Well that was different. A very convincing win by the Broncos, who have to be the biggest Jekyll and Hyde team in the league this season. Of course they beat the Chiefs, who are not a very good team either, and the Broncos have only beaten one good team this season (Pittsburgh) so we shouldn't get too excited. I think the proper mood about the Broncos today is probably very cautious optimism.
Still they won and are sitting a game behind SD for the AFC west lead. Luckily 7-9 may win this very awful division, even though 9-7 is likely. Despite the wins I think there's a few things Broncos fans have to be concerned about, but there's also some things they can be very excited about too.
First Down: The Pass Rush Yes the Chiefs line is bad, but Denver has had a pretty good pass rush all season, especially on obvious passing downs. Dumerville, despite his comical string of 4-5 offsides penalties in a row, has looked like one of the biggest steals of the draft a few years ago. This season the pass rush has been above-average, and that's a good thing. 4 sacks and a FFL that lead to the game-breaking TD and they put plenty of pressure on Huard, and Croyle all day long.
Second Down: Selvin Young Honestly I haven't been impressed with Travis Henry all season, and now that Young has a game under his belt and Henry looks like he'll be suspended at some point for the season, why don't we just give Young the ball and let him grow into that spot. He looked solid yesterday and had some nice cuts to the outside that Henry would have piled into the line for 2-3 yards. I think he's faster than people realize and he's strong enough to pile ahead for the tough yards. He looked like a fine young back yesterday.
Third Down: Special Teams The best way for the Broncos to win games this season is to jump out to a lead and make the other team throw on us. Our rushing defense is so bad that letting a team grind out the clock is going to kill us. In order to get out to early leads, we need special teams to give the Offense good field position so they can put points on the board.
Our special teams haven't been able to do this. Two penalties in the first quarter gave the Broncos starting field position inside their own 15. a blocked kick resulted in 2pys for KC and they started with good field position. I have never seen a team pinned inside their own 20 as much as the '07 Broncos.
In good news, Andre Hall seems to be a decent enough kick returner and local literary genius Jason Elam, and the entire field goal unit, continue their strong season.
Fourth Down: Rush Defense This is, without a doubt, the Achilles heal of the Broncos. The offensive line is pretty bad this season too, but the Broncos need to do something about it, unfortunately I don't know if they can do much this season. It may be something to fix in the draft. Depending on where they draft it may be the season to draft big. Ekuban coming back next season will help, but they need more than just him. They need some beef, and not washed-up Sam Adams) to stuff the run. They need some linebackers who can fight off blocks too. That was where Al Wilson's play was essential to the previous versions of the Broncos. Blockers never seemed to hit him square. This season Fullbacks and O-linemen always seem to be squaring up on our linebackers. IT causes our safeties to move up to stop the run, and leaves our corners and covering LB's, as good as they are, in single coverage.