Peyton Manning threw for five touchdowns and led the Denver Broncos to a 35-28 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Broncos swept the season series and earned a commanding lead over the 9-3 Chiefs in the AFC West. With the win, they move to 10-2 and remain in the driver's seat for the No. 1 seed.
Kansas City's Alex Smith started things off with an ugly interception in the endzone, but he recovered and threw a 17-yard score to Junior Hemingway to give the Chiefs an early 7-0 lead. Manning quickly tied things up with a 41-yard strike to Eric Decker, but the Kansas City regained its advantage when Knile Davis took the ensuing kickoff 108 yards to the house. It was the longest return play in Chiefs history.
Kansas City got another one over on Manning when Marcus Cooper jumped a route for an interception early in the second quarter. Smith cashed in with a touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano, giving the Chiefs a quick 21-7 lead. Manning got the ball back down to the goal line with another bomb to Decker, and Knowshon Moreno took in a screen pass to get Denver back within seven points. The Chiefs went into halftime leading 21-14.
The Broncos poured it on in the third quarter. Manning hit Decker for two more scores and Denver quickly erased the 14-point deficit, scoring 21 unanswered points and leading 28-21 after three quarters.
Decker had a career day, grabbing his fourth touchdown early in the final period. That all but put the game away for Denver, although the Chiefs tried to make things interesting with a late score by Jamaal Charles. Smith had one final drive to make, driving from his own four-yard line down to the redzone with less than two minutes left, but the Chiefs failed to convert a fourth down, ending the game.
Manning enjoyed yet another historic performance. He set a new Broncos franchise record for most touchdowns in a season -- with four games left. It also marked Manning's eighth game with five or more touchdowns this year, tying Drew Brees for the most in NFL history.
Fantasy studs and duds
Manning is an obvious stud, but Decker was the big surprise of the day. He finished with 174 yards and four touchdowns on eight catches.
Fasano was forced to leave the game after suffering a concussion. Broncos returner Trindon Holliday left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return. Branden Albert was carted off with a knee injury and will have an MRI on Monday, via Yahoo!'s Eric Edholm.
Did they cover?
The Broncos entered the game as five point favorites, according to OddsShark. They were able to cover.
Kansas City at Washington, Dec. 8, 1 p.m. ET
Denver vs. Tennessee, Dec. 8, 4:05 p.m. ET