Horse Tracks - Are the Chiefs for real?

Rich Schultz

The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0 after their 26-16 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night. But are they contenders or pretenders?

The Argument that they're Contenders

A stifling defense, led by Justin Houston and his remarkable 4.5 sacks, combined with a careful offense that doesn't turn the football over, will win Andy Reid and the Chiefs a lot of football games this year. Alex Smith has 24 touchdowns to just five interceptions in his last 17 starts. He is 14-3 in that span.

The Argument that they're Pretenders

Anyone who watched Thursday night's game know the Chiefs offense far from passes the ol' eyeball test. The Chiefs' troubles in the red zone are epic - they created four meaningful turnovers, yet only scored 19 points as an offense (one touchdown, four field goals). Alex Smith and the offense made a living on short crossing routes against the Eagles' soft zone coverage, but those openings disappeared as the length of the field compacted near the red zone.

What would you say, are the 3-0 Chiefs contenders or pretenders?

Eagles-Chiefs Final Score: Philadelphia falls to Kansas City in Andy Reid's return, 26-16 - Bleeding Green Nation
That was ugly.

Andy Reid's return a success as Chiefs top Eagles - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN
Andy Reids coaching return to Philadelphia was a success Thursday night as he guided the Kansas City Chiefs past the Eagles 26-16. Andy Reids return a success as Chiefs top Eagles

Alex Smith's game management, Chiefs defense beats Eagles - CBSSports.com
Kansas City's offense isn't great. But it was great when it had to be Thursday.

Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0 after D smothers Eagles - NFL.com
Andy Reid returned to Philadelphia in style on Thursday night, as the Kansas City Chiefs smothered the Eagles' high-profile attack in a 26-16 win. The Chiefs are now 3-0 after finishing 2-14 a year ago.

Broncos

Peyton Manning's field vision, influence impress coach, QB of Raiders - The Denver Post
Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen, the Broncos defensive coordinator in 2011, is in the middle of a difficult process.

Champ Bailey fully practices, still undecided on return
Bailey told USA TODAY Sports that it's too soon to tell if his return to practice means he'll be cleared to play in Monday's game against the Oakland Raiders.

Champ Bailey, Joel Dreessen back at practice - ESPN
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos went from receiving crushing injury news when they moved left tackle Ryan Clady to injured reserve Wednesday to

Welker Voted Offensive Captain
With Ryan Clady on injured reserve, the team voted Wes Welker the new offensive captain.

Broncos read up on read-option -- again - ESPN
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Dennis Allen was the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator when the Broncos dropped the read-option offense, with Tim Tebow at quar...

The long wait for history to repeat itself - ESPN
Sure, Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey will often say "we don't like them and they don't like us," when the division games come rolling by, but Broncos-Raiders is really a remember-when rivalry right now, something maintained and nurtured because folks feel it’s the right thing to do along the way. The bones are there, though, just waiting for both teams to cooperate and make it what all involved always seem to hope it will be.

Locker Room: First Crack at Division
Players talk about playing on Monday Night Football and facing dual threat quarterback, Terrelle Pryor.

Raiders Week: Thursday Practice Photos
View photos as the Broncos began on-field prep for this week's game vs. Oakland.

Full Active Roster Practices Thursday
All 53 members of the Broncos’ active roster took part in practice on Thursday.

BTV Daily: Bailey Back
The Broncos prepare for playing without Ryan Clady the same day Champ Bailey practices for the first time since last month.

Raiders Week: Thursday Practice Photos

Countdown Daily Prediction: OAK-DEN - ESPN Video - ESPN
ESPN Video: The NFL Live crew make their picks for Oakland at Denver.

Peyton Manning talks Colorado flooding and relief efforts after practice Thursday | First-and-Orange — The Denver Post
A day after the Colorado Flood Relief Fundraiser Telethon, for which Peyton Manning recorded an audio message, the Broncos' quarterback spoke out about the money raised for the victims and urged people to pitch in in any way they can.

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