KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The last three minutes in Arrowhead Stadium were tumultuous. One second the arena was filled with deafening noise, the next were moments of stunned silence.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos orchestrated a perfectly timed drive to tie the game with 40 seconds left. What followed can be chalked up to the magic of football. Sometimes things happen and they can’t be explained.
The Chiefs put ball in running back Jamaal Charles’ hands. In the words of coach Andy Reid, “(it) didn’t work out so good.”
Charles fumbled the ball with 35 seconds on the clock and Denver cornerback Bradley Roby came up with it and ran it into the end zone, resulting in the final score, Denver 31, Kansas City 24.
Despite the end not coming out in the Chiefs’ favor, there were high moments and other low moments during the game.
• Rookie cornerback Marcus Peters continued his momentum from Sunday into the matchup with Denver. On third-and-3 in the second quarter, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning targeted wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for the first down. But Peters read the play from the start, hopping in front of Thomas to come up with his second pick in two games. Peters turned on the jets and ran 55 yards to the end zone, giving Kansas City a 14-0 lead.
• Eric Berry started at free safety over Husain Abdullah, officially making his remarkable return after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in November 2014. Berry recorded four tackles on the evening.
• Linebacker Justin Houston made quick work of Denver’s offensive line at the end of the first quarter to bring down Manning for his first sack of the game. He brought down Manning again in the fourth quarter for his second sack of the day. The game marked eight straight games where Houston has recorded at least one sack. His eight straight number is currently the longest active streak in the NFL.
• Charles, the leading rusher in Chiefs history, surpassed another rushing milestone. Charles managed to lengthen his lead on the rest of the pack even more by surpassing 7,000 career yards rushing as a Chief. At the end of the game, Charles’ career total tallied to 7,038 yards rushing. Currently, Charles is seventh among active players in the NFL in yards rushing.
• Defensive tackle Jaye Howard racked up seven tackles on the evening. That was a career high for the former Florida Gator.
• Quarterback Alex Smith had two costly interceptions. The first one came deep in Chiefs territory late in the second quarter. His short pass was intended for wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, but was picked off by Denver cornerback and University of Kansas alum, Aqib Talib. Four plays later, Manning found tight end Virgil Green in the back of the end zone to tie things up before halftime.
The second interception came with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Smith and the Chiefs were lined up at the Denver 17 and was aiming for wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas when another Denver cornerback and University of Kansas alum, Chris Harris, Jr., got in front of it.
• Charles committed two rookie mistake turnovers on the evening. In the middle of the first quarter. Kansas City was lined up at the Denver 6-yard line. Smith threw to Charles. Charles caught the pass and then fumbled it. Denver’s free safety Darian Stewart came up with the recovery.
His second fumble of the day came with 35 seconds left in the game. Charles ran up the middle to the Kansas City 21-yard line and Denver linebacker Brandon Marshall forced Charles to fumble the ball just before Charles’ knee hit the ground. Roby recovered the fumble and returned it 21 yards to the pay dirt, stunning all of the people in Arrowhead.
“I (wasn’t) careful with the ball,” Charles said. “That’s my fault.”
• The offensive line of old reared its ugly head. Smith was sacked four times throughout the game. If the pace continues (he was sacked twice in Week One), Smith is on track to be sacked 48 times this season, which would be the most during his career.
• Cornerback Jamell Fleming had a rough day at the office, especially when covering Denver wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Cornerback Sean Smith, who began the season serving a three-game suspension, is eligible to activated from the reserve/suspension list on Sept. 29, a day after the Monday night game at Green Bay.
• Left tackle Donald Stephenson went out with a “basketball ankle sprain,” according to Reid.