It’s game day for the Kansas City Chiefs. This only happens 8 times per year in the regular season in K.C. so this is special. When you consider that the Denver Broncos have been the Chiefs main AFC West competition for the past several years and that the Broncos won the Super Bowl earlier last year (in Feb of 2016), it makes this game even more special. It’s also a game that could go a long way towards sinking the Broncos ship for the rest of this season because with them currently holding a record of 3 wins and 3 losses, a 4th loss would mean that they’d almost have to win every game from here on out to even have a chance to get in the playoffs. Even if they lose one more game after a loss to the Chiefs, it’s likely a death knell with the Bills, Dolphins, Ravens and Jags — all second place teams in their own divisions of the AFC — but all having a better record going into the last half of the season (and only two non-division-winners make it into the playoffs each year to play in the Wildcard games).
So, the question is, what’s the winning game plan for beating the Denver Broncos today?
Terez Paylor of the K.C Star says there are four keys
1. Stay Ahead of the Sticks: stay away from 3rd and long.
I think it means that the play calling must be aggressive.
2. Attack the Middle of the Field: with Morse and LDT back the Chiefs should run up the gut more.
I think it means that TE Travis Kelce must get open over the middle as well to be successful.
3. Stay Gap Sound: the Chiefs can’t afford to have another back rip them like Bell did.
I think it also means that you must force QB Trevor Siemian to beat you. Stop the run and force them to throw.
4. Get After Siemian: with Siemian having 7 TD passes and 8 INTs, pressure is key.
I think the pass rush must get pressure or the Broncos could steal this one.
Bob Fescoe of 610 Sports Radio has four keys too and he says:
1. Justin Houston must RUSH the QB: having Houston drop in coverage is a waste of his talent.
I think Houston is the second most important position player on the team and if he’s going to continue to be asked to do something — dropping in coverage — he’s not that good at over asking him to do something he’s one the best at — rushing the QB — then there’s not reason that the Chiefs should not pursue another DC in the offseason.
2. Stick to the Running Game: since Denver’s defense is one of the best in the league, wear them out.
I think that using the run to dominate the game would produce a similar result to the Pittsburgh game. The Chiefs MUST mix up the pass and the run and call passing plays on first down to keep the Denver D off balance. I say it’s easier to wear a defense out by not being predictable and getting them to go this way when they should be going that way.
3. Alex Smith Continues to Play Like an MVP Candidate: Smith needs to be accurate and throw his WRs open.
I think that’s all akin to saying, the game plan is to play well. Sure, I agree, Alex needs to execute but… c’mon man! It’s rather obvious, if Smith doesn’t play well, the Chiefs will probably lose.
4. Shut Down Jamaal Charles: Fescoe goes on the say JC hasn’t been much of a factor this year.
True. So why make stopping JC one of the keys. He should be sky high emotionally but the Chiefs need to stop their running game no mater whose back there and that is job one.
If you care to read an article by ESPN’s Adam Teicher on why the Chiefs are better off with Justin Houston in coverage go here. Why in the world… just… why in he world?!?
My Take. My Game Plan:
Andy Reid must stay away from the obvious. He must call plays that aren’t expected. Sure, that may — and should — include a trick play or two just to keep them honest (although that’s the last time you;’ll hear me ever refer to the Broncos as honest) and give his offense a chance to stay on the field by making first downs and sustaining drives. Three-TE-sets, Jets Sweeps followed by deep post patterns. Passes to his RB looping out of the backfield and into the seems of the zone followed up by lopsided formations used to fake flat passes and then run up the middle. Plays that set up other plays. If Reid is making these kinds of decisions, the Chiefs should come away with a victory.
On the defensive side of he ball, DC Bob Sutton must make the correct calls as far as adjustments are concerned. No one gets it right all the time so… make sure you’re adapting to what they’re giving you and abuse it.
What do you think. Have anything to add to the game plan?
BTW, both the Chargers and the Raiders lost yesterday so he Chiefs re now up in the AFC West over both of them by 2 1/2 games.
Also, if you have any predictions with the trading deadline just one day away, have at it. This is not a prediction but, I’d like to see the Chiefs pick up CB Vontae Davis from the Colts. Davis would be a hired gun as he’s on the back end of a four year deal and is owed $9M this year so the Chiefs would have to come up with half that number here at mid-season. However, since the Chiefs are reported to have $3.2M cap space left, a few mathematical miracles would need to take place for that to happen.
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