Peyton Manning had another monster afternoon. The legendary quarterback threw for 403 yards and an astonishing five touchdown passes to move his massive total to 41 on the year. Manning is on pace to break the passing touchdown record of 50 set by Tom Brady a few seasons back. He has been surgical this season, and age is apparently just a number for Manning. At 37, he looks better than ever.
Lost in all this is the play of Alex Smith. He was absolutely outstanding in his own right. He was calm, cool and collected as he picked the Denver Broncos‘ defense apart for nearly 300 yards and two scores. Smith’s receivers really let him down though. I counted at least five drops in the 4th quarter alone, a few of them on long passing plays no less.
Smith may have easily had 400 yards passing had the Kansas City Chiefs‘ plethora of targets just hauled in very catchable balls. Regardless, the Chiefs seem to have flipped a script. It used to be their defense that was winning games for them. Now their offense is carrying the team. In the last two weeks, they have scored 41 and 35 points, and lost both games. That speaks volumes about how much the Chiefs’ defense has fallen from grace.
Rookie cornerback Marcus Cooper got picked on repeatedly by Manning. It almost looked like Manning knew he was in the secondary and targeted him on purpose. Eric Decker specifically abused Cooper all day long. He finished with 174 yards and a miraculous four touchdown catches.
It simply wasn’t fair. In this high scoring affair, Manning prevailed yet again. It’s almost impossible to bet against him in shootout type of situations. With this win, the Broncos essentially take a took a two-game lead in the AFC West being a game ahead of the Chiefs and owning the tie breaker. They also have a relatively soft schedule remaining. The Broncos are on the fast track for the no. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout.
It looks like the AFC will go through Denver.