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Play-action Peyton

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws against the

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws against the Washington Redskins during the first quarter. (Oct. 27, 2013) Credit: AP

The Broncos hope their running game is in top form against the Chiefs in Sunday's AFC West matchup in Denver. With Peyton Manning still nursing an ankle sprain, the best way to keep defenders off him in the passing game is with a successful running game. Here’s why: When the Broncos run well, it opens up Manning’s play-action passing game. Last week against the Chargers Manning was 9-of-9 for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns on play-action passes.

The Chiefs have their own issues with what has been the strongest part of their game. Remember the pass rush that was so effective the first six games? The Chiefs had 30 sacks and were on pace to shatter the Bears’ single-season record of 72 sacks in 1984. But over their last two games, Kansas City has just one sack.

With two touchdown passes, Manning would produce his third season of 35 or more passing touchdowns, tying Tom Brady and Brett Favre for the most in NFL history.

New York Sports