FanPost

The MHR vs AP Defense Challenge: "Well, that sucked"

OK, so, when I came up with the idea of a "Challenge" between MHR and AP pitting our respective defenses against each other for the last eight weeks of the regular season, I had it in mind that both of us would be Top 10 (probably somewhere between 6-10) type defenses -- the Chiefs slowly fading from their '85 Bears start and the Broncos putting things together as Von Miller worked himself into game condition and guys like Wesley Woodyard and Champ Bailey got healthy.

A nice little competition that, at the time at least, seemed like an easy winner for the Chiefs but with the Broncos showing enough promise to make things interesting.

Suddenly, though, this thing has turned into a Race to the Bottom. Peyton Manning, Phyllis Rivers and Tom Brady make a living off of making defenses look bad, so I don't think either side needs to hang its head in shame.

At least not yet.

But the early results are, well, kind of embarrassing...

Houston and Hali

Before I get to the stats, I wanted to say a couple of words about Houston and Hali and the impact their injuries had on last Sunday's KC/San Diego game.

{{crickets}}

LIKE ANYBODY GAVE A FLIPPING FLIP WHEN WE WENT INTO DALLAS SANS VON AND CHAMP AND THEN LOST WOODYARD, HARRIS AND NACHO DURING THE GAME.

Sorry, AP, there's no crying in football...

Current Numbers

I'll get straight to the punchline. Here is where the Challenge stands after three weeks:

Chiefs Broncos
Opp Poss Yards Pts TO's Opp Poss Yards Pts TO's
Week 1 @BUF 11 469 -1 5 @SD 10 339 20 0
Week 2 @DEN 13 450 27 1 KC 14 352 17 2
Week 3 SD 12 453 41 0 @NE 16 439 27 4
TOTALS 36 1372 67 6 40 1130 64 6
Averages 38.11 1.86 17% 28.25 1.60 15%

Metric #1 (Yards per possession): BRONCOS LEAD (28.25 - 38.11)

Metric #2 (Points per possession, net of defensive scores):BRONCOS LEAD (1.60 - 1.86)

Metric #3 (Turnover percentage): CHIEFS LEAD (17% vs. 15%)

OVERALL, THE BRONCOS LEAD THE CHALLENGE, 2-1.

Drive Charts

Here are the drive charts from the past two weeks:

First, the Broncos/KC game.

CHIEFS BRONCOS
Qtr Time Start End Yards Result Pts TO Qtr Time Start End Yards Result Pts TO
1 14:04 DEN 47 KC 36 17 Field Goal 3 0 1 15:00 KC 20 KC 18 -2 Punt 0 0
1 11:05 DEN 27 DEN 36 9 Punt 0 0 1 12:33 KC 20 KC 29 9 Punt 0 0
1 8:18 DEN 3 DEN 27 24 Fumble 0 1 1 9:50 KC 36 KC 40 4 Punt 0 0
1 5:28 DEN 16 KC 0 84 Touchdown 7 0 1 5:36 DEN 18 DEN 16 2 Fumble 0 1
2 13:23 DEN 21 KC 0 79 Touchdown 7 0 1 3:03 KC 20 DEN 0 80 Touchdown 7 0
2 2:55 DEN 20 KC 34 46 Missed FG 0 0 2 9:05 KC 20 DEN 1 79 Field Goal 3 0
3 15:00 DEN 20 KC 40 40 Punt 0 0 2 0:32 KC 42 DEN 46 12 Halftime 0 0
3 12:51 DEN 20 DEN 24 4 Punt 0 0 3 13:58 KC 37 KC 40 3 Punt 0 0
3 8:06 DEN 20 DEN 34 14 Punt 0 0 3 11:06 KC 35 KC 45 10 Punt 0 0
3 5:24 DEN 35 KC 0 65 Touchdown 7 0 3 6:31 KC 13 KC 16 3 Punt 0 0
4 11:48 DEN 20 KC 18 62 Field Goal 3 0 3 2:22 KC 8 DEN 41 51 Punt 0 0
4 4:56 DEN 20 DEN 32 12 Punt 0 0 4 7:06 KC 20 DEN 0 80 Touchdown 7 0
4 2:50 DEN 46 DEN 40 -6 Punt 0 0 4 3:38 KC 30 DEN 45 25 Downs 0 1
450 27 4 0:55 KC 20 KC 16 -4 End of Game 0 0
352 17

Next is the Chargers at Chiefs, as the Chiefs had to contend with their first major turmoil of the season and the sting of their first loss the week before.

