Demaryius Thomas celebrated Brandon McManus missing

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    DENVER (AP) — For the first time in his life Qadree Ollison Jersey , a field goal.Thomas won his hasty homecoming Sunday when his ex-teammate’s windless 51-yard attempt drifted wide right, allowing the Houston Texans to escape Denver with 19-17 win .“We wanted him to walk out there as a captain and we wanted him to walk off the field as a winner,” J.J. Watt said of Thomas, whom the Texans (6-3) acquired five days earlier from the Broncos (3-6).Article continues below ...Only, Thomas lost the coin flip and didn’t exactly walk off the field a winner — he sprinted.“I think that’s the fastest I ran all day,” Thomas said. “I ran inside. We got that W.”DeShaun Watson targeted Thomas three times and Thomas caught all three for 61 yards, including back-to-back grabs for 31 and 18 yards on Houston’s opening touchdown drive.But he stood to be the goat after a series of fourth-quarter follies that including a false start, lining up in the wrong spot — even having to run over and ask Watson what to do — and having to burn a timeout.“I messed up a couple of times and I felt like it would have been on me if we didn’t get that W,” Thomas said.“He was hearing one thing and doing the opposite,” Watson said. “I had to make sure he was on the same page as me. He did a good job. Some things we are going to fix.”The Texans joined the 1970 New York Giants as the only teams since the merger to win six straight following an 0-3 start.McMANUS’ MISSESMcManus’ second miss of the game came after Case Keenum completed an 18-yard pass between two defenders to Emmanuel Sanders on fourth-and-8 from the Denver 45-yard line with under a minute left.“Terrible kicks,” McManus said. “Even the 62-yarder, it was terrible.”Broncos coach Vance Joseph blamed himself for the first miss, saying he got greedy. It backfired when the Texans got the ball in Broncos territory and 18 seconds left in the first half and Ka’imi Fairbairn nailed a 46-yard do-over for a 16-10 Houston halftime lead after his errant attempt was wiped away because Joseph had called timeout to ice him.Joseph said he didn’t try to get closer for McManus’ game-winning attempt because the Broncos had already reached their “line to go” inside the 35.“I was totally confident in Brandon Marquise Brown Jersey ,” Miller said. “From 62 and 51, my money’s on Brandon. He’s our sniper. He’s our brother. It’s one of the hardest positions in pro sports. Sometimes you just can’t put it through the uprights.”Said Keenum: “I knew Brandon was going to make it and I still know he’s going to make it when we give him that chance again. I think he’s the best kicker in the league.”Keenum threw a 5-yard pass to tight end Jeff Heuerman, who had a career-best 10 catches for 83 yards and then running back Phillip Lindsay lost a yard, leaving McManus with a 51-yard attempt.After the Broncos took a 17-16 lead on Keenum’s 12-yard dart to Heuerman between two defenders, Fairbairn put the Texans back ahead with a 37-yard field goal with 14:06 remaining.It turned out to be the game-winner when McManus missed again.“Seeing the kick go wide right was a breath of fresh air,” Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu said.Particularly for Thomas.THOMAS TRIBUTEThomas had started all 114 games for the Broncos since Jan. 8, 2012, when he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow on the first snap of overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23.This time, he drew loud ovations when he emerged from the tunnel for pregame stretch and again during a video tribute after “The Star-Spangled Banner.”Outside the stadium, the Broncos put up a giant “Thank you, D.T.” banner at the bottom of a 10-story-high image of Thomas next to one of Von Miller, who said last week it was “super weird” not having Thomas as a teammate anymore.After Thomas lost the coin toss, Denver deferred and Thomas went right to work , catching consecutive passes covering 31 and 18 yards as the Texans took a quick 7-0 lead on Watson’s 7-yard TD pass to tight end Jordan Thomas .Watson’s 36th career TD throw was a 16-yarder to DeAndre Hopkins that put Houston ahead 13-3. The only other quarterbacks in NFL history to have 35 or more TD passes in their first 16 NFL games were Hall of Famers Kurt Warner and Dan Marino.INJURY REPORTTexans: OLB Duke Ejiofor left in the first half with a shoulder injury.Broncos: Center Matt Paradis broke his right fibula when Keenum rolled up on him just before halftime. Paradis had never missed a snap in his four-year career and appeared in line for a contract extension with the money the Broncos saved by trading Thomas.