Sep 16, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) makes a one handed catch as he warms up for the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs Defense Will Need To Be Special To Stop Manning’s Broncos


The Kansas City defense had better be up to the task of being one of the best units in the NFL this season because if they aren’t, there is no chance in hell the Chiefs are going to beat out the Denver Broncos for the AFC West crown.

It is a harsh reality but any reasonable fan that watched Denver’s 49-28 thumping of the defending Super Bowl champs last evening saw just how talented the 2013 version of the Broncos is.

In my travels around the interwebs this morning, I’ve already seen some disturbing banter by Chiefs fans. From Facebook to the comments right here on Arrowhead Addict, I’ve seen folks claiming the Broncos “didn’t look that special” and declaring that it was “just one game” and that “the Ravens looked horrible.”

Come on now. Step away from the Kool-Aid.

Sure, it was just one game and no, we can’t crown the Broncos just yet but only a fool would believe that last night’s seven touchdown performance by Peyton Manning was just a fluke.

Denver handled the Ravens in every aspect of the game. From a blocked kick on special teams to interceptions on defense, the Broncos made plenty of plays, enough to turn what was a close game at the half into a blowout by the time it was all over.

Where the Broncos really sizzled, however, was on offense. Manning shredded the Ravens secondary to the tune of 462 yards and again, seven touchdowns, which tied the NFL record. Manning did just find last season with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker in 2012 but he looks absolutely deadly this season with Wes Welker and TE Julius Thomas added to the mix.

One weakness the Broncos showed against the Ravens was a poor running game. The Broncos ran the ball 23 times for only 65 yards and the team’s longest run of the night went for only nine yards. Still, the fact that the Broncos couldn’t run the ball certainly didn’t seem to help the Baltimore secondary.

Chiefs GM John Dorsey was wise to spend some time this offseason beefing up the Chiefs’ secondary. The additions of Sean Smith, Dunta Robinson and Huisain Abdullah should give the Chiefs a chance to hang with the high-powered Denver offense.

The Chiefs may be loaded with talent on defense but they have yet to prove much on the field. They looked ok at times during the preseason but there were far too many instances of KC corners getting burned deep. New defensive coordinator Bob Sutton plans to take some risks in attacking the QB but that will also mean that the Chiefs are likely to give up more big plays. Manning has so many weapons on offense that the Chiefs had better blitz him with extreme caution.

Expectations are high for the Chiefs this season but it is important KC fans recognize just how talented the Broncos are. Though head coach Andy Reid plans to “light up the scoreboard”, Chiefs QB Alex Smith isn’t likely to win many shootouts with Peyton Manning. Not only is Smith not in the same class as Manning, he doesn’t have anywhere near as much firepower at his disposal.

That means that for the Chiefs to take down the Broncos, their defense is going to need to be as equally special as Denver’s offense. I think the pieces are there for that to happen. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston have the potential to be a terror and if the flashes that NT Dontari Poe showed in the preseason continue during the regular season, the Chiefs are going to be very tough up front.

The key for the Chiefs on defense could be safety Eric Berry. While Berry has flashed his potential at times and played very well for portions of seasons, he has never put together a truly dominant year. Berry will have to take the next step this season for the Chiefs to become the unit we all hope they can be on defense. In particular, berry is going to have to learn how to cover tight ends. He has been regularly abused by Chargers TE Antonio Gates and Denver’s Julius Thomas looked an awful lot like Gates against the Ravens. If Berry can improve his coverage skills, then the Chiefs defense could be the unmovable object to Denver’s unstoppable force.

If not, the Chiefs will have a tough time winning the West.

 

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Tags: Eric Berry Kansas City Chiefs Peyton Manning

  • chiefridgy

    Agreed.

  • Deaudrey Dre-Mac MacDonald

    That game scared me as a Chiefs fan…Manning looked like Superman!! But the Ravens didnt apply the pressure to get Manning out the pocket! We will what KC does in Jacksonville 1st…

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      I believe they did sack Manning 3 times. He is just so accurate and has so many weapons. Welker is just so dang good running routes and making quick cuts. They are going to be tough to stop.

      • sidibeke

        That TE Thomas was they guy who really impressed me. He was in beast mode last night.

