Coach Romeo Crennel watched the game from the sideline, leaning on a crutch, after having his knee drained of fluid earlier in the week. Many in Kansas City expect him to be unemployed soon.
"I told him it's been a long one," Chiefs defensive lineman Shaun Smith said about his postgame conversation with Crennel. "Sorry it didn't turn out the way (we wanted). I have faith in you and that's all that matters."
The Broncos swept their division games for the first time since 1998 — the last time they won the Super Bowl.
John Elway retired after that one. Now, he's back, running Denver's front office, and he signed Manning with only one goal in mind: a third Lombardi Trophy.
For a brief glimmer, this could have been a game. The Broncos led 7-0 when Ronnie Hillman fumbled and Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers picked it up and was sprinting toward the end zone.
Manning cut off the Flowers return, allowing tight end Joel Dreessen to drag down Flowers at the 12. The Chiefs settled for a field goal and the Broncos scored the next 31 points.
Notes: Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles had 53 yards to finish the season with 1,509. ... Broncos FS Rahim Moore got his first career sack and Von Miller had one to bring his season total to 18½. ... Hillman wasn't seen against after his fumble. Lance Ball replaced him as Knowshon Moreno's backup and led the team with 66 yards on 15 carries.
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