The Denver Broncos are in the midst of preparation for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead stadium. Usually, that preparation includes A) how to stop Larry Johnson and B) how to stop Larry Johnson.
These Chiefs, though, present different problems and they come in the form of relatively new contributors Jamaal Charles and Chris Chambers.
Charles is the guy behind Cassel now and his play over the last month has put the Broncos on notice.
"He’s a tough runner," Broncos' Wesley Woodyard said. "We’ve seen plays where guys take shots at him but he refuses to go down. And not only that, his play spreads over to special teams — he gets out there and makes tackles and he’s a good returner. So we have to make sure we can’t let him get in the game this week."
That refusal to go down has been evident over the last few weeks. Even Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has mentioned that recently.
The Broncos are also keeping an eye on new Chief Chris Chambers, who has hauled in 17 receptions for 319 yards since being claimed by the Chiefs a month ago.
"He has added a playmaker to their offense, without question," Broncos defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said. "He has been a guy that the quarterback feels confident in on a short notice."
Chambers is especially potent for opposing defenses because he usually gets first downs (13/17 catches were first downs) and has big play ability (5/17 catches over 20 yards).
Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels recognizes the skills each of these players possesses to break open a game. That's why he's not taking the Chiefs lightly and expects them to come with a well-prepared game plan.
"It’s like most teams in the league," McDaniels said, "You change a few plays here or there, you could be talking about a 6-5, 7-4 team instead of a team that doesn’t have that many wins."