards to support 103 yards from scrimmage from running back Jamaal Charles.

 

"We're more balanced," said Smith, who was 22 for 33 for 243 yards. "I think we have a lot of weapons, a lot of guys who can do multiple things so I think that presents a lot of different problems for defenses."

 

Charles wasn't much of a factor against the Broncos last season, missing most of Denver's 24-17 home win that Sept. 14 with a sprained ankle and producing 35 yards on 10 rushes in the most recent meeting.

 

Of perhaps greater concern for Denver is a Kansas City defense that recorded five sacks in Week 1. Manning was sacked four times by the Ravens - his highest total since his memorable return to Indianapolis on Oct. 20, 2013 - while operating behind a line that's replaced four starters from last season.

 

Allen Bailey had two sacks against the Texans and Justin Houston, the NFL leader with 22 last season, has at least one in seven straight games.

 

The Chiefs enter Thursday with a small controversy of their own amid allegations that right tackle and 2013 No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher asked out of the opener to avoid a matchup with Texans All-Pro end J.J. Watt. Fisher, who was dealing with a high ankle sprain and is questionable for the game, was active but replaced by Jah Reid.

 

Coach Andy Reid vehemently denied the accusations, telling reporters Monday is was his decision to sit Fisher out.

 

"I know things are out there. That's ridiculous," Reid said. "I was the one that watched him practice. I thought if I put him out there, I'd put him in a terrible situation."

 

Source: Hosted.Stats.com

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Arrowhead stadium will be rocking like a red hurricane, leading to offensive communication being even worse than it was on Sunday. While the interior of the line is very good, our slapstick tackles are going to get eviscerated by Houston and Hali, and Manning is gonna get beat up no two ways about it. The defense will play very well, but will get tired from being on the field too much, and eventually allow points. Think it's a bad matchup all around, and a win would honestly surprise me.

 

:Chiefs: 17

:Broncos: 11

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Houston has a good front 7, but not a very good secondary. Smith had a pretty easy day against the Texans defense for the most part. Won't be the case this week. I think PeyPey will actually have a better game tonight.

 

:Broncos: 23

 

:Chiefs: 16

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Peyton has no arm and KC is scary D. Better offense than Baltimore too.

 

:Chiefs: 20

 

:Broncos: 17

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This is not an unwinnable game, but we are by no means expected to pull this kind of game out. As always, I'm hoping Peyton just looks so bad that Kubiak can say without reproach that it's time to bench Manning. The Chiefs D is stout and our offensive line is young so that's a match made in hell. I'll take the Chiefs, and I'm not happy about it.

 

:Chiefs: 23

:Broncos: 10

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I'll take Denver in a close one.

 

:Broncos: 16

 

:Chiefs: 10

  • Upvote 2

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Broncos declared S Omar Bolden, QB Trevor Siemian, LB Lerentee McCray, CB Lorenzo Doss, OG Shelley Smith, TE Mitchell Henry and DE Kenny Anunike inactive for Week 2 against the Chiefs.

C.J. Anderson (toe) is active and starting. SS T.J. Ward is off suspension and back in the starting lineup. Bolden is week to week with a foot injury.

 

 

 

 

Chiefs RT Eric Fisher (ankle) is active for Week 2 against the Broncos.

Fisher was expected to remain sidelined, so it's possible he's active purely on an emergency basis. We expect Jah Reid to make another start at right tackle.
Inactive for the Chiefs are WR Frankie Hammond, QB Aaron Murray, CB Steven Nelson, LB Dezman Moses, OG Jeff Allen, TE Brian Parker and DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

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Was not expecting the Chiefs to turn the ball over five times. Of course you are supposed to win those games, and we could have been a lot worse with our potential turnovers, but that didn't happen! In the immortal words of Ray Parker Jr. Busting makes me feel good.

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Houston has a good front 7, but not a very good secondary. Smith had a pretty easy day against the Texans defense for the most part. Won't be the case this week. I think PeyPey will actually have a better game tonight.

 

 

 

 

:smug:

  • Upvote 1

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That Denver defense. Goddamn.

 

I don't think Peyton played better, Sarge. I think he threw at least 5 passes that should have been picked, and the Chiefs didn't capitalize on most of them, except for Peters' pick 6. That kid is something else. Did anybody else see DThomas pat him on the head after they fought for ball and Thomas won? He's already earning respect.

  • Upvote 1

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Hey DB's drop picks all the time, that's why they don't play WR. Manning took a beating all game but played pretty well on that last drive to tie it up in the 4th. His overall stat line isn't good, but I think considering the circumstances he was alright. Now he has time to get ready for the next game.

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The Broncos WRs are now using a new method to prepare for Peyton Manning's passes. Every day before practice they play an hour of "duck hunt" together.

Edited by Chernobyl426

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