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Sunday, January 3, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Chiefs 44, Broncos 24

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

DENVER -- The Denver Broncos just completed one of the worst collapses in NFL history -- for the second year in a row.

Denver’s embarrassing effort Sunday sealed an 8-8 record and eliminated them from the playoff race. Denver got help from other teams around the league Sunday. But the Broncos couldn’t help themselves.

Denver started the season 6-0. But it lost eight of its final 10 game. It is the third team since the merger to not make the playoffs after starting 6-0. Denver had a 3.5 game lead over San Diego after Week 6. It is the first team in NFL history to not make the playoffs after having a 3.5-game lead.

Mike Shanahan was fired last year after Denver blew a three-game lead with three games to go. Josh McDaniels’ first season as coach ended similarly, but don’t expect McDaniels to be fired.

Kansas City deserves a lot of credit for finishing the season strong. This was Kansas City’s best game of the year. It should halt any talk that first-year coach Todd Haley is in trouble.

Jamaal Charles showed the future is bright in Kansas City as he ran for a team record 259 yards.