As the Broncos make their way through this treacherous part of the schedule, they travel into Kansas City for a November 13th game.
The Chiefs surprised everyone last year, taking the AFC West by storm and clinching the division title with a 10-6 record. The last time the Chiefs stole the crown was in 2003. The team lost 30-7 in the Wild Card Playoffs to the Baltimore Ravens.
The Chiefs’ upswing can be credited to Scott Pioli and Todd Haley and their ability to bring in solid players through the draft. Their rebuilding process, although it took some time, looks to be on the right track.
The Broncos went 1-1 against the Chiefs last season. The Broncos crushed the Chiefs at home 49-29, but then lost 6-10 in one of the most frustrating games of the season. It was after this game that Josh McDaniels got the kick to the curb.
The Chiefs averaged 22.9 points per game and were ranked 1st in rushing, but 30th in passing. If their passing game ever comes to life under Matt Cassel, this team could go far. Jamaal Charles was 2nd in the league in rushing yards (1,467 yards), yet had less 15 less carries than Thomas Jones on the season. Jones finished with 896 yards on 245 carries. Matt Cassel had over 3,000 yards passing with 27 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions, but his pass completion percentage was 58.2%. He had good protection up front as he was sacked 26 times. Dwayne Bowe was the team’s leading receiver with 72 catches for 1,162 yards and 15 touchdowns.
The Chiefs defense gave up 20.4 points per game and were ranked 14th in rush defense and 17th in pass defense. Derrick Johnson led the team in tackles with 122, and Tamba Hali was a beast in the sack department with 15 sacks. Eric Berry led the team in interceptions with 4 while Kendrick Lewis had 3 of his own. Three of the Chiefs interceptions were returned for a touchdown. The Chiefs led the league in pass deflections and could have reeled in more interceptions than what was shown on paper. They were also 8th in the league in forced fumbles.
Special teams was just as capable of making big plays on the ball. Now that Dexter McCluster is in his second year, look for him to do bigger things in the return department.
The Chiefs are no joke this year, and the Broncos winning one in Kansas City at this time of the season would be a major upset.
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