DENVER** – Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak had no reservations about taking responsibility for Denver's 29-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
"This is on me," Kubiak said to the media after pulling Peyton Manning in the third quarter for backup quarterback Brock Osweiler.
After passing legendary quarterback Brett Favre for all-time NFL passing yardage early in the first quarter, Manning struggled to connect with his receivers, tossing four interceptions and completing five of 20 passes for 35 yards. His performance prompted Kubiak to insert Osweiler with the Broncos trailing 22-0.
But Kubiak's acceptance of the blame stemmed from his decision to let Manning play after he battled injuries the week leading up until the game. He never practiced as a full participant all week, and was listed on the injury report with a foot and rib cage injuries.
Broncos down early against Kansas City at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
"I have a really hard time using that as any type of excuse," Manning said. "[…] I made some really bad plays and just put our team in a really bad position, starting the first series, turning the ball over and giving them great field position and just seemed like that got me off to a bad start and I could never find any type of rhythm or continuity out there at quarterback and really put our team in a bad spot all night.
"I had some injuries during the week. […] I thought I could go out there and play. Obviously, you have to give a lot of feedback yourself and I felt good enough to go out there and play."
While Manning says he was honest with Kubiak and head athletic trainer Steve Antonopulos about feeling well enough to play, he says he didn't want to add to the list of Broncos already unable to play. Cornerback Aqib Talib was serving his one-game suspension, outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware was out with a back injury and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was questionable to play with an ankle injury.
"I wanted to go, I wanted to be out there for the team," Manning said. "I did feel like we had some guys down with Talib down and DeMarcus down and [we] weren't really sure [if] Emmanuel was going to be able to play, so I wanted to be out there. But I was as honest with them with the feedback as I could give them, and certainly did not play well and I'm disappointed about that."
Manning and the Broncos will now look ahead to a tough road contest in Chicago next Sunday and Manning is unsure what his practice schedule will look like this week.
"I talked to Coach Kubiak and obviously he wants to see how I feel tomorrow and during the week," Manning said. "I think I'd like to be able to practice during the week … That would be certainly the goal for me to get back to a normal practice schedule. So we'll see how that goes tomorrow. But [we'll] just kind of see how I feel after the game."
The Broncos fell to AFC West foe Kansas City at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.