Special teams didn’t lose the game for the Denver Broncos. Allowing 484 yards on defense and mustering just three points that did not come off a turnover ensured Denver’s third loss in four games since the bye week. But special teams play didn’t do much to help in a 33-10 loss that ended Denver’s playoff hopes.

Just about the only unit that could say it had a halfway decent night (on a very forgettable one in Kansas City) was the punt coverage unit, who held Tyreek Hill to just 21 total yards on four returns. The kick return team was nearly as good, although they were pressed into duty far less. They allowed Hill just seventeen yards on one attempt.

Brandon McManus did his job on kickoffs, keeping the ball out of Hill’s hands for the most part, but he was part of a major blunder that stunted any momentum Denver had going for it heading into halftime.

Staring at a fourth-and-10 at the Kansas City 45-yard line, McManus came out to attempt a 53-yard field goal. He had connected from 52 earlier. The kick would have brought Denver to within eight points heading into halftime. Instead, head coach Gary Kubiak and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis called for a fake. It appeared that McManus was looking for a receiver at first, then forced to run. If it was a designed run, McManus got a slow start and was wrestled down four yards shy of the first down. McManus would not see the field again expect for the opening kickoff in the second half.

That wasn’t Denver’s only special teams blunder, though. Kalif Raymond muffed a punt (but recovered it) to open second half, pinning Denver on their own eight. Then, he fumbled a kickoff return in the fourth quarter, allowing Kansas City to put six points on the board instead of three.

The shaky play in the return game came on the heels of a disastrous performance by Jordan Norwood, who fumbled twice (and lost both) against New England, last week. Raymond appeared to have been the fix early in the game (he ended the day with 113 yards on kick returns) but as the stakes raised in the second half, Raymond’s inexperience showed.

Denver’s special teams wasn’t the worst unit on the field in the loss that ended Denver’s playoff hopes, but they certainly didn’t do much to put Denver in a position to win.

Here’s what the MHS team and some of our favorite follows were saying about Kalif Raymond and the special teams play in the loss to Kansas City…