Chiefs vs. Broncos: Game Preview from The Mothership
A major point to watch in this game will be how effective quarterback
Alex Smithand the Chiefs offense can be against a Denver team that boasts the best defense in the NFL at 274.1 yards allowed per game.
As Manning has thrown a league-high 13 interceptions as part of an offense ranked 22 in the NFL based on yards per game, it's been the defense that has led the Broncos to such an outstanding record.
"They're really good," Smith said this week, "very, very, very good. I don't want to get into comparing them to anyone else, but there are not many weaknesses on that side of the ball. They're very good up front, they get after the passer, they're physical, they're good at the linebacker level and really good on the back end.
"They're all playing together, you can see that. It certainly will be a big challenge for us."
Chiefs vs. Broncos: How to Watch and Listen from The Mothership
Play-by-Play: Greg Gumbel
Color Analyst: Trent Green
Sideline: Jamie Erdahl
KCChiefs.com Photo Gallery: Traveling to Denver
Gameday Forecast from The National Weather Service
Today - Sunny, with a high near 66. South southwest wind around 5 mph becoming light and variable in the afternoon.
Tonight - Mostly clear, with a low around 33. South southwest wind 3 to 5 mph.
Statements from Broncos, NFL on stadium security from DenverBroncos.com
"We strongly recommend that fans do not bring bags with them to the stadium. If it is essential to bring a bag, it must be in compliance with the clear bag policy which requires that it be made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and not exceed 12" x 6" x 12." It is important that all fans comply with these requirements, and we appreciate their efforts to cooperate with these security measures.
"The NFL and team security departments work closely with stadium operation personnel and federal, state, and local law enforcement to provide a safe experience for the more than 17 million fans who annually attend NFL games. The NFL and its teams continually evaluate and improve our comprehensive security plan."
Tightened security, moment of silence at Broncos-Chiefs in wake of Paris attacks from The Denver Post
Stadium Management Company, which manages Sports Authority Field, released a statement as well to reinforce its plan to increase security at Sunday's game.
To honor the victims of the Paris attacks, a moment of silence will be held before kickoff, bumping the start time back four minutes, to 2:29 p.m.
Chiefs-Broncos scouting report from The Kansas City Star
Bottom line: Broncos 27-24
The Chiefs have a chance to erase the memories of their bitter Week 2 loss to Denver. But given the way this series has gone in recent years, they have to prove they can beat the Broncos before they are given the benefit of the doubt.
The game plan: Shattering the Mile High mental block from Chiefs Digest
1. Run the ball between the tackles
The Broncos No. 1 defense struggled with a physical run game against the Colts. The speed of the Broncos defense can cover sideline to sideline, take away the edge and limit the short screens.
The ability to run between the tackles takes away the strength of the Broncos defense. It forces them to become physical at the point of attack and they can be gashed in the fourth quarter.
Chiefs wary of Peyton Manning despite his decline from The Kansas City Star
Few remember it now, especially after the Chiefs lost five of their first six games, but they led the Broncos by 14 in the second quarter. And there was another point, late in the fourth quarter, when Alex Smith led the Chiefs on a go-ahead drive that gave them a 24-17 lead with a little over two minutes left.
But while everyone remembers Jamaal Charles' gut-wrenching fumble, which was returned by Bradley Roby for the game-winning touchdown in the waning seconds, Chiefs players remember what preceded that. Manning — with his back against the wall — operated out of the shotgun and orchestrated a 10-play, 80-yard drive that was so efficient, it appeared to be pre-ordained.
Chiefs hope to keep postseason dreams alive despite shaky start to season from Chiefs Digest
Don't touch that dial Sunday afternoon because things could get very interesting in the AFC West.
That is, of course, provided the Chiefs (3-5) pull off a win against the Denver Broncos (7-1) when the two rivals clash at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Despite a disappointing start to the season that featured a five-game losing streak, the Chiefs are miraculously just two games out of the wildcard race.
"We're aware of that," coach Andy Reid said. "Yeah, we're aware of that part. We're alive."
