The Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Denver Broncos. It’s Chiefs-Broncos week again! One of the most highly anticipated games of this season will happen on Sunday night. Denver went to 8-1 against the now 4-5 San Diego Chargers yesterday. The Broncos mastered the first half of the game, but things started to waver a bit for them in the second. Denver quarterback Peyton Manning managed to fire off four touchdown passes over the course of three quarters and chalked up a few more NFL records for himself and his team.
Sunday night’s game coupled with the next game against the Broncos two weeks following will prove to be the biggest challenges the undefeated Chiefs will deal with this season. Considering Manning and the Broncos’ performance this season, the matchups would be a challenge for any team in the league.
The Chiefs offense will definitely have to up their game, and though Kansas City boasts the No. 10 defense in the league currently, if they focus on a couple of things they may have a chance of shutting down Manning and the Broncos’ scoring machine.
Shutting down Manning is obviously the No. 1 key to the Chiefs’ victory on Sunday. Manning took a hard hit hard and went down briefly in the game against the Chargers, but right now it looks like he’ll definitely be playing against the Chiefs.
Turnovers should be a top Chiefs’ priority list in the game against the Broncos. If not they will find themselves in a lot of trouble.
Manning is a wise and seasoned quarterback and won’t fall for many of the tricks that other defenses try and pull with him. Fortunately for the Chiefs, he has been fumbling more this season than in the past. Kansas City needs to focus on getting an interception or two from somewhere, recovering a fumble, tipping and possibly recovering a ball in play, and more specifically pass rushers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston need to go for it like there’s no tomorrow.
Turn up the run defense a notch or two
This is a weak spot for the Chiefs defense. They are currently giving up five yards per carry which ranks them last in the league. That obviously can’t be a good omen for Sunday. The run defense will need to be solid and tight from the get-go, and the defensive line should be held accountable for this.
Pressure in the Pocket
Manning tends to work his way around in the pocket and has proven time and time again to be very effective there. Hali and Houston, assuming they are both on top of their games, will be sweeping in from the edges.
Enter Dontari Poe. When Hali and Houston are doing their thing this will force Manning to step it up in the pocket. If Poe can collapse that pocket so Manning has nowhere left to scramble this should be ever effective in forcing turnovers and getting sacks.
Considering the fact that the Chiefs cannot realistically count on the effective but unpredictable Alex Smith and the offensive squad, Kansas City’s defense really needs to do what it takes to seal the deal on this one, even in light of all the great things they’ve already done this season to date. They will most likely not have another challenge like the Broncos this season, and if they can get through this one they’ll face Denver again on December 1, this time with the home-field advantage.
Sunday’s kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. CST at Sports Authority Field in Denver.
Let the games begin.