Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Frankie Hammond (85) is tackled during a return by Denver Broncos linebacker Steven Johnson (53) and cornerback Kayvon Webster (36) in the first quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
As the old cliche goes, “better to be lucky than good.”
Yes, I know it’s cliche and I hate cliches but it’s still the truth. Anytime the Denver Broncos can beat the hated Kansas City Chiefs to get to 2-0, you take it. Just as Denver did on a glorious Sunday afternoon (Sept. 14) at Mile High, 24-17.
Yes, I know Peyton Freaking Manning and the Broncos are supposed to drop 50-burgers every week and have the game over by halftime. Manning is supposed to dish out seven touchdown passes while he throws for 400 yards and has a quarterback rating of 120.
But as I said after Week One’s 31-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts, close games like this are better for teams that have the goal of winning a Super Bowl.
For the second straight week, the Broncos defense secured the win.
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Yes, I know stupid penalties and the inability to get off the field on third down kept the Chiefs in the game. Still, the Denver defense held Kansas City to seven points in the second half despite being on the field pretty much the whole half.
Here’s another cliche: “Bend but don’t break defense.”
On three key drives this season with the opposition with first down inside the 10-yard line, the Broncos have allowed 3 points.
The penalties and the stupid mistakes on third down can get corrected. I saw nothing out of the Chiefs offense where you can say, “The Denver defense got beat.”
Rest assured the Broncos would much rather have the “problem” of being 2-0. Not every game will be a blowout. Just because the odds makers in Las Vegas didn’t give Kansas City a chance doesn’t make it gospel.
Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) catches in a touchdown against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Chris Owens (20) and free safety Husain Abdullah (39) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Here’s another cliche: “When it’s a divisional game, you can throw out the records.” On top of this being a rivalry game, the Chiefs got embarrassed in Week One by the Tennessee Titans. At home. Kansas City knows the odds when a team goes down 0-2. For those who don’t, only 11 percent of the time do they make the playoffs.
The Chiefs had to have this game. And Denver did all it could to give it to them.
Yet the good teams find ways to win these games and the Broncos did that.
The lone area of concern is the lack of a killer instinct. Denver needs to put teams away. The moment that comes to mind is the first-and-goal late in the fourth quarter. If the Broncos get a touchdown they’re up 11 and the game is over.
Yet on two straight plays, offensive coordinator Adam Gase calls running plays for Montee Ball. I love the faith shown in the offensive line to get it done, but this isn’t a power team yet. Use Julius or Demaryius Thomas and put the game away.
The Chiefs couldn’t cover either of the Thomas “brothers” all game long. And if not those two, use Jacob Tamme or Emmanuel Sanders.
If you really want to run it there, use Juwan Thompson. Until that point comes, let Manning put the game away.
Develop that killer instinct.
Over the course of the rest of the season, the Broncos offense will.
The defense already has.
I can’t state this enough. Despite the fact they were on the field for pretty much the entire second half, the Denver defense allowed seven points and won the game. For the second week in a row.
Here’s another cliche: “A win’s a win and you never complain about the win.”
The Broncos are 2-0.
Not even the mighty Seattle Seahawks can say that.
Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) is sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports