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Top-seeded Chiefs ousted by Broncos

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John Elway and Marty Schottenheimer each have their demons to conquer - like getting Super Bowl rings.

But when it comes to the Elway-Schottenheimer rivalry, it's no contest. The Denver Broncos and their quarterback have held the upper hand over Schottenheimer, no matter where he has coached.And so it was Sunday - Denver 14, Kansas City 10 - with the Broncos moving on to Pittsburgh for next Sunday's AFC championship game.

"I think Marty's record in the regular-season speaks for itself," said Elway, a sometime off-season golfing partner of the Kansas City coach.

Yes, but these are the playoffs, where Schottenheimer is 5-11 after Sunday's loss - the second time in three seasons that his team has lost its first game at home as the AFC's top seed. As in 1996, when it was Indianapolis that won 10-7, Kansas City had been unbeaten at home in the regular season.

Technically, it was Elway again - the quarterback who authored "The Drive" that tied the 1986 AFC championship game against Schottenheimer's Cleveland Browns and beat those Browns again the following year.

He drove the Broncos into position for Terrell Davis' 1-yard run for the go-ahead touchdown 2 minutes, 28 seconds into the fourth quarter. That marked the 44th time in his 15-year career that he's authored a game-saving drive in the final period.

But Elway wasn't even on the field when the game was won, putting Denver (14-4) one game away from becoming the fourth wild-card team to make it to the Super Bowl.

It was the Denver defense that won the game - Darrien Cordon knocking away an Elvis Grbac pass thrown into double coverage on a fourth down from the Broncos 20 with 12 seconds left.

It was a drive that took just under four minutes while Kansas City had trouble managing the clock. The Chiefs took their last timeout just nine seconds after the 2-minute warning when it could have saved it for later. And Kansas City took more than 20 seconds to get off the last play.

"With all the crowd noise, I couldn't hear the play that was called in from the bench," said Grbac, who was 24-of-37 for 260 yards in his first full game since breaking his collarbone Nov. 3. "I take the blame."

Sunday's game had its mistakes.

After a cautious first two quarters, the Chiefs finally appeared to score on Stoyanovich's 34-yard field goal.

But Greg Manusky was called for holding and Stoyanovich, pushed back 10 yards, missed from 44 yards. Then Elway drove the Broncos 65 yards and went ahead 7-0 on the first 1-yard run by Davis, who gained 101 yards on 25 carries.

The Broncos missed another chance to score in the final minute of the half when Elway was sacked and fumbled.

And after Kansas City cut Denver's lead to 7-3 on a 20-yarder by Pete Stoyanovich, the Broncos blew a big chance.

Davis went 41 yards to the Kansas City 11, but had to rest the ribs he bruised last week in the wild-card win over Jacksonville. Two plays later, his backup, Derek Loville, fumbled the ball away.

That allowed the Chiefs to take their only lead - on a 12-yard TD pass from Grbac to Tony Gonzalez following a 50-yard pass to little-used Joe Horn.