It’s time to see who the toughest kid on the block is. The two most powerful teams in the league will be facing off in what is being talked about as the game of the year.
Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos (8-1) continue to have a rhythm that has created an unstoppable offensive scheme. What is a surprise is the most improved Kansas City Chiefs (9-0) being “perfect” so far this season.
Last year I would have never believed that at week 11 the Chiefs would be undefeated; I would have laughed and lost a large amount of money to prove otherwise. This is a reality however, and the AFC’s two top teams will clash at Sports Authority Field on Sunday night (6:30 mtn).
The Chiefs have arguably one of the best defenses in the league. Now, when looking at 16 team categories the Broncos outweigh the Chiefs in 12 of them: everything but rushing, sacks and turnover ratio.
- The Chiefs are allowing the fewest points per game in the league with 12.3
- The Broncos lead the league in points per game with 41.2.
- KC has the least amount of third-down conversions allowed.
- The Broncos have the second to last amount of third down attempts in the league with 109, meaning the Broncos success can be attributed to only needing two attempts. Of those few third downs they are converting those to first downs at a 50 percent rate (the best in the league).
- The Chiefs are the best in the league at limiting opponents’ quarterback completions
- Manning has a league-best 3,249 yards, 33 touchdowns, and a QB rating of 121.
- KC leads the league in sacks with 36.
- The Broncos have the second best offensive line in the league. Allowing just 13 sacks on Manning. Kansas City’s offensive line has allowed 26 sacks.
- The Broncos have the fourth best rushing defense in the league, limiting opponents to only 87 yards per game.
- The Chiefs have the 12th best rushing attack in the league with 119 yards per game. The Broncos have faced a better running team in the Eagles (2), Redskins(3), and Raiders (5).
Keys to the game:
- This will be the toughest matchup both teams have seen this season. They need to show improvement in the key areas that they have weaknesses.
- For the Broncos, this may be when Alex Smith is forced to throw the ball, hopefully because the Broncos limit their running game, and that they are able to rush the passer better than they have all season.
- For Kansas City this could be limiting the Broncos’ running game considering they are only 20th in the league, allowing 118.6 rushing yards per game while the Broncos are putting up 105.2 rushing yards per game.
- Although the Broncos have the second best offensive line like I mentioned, they need to be able to protect Manning more than ever against this heavy pass rushing defense, especially when Manning may be even more cautious because of his ankle injury. He needs to feel comfortable in the pocket in order to have continued success passing.
- Kansas City needs to be able to slow down the Broncos’ tempo. Against the San Diego Chargers last week the Broncos were able to orchestrate scoring drives of 57 seconds, 2 minutes, 27 seconds, 1:25 and 3:26 respectively.
Interim head coach Jack Del Rio couldn’t have said it better by saying, “[the Chiefs are] on top right now. They’ve got the lead. They’re out in front and everybody else is chasing them. They’ve earned that. They’ve done a nice job. Andy [Reid] has done a nice job with the team. So we’re getting ourselves ready to combat that.”
Ideally the Broncos should be more than able to combat this Kansas City team and show what true “perfection” looks like.
Denver Broncos 31 vs Kansas City Chiefs 24