How hurt is Peyton?
He apparently aggravated a previous high ankle sprain. He is going to play but it's obvious he's beat up a little bit. It's not clear how much of a role this will play in the game but it has the potential to be a HUGE story line.
How can you stop Peyton?
The biggest goal of the game. Stop Peyton Manning. We've written a TON of stuff about this. You can read about the routes Peyton likes here, how to sack him here and charting his last three games here. This is what we've learned:
Play press coverage. The Chiefs do this often and they do it well. This means playing up on the receivers. The goal is to disrupt their timing with Peyton because this offense is all about timing.
Make him move in the pocket. Don't let him get comfortable. Once you see his feet tapping, you know you're doing your job. Justin Houston and Tamba Hali can rush the passer from the outside. When Peyton steps up in the pocket, Dontari Poe needs to be there to hit him.
Utilize three corners wisely. Brandon Flowers will be covering Wes Welker in the slot. Marcus Cooper and Sean Smith will be covering receivers Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker on the outside. Eric Berry will probably be on tight end Julius Thomas often. Not many teams have three corners like this, which makes the Chiefs uniquely equipped to hang with Denver. Use them wisely.
How can the Broncos stop Jamaal?
I question whether they can, at least consistently. I can see Jamaal Charles having a big day against the Broncos. He probably won't have a lot of carries because Andy Reid is going to be passing the ball plenty. But Jamaal has the ability to break off a huge run, something the Chiefs have yet to do this season.
Asked about the Chiefs lack of a long run this season, offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said, "It's a lot of things. No. 1, the offensive line, fullback, tight ends at the line of scrimmage and second-level defenders taking care of those blocks. A lot of your longer runs come from the receivers blocking down the field. Our guys have done an excellent job down there; sometimes it's the backside cutoff safety or corner that makes the play. We emphasize the backside blocks a lot, and we'll get ours. There will come a time when Jamaal or one of the backs will spring loose and hopefully this is the week."
So, Jamaal is a major factor in this game, as he is with every Chiefs game having picked up 37 percent of the entire team's yards so far this season, highest percentage in the NFL. If Jamaal can hit the edge on the Chiefs stretch plays, then I will BEG Andy Reid to continue giving Jamaal the ball.
How does Andy Reid's post-bye week record factor in?
The Chiefs were on the bye last week. Andy Reid is 13-1 in games played after the bye. If there's a better stat that demonstrates what a good coach he is and what a good staff he has, I don't know what it is. That is a fantastic record.This is also one of the most important stats this week because 14 games is a pretty big sample size. Reid has an advantage here.
Why is that the case?
Reid didn't give us any secrets this week when he was asked about it. He said he gave his players time off even before the CBA made that bye week time off mandatory.
Maybe he's just a really good coach and takes advantage of the extra time? I hope that's the case.
Can Alex Smith go deep?
The thinking is that the Broncos will do what a lot of other fans have done -- challenge the Chiefs at the line of scrimmage. So far, Alex Smith has rarely made those teams who play with a single safety back pay. There are a handful of deep balls to Donnie Avery but that's about it.
We always want Alex to be testing the defense down the field more but this week it becomes even more important. The Broncos score a LOT of points. So the Chiefs probably won't get away with scoring just 17 points again. Realistically, they'll need closer to 30 or more.
The most efficient way to pick up 30 points is to pick up yards in chunks and then capitalize in the red zone.
Will D-Bowe be a distraction?
The Chiefs seventh year receiver was picked up for possession of marijuana coming back from bye week time off last Sunday night. Here's what Andy Reid said about the incident. And here's what Bowe said about it in a statement. His lawyer claims innocence.
Bowe WILL play in this game. He will start and have his regular role. Andy Reid indicated that the "rules and regulations" prohibit the Chiefs from taking action against Bowe. That discipline will have to come from the league. (The Chiefs could suspend him if they wanted, it happens all the time ... but they won't).
Will this be a distraction? I don't think it will be. I was at Arrowhead on Wednesday and not one player would touch the D-Bowe topic. Nobody offered up anything notable when it came to Bowe. They stayed away from it. It's not like they're spending a lot of time worrying about a minor legal issue for another player.
The Chiefs need Bowe to be on point for Sunday's game, one where the Chiefs offense is going to be expected to put up multiple touchdowns, which hasn't been the case in recent weeks. He's their best receiver, and he's coming off a seven-catch game, which is the best of the season so far. The momentum was trending upward for Bowe. Let's hope this was just a blip on the radar and not something that is going to derail the course he was on.
Tweets from Chiefs-Broncos week
Via Mort: Broncos have "implored" their defense to play best game of season due to Peyton's injury.— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 17, 2013
No 8-0 team or better has been an underdog in an NFL game in the last 30 years. Chiefs are touchdown dogs today.— Chase Stuart (@fbgchase) November 17, 2013
Commenter saying last time Chiefs played No. 1 ranked scoring offense was 2011 vs. Packers. Is that right, really?— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 16, 2013
Chiefs Injury Report DNP- Dustin Colquitt (Birth of Child) Probable- Avery, Catapano, Fasano, McCluster, McGrath, Moses & Sherman— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) November 15, 2013
Undefeated teams (4-0 or better) coming off a bye are 13-1 ATS, according to @RJinVegas— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 15, 2013
Marcus Cooper has allowed a 38.5 completion% when targeted, the lowest rate of any CB with multiple starts this season. #Chiefs— Pete Damilatis (@PFF_Pete) November 14, 2013
Whoa: KC opponents have had 11 snaps from Chiefs 1-yard line. On those plays, KC is out-scoring them 7-0. (via RazzRav on Reddit)— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 14, 2013
Flowers: "Besides the playoff game this is definitely the biggest game I've been in."— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 13, 2013
Chiefs are 56-50 all time vs. the Broncos. But just 20-34 at Denver.— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 13, 2013
Held Broncos in first matchup to 95 rushing yards and 17 points...2nd game gave up the 30 spot and 170+ rushing. Can't let run game get off— CouchScout (@CouchScouting) November 12, 2013
I'd expect to see Brandon Flowers on Wes Welker & UDFA gem Marcus Cooper on Eric Decker for most of SNF thriller.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) November 12, 2013
Demaryius Thomas-Sean Smith on SNF should be a great 1-on-1 battle. About the same size. Smith has been lights out as FA pickup by #Chiefs.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) November 12, 2013
An email from my Mom and my Dad -- independent of each other -- asking about Peyton. Yeah, it's Bronco week— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 11, 2013
Alex: "There’s a system in place in the NFL to find out who’s the best. It’s the 16 game season and it’s the playoffs."— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) November 5, 2013
More from Arrowhead Pride:
- Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 11/17
- Video: Andy Reid interviews with ESPN and NFL Network
- Andy Reid on whether he's aware of just how BIG this Chiefs vs. Broncos game is
- Andy Reid on his amazing record after the bye week
- Denver building lights up RED on weekend of Chiefs-Broncos game
- Game time, TV schedule, live online streaming, odds, announcers and more
- 5 questions with the enemy
- Denver needs this win more than KC
- Start me up: Chiefs vs. Broncos
- Finally, someone did a Chiefs song Afroman-style