What is the blueprint for beating the Kansas City Chiefs?

Tom Szczerbowski

Not going to talk about X's and O's specifically. There is plenty of time to get into that next week. There is a trend that everyone should be aware of right now, a trend that the Broncos can use as they start to guide themselves through this next quarter of the season.

Mistakes are the great equalizer. They even the playing field and bring into play many more possible outcomes. A team down by two scores must start to press matters. A team down by one score or tied can stick to the gameplan and grind away.

The Chiefs are 9-0 because they have kept games close enough that when the 4th quarter played out, the endgames have tilted to their favor. Outside of a drubbing of the lowly Jaguars to begin the season, the Chiefs have not pulled away decisively from an opponent until very late in a game. They have capitalized on mistake after mistake, whether these mistakes be forced or not, by scoring points on defense or by giving their offense the ball in favorable field position.

I've watched a handful of early Chiefs games to this point, and have seen the same formula over and over and over again. here's how you beat the Chiefs:

1) Control Field Position

2) Don't turn the ball over

That's it. Simple right? Their offense has been just efficient enough to flip field position and give those elite QB's by the names of Tuel, Campbell, Gabbert, Fitzpatrick lots of yardage to cover in order to even sniff the idea of scoring points. Well, you take long fields, coupled with inexperienced signal callers, combined with a great defense and you get offenses having to sustain 8-10 play drives in order to score. Sooner or later a mistake will be made.

The inexperienced signal caller will make some dumb throw, the pass rush will dislodge the ball or cause some panic and the defense will score points or give the ball back to the KC offense with stellar field position.

I went back and logged everyone of KCs offensive scoring drives. I logged when they were given a short field due to special teams or a turnover. I also did not count kneel downs before the half or to end the game.

OPP

Plays

Yards

Result

Start

Jax (Punt Return)

3

24

TD*

JAX 24

Jax (INT)

2

21

TD*

JAX 21

Jax (INT)

9

57

TD*

KC 43

Dal

14

82

TD

KC 23

Dal (Fumble)

3

10

FG

DAL 32

Phi (muffed Punt)

3

-7

FG

PHI 8

Phi

7

69

FG

KC 18

Phi (INT)

7

50

FG

KC 39

Phi

8

77

TD

KC 38

Phi

14

75

FG

KC 5

NYG

10

83

TD

KC 2

NYG

4

31

FG

KC 36

NYG

15

100

TD

KC 20

NYG (Fumble)

3

36

TD

NYG 35

TEN

4

53

FG

KC 36

TEN

9

94

FG

KC 1

TEN

10

51

TD

KC 34

TEN (INT)

4

23

FG

TEN 33

TEN (INT)

3

3

FG

TEN 33

OAK

5

38

TD

KC 45

OAK (INT)

4

21

TD

OAK 23

OAK (INT)

5

19

FG

OAK 29

HOU

10

67

TD

KC 18

HOU

15

98

TD

KC 3

HOU

6

32

FG

HOU 46

CLE

8

49

FG

KC 12

CLE

10

47

FG

KC 36

CLE

13

78

TD

KC 18

CLE

6

75

TD

KC 25

CLE (TOD)

3

9

FG

CLE 31

BUF (INT)

8

32

FG

BUF 41

BUF

6

50

FG

KC 36

BUF

5

32

FG

KC 47

The Chiefs have had 33 scoring drives out of 104 opportunities (31.7%). These scoring opportunities have yielded 15 TD and 18 FG (159 total points, including extra points). Out of those scoring opportunities, 12 have been provided by a defensive turnover. These scoring opportunities have yielded 4 TD and 8 FG (52 total points, including extra points.)

This means that about a third of Kansas City's offensive points have come off of turnovers.

Other interesting numbers to note:

- The Chiefs have had 33 three and outs as an offense (31.7%)

- The Chiefs have had 9 drives of 10 plays or more (8.6%) (7 TD, 2 FG).

You noticed that I have the number 159 as their offensive output. That would equal 17-18 offensive points per game. About a TD less than their 23-24 points per game average.

When the Chiefs offense has been asked to produce on it's own without any help, it has managed 107 points or about 12 per game.

You don't have to be special against the Chiefs to score enough points to win. Remember, the Chiefs only have 7 TD drives over more than 75 yards. Give them long fields and they will most likely punt and or kick field goals.

Contrast that with the Broncos Offense:

- 96 drives, 40 TDs, 12 FGs (scoring 54.2%) or about 39.5 points per game.

- 20 three and outs (20.8%)

- The field position for 10 scores (8 TDs, and 2 FGs, or 62 points) has come via a special teams play or turnover.

- Would adjust the Broncos offensive PPG to 31.8 PPG without any help.

You want to know how to beat the Broncos?

Control Field Position and get lots of turnovers

The only loss of the season, the Broncos put up the following drive chart:

Drive

Plays

Yards

Result

Opp/Territory

Start

1

3

9

Punt

No

Den 38

2

2

56

TD

Yes

Den 44

3

3

9

Punt

No

Den 13

4

8

46

TD

Yes

Den 49

5

3

-6

Safety

No

Den 6

6

3

-2

Punt

No

Den 20

7

6

21

Punt

No

Den 2

8

3

9

Punt

No

Den 20

9

3

5

Punt

No

Den 16

10* INT

3

8

Punt

No

Den 10

11

9

70

FG

Yes

Den 20

12

3

80

TD

Yes

Den 20

13* Fumble

8

23

TD

Yes

Ind 23

14

1

0

INT

No

Den 15

15

8

90

Fumble

Yes

Den 15

16

6

33

FG

Yes

Den 38

On 68.7% of the drives that night, the Colts forced the Broncos to start at their own 20 or worse. Those 11 drives accounted for 10 points. The Colts also forced the Broncos into 7 three and outs which accounts for a third of their season average.

Even with a stifling defense, the Broncos managed to score 33 points, 26 of which came without any field position help via special teams or turnovers.

The lowest total the Broncos offense has mustered without help has been 26 points.

Bottom line, the Chiefs need turnovers and an offensive breakthrough to come into Denver and win this game. Even when given favorable field position via a turnover, the Chiefs have converted those opportunities into a TD only 33% of the time.

If this matchup is truly one of Strength vs. Strength, The Broncos offense has proven it can only be bottled up for a matter of time.

Until the Chiefs can prove they can win in more than one phase of the game, the Broncos and their best phase are simply better than the Chiefs and their best phase. If this Broncos defense is coming together like it has shown the past couple of weeks, the Chiefs are in for a lengthy fall from the top.

GO BRONCOS!!!

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