The MVPs and LVPs from Broncos vs. Chiefs
by Clint Daly
On Thursday night, the Denver Broncos went into Arrowhead Stadium and somehow beat the Chiefs 31-24 for an implausible win. The Broncos took their first lead of the game with just 27 seconds remaining in the game.
Once again the Broncos won with an aggressive defense that forced four turnovers and an offense that finally started to show some signs of life.
The Broncos improved to 2-0 on the season and will now travel to Detroit to face the 0-2 Lions on Sunday night. So who were the most valuable players against the Chiefs? And who were the least valuable players? Here are the MVPs and LVPs from the Broncos crazy comeback win over the Chiefs.
Most Valuable Players
Aqib Talib: Is there a more valuable player so far in 2015 than Talib? In Week 1 he made the interception and touchdown that sparked the Broncos to victory against the Ravens. And against the Chiefs he gave them another lift when they needed it.
Down 14-0 the Broncos offense finally put together a drive and scored a touchdown with just two minutes left in the first half to cut the lead to 14-7. The Chiefs took over with an opportunity to run out the clock and lead the game at halftime. But on 2nd down and 10 from their own 20 yard line Chiefs quarterback tried to throw a quick out pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Talib jumped the route and made the interception and four plays later the Broncos had tied the game before the half had even ended.
It would be a sign of things to come.
Emmanuel Sanders: Through the first two games Sanders has been the most dangerous offensive player for the Broncos. Peyton Manning thinks so. Seven times on third down he targeted Sanders to try to pick up the first down. On five of those passes Sanders converted the Broncos to a new set of downs. Sanders would finish the game with eight catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
DeMarcus Ware: For the second week in a row DeMarcus Ware was a pass rushing force. Ware helped the Broncos limit Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to just 191 yards passing by putting pressure on him all night. Ware finished the game with four tackles and a sack but more importantly he managed to hit Smith four times giving him nine quarterback hits in just two games. The 33 year old veteran has been a monster for opposing offenses.
Gary Kubiak: Give the head coach some credit. His offense has looked abysmal so far and on Thursday he made the adjustment to allow Peyton Manning to go back to his more familiar shotgun offense. It seemed to help considerably. On the first four drives of the game with Manning under center the Broncos had managed just 41 yards, had punted three times, and had just converted just two first downs. Kubiak allowed Manning to get back in his comfort zone and the Broncos offense sputtered to life. The Broncos finished the game with 21 first downs and 299 total yards. Even if it is only temporary, until the offensive line comes around, the change by Kubiak gave the Broncos a chance to win.
Least Valuable Players
Offensive line: Yes, they seemed to improve a little when Peyton Manning went back to the shotgun, but they did allow another three sacks and Manning was hit another seven times. In addition, the running game continued to labor to get anything going. CJ Anderson gained just 27 yards on 12 carries and the Broncos mustered only 61 yards on the ground.
Run defense: While the pass rush has been dominating, the run defense gave some cause for alarm on Thursday night. The Broncos allowed 144 yards rushing to the Chiefs, and while running back Jamaal Charles did have the two costly fumbles he also compiled 125 yards and a touchdown on only 21 carries. This talented defense has to be stingier against the run.
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