      • Chiefswatch

        Tough..Near impossible.

  • DoubleD

    When it comes to Manning, I would consider it the the height of folly to “blitz him with extreme caution.” History has proven the only way to beat Manning is to blitz him with reckless abandon.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      I don’t know. Romeo had a lot of success mixing up his coverages and bewildering Manning. This dude doesn’t hold on to the ball very long. He will make a perfect throw and beat the Chiefs if they go all out too much.

      • DoubleD

        With Manning, it’s always been all about steady harassment. Making him take just a split second longer to think and react. That’s the only way to slow him down. Granted, your players and schemes have to be up to the task.

    • Michael Shaw

      Wooo hoooo a double D sighting as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • timbob

    Remember the Ravens lost a bunch of talent in the offseason. Manning is a punk crybaby. Blit blitz blitz his ass.

    • sidibeke

      I agree. I’m okay will giving up the occasional big play. Manning under pressure can be average. Give him time and, with his receiving options this year, you have no chance.

    • Spencer

      Plus look at the ravens in the 1st half (not completely winded) and then the Ravens in the 2nd half, if this is in Baltimore week 1 I doubt the Ravens for 1 don’t lose that badly, and 2nd might have been able to win it themselves…they were just simply gassed in the 2nd half, broncos started breaking tackles that would be tackles, and running away from guys who just looked exhausted…”mile high” in week 1 is the biggest advantage any team in the league has…No doubt this offense is great, but not all time great by any means, their run offense was well below par and they were just better conditioned…which is a given in Denver.

      • clay simester

        This wasn’t only about being in mile-high. Although the elevation and 90 degree temperatures definitely played a large role last night, what we saw was the effects of their up-tempo offense gradually wearing down the Ravens defense. A really good example of that is what Chip Kellys’ offense at Oregon. No matter who they played, it was normally pretty close in the first half and early 3rd quarter, only to score about 40 points from then on. The 3rd and 4th quarters were when they blew people out because that’s when the opposing defenses started wear out. Sound a little familiar to what we saw take place last night?

        • Spencer

          Well yes, the fast tempo offense will do that to every team, but I wanted to point out that for one, this will be a rarity that you see a team so unconditioned in that team…1st week of the year conditioning with those conditions is not a good place to be…the up tempo offense will be there every week for Denver…its a common thus I choose to leave it out, since we will see the same circumstances, the difference and what could have changed this game if it was in Baltimore or even when we see Denver at mile high…that’s was more my point.

          • clay simester

            Yeah those conditions really maximized the effectiveness of their up-tempo offense. That would have to be one of my biggest concerns for us heading into Jacksonville this time of year. Not that Jax runs anything up-tempo, but the extreme heat and humidity down there certainly isn’t going to do us any favors

          • Spencer

            that’s weather for you, most southern teams have the advantage in the early parts of the season, northern teams usually get the winter advantage, Central well there isn’t much other then KC and Denver when I think about it, both are hard towns to play in during the winter…especially Denver…Denver is just almost unfair lol.

    • clay simester

      You have just made the least accurate comment ever. For one, Manning never has, and never will be a crybaby. I don’t care what team he’s on or if you like him or not, he’s been nothing but a class-act his whole career. Second, if you “blitz blitz blitz his ass” Manning will destroy you. Last night when the Ravens blitzed Manning, his qb rating was 149.3(almost perfect) and 3 of his 7 td passes were against the blitz. When you blitz, someone will likely be open, and Manning is the best in history at knowing who and where that guy will be. The guys up front will have to create pressure by winning their one on one match-ups

      • timbob

        Dude, Manning was cruing like a baby when he got sacked. Also the Ravens are not the same team that won the superbowl last year. And yes if you blits his ass he will throw errantly.

        • clay simester

          I’ve never seen Manning even complain, let alone “cry like a baby”. But that’s not important in any way,shape, or form anyways. I could care less if it’s the same Ravens team as last year or not, they are a pro football team that still has talent in certain areas, so that’s also a non-factor because he’s going to be tearing up secondaries all year long, just like he has his whole career. And if by errantly you mean 149.3 qb rating with 3 td’s then yeah, he’s terrible

      • DoubleD

        The key is to collapse the pocket and obstruct his vision. Manning is a essentially a read and release guy, not a scrambler.

