Broncos at Chiefs: Q&A with Chiefs blog Arrowhead Pride

Jamie Squire

Our Five Questions this week covers the Chiefs' injuries to Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, the success of Alex Smith, and what Kansas City fans expect to see as the Chiefs take on the Broncos in Week 13. Big thanks to Joel Thornan from Arrowhead Pride for taking the time to answer these questions!

1. It seems that Tamba Hali will be good to go for this game. How effective will he be playing through his injury? Tamba Hali never really used a huge array of pass rush moves or had one devastating move. He's your classic hustle player. So as long as he can physically move, he'll have some level of effect on the game. How much? Remains to be seen but given that the Chiefs weren't able to get to Peyton Manning last time around with two completely healthy pass rushers, I don't see Tamba having a drastic effect on the game. He'll consistently bring it even if he is injured -- it's an ankle injury so it will affect his push-off and initial burst -- but I can't predict he will play a bigger role than he did last time.

2. Speaking of pass rushers, how will the Chiefs adjust without Justin Houston? It's going to be really interesting and not something I can definitively answer right now. My hunch is that the Chiefs will keep doing what they do, regardless of Houston's absence. We have seen one half of football in Bob Sutton's defense without Houston and Hali, which was last week against San Diego. The Chiefs pass rush struggled quite a bit -- they gave up three points before their injuries and 38 points after. Their whole defense is predicated on pass rushers getting to the quarterback and affecting his throw while the corners play tight coverage. If you don't get to the quarterback, that's a problem. So, yeah, something will have to change. Last week is was sending more "exotic" blitzes in their absence, like cornerbacks or safeties. I can see some more of that but in a bigger scale the Chiefs will continue to be who they are -- rush the passer and play press coverage.

The Chiefs win by not screwing it up, and they have the perfect quarterback to do that.

3. Alex Smith's mistake free football has been an obvious key to the Chiefs success this year. With that still, everyone still labels him as a game manager. Is he going to prove the critics wrong? I doubt it. And I don't think a game manager is such a bad thing with the Chiefs team. Alex Smith has been in the league for over eight years now. It seems fair to say that from 2005-2010 he was a different quarterback than he has been from 2011 to today. Even then, he's probably not going to get significantly better (or significantly worse). Whatever he is, he has been the perfect quarterback for the Chiefs for most of this season. I'm not sure that many NFL quarterbacks go 9-0 or even 9-2 with the Chiefs roster like Alex has. There have been so many games and moments this season decided on one play and if Alex doesn't make one key play or avoids a key turnover, at least half of the Chiefs games could be different. So for Kansas City, Alex has been perfect in many ways. The Broncos win by blowing teams out of the water. The Chiefs win by not screwing it up, and they have the perfect quarterback to do that. That said, the limitations are obvious. We're clamoring for the Chiefs to look 20 yards down the field while Peyton Manning regularly picks up 20-plus yard plays. His completion percentage isn't very high (which surprises me). Broncos fans taunt him with Captain Checkdown for a reason. If your question is something along the lines of whether he's the franchise guy in Kansas City ... the debate is still wide open on that.

4. The Chiefs defense had a hard time getting to Manning the last time they met. What adjustments are they going to make? Probably not a whole lot. You could see more blitzes with corners, safeties or other linebackers. Frank Zombo will replace Justin Houston. He has started for a Super Bowl team before (Packers) so it's not like he's going to be invisible. He's probably one of the better third pass rushers on any team. There won't be any personnel changes that we know of. The scheme may be tweaked but I do believe the Chiefs are going to play their game and what they've done all season. It may just be another long day of trying and failing to get to Peyton.

5. Outside of Manning, what Bronco would you like to see in a Chiefs uniform for this game? Von Miller. Watching him in that Broncos-Patriots game was impressive, especially early on. Somehow he didn't ruin the game last time the Chiefs played the Broncos. I'm not counting on that happening again. I would expect to hear Miller's name more this week. The Chiefs have Tamba Hali and Justin Houston rushing the passer but, as we're learning this week, you can never have enough pass rushers. Give me Von Miller to create an amazing pass rush (and, just as important, take one away from the Broncos).

Big thanks again to Joel and Bronco Mike for filling out these answers on the respective blogs, and for Mr. East who submitted the questions to AP (get well soon Eastie!). Follow these guys on Twitter at @ArrowheadPride, @Bronco_Mike251, and @MrEast_MHR.

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