FIRST QUAR­TER SPELLS DIS­AS­TER; WEB­STER SUF­FERS A CON­CUS­SION

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

kansas city, mo.» The Bron­cos gained only 12 yards on six plays on their open­ing pos­ses­sion Sun­day. The Chiefs re­sponded with seven plays and 77 yards, end­ing with a 10-yard touch­down run by quar­ter­back Alex Smith. It was the seventh touch­down al­lowed this sea­son by Den­ver’s de­fense on an op­po­nent’s first pos­ses­sion, tied for the se­cond-most in the NFL.

The Chiefs later in the first quar­ter scored on a 70-yard run by Tyreek Hill and an 80-yard re­cep­tion by tight end Travis Kelce, the long­est run and pass plays al­lowed by Den­ver this sea­son. All told, in the first quar­ter Kansas City amassed 243 yards and three touch­downs, com­pared with Den­ver’s 57 yards and one touch­down (a 1-yard run by Justin Forsett af­ter an in­ter­cep­tion by Den­ver safety Justin Sim­mons was re­turned to Kansas City’s 6-yard line). The Chiefs bolted to a 21-7 lead.

Den­ver has a mi­nus-61 firstquar­ter scor­ing dif­fer­en­tial, se­cond-worst in the NFL.

In­jury re­port. Bron­cos cor­ner­back Kayvon Web­ster suf­fered a con­cus­sion af­ter tak­ing a hard hit to his hel­met on kick­off cover­age in the first half. Web­ster was down on the field for a few min­utes, with play­ers on both sides re­treat­ing to a knee. Web­ster was able to get to his feet be­fore be­ing carted off.

De­fen­sive end Derek Wolfe rein­jured his neck dur­ing the first half, an in­jury that caused him to miss prac­tice all week, and did not re­turn to the game.

Run­ning kicker. Bran­don McManus’ 52-yard field goal in the se­cond quar­ter was his third 50-yarder this sea­son and the eighth of his NFL ca­reer. He ranks third on Den­ver’s all-time list in that cat­e­gory, be­hind Ja­son Elam (37) and Matt Prater (21).

McManus ran for 6 yards on a failed fake field-goal at­tempt late in the se­cond quar­ter, which was only the se­cond recorded run by a place-kicker in Bron­cos his­tory. Elam had the first, a 2-yard run against Seat­tle in 2006 that earned a first down.

In­ac­tive play­ers. The Bron­cos were miss­ing four key con­trib­u­tors be­cause of in­juries. Safety T.J. Ward and tight ends A.J. Derby and Vir­gil Green, all in the con­cus­sion pro­to­col, and in­side line­backer Bran­don Mar­shall (ham­string) were among the Bron­cos’ seven in­ac­tive play­ers Sun­day. In­side line­backer Quentin Gause, of­fen­sive line­man Con­nor McGovern and out­side line­backer Von­tar­rius Dora filled out the list as healthy scratches.

Foot­notes. Von Miller, Aqib Talib and Chris Har­ris were the game-day cap­tains for the Bron­cos. … Sun­day was De­mary­ius Thomas’ 29th birth­day. Mon­day is Trevor Siemian’s 25th birth­day.

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