        • clay simester

          Yes, and the way you collapse the pocket and obstruct his view is by winning in the trenches, not by blitzing. And yes, obviously he’s not a scrambler, but everyone already knew that

  • sidibeke

    I see two keys to beating the Bronco’s: getting pressure on Manning and chewing some clock on O. I know the west coast offense is uptempo, but it also relies a lot on short, quick passes, keeping the opposing D on the field a bit longer than the long ball/quick strike.

    Only time will tell; I only hope KC looks half as dominant against the Jags as Den did last night.

    • sidibeke

      And the Ravens did look horrible: undisciplined, costly penalties, both lines getting pushed around, no running game…It could be a long season for them.

    • Dusty Adams

      How can you compare the Jags to Ravens? a thumping of Jags will prove nothing!!!

      • sidibeke

        Um, I didn’t compare the Jags to the Ravens. I hope KC looks half as dominant as Den did last night.

        Spare me your hostility.

        • Dusty Adams

          No hostility intended, what i was saying is the Broncos whooping the defending Superbowl champs know for their great defense was impressive the Chiefs doing the same to the sorry Jags will prove nothing get me now?Geez!!!

          • superman_25_58

            The 2013 Ravens aren’t even close to the 2012 SB Champion Ravens. No Benard Pollard, Ellerbe, Ed Reed, and biggest of all no RAY LEWIS. Fact is the middle of Ravens SB D was gutted down the middle “Which is where Manning did a lot of damage last night” and the SB offense lost some key offensive weapons as well. Flacco definitely didn’t show he was a 100+ million dollar QB in last nights performance with quite a few bad throws.

          • Dusty Adams

            that ‘s true Ravens secondary looked bad Huff is a bust !

      • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

        A thumping of the Jags will prove the Chiefs have improved. KC was so bad last season they could have easily got their behinds handed to them by the Jags…just like they got smoked by the Raiders and Chargers. A thumping of the Jaguars will tell us a lot.

    • Chiefswatch

      I see two keys to beating the Bronco’s too…..oh wait no I don’t.

  • micah stephenson

    Yea. Looks like we needed a QB with a bigger arm than Alex Smiths. We shuda drafted a big arm QB and been getting him redy so in a yr or 2 when manning retire we will b redy to step up and take over the afc west.

    • Dfrey87

      Bray

      • micah stephenson

        Uh can we get a 1st rd talent instead of un drafted players like Bray.

        • tm1946

          Sorry but do we cancel the rest of this year and the next couple because we have Smith – not in the NFL rules.
          Hope we can get past not having a HOF QB, we have not since Lenny. Maybe one day.

        • Dfrey87

          What the heck does it matter if he was drafted or not you seen the kids arm and talent. You there has to be something wrong with you if you try and deny it. AS11 has proven he can make every throw PM threw last night. Some of you guys kill me, with this ( the only way you can win is if you throw 80 yard bombs all game long) it is ridiculous.

        • Michael Shaw

          So…………….even after seeing how HORRIBLE your great Geno Smith was in preseason, you still think we should have drafted him in the 1st round, even though the team that DID draft him, in the SECOND round, did so because they wanted him to sit behind the lackluster playing ability of Mark Sanchez. If you actually watched the preseason, which as a true Chiefs fan, I am sure you did, you should have seen that Alex Smith will be 100 times better than Cassel and, at this point in his development, Geno Smith. He may not be Peyton Manning, but he could be a version of Drew Brees. You need to wait until we see him in an actual game, in this offense before you start………….crying, pleading, bitching for a 1st round talent. Remember that Brady, Wilson (the one in Seattle, not the one released by Oakland last week), Kaepernick, Brees, Schaub, Dalton, and Romo were not considered first round talents and look what they have done so far in the league. We don’t need a 1st round talent, we just need an elite QB and Brady has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, an elite QB does NOT have to be a 1st round QB. Tyler Bray showed a lot in this preseason. Is he the QB of the Future for us??? Maybe, but he needs maturity and training, and just like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, he has a good QB to learn from. Is Alex Smith anything like Peyton Manning??? NO! Absolutely not. He is close to being as smart with the ball as Peyton, but IMHO that is where the similarities end between them. I do believe Alex is our answer for this year and maybe next year as Reid and company work on teaching Bray. With the 3 QB’s we have on our roster right now, I am perfectly comfortable with any of them taking the field and running Andy’s offense. Provided of course Bray doesn’t have to come in too early in the season, he should be fine if something horrible happens late in the season or, hopefully, the post season!!!! GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!

