Broncos V. Chiefs Preview

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The Broncos take on the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. After two close calls at home, Jay Cutler and the Broncos are excited to get on the road. Cutler says,

“Kind of glad we’re on the road this week, get a way from Mile High a little bit. You get on the road, and it’s kind of just us guys out there, battling against them” (Denver Post).

I’m excited to see the Broncos play away from Invesco. As an athlete, there’s nothing like having the crowd against you to motivate you to win…especially if it’s an angry Chiefs’ crowd! It will be good to see how they perform even if it is against an 0-3 Chiefs team. Denver actually has an overall losing record (45-52) against the Chiefs, but the Broncos swept them last season. They are going for their first 3 game win streak against the team since the 91′-92′ season, and Mike Shanahan is going for his 150th career win. Maybe second to the Raiders, he would love to achieve that milestone against the Chiefs. Don’t expect to see the team lose this week. I got an email from Bodog as to what unbeaten team will be the last team to lose a game in the 2008 season, and Denver ranked second behind Dallas with 3/2 odds. My prediction for week 4: Broncos – 34 Chiefs – 14. 

Offense

Broncos – They are still the #1 offense in the league, and through three games, the Broncos have never put up as many points (114). I think the most impressive stat thus far is the one sack that Jay Cutler has taken all season. Unbelievable from an offensive line with rookie Ryan Clady, and second year player, Ryan Harris at the tackle spots. Not only that, but the second string center and former Chief, Casey Wiegmann, has had to fill in for Tom Nalen. A big thanks to KC for releasing him! The running back by committee thing is still working well for the Broncos with Selvin Young and Andre Hall swapping spots on the sideline every five plays. It doesn’t matter if they carry the ball. Five plays is five plays and they’re out. Then, they throw Michael Pittman in for the tough running. He’s got 4 TDs in three games. As far as the wide receivers go, Darrell Jackson is still out due to injury, but to be honest, I kind of forgot about him. With Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, and tight end Tony Scheffler, the boys know how to get points on the board. The Falcons put up 38 points against the Chiefs’ defense, so I don’t anticipate the offense having an off week this week.    

Chiefs- Where to start? The Chiefs have the QB by committee thing going on right now, but not by choice. Brodie Croyle is out for at least two more weeks, so last week they let third stringer Tyler Thigpen play after 11-year veteran backup Damon Huard performed poorly. So, what can Herm Edwards do? The only thing he can at this point. Go back to the backup. Huard will get the start. Who finishes? I don’t know, maybe a running back. They should just keep the ball on the ground the entire game anyway. The Larry Johnson of old would’ve carried this team on his shoulders, but this season, he’s lucky if can carry the ball. Dudes got two fumbles already. Dwayne Bowe leads the team in receiving yards and TDs and Tony Gonzalez can always be a threat. Other than that, it’s a stale offense that’s 30th in the league in total offensive production. At least they’re not the worst offense in the state. Good Lord, Missouri! 

Defense

Broncos – Now is the time for the Broncos to tweak their defense. They’re going up against a struggling offense so lets find out what works. They tested the waters with the 3-4 alignment last week against the Saints, but that still didn’t help the pass rush. The Broncos only have 5 sacks in 3 games this year, and I know that Elvis Dumervil is itching to get his first take down beind the line of scrimmage. It’ll come against this Chiefs young offensive line. Using the 3-4 allowed linebacker Jamie Winborn some time on the field, but the Broncos will mainly stick to their 4-3 alignment. D.J. Williams leads the team and is second in the league in tackles with 28 (23 solo, 5 ast.), yet this defensive unit could not stop a baby stroller from rolling down the street right now. This Chiefs team should open themselves up for the Broncos to get into some kind of defensive rhythm because they’ll need it in week 5 against Tampa Bay. What? I’m not looking ahead already. 

Chiefs – This is one area in the standings where the Chiefs out perform the Broncos. Not by much, though. I’m pretty sure that Patrick Surtain is missing the pressure that the Chiefs could put on the QB at one time. They lost that when Jared Allen moved two states north. Their rush defense is nearly last in the league. Wasn’t Glenn Dorsey supposed to do something about that. They did have an awesome draft. Thus far, the team’s got 2 sacks, 0 interceptions, and their leading tackler, Tank Tyler has just 16 total tackles. The Broncos should have a field day on offense, and if they don’t get into the endzone at least four times, I’ll be surprised.

Special Teams  

Broncos – Matt Prater remains perfect on the season making 5 of 5 field goals. Last week against the Saints he did a great job of not letting Reggie Bush return kicks. He sent 6 of 8 kickoffs into the endzone with 4 of them being touchbacks. That needs to happen for the rest of the season. Brett Kern continues to do well punting the ball with an average of 49.4 yards per kick. The special teams coverage did a nice job on Reggie Bush last week. B.J. Sams isn’t Reggie Bush or Devin Hester, but because guys have broken lose in the first two weeks, the Broncos’ special teams cannot rest easy. 

Chiefs – Nick Novak is 1 for 2 on field goal attempts, but let’s face it…this game isn’t going to come down to field goals. Sams is averaging 20.0 yard per kickoff and 8.3 yards per punt. They’re allowing 23.6 yards on kick returns and 6.1 yards on punt returns. Not much to say about the Chiefs special teams except that I’m sure Novak wishes he could get onto the field more. 

Coaching

Broncos – Definitely give the coaching edge to Mike Shanahan. He’s doing things with a team that the league didn’t even acknowledge before the season started. Don’t expect a conservative game plan in Kansas City. He’s willing to call big plays in risky situations. If he goes to Las Vegas anytime soon, you know he’s coming back with a thicker wallet.  

Chiefs – Herm Edwards is a hated man in KC right now. His calls are too conservative probably because his team is so young that he is still trying to evaluate what they are capable of. I don’t know why I’m trying to justify this train wreck that is the Chiefs. One thing is certain: fans are getting upset!

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Tags: Andre Hall Atlanta Falcons B.j. Sams Brandon Marshall Brett Kern Brodie Croyle Casey Wiegmann D.j. Williams Damon Huard Darrell Jackson Denver Broncos Devin Hester Dwayne Bowe Eddie Royal Elvis Dumervil Glenn Dorsey Jamie Winborn Jared Allen Jay Cutler Mike Shanahan Herm Edwards Kansas City Chiefs Larry Johnson Matt Prater Michael Pittman New Orleans Saints Nick Novak Patrick Surtain Reggie Bush Ryan Clady Ryan Harris Selvin Young Tampa Bay Tank Tyler Tom Nalen Tony Gonzalez Tony Scheffler Tyler Thigpen

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