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Chiefs-Broncos: three big takeaways

Kansas City wins big in Denver thanks to contributions from every phase of the game.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs may not have looked like the typical offensive juggernaut we’ve grown used to watching, but they dispatched the Denver Broncos in a 43-16 blowout.

We discussed the game in detail on the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory post-game show:

Here are our three big takeways from the game:

Steve Spagnuolo has the pass defense simmering

It’s hard to isolate exactly one area of the defense that played well since there were so many quality performances. The part that continues to stick out the most has to be how much chaos Steve Spagnuolo and this secondary cause for opposing quarterbacks.

With Spagnuolo keeping the pressure packages fresh, Drew Lock seemed to be out of sync all night — never sure when to work to his hot read or get comfortable in the pocket. The secondary did a nice job providing tight, physical coverage across the board and matched routes well on all levels. The safeties and cornerbacks challenged receivers all the way through their routes and shut the Broncos down until garbage time, in which the tight ends got loose on the second level a few times. Hopefully, rookie L’Jarius Sneed can work his way back onto the field this year and provide them with speed at cornerback, but until then, the physical tandem of Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward made life hell on wide receivers.

The run game continues to find success

The addition of Le’Veon Bell paid off in his first week, as he boasted the best yards-per-carry numbers for the Chiefs, but it was Clyde Edwards-Helaire who found the end zone on his own productive night. The offense seemed out of sync across the board, as if it lacked a little bit of identity — going 0 of 8 on third downs, accumulating less than 300 total yards and only scoring three offensive touchdowns.

The run game continue to look good. The switch-up along the interior offensive line with Nick Allegretti and Daniel Kilgore continued to work in that regard, and the two-headed running back attack looks promising. The Chiefs’ ability to slowly add some more power (or gap) run elements to their usual zone-heavy scheme has worked with the new-look offensive line. The patience of both Bell and Edwards-Helaire should mesh well as this unit continues to gel and work those powerful blockers to the second level a little more quickly.

Special teams back on top

After a rather shaky last few weeks, special teams coordinator Dave Toub got a huge game out of his unit. The Byron Pringle kick-return touchdown will garner all the attention, as it should. Pringle’s vision, explosion and speed show why he was a star returner at Kansas State.

There were a handful of other quality plays worth mentioning. Tommy Townsend had a perfect punt downed inside the 1-yard line by none other than Pringle. Mecole Hardman had one of his best punt returns of the year to start the game and Toub’s even looked to mix up the kick returner a few times with Rashad Fenton and Demarcus Robinson getting looks as returners. One area of concern is still Harrison Butker and his extra-point shenanigans. It sounds silly, but we’re almost at the point of taking a penalty just to break up his routine.

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