Broncos 34, Chiefs 24
Quentin Griffin might make the Denver Broncos forget Clinton Portis after all.
Griffin ran for 156 yards and scored three touchdowns in his first game as Portis's replacement, lifting the Broncos to a 34-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.
Denver traded Portis to Washington to get cornerback Champ Bailey, a potentially risky move because Portis rushed for more than 1,500 yards in each of his first two seasons. Portis was superb in his debut with the Redskins, rushing for 148 yards and a touchdown in a 16-10 victory over Tampa Bay. Griffin was just as good.
He dashed and dived his way to touchdown runs of 25 and 47 yards and caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Jake Plummer in the first quarter. Griffin even did Portis one better, breaking his team record for most yards on opening day. Portis had 120 last year.
Bailey made the trade look even better.
He tipped away a pass to Tony Gonzalez in the second quarter on the first ball thrown in his direction, and intercepted another just before halftime when Trent Green scrambled and attempted to throw over Bailey's head. Bailey even got involved in the offense, lining up for a handful of plays and catching an 11-yard pass in the first half.
The game was supposed to be more of a defensive matchup than in years past after both teams made changes. It didn't work out that way.
Kansas City's defense ranked 29th in the league last season, costing defensive coordinator Greg Robinson his job. The Chiefs didn't look any different under Gunther Cunningham.
Denver scored on its first three possessions, Plummer threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns and the Chiefs couldn't keep up with Griffin's moves.
The Broncos added Pro Bowlers Bailey and John Lynch in an attempt to get better on defense. They were better than the Chiefs, but still gave up 151 yards and three touchdowns to Priest Holmes.
Chiefs cornerback William Bartee was carted off the field with a sprained neck. Bartee was injured late in the first quarter when the side of his head hit Denver's Rod Smith on the hip during a punt.