KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — You won't get much argument from Broncos coach John Fox about the value of a solid starting quarterback. You probably won't get much from Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel, either.
Not after they stood on opposing sidelines and watched Peyton Manning go to work.
The four-time MVP was wooed by both franchises when he was cut loose by Indianapolis, but he never gave Kansas City much thought. Instead, he signed with its AFC West rival, and is now putting together one of the best seasons of his career for Denver, all while Kansas City flounders behind the revolving door of Brady Quinn and Matt Cassel.
The difference on Sunday was striking: Manning threw for 285 yards with touchdowns to Jacob Tamme and Demaryius Thomas in a 17-9 victory, the Broncos' sixth straight. Quinn threw for just 126 yards with an interception as Kansas City lost its eighth straight game.
"Peyton Manning is a Hall of Famer," Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "We played pretty good as a defense most of the game, but he made a few plays, one or two more plays than we'd like him to make, and he came up with a victory."
It allowed Manning to break a tie with his boss and Broncos vice president John Elway with his 149th win as a starting quarterback, trailing only Brett Favre (186) for most in NFL history.
Naturally, Manning was quick to pass the praise to someone else.
In this case, it was Knowshon Moreno, who ran for 85 yards after stepping into the starting lineup this week after Willis McGahee landed on injured reserve.
"I've got to tip my hat to Knowshon Moreno," Manning said. "He stepped up today and did a heck of a job. Really an impressive effort by him."
Not so much by the Chiefs offense.
Jamaal Charles ran for 107 yards, but the Chiefs (1-10) were done in by penalties, missed opportunities and a conservative approach that has not yielded a touchdown since the first quarter against Pittsburgh on Nov. 12, a span of more than 11 quarters and 173 minutes.
They could only manage field goals by Ryan Succop for the second straight game.
"We struggled a bit against the run, but they're a very good run team," Fox said. "Something we work very hard on is the red area, and holding them to three field goals was a key in the game."
Kansas City actually established an early lead for the third straight game on Succop's first-quarter field goal, and seemed to be outplaying Denver (8-3) the entire first half.
They had a chance to go ahead 10-0 when they faced fourth-and-2 at the Denver 4, but Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel elected to kick another field goal against a team that had scored at least 30 points in five straight games, drawing a chorus of boos from the crowd.