Since the bye week, the Denver Broncos have held their opponents to 16.6 points per game. That includes the team’s 9 points allowed against the 32nd ranked Kansas City Chiefs‘ offense.
The Chiefs weren’t expected to put up a bunch of points, but they were coming into the game with the 4th ranked rushing attack, putting up 145.4 yards per game.
The Chiefs opened up the game by running 8 times for 48 yards on their first drive while passing just twice, and converting once for 7 yards. That drive went exactly how the Chiefs planned. They got a field goal out of it, and took nearly six minutes off the clock. Most importantly, they kept Peyton Manning off the field.
“Hats off to our defense,” head coach John Fox said. “We struggled a little bit on the run, but they’re a very good run team. That back combo is as good as there is in the league. (Jammaal) Charles came into the game as the 4th leading rusher in the AFC, so we knew they were going to try to play keep away, run the ball.”
Charles finished the game with 107 yards on 23 carries. He was steady and consistent as his longest run went for 15 yards.
“I don’t think there’s no mistake how talented he is,” Von Miller said of Charles. “If he’s able to crease the edge, on any given play he can take it the distance. I feel like we played alright, but alright won’t cut it down the road.”
“It’s really just stopping that run,” Champ Bailey added. “If you can eliminate that run game, it makes them one dimensional. We’d rather put the weight on their passing game, which hasn’t been that great this year.”
Overall, the Chiefs had three good opportunities for a touchdown, but failed on each. The Broncos held the Chiefs to just 3-for-14 on third down, and 116 yards through the air.
Next week comes the real challenge on the ground. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the 9th ranked rushing attack, but the league’s 3rd best rusher in rookie Doug Martin. Martin is averaging over 100 yards per game on the ground.
The Broncos can consider today’s game a good test for their run defense. Focusing in on stopping a good run team that has a poor passing offense can only help for next week when they face a more balanced offense.