Five things the KC Chiefs must do to beat the Denver Broncos

Heading into the Thursday Night clash against the Denver Broncos, what must the KC Chiefs do in order to improve to 5-1?

Oct 8, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) sacks Denver Broncos
Oct 8, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) sacks Denver Broncos / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Make Russell Wilson sit in the pocket and blitz occasionally

When you dive into the analytics, one of the noticeable differences in Russell Wilson's game is how much poorly he plays the longer he sits in the pocket.

According to Pro Football Focus ($), Wilson is the 7th highest graded quarterback out of 34 on throws less than 2.5 seconds after the snap. On throws longer than 2.5 seconds after the snap, Wilson is 23rd out of 34.

What exactly does that mean? That means his quality of plays significantly worsens when out of Sean Payton's structure. That makes sense considering the fact that Denver has scored a touchdown on their opening drive in four of their five games. In three of those four games, they went a very long time without scoring a second touchdown, if at all.

Once Sean Payton's pregame script is over, Denver's offense has struggled. If his first read isn't open, Wilson has problems. He becomes a lot more prone to fumble and is also very reckless throwing the football. The fact that he only has one interception on pass attempts longer than 2.5 seconds is a minor miracle considering how many times he's put the ball in harms way.

The overall point here is to take away his first read. Given how well Kansas City's secondary has played this season, that's a realistic ask. Against the Jets' strong secondary in Week 5, Russell Wilson was 8-of-17 for 86 yards, plus three turnover-worthy plays and three sacks on 26 dropbacks when in the pocket longer than 2.5 seconds. If Steve Spagnuolo, can make Wilson stand in the pocket for an extended period of time, the more likely that something bad will happen for Denver and something good will happen for the Chiefs.

On the other hand, Spagnuolo should not be afraid to blitz on occasion. In the two matchups last season, the Chiefs blitzed on 29.5% of Wilson's dropbacks. When not blitzed, his passer rating was 99.1. When blitzed, his passer rating dipped to 65.5.

In 2023, Wilson has thrown the ball away a lot when blitzed. He's thrown the ball away on seven of 36 pass attempts (19.4%) and seven of 44 dropbacks (15.9%) when he was blitzed. He's also been sacked on six of those dropbacks. Throwaways are not sacks, but they are still an unsuccessful play for an offense and a win for the defense.

Yes, it is a different coaching staff, but it is still interesting and could be a preview of what we'll see in the game. It does seem contradictory to want to blitz and make him sit in the pocket, but finding the perfect balance between the two could be the ideal formula for shutting down an already limited offense.