Chargers at Chiefs, Sunday, Nov 24

Qtr Time Start End Yards Result Pts TO
1 12:46 SD 23 SD 32 9 Punt 0 0
1 9:29 SD 45 KC 12 43 Field Goal 3 0
1 1:37 SD 30 KC 35 35 Punt 0 0
2 6:23 SD 18 SD 20 2 Punt 0 0
2 3:03 SD 20 KC 0 80 Touchdown 7 0
3 15:00 SD 28 KC 0 72 Touchdown 7 0
3 9:00 SD 40 SD 43 3 Punt 0 0
3 6:09 KC 16 KC 0 0 Touchdown 7 0
3 2:12 SD 28 KC 13 59 Field Goal 3 0
4 9:32 SD 32 KC 0 68 Touchdown 7 0
4 5:41 SD 21 SD 25 4 Punt 0 0
4 1:22 SD 22 KC 0 78 Touchdown 7 0
453 41

Ouch. 38 points allowed on their last eight drives. Zero turnovers. Of course, for the Broncos, things weren't all that much better:

Broncos at Patriots, Sunday, Nov 24

Qtr Time Start End Yards Result Pts TO
1 13:08 NE 24 DEN 40 36 DEN TD -7 1
1 9:54 NE 28 NE 21 -7 Fumble 0 1
1 8:54 NE 24 NE 44 20 Fumble 0 1
1 2:57 NE 29 NE 48 19 Punt 0 0
2 12:48 NE 21 DEN 30 49 Downs 0 1
2 6:10 NE 20 NE 43 23 Punt 0 0
2 1:12 NE 8 NE 15 7 Punt 0 0
3 15:00 NE 20 DEN 0 80 Touchdown 7 0
3 8:19 DEN 32 DEN 0 32 Touchdown 7 0
3 2:01 NE 35 DEN 0 65 Touchdown 7 0
4 14:32 DEN 30 DEN 0 30 Touchdown 7 0
4 12:22 DEN 47 DEN 13 34 Field Goal 3 0
4 3:06 NE 20 NE 29 9 Punt 0 0
OT 12:21 NE 18 NE 37 19 Punt 0 0
OT 4:50 NE 20 NE 43 23 Punt 0 0
OT 3:01 DEN 13 DEN 13 0 Field Goal 3 0
439 27 4

Four touchdown drives IN A ROW. Double ouch! Two of those four TD drives came with a short field, but still, a somewhat ugly performance against an elite offense.

So, Where Do We Go From Here?

The forecast for Sunday in Arrowhead is 48 degrees, mostly cloudy, 20% chance of rain. Let's go with the thought that, as of now, weather will not be a factor.

For KC, Hali will be back, but undoubtedly gimpy. Houston is out.

For the Broncos, DRC is day-to-day. Champ, if he's back, won't be much of a factor.

So, both teams are a bit shorthanded, but don't expect sympathy from teams like the Patriots, Giants and Bears who have been decimated with injuries on defense.

I may be swimming upstream here, but I think you're going to see both teams open up their offenses into an old fashioned AFL-type shootout. Broncos jump out early, Chiefs chase with more success than we would expect.

On paper, that's not the kind of game the Chiefs want, but I thought they actually did OK in a shootout-style game last week. They just didn't get the turnovers they've become accustomed to from third-string QB's. Start churning more turnovers, and this team could actually get dangerous again.

Don't force more turnovers, and the Chiefs may just be picking up steam in their Race to the Bottom.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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