These Denver Broncos have a way of making winning look too easy.
Sunday's AFC West clash against the Kansas City Chiefs was billed as the "game of the year," but it felt routine. There were no lead changes in Denver's 27-17 victory. Peyton Manning literally wasn't hit by a Chiefs defender all night.
The NBC broadcast gave the previously undefeated Chiefs a lot of credit for staying competitive, but this was probably Denver's most comfortable win since Week 4 against Philadelphia. Denver's defense is a different group when Von Miller and Wesley Woodyard are on the field at the same. The Broncos could have the fastest linebacker group in football.
It felt like the Chiefs defense played well because it forced six punts, but the Broncos always find a way to rip off enough big plays. Demaryius Thomas' 70-yard catch in the second quarter helped put the Broncos up 10-0 early, and the game never was truly in doubt after that. The Broncos averaged 8.1 yards-per-pass play on Sunday; the Chiefs were at 4.4.
The Chiefs are supposed to be built on their pass rush, but they haven't recorded a single quarterback hit or sack in their last two games. They only have one sack in their last three games. Kansas City's defense was dominant for the first six games of the season. It has been merely good since.
Peyton Manning did not look 100 percent because of his injured ankle, but his pass protection held up well. He appeared to be struggling throwing on the move, but throwing on the move was never Manning's game.
Denver, now 9-1, pulled into a tie for the AFC West lead with Kansas City, setting up two season-defining games over the next two weeks.
This "game of the year" was just a set up for bigger games ahead. Broncos fans can only hope those two games look as routine.