Posted Sun Jan 3rd by Monty
The same team the Denver Broncos outscored by double-digits in December returned the favor only four weeks later, even as the Broncos had everything to play for, and their opponents had nothing.
The Kansas City Chiefs came into INVESCO Field at Mile High — a stadium in which they had never won — and put a 44-24 beatdown on the Broncos in the 2009 season finale. The loss eliminated the Broncos from playoff contention hours before a potential Jets loss would have propelled them into the tournament, and the 2009 Broncos — Kings of the World at 6-0 in October before going 2-8 down the stretch to finish at an all-too familiar 8-8 — are left reeling.
Shoddy tackling and poor execution on all fronts led to a record day for Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who set a franchise rushing mark with 259 yards on 25 carries. The struggles were punctuated as Charles rumbled for his last 56-yard touchdown run, bouncing off miserable Broncos tackle after tackle.
It was the type of play — and performance overall defensively — that suggested the defense had quit on the season, and Head Coach Josh McDaniels.
Without Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler and Eddie Royal, quarterback Kyle Orton had his worst game as a Bronco, throwing three interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns by linebacker Derrick Johnson that largely made the difference in the game.
For a team that had everything to lose, the Broncos sure played like a team that knew how to.
Now the Broncos enter the offseason loaded with questions — an offseason that, after a 6-0 start, came far too soon.