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Chiefs: AFC West Fear Factors PART II

This is Part II of a two part post

Part I was published yesterday, Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 PM

Today we’ll look at the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs Fear Factors

Yesterday we covered the Fear Factors for the Raiders and the Chargers

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The Denver Broncos

Players who make others around them better, also make determining the Fear Factors of those individuals more difficult. The Broncos have two such players, one on each side of the ball: Peyton Manning and Von Miller. Each of these players are near the top in the league at their positions and their presence contributes to the Broncos Fear Factors. Tally two Fear Factors.

Peyton Manning makes the whole offense better but, someone who was excellent even before Manning arrived is Demaryius Thomas. I hope you’re not about to debate this one with me because anyone who can make Tim Tebow look like a good QB has to be great. You only need to think back to the first play of overtime in Denver’s playoff game against the Steelers on January 8, 2012. Tebow may have, by some miracle, gotten Thomas the ball but, that TD catch and run was all about Demaryius Thomas. His 1,434 yards receiving in 2012 should gain him some personalized attention from opponents. Tally another Fear Factor for the Broncos.

What Peyton Manning is responsible for is… making the rest of the Broncos wide receivers into a potent scary battalion of their own.  I’m not going to debate that the Wes Welker pick-up is another Fear Factor on it’s own because Tom Brady and Bill Belichick made him into the best receiver in football. Was he that kind of receiver BEFORE he went to New England? No. So, Welker and Eric Decker and TE Joel Dreessen are formidable enough together that they should be feared as a unit. Tally one Fear Factor.

Von Miller is making the players around him better too. Of course, you could argue that his old sack-matey, Elvis Dumervil, was averaging nearly 11 sacks a season before Miller showed up. In fact, Dumervil had 17 sacks on his own in 2009. However, he’s not there now. Some will say newly signed LB Shaun Phillips from San Diego will be everything Dumervil was but, Phillips has only averaged 7.7 sacks per year over his 10 year career and now he’s 32 and likely on his last contract and legs.

With Derek Wolfe and Robert Ayers holding down the DE spots and the Broncos taking DT Sylvester Williams in the first round this year, they should have an excellent defensive line for years to come. The Broncos have gone defense, defense, defense the past three years in the first round of the draft and it looks like it’s paying off. Add LBs Wesley Woodyard, Joe Mays and Miller to the front 7 and they are formidable. Tally one Fear Factor for the Broncos front 7.

Future hall of famer CB Champ Bailey is great but, isn’t what he used to be though he’s still one of the best in the game. Add Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Rahim Moore and newly signed Quentin Jammer to this backfield and this group has a Fear Factor to it. Tally one FF.

In the return game, KR Trindon Holliday had a touchdown on a punt return and a TD on a kickoff return and will be taken as a serious threat by all teams in 2013. Tally ½ FF.

While the Kansas City Chiefs must beat the Raiders and compete with the Chargers, they will have to challenge the Broncos to stay in the playoff chase in 2013. While you can expect the Chiefs to whip the Raiders and contend with the Chargers, it will be a huge, but not insurmountable, challenge to stay in games with the Broncos, who have Fear Factors all over the field.

The Denver Broncos have 6½ FEAR FACTORS in 2013

  1. Manning
  2. Miller
  3. Thomas
  4. WR Corp
  5. D’s Front 7
  6. DBs
  7. Holliday, 1/2

 

If you’d like to spend some time getting over how giddy fans are about their Broncos… go to the FanSided site called, PredominantlyOrange.

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Kansas City Chiefs

With 6 Pro Bowl performers in 2012, the Kansas City Chiefs have Fear Factors all over the field too. In my book, the biggest Fear Factor for opponents is Jamaal Charles. Interviews with JC in recent weeks indicate he is more excited for a campaign to begin than ever in his career. Personal predictions of “2,000 yards possible” coupled with his new role as a receiver in space should excite even the greatest of doubter. Will Brinson thinks Jamaal Charles will stack Pro Bowls on Pro Bowls in Andy Reid’s new offense. Tally one big FF.

