I can’t believe we’ve finally arrived at this point. Or maybe it’s I can’t believe w’eve already arrived at this point. The intensity of this game has been building since the Chiefs fourth win and now, we are just a couple of hours away. The game pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the Denver Broncos has the attention of the whole football watching world.
It’s so intriguing and important on so many levels, Roger Goodell went into hock with CBS who originally owned the rights to the game and protected it against “flex scheduling” to primetime. Somehow, that’s exactly what happened, and now a national audience will watch together as the next piece of the puzzle that is the AFC playoff picture falls into place.
The stakes are simple. If the Broncos win, they are tied with the Chiefs for first place, but beat them out in the “head-to-head” tiebreaker.
If the Chiefs win, they take a commanding lead in not only the AFC West, but the entire conference as a whole and perhaps, will finally get the respect they deserve. They’ll also do something no other Chiefs team as been able to since the teams inception in 1962. Go 10-0.
This Chiefs team continues to make history every time it steps on the field in the unreal story of “worst to first.” But beating the Broncos will be a whole different kind of challenging. What exactly do they need to do? Let’s examine just that in this week’s prime time edition of Five Keys to Victory.
Key #1: Score Touchdowns on Offense
That may seem like the most rudimentary statement I could possibly make, but it’s true. Over the last several weeks, it seems the offense has forgotten where the end zone is. Relying on Ryan Succop field goals and defensive touchdowns will beat the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, but it won’t stand a chance against this Broncos offense. The Chiefs “O” has to get into the end zone if they hope to keep any kind of pace with Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.
Key #2: Rattle Manning Early — Get in His Head
I know it pains every Addict out there to say, but the Chiefs are facing — arguably — the best quarterback playing the game right now. I won’t call him the best ever, because he’s not. And I won’t definititively call him the best playing now, because it’s a hard call to make. But, he’s up there. Yes he’s older. Yes, he’s been injured. But he knows the game of football. He’s a cyborg, I think, with a computer implant in his brain. No man should be that smart when it comes to a sport. But he is. His kryptonite is getting hit. He hates it. He doesn’t even have to get sacked. Just put some hands on him. I’m not saying play dirty, but there are ways to do it. Of course, sacks are awesome too, because he has a tendancy to drop the ball when hit from behind. The key is to short circuit his Manning 5000 computer brain early and get him hearing those “footsteps.” It’ll pay dividends later on.
Key #3: Establish the Run and Expose Their Defense
One of the many things Denver fans have been touting all week is the Bronco’s alleged elite run defense. While I believe this to be a skewed ranking because of the fact that teams have played from behind against the Broncos most of the season, thus the decreased running game, the fact is the stats are the stats. But, if anyone can run against the Broncos, it #25 in your programs but #1 in your hearts, Jamaal Charles. This has to be the game where he breaks a 50+ yard play on the ground. If the Chiefs can pound that so-called elite run defense into submission, it will open up the passing lanes in the not-so-elite secondary. Champ Bailey, I’m talking to you. Retire.
Key #4: Capitalize on the Turnovers
The Chiefs defense will cause turnovers in this game. I know the Broncos offense is awesome, but they have turned the ball over this season. The Chiefs defense has made their living intercepting, stripping or otherwise taking the ball away from opposing offenses this season. I don’t expect this game to be any different because they’re playing Denver. The key is, the Chiefs offense must make these turnovers count and get points from every single one. Obviously touchdowns are preferable to field goals (see Key #1) but on these “gift possessions” they have to score any way they can.
Key #5: Don’t Get Down Early
Although I’m confident that if backed into a corner, Alex Smith can and will shock the world with his ability to throw the ball and battle back from behind. He’s done it before. A lot. But, getting down against a score happy team like Denver could spell disaster for the Chiefs. Whatever happens, they have to go strike for strike against Denver. If they’re down by more than two scores at half time, it could be a really miserable second half of football tonight.
There they are, Addicts. My five keys to beating the Denver Broncos. Did I miss any? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments. GO CHIEFS!
Topics: Kansas City Chiefs