Following a thrilling overtime win over San Diego on Monday Night Football, the Chiefs plummeted to earth last week with a 31-3 home butt-whooping bye the Miami Dolphins. The loss snapped a three-game win streak. The loss of this game has made me begin to question the Arrowhead Advantage.
Historically the Kansas City Chiefs have been known to win a lot of their home games. It was common place for people to pick the Chiefs to win simply because the game was in Arrowhead, one of the loudest stadiums in all of professional sports.
Something about that Arrowhead Advantage has seemed to change over the last few years. Arrowhead Stadium still consistently is the host of electrifying crowds, however the wins seem to be much harder to come by these days. In the Chiefs two home losses this year, they were outscored 72-10.
If you include Kansas City’s postseason game against the Baltimore Ravens from last season, the Chiefs have lost four of their last six home games, dating back to January 2nd, 2011. Including the postseason loss from last season, the Chiefs are 13-24 in their home games since 2007.
The Chiefs are very fortunate to still be in the race for first place in the AFC West. Based on our home record the last few years, I would say that a 4-4 record is pretty good at this point in the season.
Visiting opponents should still prepare for a loud crowd when they come to Kansas City, but it should not intimidate them. The Chiefs are no longer invincible at home and teams are finding ways to beat them in their own house.
As the second half of the football season starts to heat up, the competitiveness of the AFC West is going to make for a very important game this Sunday in Kansas City, when the Chiefs play host to the Broncos.
Perhaps the Broncos are the perfect team for the Chiefs to play this weekend to gain back that Arrowhead Advantage. The Chiefs have won 12 of the last 16 meetings with Denver at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos last win in Kansas City was in 2009, while the Chiefs won 10-6 last year at home.
After a 1-4 start, the Broncos have won two of their last three games to pull from three games out of the AFC West lead to one game out after a 38-24 road win over Oakland last week. The Broncos rank fifth in the league in rushing offense and 31st in passing offense. Willis McGahee leads the running game with 623 yards and three touchdowns while the ever controversial Tim Tebow adds 277 yards rushing with one score.
Tebow has completed 46 percent of his passes for 536 yards and six touchdowns with one interception. However, the run first quarterback has been sacked 14 times. With the Broncos installing a read option offense for Tebow the passing game has not been too effective. Wide receiver Eric Decker leads the team with 33 receptions for 406 yards and six TDs.
Denver’s defense ranks 15th against the run and 23rd against the pass. The defense has recorded 20 sacks and forced 11 turnovers, with one returned for a TD. Wesley Woodyard leads the defense with 61 tackles, 22 more than anyone else. Rookie first round pick Von Miller has 6.5 sacks with two forced fumbles and the never aging Champ Bailey has two interceptions.
With Jackie Battle leading the running game the Chiefs should look to pound the ball early and often against the Broncos average rush defense. If the Chiefs are able to do this early it will open up Matt Cassel on play actions passes. If Cassel and Dwayne Bowe can take advantage of the play action opportunities it should really help the Chiefs expose the Broncos horrid pass protection.
This game is a divisional rivalry, and on top of that, Tebow tends to make games interesting in the fourth quarter. I see this being a closely contested game, but the fans will be rocking and the Arrowhead Advantage will help the Chiefs pull out a close victory.