Broncos beat Chiefs in battle for division lead

Broncos beat Chiefs in battle for division lead

KANSAS CITY - Agence France-Presse
Broncos beat Chiefs in battle for division lead

Peyton Manning. AFP Photo

Peyton Manning threw four of his five touchdown passes to Eric Decker and Denver thwarted a Kansas City rally to beat the Chiefs 35-28 Dec. 1 in a key NFL division clash.

Manning connected with Decker for three straight touchdowns to open the second half to erase a seven-point deficit and take a 35-21 lead. Kansas City closed the gap with Jamal Charles’s one-yard touchdown plunge with 6:32 remaining, but a fourth-down pass to Dwayne Bowe was deflected by Broncos safety Mike Adams in the end zone.

The Broncos improved to 10-2. Their second victory in three weeks over the Chiefs dropped Kansas City to 9-3 and left Denver one game ahead atop the AFC West.

Manning and the Broncos beat the Chiefs in Denver earlier this month to end Kansas City’s 9-0 winning streak to start the season. The Chiefs have now lost three straight.

The Chiefs capitalized on two Manning interceptions in the first half to score touchdowns. But the Broncos quarterback finished with 403 passing yards and set a club record by reaching 41 TD passes this season.

Decker had eight catches for 174 yards and a team-record four touchdowns.

Knile Davis returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown for the longest play in Chiefs history in the setback.

In Minneapolis, Blair Walsh hit a 34-yard field goal with 1:43 left in overtime as the Minnesota Vikings beat the Chicago Bears 23-20. Adrian Peterson totaled 211 yards on 35 carries and became the third-fastest player to eclipse 10,000 career yards.

Vikings lose QB

The Vikings lost quarterback Christian Ponder to a concussion late in the first half. Matt Cassel stepped in and connected on 20-of-33 passes for 243 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Minnesota. The defeat saw the Bears fall one game behind Detroit for the top spot in the NFC North.

The New York Giants kept their faint playoff hopes alive, and extinguished those of Washington with a 24-17 victory over the Redskins in an NFC East division matchup. Giants defender Justin Tuck produced four sacks as New York stifled quarterback Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense in the second half. The Giants have won five of their last six games and are two games behind division leaders Dallas and Philadelphia. The Carolina Panthers stretched their winning streak to a club-best eight games with a 27-6 rout of Tampa Bay.

Quarterback Cam Newton accounted for three touchdowns, one of them on the ground, as the Panthers pulled within a half-game of NFC South leaders New Orleans.

The Saints play the Seattle Seahawks on Monday as the week that opened with three games on Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday concludes. Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne found Cecil Shorts for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds remaining to lift the Jaguars to a 32-28 win over Cleveland.

Patriots’ narrow win

The New England Patriots put together another second-half rally to edge Houston 34-31. Stephen Gostkowski booted two 53-yard field goals in the fourth quarter for the Pats, who clinched their 13th straight winning season. A late touchdown by Donald Brown and five field goals from Adam Vinatieri lifted Indianapolis to a 22-14 victory over Tennessee.

The Miami Dolphins romped to a 23-3 victory over the Jets at New York’s MetLife Stadium. The victory kept the Dolphins in the hunt for an AFC wildcard berth.

In other games, Philadelphia beat Arizona 24-21, Atlanta edged Buffalo 34-31 in overtime in a contest played in Toronto, San Francisco beat St. Louis 23-13 and AFC North leaders Cincinnati beat San Diego 17-10.