Fantasy mailbag: Bench everyone when they play the Broncos? from ESPN
Charcandrick West would normally be the pick over the uninspiring Matt Jones and Eddie Lacy. But, man, that Denver Broncos defense should rightfully have fantasy owners scared of playing anyone against them -- especially at home (see: Aaron Rodgers).
So I decided to do a deeper dive into whether it's safe to play anyone against the Broncos.
Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold, who has been covering the NFL for more than 25 years, said he has been telling people all year that this defense "has a chance to be the best I've ever covered" -- a list that includes the 1992 Steelers and 2000 Titans.
Three Keys to Broncos-Chiefs from Denver Broncos.com
2. Pressure Alex Smith -- but then contain him.
Pressure wasn't enough last week against Indianapolis' Andrew Luck. Although the Broncos hit him 16 times on runs and passes, his composure in the pocket and his willingness to wait for the last possible split-second to find an open wide receiver helped the Colts go 12-for-20 on third downs.
Luck also extended plays with his feet, picking up 35 yards on five carries before an end-game kneeldown. Smith has the same capability. Quarterback runs have been an Achilles heel for the defense this year; of the 21 runs of 10 or more yards agains the Broncos, eight have come by quarterbacks.
Peyton Manning has rib cage injury in addition to foot; still probable to play from The Denver Post
In addition to the foot injury he's been dealing with "for a couple of weeks now," according to coach Gary Kubiak, Manning also has a rib cage injury.
Manning did not practice Wednesday and was limited both Thursday and Friday. He is still listed as probable to play Sunday, when the Broncos (7-1) host the Chiefs (3-5).
"He looked good, threw the ball around good and moved good," Kubiak said Friday, before the rib cage injury was announced. "He had a good day."
Should the Broncos use Brock Osweiler so Peyton Manning can heal his aching body? from The Denver Post
Kiz: I would not advocate benching Manning for Osweiler against Kansas City, provided Manning feels healthy enough to perform safely and reliably against the Chiefs. But his 39-year-old body is screaming it has had enough football, and the wear and tear of a long NFL season figures to diminish his performance in the playoffs, when the Broncos will need him most. I'm not sure Manning can physically hold up for another 10 to 12 games. He doesn't practice on Wednesdays. I think the team also has to consider giving him some time off on Sundays.
Emmanuel Sanders injury update: Broncos WR to be a game-time decision for fantasy owners from SBNation
Though the questionable tag suggests Sanders has a chance to take the field on Sunday, the likelihood of him doing so appears less than the event he sits out. Sanders is nursing an ankle injury that kept him out of all three practice sessions in preparation for Week 10's bout with the Kansas City Chiefs. As a result, the Broncos slot receiver can be considered a game-time decision.
Denver's defense leads the league in personal fouls from The Associated Press via The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
Denver's dominating defense leads the league in several categories, including one that's disturbing to coach Gary Kubiak: 16 personal fouls.
He's warning his players their penchant for penalties is earning them a bad reputation with the refs, one where they're "not going to get the benefit of the doubt."
Perhaps a case in point came at a critical moment Sunday at Indianapolis, when linebacker Danny Trevathan was whistled for a questionable holding call on a chip-shot field goal in the final minute. That call allowed the Colts to take a knee, keep Peyton Manning on the sideline and hand the Broncos (7-1) their first loss of the season.
Paige: It's time for Broncos to look like a title team from The Denver Post
Are you the Donks that were outplayed by the Kansas City Chiefs for most of the first matchup, or the High Horses that somehow pulled out a miraculous victory in K.C.?
Which 7-1 Broncos are you reminiscent of, the 7-1 Broncos in 2014 who lost in the playoffs, the 7-1 team in 1997 that won the Super Bowl, or the other five 7-1 Broncos in 1977, 1984, 1986, 1996 and 2013? Seven-up-one-down Broncos have reached the Super Bowl in four seasons and lost in the first round of the postseason three times.
The Broncos will win the AFC West, but that's not enough in Denver. It's OK for the Chieftains.