After their bye week, the undefeated 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs go on the road into NFL Week 11 against Peyton Manning and the 8-1 Denver Broncos. Their perfect record will be under fire as they begin the second half of their season, when things become increasingly more difficult.
Sunday’s game will easily be one of the most anticipated and watched games of the current season. What can we be looking forward to?
The Chiefs have arguably one of the best defenses in the league, and will be up against one of the most formidable, highest-scoring offenses when they head to Denver. Kansas City’s defense will be pressed to keep up with the Broncos’ heavy fire passing game.
Fortunately for Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and the offensive line, Denver’s defense will be a bit off their game on Sunday, due to multiple injuries in the Broncos’ defensive backfield. Denver cornerback Champ Bailey and safety Duke Ihenacho were inactive in Week 10, and are on limited practice this week, Bailey having nursed an injured foot practically all season, and Ihenacho with an ankle injury. Smith has a solid 29-5-1 record himself for the last 35 games he’s started in, but the Chiefs’ offense as a whole has shown some rough starts and stops coming together as a well-functioning unit. Kansas City will have it’s full available roster ready to go, including wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, and the Kansas City offense should take full advantage of Denver’s weakened backfield on Sunday early on in the game and chalk up as many points as they can.
While the Chiefs’ offense has been consistent and tenacious, they have struggled to seal the deal with touchdowns at the end of drives and have had to settle for field goals on several occasions.
Most likely, this won’t win them the game against Denver, and so the Chiefs will need to focus on improving significantly on their offensive game.
Also, Kansas City must up their game in forcing interior pressure onto Denver’s defensive line. Nose tackle Dontari Poe started out the season looking like he was going to be the league’s best. His level of play has been impressive, but he and the other defensive linemen have struggled to push the pocket from the center of the line in their most recent games.
Manning is a quarterback that must be disrupted out of his spot. The Indianapolis Colts did this well in their 39-33 victory over Denver, forcing Manning to re-position on most of his dropbacks, as well as getting four sacks in on him.
Can the Chiefs do it? We’ll find out Sunday night.
The Chiefs schedule has been one of easiest in the NFL this season but all that changes as they prepare for a super showdown with the Broncos this week.