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Chiefs v. Broncos Breakdown

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These stats are from the last five meetings between the two teams.

Denver Kansas City
Record 3-2 2-3
Points 103 77
1st Downs 95 99
3rd Down Conversions 17/57 24/63
4th Down Conversions 2 of 5 5 of 7
Total Plays 300 for 1635 yards 321 for 1648 yards
Rushing Plays 147 for 676 yards 156 for 677 yards
Passing Plays (Comp/Att) 89/147 92/157
Passing Yards 1009 1013
Passing Touchdowns 4 3
Interceptions Thrown 6 5
Sacks 8 6
Punts 17 for 681 net yards 19 for 706 net yards
Penalties 31 for 193 yards 31 for 234 yards
Fumbles-Lost 7-0 7-5
Time of Possession 29:31 31:39
Kick Returns 19 for 392 yards 20 for 499 yards
Punt Returns 7 for 4 yards 15 for 113 yards
Interception Returns 6 for 65 yards 5 for 12 yards
Field Goals 11-13 11-12
Stats and images from NFL.com

If you've paid any attention to the Denver Broncos this season, you've seen a team struggling almost as much as the Chiefs have. Off-season tragedy and in-season injuries have demoralized a once proud franchise. They're in a similar boat as the Chiefs in the AFC West. They've been within a game or two of the division leading Chargers for most of the season, as have the Chiefs. But as San Diego begins to pull away from the rest of a very weak pack, I expect the Chiefs and Broncos to be the ones battling for second place in the division.

Here's where the Broncos currently stand, relative to the rest of the league.

  • 18th in points scored per game (20.1)

  • 8th in yards per game (349.4)

  • 13th in passing yards (228.6)

  • 10th in rushing yards (120.8)
Not great but not too shabby, right? Well, let's take a look at their defensive ranks.
  • 31st in points allowed (27.4)

  • 27th in yards allowed (351.9)

  • 9th in passing yards allowed (202.8)

  • 31st in rushing yards allowed (149.1)
The last five trips to Mile High have not been kind to the Chiefs. The sting of the three-point overtime loss at the beginning the 2006 still sits with me. We had a chance to move past the injury of Trent Green with a confidence building win but were unable to pull it off. I remember sitting in a bar in Washington, DC, with a good friend of mine, watching that game. I'm pretty sure that overtime cost me an extra fifteen bucks in beer alone.

In 2005, the Chiefs were walloped at Mile High by twenty points on the strength of a Bronco rushing attack that ran the ball for 221 yards.

The 2004 Mile High match up between the two teams was yet another display of the Bronco's running prowess, as Quentin Griffin rushed 23 times for 156 yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs lost 34 to 24, despite both teams putting up seventeen points a piece in the second half.

The 2003 match up was the definition of a shoot out, with the Chiefs losing 45 to 27. Trent Green passed for nearly 400 yards on 47 attempts while the Chiefs as a whole garnered 444 yards of offense. The Chiefs' effort was matched tne exceeded by the Broncos, as Denver compiled 508 yards of total offense. Clinton Portis rushed for 218 yards and five touchdowns that game. Oddly enough, Dante Hall was the primary go to guy for Trent Green, catching eleven passes for 124 yards.

2002 was another monster offensive game for both sides. The Chiefs lost 31 to 24 in a game that wasn't as close as the score would indicate. The Chiefs rallied in the second half, where they scored all of their points. Dante Hall killed the Broncos again, catching five balls for 143 yards and two touchdowns. One of those catches was a 75-yard touchdown pass from Trent Green.

You have to go back to 2000 to find the last time the Chiefs beat the Broncos in Denver. Despite the losses in Denver, the Chiefs do have something working in their favor- The Bronco's home field advantage has been fading. The Sports Guru from the Mile High Report says it best:

Something happened to change all of that, something that really has not happened to the Broncos in over 3 decades. The Denver Broncos are struggling to win at home. It all started in 2005. The Broncos were their typical, dominating self at the friendly confines, using a perfect 8-0 home schedule to go 13-3. After an impressive home win against the Patriots, the first playoff game played at Invesco, the Broncos were routed by the Steelers in the AFC Championship game. Things haven't really been the same since. Including that loss, the Broncos have gone just 5-6 at home in their last 11 regular season and playoff games at home. That number is actually enhanced by a 3-0 start at home in 2006 - The Broncos are a paltry 2-5 in their last 7 home, regular season games. Crucial home losses to Seattle and San Francisco last season cost the Broncos a play-off spot, and this year hasn't started much better with the Broncos squeaking by Oakland before getting dominated by Jacksonville.
It's fitting that in a year where the Kansas City Chiefs struggle to win at home, the Broncos struggle too. Denver is 3-3 at home this season. They had an impressive 31 to 28 home win in Week 7 over the Pittsburgh Steelers but were also trounced at home by the Chargers in the previous game by 38 points.

This battle between two struggling teams would be completely boring if it wasn't the Chiefs and Broncos. Don't expect a high level of play on the field. But do expect a good game between two teams trying to salvage their season. The Chiefs need to rally in the last quarter of the season so they can take that momentum into 2008. The Bronco's historical home field advantage is in danger of getting another black eye. Desperation usually fuels a great game and I don't expect this weekend to be any different.

What individual match ups do you like in this game?