All eyes are going to be on Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning heading into week 11. In week 10 against the San Diego Chargers, Manning was his normally productive self, throwing for 330 yards and four touchdowns on the day. However, he suffered a leg injury that he described as making him “pretty sore” in the post-game press conference and will have an MRI on the leg on Monday.
Week 11 of the 2013 NFL season is one of the most important and exciting matchups for the Broncos this year as they head up against the only unbeaten team in the league, the Kansas City Chiefs. Heightening the stakes of this game between two of the league’s best is the fact that both teams compete in the AFC West, meaning this game has big implications in the division.
Looking at that matchup, Manning will once again be the focus. While Manning and the Broncos boast the best passing offense in the NFL, the Chiefs have the sixth best passing defense in terms of yards and also lead the league in sacks, are in the top-five in interceptions, and have allowed only nine touchdowns through the air all season. It’ll be interesting to see how Manning and company are able to attack that defense.
More interesting, though, is the recent performance of the Broncos run defense. The Broncos have the fourth best run defense in the league this season, allowing only 87 yards per game. However, they haven’t been nearly that good over the past two weeks against the run, allowing 112 yards to the Washington Redskins and 131 yards to San Diego with each featured back for those teams averaging more than four yards per carry.
When it comes to the Chiefs, the running game is an incredibly important area to focus on. Though Alex Smith has been solid for Kansas City, the offense still thrives off of the ground game and the production of Jamaal Charles. Charles is averaging 4.3 yards per carry this season and has six scores on the ground to his name.
The Broncos are going to have to tighten up their run defense if they want to avoid their second loss of the season. The Chiefs undoubtedly are going to present the most formidable defensive opponent that Denver has faced this season, which means they might not be able to put up video-game numbers this week. If they are also getting burned by the Chiefs running backs, in addition to the Broncos’ poor pass defense, Denver could be eye-to-eye with loss number two.