Third-and-3 from the Denver 16: On the first drive of the game, the Chiefs marched down the field and were knocking on the door when they decided to go to a trick play on third down. Running back Peyton Hills took a direct snap and ran to his right before stopping and throwing across the field to quarterback Brady Quinn. Elvis Dumervil was there in coverage and the pass fell incomplete, forcing Kansas City to settle for a 34-yard field goal from Ryan Succop.
Fourth-and-12 from the Denver 18: After a 39-yard Britton Colquitt punt, Kansas City punt returner Javier Arenas brought the punt back 20 yards, setting up the Chiefs with a first down at the Denver 37. Kansas City turned that strong field position into points with a 22-yard field goal by Succop to open a 6-0 lead.
Third-and-5 from the Kansas City 43: With the Chiefs looking to add to their 6-0 advantage in the second quarter, linebacker Von Miller collected his 14th sack of the season, dropping Quinn for a 1-yard loss to bring up fourth down.
Third-and-8 from the Denver 33: Linebacker Wesley Woodyard ruined the Chiefs’ scoring plans with a third-down sack of Quinn. The play resulted in a loss of 9 yards and knocked Kansas City out of field goal range.
Third-and-1 from the Kansas City 29: Needing just 1 yard to continue a promising drive, Manning threw a quick pass to tight end Joel Dreessen, who extended the ball just past the first-down mark. After a measurement, the play was ruled a first down and five plays later the Broncos punched the ball in the end zone with a 7-yard touchdown catch by tight end Joel Dreessen to end the first half ahead 7-6.
Third-and-7 from the Denver 37: Quinn managed to find wide receiver Dwayne Bowe in front of cornerback Champ Bailey, but the 11-time Pro Bowler knew the down-and-distance situation and brought Bowe down immediately upon catching the pass 1-yard shy of the first-down mark. That stop led to a 49-yard field goal from Succop that would represent the final points the Chiefs would score on Sunday.
Third-and-2 from the Kansas City 42: Trailing 9-7 in the third quarter, the Broncos had reached Kansas City territory before encountering a third down. Once again, Manning went to one of his tight ends as this time it was Tamme who caught the pass, picking up 12 yards and a first down. On the next play, Manning went deep to Demaryius Thomas who beat his defender for a 30-yard touchdown.
Third-and-3 from the Denver 45: Looking to take time off the clock, the Broncos needed a third-down conversion to continue a drive late in the fourth quarter. With 3:35 to play and the Chiefs down to one timeout, Manning found Thomas for a 10-yard gain across the middle to keep the drive alive.
Third-and-7 from the Kansas City 42: After two more short runs, Denver was faced with another third down. He again targeted Thomas, this time deep down the sideline. Once again, the third-year receiver came up with a big catch, picking up 27 yards and topping the 1,000-yard mark for the season.