for this game

Chiefs finally get to host Thanksgiving game

Nov 21, 2006 - 9:37 PM Denver (7-3) at Kansas City (6-4) 8:00 pm EST

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt lobbied to host a Thanksgiving game for a long time. His moment finally comes Thursday night when the Chiefs host the Denver Broncos in a battle of AFC West rivals.

The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys - two NFC teams - have been the traditional Thanksgiving hosts. Hunt asked the NFL to have his AFC team host a game on Thanksgiving as well, but was consistently turned down.

Finally, Hunt will get his wish when the Chiefs face the Broncos in the first regular-season game on the NFL Network.

The Broncos will play on Thanksgiving for the second straight year. Last season, they posted a 24-21 overtime win at Dallas.

Denver is one game behind first-place San Diego in the AFC West. The Chiefs can tie the Broncos for second place with a win on Thursday.

In the first meeting on September 17, Jason Elam kicked a 39-yard field goal with 9:50 left in overtime to lift the Broncos to a 9-6 victory. Jake Plummer hit Javon Walker with a 24-yard pass to set up the winning field goal.

The Chiefs played without starting quarterback Trent Green, who returned for the first time last week after suffering a severe concussion in the season opener. Damon Huard filled in and threw for 133 yards and Larry Johnson rushed for 126 yards at Denver.

Kansas City has won six of the last seven meetings from the Broncos, including three in a row, at Arrowhead Stadium. Last December 4, Johnson rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs' 31-27 win over Denver.

On his 27th birthday last Sunday, Johnson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in a 17-13 victory over Oakland.

Green returned after a 10-week layoff and attempted only 16 passes, completing nine for 102 yards. But on the winning 11-play, 80-yard drive, Green completed two passes to Samie Parker for 26 yards and connected with Eddie Kennison on a 24-yard play. Johnson capped it with a one-yard touchdown run with 1:32 left.

The Broncos fell out of first place after squandering a 17-point lead in a 35-27 loss to San Diego last Sunday night.

After giving up four touchdowns to running back LaDainian Tomlinson, Denver has to deal with Johnson, who leads the AFC with 1,045 rushing yards.

The Broncos had allowed an average of 12.3 points in their first nine games before giving up five touchdowns to the Chargers.

Jake Plummer continues to struggle for Denver. He completed just 13-of-28 passes for 183 yards. Rookie free agent Mike Bell rushed for 90 yards on 22 carries.

Kansas City last played on Thanksgiving in 1996, beating the Lions, 28-24.

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