Dwayne Bowe, when healthy, is one of the best wide receivers in the league. Just ask him. The Bowe Show appears to be returning to stadiums near you. He is so excited by the new offense that he’s predicting leading the league in receiving. While Bowe has been working with lesser QB’s during his 6 year career, by signing his new multi-year deal this offseason he virtually has guaranteed himself of becoming the Chiefs all-time leading wideout in a about a year and a half. For the past 6 years, Bowe has been the most consistent performer on the Chiefs roster and he is the one opposing defenses scheme for… because he deserves the attention. Tally one FF.

Presently, the Chiefs have no other “individual” player to be feared on offense. Except, if you take Andy Reid’s new evolving offense and Alex Smith’s emerging ability to run that offense, you could say that opposing defenses will be… facing a fear of the unknown. Reid has brought in his own version of the West coast offense, which is based on spacing, timing and efficiency. He’s added a pistol specialist (reportedly, not only to help the offense but, the defense as well) and is exploring a wide variety of formations. Alex Smith is the perfect QB to run Reid’s offense and he’s someone that Reid has made attempts to work with in the past. While I don’t see Alex Smith as a performer to be feared… within the context of Reid’s offense, at least a ½ a Fear Factor should be given. Tally ½ a FF.

Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali have something special in concert, something that most every Chiefs fan can’t wait to see and hear: two locomotives racing full speed on a collision course with a Lamborghini stuck on the tracks. As much as any Chiefs fan fears Peyton Manning, every Broncos fan fears the exact above scenario. No matter who’s getting squeezed this season, understand this, there will be squeezing. The pair had 19 sacks together last year and because the Chiefs appear to have better coverage this year, which will allow Ho-Ha more time to get to their destination, it also appears this sackers tandem will have over 25 sacks together in 2013. Tally 2 Fear Factors.

ILB Derrick Johnson made his first Pro Bowl in 2011 and followed that up with another in 2012. His pure speed, great angles and sweet smile make him a force in the middle. His 125 tackles in 2012, plus 9 career INTs, make him one of the best all-round ILBs in the game today. DJ scores a FF for the Chiefs.

Eric Berry is an excellent Safety. However, his three year career hasn’t shined a bright light on his best quite yet. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie when he was obviously not yet fully developed. After being out for a year, his third season included an early developmental slash recovery period at the beginning of the year. In other words, we haven’t seen the top end out of Eric Berry yet… even though he’s made the Pro Bowl twice. This year, he either gets hurt again (knock on wood) or he is better than ever. Bet on the later. EB offers another big FF for the Chiefs.

While it is rare that a punter could put fear on an opponents face, Dustin Colquitt can do that. While Colquitt’s new contract, the highest for a punter in the history of the league, may scare a few GMs, it’s his kicks that make special teams coaches across the league pay attention. Coffin-corner kicks, punts placed inside the ten, boomers that seem to hang for ever and knuckleballs that are next to improbable to catch… Colquitt has it all and he did it all in 2012. Dustin led the AFC in kicks inside the 20 yard line, had a 46.8 average per punt and gained his first Pro Bowl berth. Tally ½ a FF.

The Chiefs did a lot of beating themselves in 2012. In 2013, if they can stay in games, cut down on turnovers in a big way and force some turnovers of their own, they can compete for the AFC division crown. The Fear Factors tell the story. They’re in the same league with the Broncos, who many are picking to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.


The Kansas City Chiefs have 7 FEAR FACTORS in 2013

  1. Jamaal Charles
  2. Dwayne Bowe
  3. Andy Reid and Alex Smith, ½
  4. Justin Houston
  5. Tamba Hali
  6. Derrick Johnson
  7. Eric Berry
  8. Dustin Colquitt, ½

 Now, if the Chiefs can show that they’ve filled in the holes in between their Fear Factors, then the division crown will be within reach.

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 He has not learned the lesson of life

who does not every day surmount a fear.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

What say you, Addicts? Does having the most Fear Factors make the Chiefs the best team in the division?

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