Chiefs top Broncos in overtime on pinball field goal

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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Denver and Kansas City traded field goals in overtime before Cairo Santos' 34-yard effort sent the Chiefs (8-3) home with a 30-27 victory over the Broncos (7-4) in Week 12.

1. Gary Kubiak's decision to let kicker Brandon McManus attempt a game-winning 62-yard field goal with just over a minute to go in overtime might come back to bite him come late December. McManus missed what would have been a career-high wide left, giving Kansas City a short field to execute a game-winning drive. Given the opportunity to punt deep on fourth-and-10 and settle for a tie, Kubiak instead rolled the dice, as his division-leading compatriot, Jack Del Rio, would do. The losing result drops the Broncos two games behind the Raiders and one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West. A tie would have kept Denver and Kansas City locked at 7-3-1 and still in the immediate playoff picture. But as the sun sets on Week 12, the Broncos are on the outside looking in, replaced by the surging Dolphins in the sixth seed.

2. The absence of Jeremy Maclin has limited Kansas City's offense in many respects, but one positive to be drawn from his hiatus is the emergence of Tyreek Hill as an offensive threat and a name-brand fireball. Hill was responsible for all three of Kansas City's touchdowns, earning them with a reception, a rush and a punt return. The rookie's breakaway speed was a known commodity -- Hill reached a max speed of 22.77 mph on his return score, a league-best -- but Hill's catching ability and route running have improved, showing up on his game-tying receiving TD and the catch that set up Santos' game-winning field goal. Half Dante Hall, half Dexter McCluster, Hill is a three-dimensional weapon in the making.

3. After a string of turnover-laden showings and sluggish offensive performances, Trevor Siemian put together his most composed game of football of the season in a big spot. Siemian recovered from a sack-heavy first half to throw three touchdowns and top 300 passing yards for the first time since Week 3.

The first-year starter showed poise and mobility in the pocket on two plays in particular. Siemian's escapability was on display during an impromptu spin-move away from Justin Houston and roll-out touchdown pass to Jordan Taylor in the red zone that took 9.53 seconds to fully develop. Then, deep in his own territory in the fourth, Siemian deftly moved the pocket to convert a long third down to another tight end, A.J. Derby, before launching two bombs to Emmanuel Sanders. If Siemian can perform with this confidence down the stretch, Denver won't even need to look in Tony Romo's direction in the offseason.

4. Houston, we have a pass rush. In his second game back, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston dominated Denver's offensive line in the first half. His three sacks of Siemian forced Denver to bench converted right tackle Ty Sambrailo in favor of Donald Stephenson in the second quarter. The result neutralized Houston's sack surge for the remainder of the night, but the damage had been done. The sixth-year pass rusher single-handedly disrupted the Broncos' offensive rhythm for an entire half and will be a force to be reckoned with down the stretch.

5. Surprise, surprise: The Super Bowl MVP went off again. Von Miller took the league lead in sacks with 12.5 after compiling another three on Alex Smith and tallied 10 total tackles on the night. Miller has now surpassed his sack total from last year and is on pace to tie his career high (18.5). Miller and Houston's sack six-pack made Sunday night the first game with two players with three sacks since 2013.

6. Phillip Gaines is going to want this game tape burned, buried and forgotten. The Chiefs cornerback surrendered 175 yards on three plays in the fourth quarter that put K.C. behind the eight ball, including two on one drive to Sanders. Down nickel back Steven Nelson, Gaines and Kenneth Acker were routinely victimized in the slot by Sanders; the former lost track of Bennie Fowler on a late-game 75-yard catch-and-run.

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