Kansas City, Mo. • Up the inclined tunnel walked the Broncos players.
The first group of players walked in silence, not tipping off whether they had just won or lost as they walked from the field. A couple players started laughing at something one of them said.
Brandon Stokley, the Broncos' ageless slot receiver, shook his head in the way guys do when they get away with something. Stokley smiled as he nodded, lifted his left index finger and dropped it from top to bottom.
"Mark it down," Stokley said.
All wins count the same, no matter how uninspired the Broncos' 17-9 victory appeared Sunday against the inspired, but pitiful, Kansas City Chiefs.
"It wasn't peaches 'n' cream," Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil said. "But we knew it would be tough coming in here. They got a lot of good players over there. They've got a lot of guys who have been to the playoffs."
This was one of those games where the Broncos seemed flat. What the Broncos did have Sunday on a sunny, comfortable, late-November afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium was the better team and a real good quarterback.
Peyton Manning passed one concussion test and threw for two touchdowns while picking up his 149th career win. That's one more than John Elway, the former Broncos quarterback great and team's current football operations boss, and second most in NFL history.
The Broncos solidified their lead in the AFC West by winning their sixth straight and improving to 8-3.
Playing against former quarterback teammate Brady Quinn, the Broncos were gouged early by Kansas City's running game that was complemented with short, move-the-sticks passes.
The Chiefs took a 6-0 in the first quarter, and it stayed that way until late in the half when Manning finished off a 94-yard drive by hitting tight end Jacob Tamme for a 7-yard touchdown pass.
After the Chiefs went up 9-7 midway through the third quarter, Manning mixed uncanny accurate passes with Knowshon Moreno runs to put the Broncos back on top. A beautifully thrown 30-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas down the left sideline put the Broncos up, 14-9. Broncos 17,Chiefs 9
Denver 0 7 7 3 17
Kansas City 6 0 3 0 9
KC • FG Succop 34, 9:20.
KC • FG Succop 22, 4:31.
Den • Tamme 7 pass from Manning (Prater kick), :18.
KC • FG Succop 49, 7:35.
Den • D.Thomas 30 pass from Manning (Prater kick), 4:41.
Den • FG Prater 34, :14.
Attendance • 74,244.
First downs 21 13
Total Net Yards 368 264
Rushes-yards 24-95 31-148
Passing 273 116
Punt Returns 0-0 2-23
Kickoff Returns 2-92 3-57
Interceptions Ret. 1-(-2) 1-8
Comp-Att-Int 22-37-1 13-26-1
Sacked-Yards Lost 2-12 2-10
Punts 4-42.3 6-45.3
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 4-35 7-50
Time of Possession 28:17 31:43
Rushing • Denver, Moreno 20-85, Hillman 3-9, Manning 1-1. Kansas City, Charles 23-107, McCluster 2-23, Draughn 2-13, Hillis 2-5, Copper 1-1, Quinn 1-(minus 1).
Passing • Denver, Manning 22-37-1-285. Kansas City, Quinn 13-25-1-126, Hillis 0-1-0-0.
Receiving • Denver, D.Thomas 4-82, Decker 4-64, Stokley 4-62, Tamme 4-48, Moreno 4-26, Dreessen 2-3. Kansas City, Bowe 4-41, McCluster 4-21, Moeaki 2-40, Copper 2-14, Newsome 1-10.
Missed Field Goals • Denver, Prater 47 (WR), 33 (WL).