Film Study: How the Chiefs can get a crucial road win over Broncos
By Grant Tuttle
The Chiefs are headed to Mile High for Monday Night Football. This is how the Chiefs can come away with a crucial victory in the race for the AFC West.
The Denver Broncos are entering a game that they should be nervous for. Not only do the Chiefs have a seemingly perfect offense, but this game has huge indications for the way that the AFC West finishes. If the Broncos win, they are even with a tie breaker over the Chiefs and if the Chiefs win they have a two game lead on the rest of the AFC West. The NFL is incredibly unpredictable, as we saw last week in Minnesota, when the lowly Buffalo Bills defeated the heavy favored Vikings at their home stadium by a wide margin. However, looking objectively at this game, one cannot help but see how this could be a dominant win for Kansas City.
This will be the toughest game that Denver will have had to play. So far the Broncos have defeated the Oakland Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks who have one win between the two of them. Their one loss came against the Baltimore Ravens, who are considered a “middle of the road” team by many. None of these teams are built like the Kansas City Chiefs. This is how the Chiefs can defeat the Denver Broncos:
Target the Middle of the Field (Watch)
On this play, tight end Mark Andrews slips behind the middle linebacker on a simple slant. Todd Davis is not deep enough and does not see Andrew slip behind him. This results in a huge play for Baltimore. After watching every broncos game this year, the middle of the field is a weak spot for the defense. It appears that the defensive scheme has shifted to a much softer zone than they have played in previous years. At the defense’s peak, they ran a lot of press coverage which limited the free range that receivers had. Even then, the middle of the field showed vulnerability. Now, the middle of the field is wide open in many cases.
Let the playmakers do their thing (Watch)
On this play, the Raiders ran a little backdoor wide receiver screen to Martavis Bryant. Observe how far the cornerback was playing him off of the line of scrimmage. If the Chiefs see this off-man coverage, which they might because of their explosiveness, they should be looking underneath all game long. If the Broncos want to prevent the long pass, Tyreek Hill will be just as effective underneath because of his incredible speed. The Broncos have shown this kind of coverage in several phases of the game and I believe this would be a bad approach in trying to stop the Chiefs offense.
Everyone knows how effective Travis Kelce has been against the Denver Broncos. Well, there is a reason for that. Looking at this play, one can easily see Jared Cook hesitate and then release to a wide open spot on the field. No one picks him up as he does so, which results in a big play for the Raiders. I assume that the Broncos will look to double down on Kelce in this game because of his previous dominance. No matter what they try to do, someone will be open. This is what they have looked like against tight ends early in the season.
Slow down the pass rush (Watch)
The Broncos have one great part of their team; The pass rush. If the Chiefs are to have continued offensive success against Denver, they will need to slow down the pass rush. On this play, the Broncos bring an overload blitz and Derek Carr is forced to let go of the ball quickly. This results in a misfire on a big third down. Whether they bring a blitz or rush three, the Broncos can get to the quarterback. Von Miller is still great and Bradley Chubb will get there. If I am Andy Reid, I am thinking about running 85-90% of the offense out of Shotgun formation and unleashing more “Air Raid” scheme stuff on this defense.