        • superman_25_58

          What’s wrong with undrafted players? Seems like undrafted players have been more successful in the league for some odd reason IMO. Bray is a strong armed QB who will sit behind Alex Smith and learn much like CK did in 2011 and much like Aaron Rodgers did for 3 yrs behind Favre.

    • sidibeke

      And who would that big arm QB have been, Micah?

    • steve james

      We didn’t have to spend a pic on him. He’s already a Chief.

    • Gene Yuknis

      looks like geno’s back and positive as ever!!!!

    • Chiefswatch

      Micah you do realize that buy getting Smith and signing Tyler Bray we are doing exactly that? Bray is a big arm and will be ready in two years.

  • Dfrey87

    Yes Manning and the Broncos looked good but as good as they looked the Ravens looked equally bad. The Ravens D looked horrible last night, there secondary play was the worst I have seen in a long time. Flacco was really inaccurate and the rest of there O looked out of sync and just bad. There are two things I can tell u from last nights game. 1. This isn’t the same SuperBowl Ravens from last year, they looked God awful. 2. Manning and the Broncos are really good but there not 7 touchdown, 460 yards through the air every game good. This game was a product of a really good team beating a really bad team. This Ravens team is not the same and it’s obvious.

    • Michael Shaw

      Until I saw this game, I would have disagreed with you on this one. After last night, WOW was I wrong about this Ravens team!!! After the first game at least. They may get better.

  • Jim bernard

    You sound too scared, if they ravens challenged that welker catch they probably would of won the game, it completely deflated them.

  • tm1946

    Keep that game in prospective. Raven are a bad team this year no receivers worth the word “receiver”. Retirements, free agents lost, RBs. The Ravens have a long way to go to get in the running this year.

    Denver is loaded for bear. They added missing parts at WR and WHEN their LB corps return to strength they will be a load to handle.

    How do the Chiefs handle them, execution and a little luck. Offense makes no mistakes and runs when they want to and pass to someone besides Bowe once in a while. Defense will match up, decently, and unless Manning (not the one who wants to wear a dress for the foreseeable future) becomes an option QB, we look a lot better than the Raven and have better results.

  • Horace Lee Madre Jr

    Three of the ponys TD’s were the result of poor tackling or blown coverages. One was the result or Mannings former teammates knowing his signals and being tricked by them. I’m not saying they didn’t win, I’m saying I’m not convinced they are as good as everyone thinks they are.

  • Arrowhead Magic

    I see what you are saying, and I agree but the score did not tell the whole story of the game last night. The game was close up until the Wes Welker drop wasn’t challenged by Harbaugh. That changed the momentum of the game completely. Harbaugh looked really nervous, the receivers dropped way too many catchable passes, and the defense was demoralized. So while the Broncos looked good, they did look beatable until the Ravens seemed to all but give up, in a similar way that we did last year.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Their defense looked susceptible but their offense looked pretty good the entire game. But you can’t blame everything on momentum. Denver’s D got the picks and made the special teams play. Those things really turned the game.

  • Troy Utt

    Way to get after it Patrick!!! Anyone that is a fan of the game must give Manning his due after watching last nights dismantling… At the same time I reminded myself of the talking heads who have repeatedly argued no drop-off on this Ravens squad during the off season. Sorry…But you don’t turn over a roster that included players such as Reed, Ellerbe,Birk,Boldin,Lewis, etc… replace them with rookies for the most part and live to play another day. Not in todays NFL, not that quick. On a rental agreement Elway brought in Manning & has surrounded him with all the tools to win the SB & that window is slamming shut fast! Keeping pace KC (R&D) assembled one of the better secondaries, not just of the AFCW but a squad that is able to contend in the league! Along w/ the LB corp Manning will not be dropping balls in like he was last night. There will be pressure from the edeges Hali & Houston & as shown last night the running game up the middle was non-existant. No doubt about it Manning is smart & runs an effecient offense, but he does not throw the prettiest pass, when he is pressured & forced out of the pocket that ol’ ball goes to wobblin’. Combined with 9 weeks to fine tune everything… I believe we will be just fine! WAR CHIEFS!!!

