Two teams coming off of extremely deflating losses will meet for an enormous AFC matchup on Sunday afternoon when the Denver Broncos travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams currently sit at 9-2, and this could be Kansas City’s only chance to knock Denver back in the AFC West race with the Broncos’ weak remaining schedule that features only losing teams after Week 13.
The most important question in this game will be the biggest factor from their Week 11 matchup — can the Chiefs get pressure on Peyton Manning? In their previous contest, Manning went virtually untouched largely due to how quickly he was able to get the ball out. Kansas City has to step up on their pass coverage and stopped allowing everything underneath. It’s a scary concept to play up on an offense with so many big-play makers, but the Chiefs will not win if they allow Manning to pick them apart underneath again.
It doesn’t matter if Tamba Hali or Justin Houston are active on Sunday — whoever is in has to step up and get to Manning. Dezman Moses will likely step in if Houston and/or Hali are unable to suit up, and he has proven capable of getting to the quarterback. Last year in his rookie season with the Green Bay Packers, Moses was able to compile four sacks in limited action.
Outside of the outside linebackers, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton has plenty of weapons to work with. Derrick Johnson is more than capable of getting pressure up the middle, and there is always the versatility of Eric Berry who got the Chiefs’ lone sack on Philip Rivers last week. Combined they have six sacks on the season and could definitely be a bigger part of the pass rush this Sunday.
However they do it, they have to do it. Kansas City can definitely win this game, but they need a great plan and several back-up plans for how they are going to get to the quarterback. An untouched Manning will make you pay every time, and finding a way to throw him off his game should be top priority for the Chiefs.