Chiefs Defense Makes Statement in Win Over Broncos

The Chiefs defense came to play on Sunday

"Everything they threw at us, we kind of knew what was coming."

And that's exactly what it looked like.

There was a subtle confidence coming from veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson as he sat in front of his locker after the Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) 29-13 win over the Denver Broncos (7-2) Sunday and talked through one of the most dominant defensive performances of the season.

He smiled, celebrated with his teammates as they walked by and took the time to explain that Sunday's performance was simply a reflection of the work this Chiefs team put in throughout the week.

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"We were very prepared for this game," he said in a very straightforward manner. "Hats off to the coaches for preparing us the right way. We were pretty focused and it showed."

What the defense showed on Sunday was a performance that overshadowed one of the greatest individual records there is in the NFL being broken—the all-time leader for career yards passing.

Much of the talk throughout the week was of Peyton Manning's inevitable breaking of Brett Favre's career yards passing mark of 71,838. Manning needed just 3 yards to break it coming into Sunday's game.

But after the game, the talk wasn't about that record, which was broken early in the first quarter on a 4-yard completion to running back Ronnie Hillman. The narrative was about the 11 players tasked with stopping the future Hall of Fame quarterback who had won seven straight against Kansas City and held a 14-2 career mark against the team.

"Defense, defense, defense," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game. "They did a tremendous job. They were able to most of all get pressure on [Manning] and that doesn't happen very often. You're talking about a guy that's going to go down as one of the all-time great players in the National Football League.

"I'm proud of our guys for what they did there."

The Chiefs defense finished the game with 5 sacks and 5 interceptions, which led to 20 points and made the kind of statement that will have the rest of the football world paying attention.

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In the first half, the Broncos ran 24 plays for a total of just 40 yards.

They had seven first half drives, three of which ended with interceptions and four of which resulted in three-and-outs.

Manning finished the first half 4 of 15 for 35 yards and 3 interceptions as the Broncos were shutout through the first 30 minutes of the game.

Since 1991, the Broncos had been shut out in the first half at home just nine times.

The Chiefs dominance started as early as the very first passing attempt from Manning—a ball that landed into the familiar hands of Chiefs rookie cornerback Marcus Peters, who had also picked off Manning in the first matchup between these two teams back in Week 2.

With his fourth interception of the season, which currently has him tied for third-most in the NFL, Peters helped set the tone for what this game was going to look like from the onset.

"Our whole mentality coming into this game was to be all gas, no brake," Peters explained. "Keep our foot on the throttle and not let go. We just wanted to come in and show everybody that we're about more than what we put on in the first half of the season."

Peters finished the game with the 1 interception and 2 passes defensed, coming close on a couple of other occasions for another pick.

"He's fun to watch," defensive lineman Mike DeVito said. "The kid's a rookie—he reminds me of [Darrelle] Revis when he came (into the league). So grateful to have him."

The Chiefs had 6 interceptions all of last season, and now led by Peters with 4, they have 11 in the past four games alone.

Peters is now tied for second all-time in franchise history for passes defensed in a rookie season with 13, joining Dale Carter (1992) and Brandon Flowers (2008).

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Part of the reason the guys on the back end were able to make so many plays on the ball was that the pressure up front was getting to Manning and making him uncomfortable.

"We played the way we were supposed to and we dominated the way we were supposed to," linebacker Justin Houston said after the game. "The biggest thing is communication and everybody talking.

"If you get the whole defense on the same page, we can do something special."

Led by the defense, the Chiefs picked up their third consecutive victory on Sunday and sit just one game back from the AFC Wildcard spot.

"This was a nice win against a good football team," Reid said, "but it's not the end of the season. We have to keep building. We're not near what we can be. I've always felt like the sky is the limit for this team as long as we're in the right mindset and ready to go."

Photos from the Chiefs Week 10 matchup against the Broncos

The team will begin preparing for the San Diego Chargers (2-7), who were off this week with a bye, on Tuesday.

Of the Chiefs final seven games, only one is against a team with a winning record and that's the Buffalo Bills at 5-4.

The combined record of Kansas City's final seven opponents is 15-31. If the Chiefs can continue to play and make statements like they did Sunday, the next couple of months are going to be a lot of fun.

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