  • ArrowFan

    Well said, after the first half I was thinking we can hang with this team. After the second half was over the Broncos look like they may have the best passing game in the history of the league. Yea he had 7 td’s and 460 yards for the game. But in the second half he had 5 td’s and around 300 yards. To top it off my fantasy opponent had Manning and one of his WR’s. I’m down 102 to 0 already :(.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      Manning is so good at adjusting in the second half too. He is a smart guy, figures out what the plan of attack is and exploits it.

  • Pealvin

    I can’t believe we’re talking about the broncos and our opponent is Jacksonville. In the chiefs locker room they better be focused on the task at hand and worry about Denver when it’s time to play Denver.

    • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

      That is all well and good for the Chiefs but since we aren’t actually playing, I think some analysis of KC’s competition for the division is ok.

      • Pealvin

        I guess as long as you’re talking about its cool. I’ve been on teams where the current opponent is overlooked because the team is worrying about someone else. I hope they’re focused on making our matchup with Denver a meaningful one that’s all.

        • http://www.arrowheadaddict.com Patrick Allen

          They have plenty of time to worry about Denver. KC doesn’t play them for so long that they could be a much different team by the time they square off.

          • Michael Shaw

            That is the only wild card with us playing Denver so late in the season. We might actually be hitting on all cylinders and be able to bring the hammer down on Peyton and his boys! GO CHIEFS!!!!!!

        • clay simester

          The only difference here is that none of us play for the Chiefs, so it doesn’t really matter what we talk about

  • Dustin Matz

    Denver scares the hell out of me and I hate saying that. I live in Denver and have to breathe the same air as these maniacs! One thing I can say tho is, last nights game was almost too spectacular….I don’t think you will see another performance like that again this season….it was just TOO powerful to be “the norm”…I guess you never really know tho and time will tell but I hate this as much as anybody else. At the end of the day as log as they don’t go to the bowl we just have to endure this for a couple years. No ring and I’m fine! We all know what Manning is deep down

  • Walter

    The scary thing is, the Donkeys looked sloppy for a lot of the game… Dropped passes, no run game, mediocre pass rush… Historically, Manning’s teams start seasons slow then get better as the year goes on. If that happens this season, and if/when they clean up their sloppy play, this is going to be a historic year for Denver. Once Champ Bailey and Von Miller come back, and if Montee Ball can show flashes of what he showed at Wisconsin… Wow.

  • Merlin_Arrowhead_Addict

    Take a deep breath…. exhale…relax….. OK, ready? Super Bowls are not won in September. Let Peyton look good now. Let’s see how everyone is playing in December.

    • Michael Shaw

      A MERLIN SIGHTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Great point by the way!!!

  • superman_25_58

    Flacco sure didn’t look like a SB winning QB worth 100+ million………….instead he looked like Gabbert at times IMO.

  • chiefridgy

    Oh Patrick how we miss you here at AA….

  • Chiefswatch

    Patrick you rock bro. Site isn’t the same without you writing stuff. Some of the new stuff is bleh at best.

    • Patrick Allen

      Hey man, I appreciate the compliments but cut everyone some slack. People make errors sometimes (The Blackmon thing) as for predictions, I haven’t red the article but I used to do predictions all the time so that is no different.

      And hey, we have a lot of great sites here at FanSided. Bummed you think they’re shitty. I work for this place.

      Finally, give the new guys a chance. I know there has been a lot of change around here lately and that is likely to bring some hiccups. Stick with us and we will keep delivering the goods.

      • Chiefswatch

        No offense meant to you man, you ran a hell of site. Perhaps I just miss reading your consistent posts. Regardless read some of this stuff and tell me its not kind of boring.

        Regarding other Fan Sided stuff I do not mean the articles. Popularity wise it’s pretty obvious AA leads the league. Half the fun is reading and responding to comments.

        This is the last I will talk of it though. I seem to be hurting a lot of feelings.

  • Danny W

    Good read Paddy.