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(Sunday, December 6th)
Final Score: Denver 44, Kansas City 13
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Kyle Orton threw two touchdown passes and rookie Knowshon Moreno added a pair of scores on the ground, as the Denver Broncos crushed the Kansas City Chiefs, 44-13, at Arrowhead Stadium.
Orton was 15-of-25 through the air, but fumbled twice and was intercepted once. Correll Buckhalter rushed for 113 yards on 12 carries, while Moreno totaled 86 yards. Brandon Marshall had 94 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions for the Broncos (8-4), who have won two straight on the heels of a four-game slide.
"Our goal was to win six or seven games after Thanksgiving," Buckhalter said. "Right now, we're 2-0 after Thanksgiving and we're going to keep preparing ourselves to whoever we're facing that week."
Denver remains one game behind San Diego for first place in the AFC West. The Chargers defeated Cleveland, 30-23, on Sunday.
Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel connected on 10-of-29 attempts for just 84 yards and two picks before he was benched in the fourth quarter. Jamaal Charles had 56 yards on 18 carries and scored the lone touchdown for the Chiefs (3-9), who have dropped their last two games by a combined score of 87-27.
Denver got the ball to begin the game and drove to the Kansas City 14 before Orton's intended pass to tight end Tony Scheffler was picked off by veteran safety Mike Brown in the end zone.
After the Chiefs went three-and-out, Daniel Graham capped an eight-play, 63- yard march with a seven-yard touchdown reception for a 7-0 Broncos lead.
A 22-yard boot by Ryan Succop put Kansas City on the board early in the second quarter, but Moreno's two-yard plunge gave Denver a 14-3 advantage with 7:03 remaining in the first half.
With one minute to go in the second quarter, Orton had the ball swatted away by Tamba Hali and Glenn Dorsey fell on the football at midfield for the Chiefs. Succop drilled a 47-yarder to close the gap to 14-6 at the break.
It was a disastrous third quarter for the Chiefs.
Kansas City rolled the dice on its first series of the second half and came up with snake eyes. Facing a 4th-and-8 from their own 28-yard line, Chiefs backup quarterback Brodie Croyle lined up as the punter and threw an incompletion.
Following the change of possession, Matt Prater converted a 44-yard field goal for Denver.
Andre Goodman then picked off Cassel on the second play of the ensuing drive, and a seven-yard touchdown reception by Marshall extended the Broncos' lead to 24-6 less than five minutes into the frame. Another Cassel interception turned into a 38-yard Prater field goal with just under six minutes to go in the third.
Charles coughed up the ball later in the quarter and Goodman returned the fumble 30 yards for a touchdown to make it 34-6 with 2:41 remaining.
In the waning moments of the third, Orton was hit from behind by Hali, dislodging the ball, and Dorsey again recovered at the Denver three. Charles scored on a four-yard run on the initial play of the fourth quarter.
Moreno tacked on an 18-yard TD run and Prater kicked a 37-yarder to account for the final margin.
"Disappointed that the game ended up in that fashion," said Kansas City head coach Todd Haley. "I went into (the game) knowing we were going to have to be efficient on offense. I thought the drops hurt us a great deal. Obviously turnovers."
Orton finished with 180 passing yards...Croyle completed 6-of-14 passes for 50 yards...Cassel's passer rating was 14.6...Brown recorded his 20th career interception...Denver outgained the Chiefs, 413-222...The Broncos went 3-0 on the road against the AFC West...Kansas City had won five of the last six at home against the Broncos...The Chiefs retired Derrick Thomas' #58 during halftime.
12/06 19:13:41 ET