Chiefs vs. Broncos: Five Things to Watch from The Mothership
1. Affect Peyton Manning
It's easy to say hitting the opposing quarterback is important for your defense to be successful.
That's always the case.
But in the Chiefs' matchup of going up against Peyton Manning, a quarterback who has been sacked fewer times than any other quarterback this season, it's just about affecting him.
"[Manning] is almost impossible to sack because he just doesn't allow a sack to happen," Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. "He just throws the ball away and throws it out quick. He understands pressures and who the free guys are and so he can get rid of it.
"It's just a matter of can you make him get rid of the ball and make it advantageous for you?"
Chiefs Blood Drive from The Mothership
The 17th annual Chiefs Blood Drive began earlier this week and will continue throughout the day today.
In fact, Chiefs LB
Josh Maugahelped to kick off the festivities by visiting with patrons and lauding the benefits donating blood offers.
"There is always a great need for blood donations, especially around Thanksgiving time," Mauga noted. "I encourage all of Chiefs Nation to come out this week and help us continue a tradition of doing our part and helping our neighbors."
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Week 13: Thursday injury report from Chiefs Digest
Chiefs wide receiver Junior Hemingway (concussion) missed a second day of practice Thursday ahead of Sunday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Hemingway, who suffered the concussion in Week 12, is the only player to not practice.
Chiefs try to rectify slow starts ahead of Denver from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
When asked to explain the Chiefs' slow start, running back Jamaal Charles was stumped.
"I don't know, you know? Some games are just like that," he said. "You learn from those games. Hopefully we'll learn from it and move on and come back next week against Denver."
Yes, the Chiefs get their bitter division rival at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night, and with them a prime opportunity to move back into a tie atop the AFC West. But unless they are able to solve a troubling trend of slow starts, Peyton Manning and the Broncos could bury them early.
The Chiefs are 5-0 when leading at halftime. They're 2-4 in all other games.
Chiefs WR Jason Avant embraces mentorship role opportunities from Chiefs Digest
Avant, of course, isn't the final solution to a passing game that enters Week 13 averaging 189.5 yards per game, which ranks 31st in the league, or a wide receiver corps devoid of a receiving touchdown.
His presence, however, offers an area that won't show in box scores. The nine-year pro provides institutional knowledge on how to work within the scheme to some of the Chiefs' young wide receivers, including rookie Albert Wilson, second-year pro Frankie Hammond Jr., third-year pro Junior Hemingway and rookie running back/wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas.
And Avant, who said he knows 65 to 70 percent of the current playbook, takes his role as a potential mentor seriously.
Key for Chiefs could be stopping Denver's run game from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
The Chiefs have looked increasingly vulnerable on the ground, giving up 383 yards over their past two games. They allowed 179 yards and their first two rushing TDs of the season in a 24-20 defeat at previously winless Oakland on Nov. 20, including a 90-yard scoring run by Latavius Murray.
"We weren't playing our gaps and it's like a high school football game," linebacker Tamba Hali said.
But Manning, who is always on the hunt for touchdowns, would like to add at least one more to the list. Sort of like a reward for a job well done, because Broncos tight end Virgil Green is no stranger to rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty for some of the heavy lifting on offense.
"I'm going to get him that first touchdown pass," Manning said. "I'm going to do it. We're going to do it. It's just a matter of time. So we're on a mission there."
Denver Broncos trying to avoid more trouble in their 8-3 season from The Denver Post
The Broncos haven't won on the road this season when the opponent scores first. Sunday night, when the Broncos wander into Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, where they haven't lost since 2010, the blueprint remains clear.
"We need to throw the first punch, get a stop and put points on the board," said defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. "It's loud there. But if we make the plays we are supposed to make, it will be quiet. That's how we see it. We have to execute and let that 'Bronco factor' kick in, where they will be like, 'This is the team we didn't want to see.' "
Denver Broncos (8-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) from Lndy's Sports
PREDICTION: The Chiefs have played the Broncos extremely tough in each of the past three meetings before losing late. K.C. can control the clock to keep the score within reach, but ultimately lacks the firepower in the passing game to keep pace with Manning for four quarters.
OUR PICK: Broncos 27-23
Julius Thomas, Brandon Marshall still day to day for Broncos from The Denver Post
Tight end Julius Thomas again was limited in practice Thursday because of an ankle injury, just days before the Broncos' game against the Chiefs at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night.
Thomas, who has yet to practice fully since suffering his injury at Oakland on Nov. 9, has said that his ankle is improving. But it hasn't healed enough to get him back on the field.
On the street where I grew up, there was house at the end of the block that had a mean dog named Frosty. I would go a quarter of a mile out of my way to avoid that dog. It would jump on me if I was on foot and would chase me if I was on my bike. Most of my nightmares were centered on Frosty.
The Chiefs have their own version of Frosty: Peyton Manning.
Broncos look to shake road woes against Chiefs in Kansas City from The Denver Post
The plan is to travel to Arrowhead Stadium this weekend a bit differently.
Manning said Wednesday that crowd noise creates obvious problems for an offense, and that Arrowhead is "one of the loudest places to play."
"We want the crowd noise on defense," defensive end DeMarcus Ware said Thursday. "Offensively if it's loud, sometime you get mixed signals ... but as a whole you've got to be able to withstand that. When they say there's a 12th man, there is a 12th man out there."
Who are the playoff contenders, pretenders in the AFC? from The Detroit Free-Press
Kansas City Chiefs (7-4): Things can change so quickly in the NFL. Last week, the Chiefs were riding a five-game winning streak entering their date with the previously winless Raiders and seemed poised to sit alone atop the AFC West standings. But they lost at Oakland, a defeat that may alter their outlook the rest of the way. The Chiefs face the AFC's third-toughest remaining schedule (.582 winning percentage), so their path back to the playoffs could be too much to overcome.
The Bet Box: Feeling of deja . . . new from The Boston Herald
Denver (-2) at Kansas City - Losing to Oakland either will psyche up the Chiefs or send them into a permanent tailspin. Either way, beat up Peyton, will ya? Chiefs, 28-24.
Eric Berry: 'Enjoy the day and don't worry, we're #BERRYSTRONG' from CBS Sports
While the fear is that the former first-round pick may have lymphoma, doctors said they don't know how they will attack the problem until they have an exact diagnosis, which is expected next week. Berry remains in good spirits, and tweeted out this Thanksgiving Day message: