Chiefs maintain AFC West lead, top Broncos

Posted Dec. 05, 2010 @ 5:10 p.m.
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By Doug Tucker, AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo.(AP) —

Chiefs coach Todd Haley shook hands and embraced Broncos coach Josh McDaniels after this game.

Three weeks after refusing to shake hands with McDaniels and then saying he was sorry for the snub, Haley and Kansas City survived a series of blunders and emerged with a 10-6 victory on Sunday.

Haley even gave the beleaguered McDaniels an affectionate pat on the head before heading for the locker room with a 6-0 home record to stay in first place in the AFC West.

Jamaal Charles rushed for 116 yards and Matt Cassel threw a 3-yard pass to Leonard Pope for the only touchdown for the Chiefs (8-4).

Knowshon Moreno rushed for 161 yards for the Broncos (3-9), who are enduring one of their worst stretches in decades, losing 17 of their past 22 games under McDaniels.

Dwayne Bowe, who had caught a touchdown pass in a team-record seven straight games, was held without a catch by Denver cornerback Champ Bailey.

Bowe came in leading the NFL with 14 touchdown catches and had 49 catches for 733 yards and 13 TDs in his past seven games. He caught one ball, but was out of bounds. Then he made what would have been a first-down catch only to draw a penalty for pushing off on Bailey.

The Broncos, with one of the league's poorest rushing games, had only 12 yards on the ground in the first quarter but finally started creating holes for Moreno in the second. Moreno had gains of 13, 10 and 8 yards on successive carries.Then on third-and-12 from the Denver 40, Kyle Orton threw to Eric Decker for 28 yards.

Matt Prater's 25-yard field goal made it 7-3 before Cassel led KC 44 yards in eight plays in the final seconds of the half to set up Ryan Succup's 47-yard field goal.

Cassel, after missing his first three passes, was 4 for 4 in an 11-play drive in the first quarter that spanned 70 yards and was ended by his 3-yard TD pass to a wide open Pope in the end zone.

Thomas Jones set up the touchdown by taking a pass in the right flat and weaving 20 yards to the 5.

The Chiefs hurt themselves with a series of blunders in a scoreless, zany third quarter.

First, an illegal formation penalty negated Charles' 2-yard touchdown run.

Two plays later on third-and-goal from the 2, lineman Barry Richardson was called for a false start and became infuriated when he was pulled from the field.

On the next down, he started to run back toward the huddle but was followed onto the field by special teams coach Steve Hoffman and told to come back to the bench. Richardson then turned around and started back, but put his hand on Hoffman's chest and shoved him roughly.

The Chiefs failed to score on the drive when Mario Haggan sacked Cassel for a big loss on fourth down.

On their next possession, a holding call on Terrance Copper wiped out Dexter McCluster's 57-yard run. Then the Broncos appeared to recover a fumble by Cassel and returned it almost to the end zone but the Chiefs caught a huge break when Cassel was called for intentional grounding, giving them a chance to punt.

McCluster's fumble was followed by Moreno's 23-yard run in the fourth quarter, setting up Prater's 41-yard field goal.

Orton, who came in leading the NFL in yards passing, was 9 for 28 for 117 yards. Cassel was 17 for 31 for 196 yards.

Game stats

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