The Kansas City Chiefs as a whole need to step up in order to beat a very tough Denver Broncos team on the road. What that said, if there’s one player who needs to play head and shoulders above the rest, it’s Jamaal Charles.
This shouldn’t be that surprising considering what Charles has meant to the Chiefs in 2013.
He’s been arguably one of the best offensive players in the NFL, and he’s undoubtedly the most important player on offense for Kansas City.
Through eight games, he’s rushed for 725 yards and six touchdowns and has caught 47 passes for 389 yards and two touchdowns.
For the mathematically challenged, Charles has accounted for a total of 1,114 and eight touchdowns. Now consider the Chiefs’ offense as a whole has put up 2,856 yards and 23 touchdowns on the season. Do some mental math (I used a calculator) and you’d find out that Charles accounts for almost 40 percent of Kansas City’s offensive yardage and about 35 percent of the touchdowns this team has scored in 2013. He’s an important part of this team, to say the least.
The thing is, against Denver, the Chiefs will need him to be just as good, or even better than he already has been this season.
There are a few keys to beating the Broncos—I touched on some of them here in The Film Room—but one of the most basic things the Chiefs can do is control the time of possession.
It’s a basic fundamental truth of smart football. If you’ve got an opponent who can move the ball and put points up on the board, the best defense against that is a good offense.
Alex Smith and the passing game will have to make a few plays, but the best thing Kansas City’s offense can do this Sunday is run the ball and eat up the clock.
The more Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Knowshon Moreno are on the sideline, the less damage they can do to the Chiefs. Consequently, the more the Broncos’ offense is on the sideline, the more rest the Chiefs’ defense is getting. The fresher the Chiefs are on defense, the more pressure they’ll be able to put on Manning, his receivers and his offensive line—and that’s going to be another key to this game.
In simple, but it all comes down to the Chiefs’ running game.
The Broncos are averaging 41.2 points per game. The Chiefs, on the other-hand, average 23.9 per game.
Kansas City needs to pound the rock. If Denver makes this game a shootout, the offensively challenged Chiefs are going to struggle to keep up. But, if the Chiefs’ offense can slow the game down and keep the score low, they’ll give their defense a chance to really get after Manning.
Run the ball and control the clock. The more Manning is on the sideline, the better it is for the Chiefs’ chances of winning the game.
Frankly, in my estimation, it all comes down to Charles.