DENVER It was a milestone game for Rod Smith and a pretty memorable night for the rest of the Denver Broncos, too.
Mike Anderson ran for a 44-yard touchdown and Smith became the first undrafted player in NFL history to reach 10,000 yards receiving, as the Broncos handled the Kansas City Chiefs from start to finish in a 30-10 victory Monday night.
''It's great to just play with Rod,'' said Charlie Adams, himself an undrafted third-year receiver who has moved to third on Denver's depth chart. ''He's an inspiration to everyone out here, especially guys like me who've struggled to stay in the league.''
Jake Plummer went 13-of-18 for 152 yards including a 12-yard TD to Smith and ran for a score on fourth-and-goal from the 1, an efficient performance that was more than enough to blow out Trent Green, Priest Holmes and the Chiefs.
''I didn't do much but just guided them down the field,'' Plummer said.
Green finally threw his first touchdown of the season with 2 minutes left a 21-yard pass to Samie Parker but it was cosmetic, a score that helped Dick Vermeil avoid his worst loss as an NFL coach and the Chiefs avoid matching their worst loss in the 46-year history of this AFC West series.
''They beat us in about every way they could beat us,'' Vermeil said.
Green had 27 TD passes last year for the NFL's most productive offense. The Chiefs (2-1), however, were anything but productive on this night. Holmes finished with only 61 yards and backfieldmate Larry Johnson had 13 yards on eight carries.
''The whole plan was to take away their best player,'' Broncos linebacker Ian Gold said, speaking of Holmes. ''We took away the run. It's strange to see Kansas City unable to run.''
Harassed by Gerard Warren and Courtney Brown two members of Denver's revamped defensive line Green finished 23-of-44 for 221 yards and the garbage touchdown.
''I think we proved we can play with the best of them,'' Broncos defensive end Trevor Pryce said. ''That was the best offense in the NFL, make no doubt about it.''
When the Broncos (2-1) weren't making Kansas City look bad, the Chiefs were doing it themselves. They finished with 118 yards in penalties, including eight infractions in the first half while the Broncos were cruising to a 20-0 lead.
''I'm disappointed in myself,'' Vermeil said. ''The coaches lost, too. When you come out and lose like that, the coaches got beat, and the players got beat. It's not just the players. Maybe we have to do a better job when we get up here.''
The perennially soft Kansas City defense added players this season most notably defensive backs Patrick Surtain and Sammy Knight and linebacker Kendrell Bell and when the Chiefs allowed a total of 24 points over the first two games, it looked like the fixes were working.
They took a big step backward against the Broncos, who finally started clicking after two rugged games to start the season.
Anderson, who has struggled since hurting his ribs in the first half of the opener against Miami, went through a huge hole untouched in the first quarter for his long score and a 10-0 lead.
The Broncos used Anderson to work the clock in the second half and he finished with 98 yards on 20 carries.
Three plays after his touchdown, Brown recovered his second fumble of the season and the Broncos scored right away, when Plummer saw Smith at the back of the end zone for the 12-yard score.
The Denver receiver caught seven passes for 80 yards. He hit his milestone with a 19-yard catch in the third quarter, making him the 24th player to reach 10,000 yards. He celebrated in his typical understated style getting up and lining up for the next play. Five plays later, Plummer bootlegged in from a yard to give the Broncos a 27-3 lead.
''Whether it's first-and-short or fourth-and-long, he goes hard on every play,'' Broncos receiver Ashley Lelie said. ''He makes the big plays and he blocks for running backs. He's a complete player.''
Early in the fourth quarter, Smith took a rough hit from Knight after catching an 11-yard pass, but walked off the field under his own power. He was diagnosed with a concussion and did not return.
The Broncos lost cornerback Champ Bailey to a hamstring injury in the second quarter.
Notes: Chiefs OL Willie Roaf was inactive because of a hamstring injury. ... Denver rookie Darrent Williams made his first start at cornerback over Lenny Walls. ... Plummer took over holding duties for Jason Elam's field goals. Elam missed two 53-yarders last week with Todd Sauerbrun holding. He went 3-for-4 on Monday. His only miss, from 46 yards, hit the left upright. ... Green passed Bill Kinney for second place on the Chiefs' all-time completions list behind Len Dawson. He has 1,338.
Peninsula Clarion © 2016. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us