Thursday, February 22, 2018
Sports

Broncos 35, Chiefs 28

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the words of Chiefs safety Eric Berry, Peyton Manning does not discriminate.

If you're a wide receiver, and you get open, the Broncos quarterback will get you the ball.

Sunday, he rewarded Eric Decker all afternoon.

Manning threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns, including a team-record four to Decker, as Denver held off a rally to beat Kansas City 35-28 and seize control of the AFC West.

"I think he showed people why he's so great," Decker said. "How we run our offense, we're very versatile as far as going inside, outside, left, right, whatever it may be. Fortunately I had some play calls and took advantage of the opportunities I got."

Decker had eight catches for a career-high 174 yards for the Broncos, who moved a game clear of the Chiefs in the division and a game up on the Chiefs and Patriots for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. With four games left, Denver holds the tiebreaker by virtue of two wins over Kansas City in the past three weeks.

"It was a great, gritty effort on the road," said interim coach Jack Del Rio, who led Denver to a 3-1 mark as John Fox recovered from heart surgery. Fox is due back today. "We figured they would have some type of surge early and I loved the way our guys responded. It puts us in first place and now we'll go welcome Coach Fox back."

The Chiefs jumped to a 21-7 lead, but the Broncos answered with 28 points. Jamaal Charles scored from 1 yard with 6:32 left, then the Chiefs forced a punt with 3:32 left. Three long passes moved the Chiefs downfield, but Alex Smith's pass to Dwayne Bowe in the end zone on fourth and 4 with 1:45 left fell incomplete.

"Losses are the nature of the game," Smith said. "Earlier in the year we were coming out the other end of it. We just have to continue to fight. I think this team has that kind of character. We still have everything we want in front of us."

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