Notes & Quotes – Broncos Back Into West Title

From Sports Authority Field, Denver

It was after the Broncos had walked off the field a 7-3 loser to the Chiefs Sunday afternoon that John Fox and his team found out that despite stubbing their toe in the regular season finale, there was more football ahead for them.

In Oakland the Raiders were being the Raiders, unable to rise to the challenge of beating San Diego in the Bay Area. When they Pride and Poise boys had neither in a 38-26 loss, the Broncos backed into the AFC West title.

No matter how they received it, they will play at least one more game; Denver hosts Pittsburgh this weekend in the wildcard round of the AFC playoffs.

“We’re the AFC West champs; it doesn’t matter how you do it,” said Fox, in his first season as head coach in Denver. “Once you get in the dance, they can’t kick you out, so what we do with it we will be determined here next weekend.

“We’re excited about it. Obviously we didn’t want to get into it without winning tonight. I thought it was a great effort, we just came up a little short.”

The Broncos enter the playoffs on a three-game losing streak, making momentum a difficult resource to find in Denver.

“It’s obviously a little bittersweet right now,” said QB Tim Tebow. “We would have loved to have won that game and had a little bit more momentum going into the playoffs. But I think it’s still a special thing what we accomplished.”

Added Pro Bowl CB Champ Bailey: To go into the playoffs with losing the last three games, it sucks. But, we’re in it. We just have to keep preparing, stay positive and move on … I think what we need to understand is why we’re backing in and what we need to do to make sure that we don’t lose in the first round.”


There were 76,005 fans in the stands at Sports Authority Field and it was a decidedly pro-Broncos crowd. There have been times over the last 15 years where the stands in Denver would be dotted with pockets of red from Chiefs fans that traveled out to the game.

That was not the case on this Sunday. With nothing on the line for the Chiefs, there wasn’t much reason to invest money in tickets and travel.

The crowd got RT Barry Richardson for an early false start, but after that the noise was not a problem. By the end of the fourth quarter, it was a very quiet place.


It was a busy day for the doctors and trainers on both teams. For the Chiefs, the injuries are of little consequences since they have no more games to play. Not so with the Broncos who lost starting RG Chris Kuper to a broken leg and dislocated ankle after he was chopped by his own teammate during a pile up of bodies in the first half.

In the first half, the Broncos also lost FB Spencer Larsen for the rest of the game because of a knee injury.

The Chiefs saw WR Dwayne Bowe leave the game late in the second quarter with what Romeo Crennel called a concussion. Also in the second quarter, ILB Jovan Belcher left the field for a few plays with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.

Later in the game, FB Le’Ron McClain was helped off the field with an undisclosed problem and then late in the fourth quarter CB Javier Arenas suffered a left knee injury after he did a great job of knocking down a Tim Tebow throw to Eric Decker.


It was referee Pete Morelli and his crew working the game and they are generally one of the more efficient crews in the league. They showed that side of their personality, walking off 12 penalties for 85 yards against both teams.

Here’s what happened with the yellow hanky and the Chiefs:


Offender Penalty



B. Richardson False start



L. McClain Neutral zone punt ret.



T. Daniels 12-men on field



J. Asamoah False start



A. Becht False Start



S. Piscitelli Illegal contact



W.Gilberry Roughing passer



Saturday night, the Chiefs made a roster move sending RB Jackie Battle to the injured-reserve list and promoting RB Shaun Draughn from the practice squad. Draughn spent 13 weeks with the Chiefs on the practice squad.

As for Sunday, he was active and appeared on the kick coverage team.

Inactive players for the Chiefs QB Tyler Palko, SS Jon McGraw, OT David Mims, WR Jerheme Urban, TE Jake O’Connell, DE Brandon Bair and DT Jerrell Powe.

At strong safety Sabby Piscitelli started, making him the fourth different starter at that position: Eric Berry, Jon McGraw, Reshard Langford and Piscitelli.

Inactive players for the Broncos were SS Brian Dawkins, FB Austin Sylvester, LB Mike Mohamed, G Manny Ramirez, OT Tony Hills, TE Julius Thomas and DE Derrick Harvey.

To fill Dawkins spot in the starting lineup, FS Quinton Carter moved to SS, and David Bruton came in and started at FS.

One Response to “Notes & Quotes – Broncos Back Into West Title”

  • January 2, 2012  - Blake says:

    Hey Bob I think that Donald Washington had one start this year also.

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