“It’s a huge loss,” Joseph said, “losing one of our captains and a guy who’s played a lot of football for us.”UP NEXTTexans: Travel to Washington on Nov. 18 after a bye.Broncos: Visit Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 18 after a bye. KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs went into their regular-season finale with a lot riding on the outcome.Beat the Raiders and they would have their third consecutive AFC West championship and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, not to mention home-field advantage throughout. Lose to their longtime division rivals and risk falling to the No. 5 seed as a wild-card team with a much more difficult road to Atlanta.But the biggest takeaway from the Chiefs’ victory over Oakland last Sunday was this: That top seed in the AFC means a first-round bye, and a much-needed opportunity to get some big stars healthy.Star safety Eric Berry had a recurrence last week of the heel pain that kept him out most of the season, sidelining him against the Raiders. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins remained out with a foot injury, running back Spencer Ware was sidelined by a hamstring problem, right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif spent his first week on the practice field after a broken leg landed him on injured reserve.With a week off, there’s a chance all of them could be ready for the playoffs.“We will have to see throughout the next week here just exactly how that goes,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this week. “Let’s just see how it plays out and how the guys do. I’m sure some of them will be through the following week, too, as far as the game week goes. We will just have to see how it all goes.”Berry missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles’ tendon Miles Boykin Jersey , then had his heel act up early in training camp. He didn’t hit the practice field until midway through the season, and didn’t make his debut until Week 15, when the Chiefs lost to the Chargers in a game he played about a half.He played more the following week against the Seahawks, slowly ramping up his activity level, and was starting to resemble the three-time All-Pro of old when he experienced a setback in practice.Now, Berry may be the biggest wild card for the Chiefs heading into the playoffs.On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs have continued to score at a record pace despite losing a series of crucial players. Watkins hasn’t played a full game since getting hurt in early November, Ware has been slowed the last few weeks and Duvernay-Tardif has been on IR since Week 5.The Chiefs are confident Ware will be able to go, an important piece ever since they swiftly cut ties with Kareem Hunt following a series of off-field issues midway through the season. Damien Williams played so well in relief that he earned a contract extension last week, but journeyman Darrel Williams and longtime backup Charcandrick West are the only other running backs on the roster.In other words, getting Ware back provides not only another playmaker but adds some needed depth.Watkins was starting to show why the Chiefs signed him to a $36 million, three-year contract this past offseason when his foot injury occurred. The Chiefs have used a rotation of players to cover for him, and there was enough concern about his returning that they signed Kelvin Benjamin to help.Demarcus Robinson has been perhaps the biggest bright spot since Watkins has been out , but the Chiefs getting their No. 2 wide receiver back for the playoffs would only help the league’s highest-scoring offense.It would also take some of the pressure off wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce.As for Duvernay-Tardif, the Chiefs have shuffled offensive linemen throughout the season as injuries have piled up, even signing former starter Jeff Allen to provide some help. But they’re finally healthy across the board, and that means Duvernay-Tardif can take his time working back up to speed.He had a three-week window after coming off IR before the Chiefs must decide whether to active him, and adding one of the league’s best run blockers back to the mix would be a welcome addition.“He has another couple weeks of flexibility with that. He went through practice last week. We will keep him coming on that,” Reid said. “There are certain things he can do well and other things that he still is working through. We will see how that goes.”As the top-seeded Chiefs spend this week getting healthy, they also will begin preparations for their divisional opponent. They’ll face the lowest remaining seed among the Colts, Ravens or Chargers, and the only team they haven’t faced this season is Indianapolis.They beat the Ravens and split with the Chargers, each team winning on the road.“I always feel like there is a bulls-eye every week,” Reid said, “and that’s OK. That’s the way you want it. We’ve earned the right to be in this position and it’s important you handle it the right way. I know I have a good locker room and they’ll handle it right and the coaches will handle it the right way.”

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