LDE: Tyson Jackson
NT: Dontari Poe
RDE: Ropati Pitoitua
OLB: Justin Houston, Tamba Hali
ILB: Jovan Belcher, Derrick Johnson
CB: Brandon Flowers, Javier Arenas
FS: Kendrick Lewis
SS: Eric Berry
Chiefs Defensive Rankings:
Overall Defense: 13th
Pass Defense: 6th
Rush Defense: 25th
Scoring Defense: 26th
Broncos Defensive Rankings:
Overall Defense: 5th
Pass Defense: 9th
Rush Defense: 6th
Scoring Defense: 11th
Two thirds of the Chiefs D-Line consists of high first round selections. Normally that would be a product of success, but for the Chiefs it has not panned out that way. Jackson and Poe have shown flashes, but neither has shown to be dominant yet. Pitoitua is a massive man at 6'8 315lbs, so he's a guy to keep an eye on. The Chiefs need this unit to step up. Expect to see second year player Allen Bailey in on passing downs. Leading this unit in tackles is Ropati Pitoitua with 27 and also has 2 sacks. Jackson has 27 and 1 sack and Poe has 18 tackles. Broncos will try to establish a running game this week without Willis McGahee, this unit will try to stop that.
The Broncos will look to disrupt passer Brady Quinn and try to step star runner Jamaal Charles. Pressuring Quinn will be key. If the Broncos can rush him and make him throw the ball when he doesn't want too, the Broncos can come away with some turnovers. Leading the way on the defensive line is Elvis Dumervil. Dumervil has 42 tackles 8 sacks and 6 forced fumbles. Rookie Derek Wolfe has 26 tackles and 3 sacks. In the middle Kevin Vickerson has 30 tackles and 2 sacks and Justin Bannan has 31 tackles. I'm expecting this unit to get after Quinn and limit Charles.
This is the strong point for this defense. On the outside the Chiefs have two really good pass rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. On the year Hali has 35 tackles and 6 sacks and Houston has 42 tackles 1 Int and 7 sacks. Those two will try to disrupt Manning all game. In the middle Johnson is having a pretty good season. On the year, Johnson has 88 tackles and 1 sack and Jovan Belcher has 38 tackles. The Chiefs will need this unit to come up with some big plays to help bail out their offense.
The Broncos should have 2 Pro Bowlers at linebacker. OLB Wesley Woodyard is having a breakout year. On the year Woodyard has 88 tackles 3 sacks, and 3 Ints. Opposite of him is stud pass rusher Von Miller. On the year Miller has 45 tackles and 13 sacks. Miller has put up back to back 3 sack performances and looks to continue that this week. In the middle Keith Brooking has played solidly. On the year Brooking has 36 tackles. Last week, suspended linebacker DJ Williams returned to action. DJ can be a huge addition if he plays well. Last week DJ played pretty well. DJ recorded 4 tackles in limited action. Look for DJ to get more and more playing time as he gets back into football shape.
The Chiefs secondary has played well at times this year. They certainly don't lack talent. Brandon Flowers is one of the better corners in the league, and Eric Berry was one of the better safeties to come out of college in a long time. Lewis has shown flashes of talent and Arenas is talented young corner. So look for this unit to challenge Peyton Manning and company. Flowers leads the team with 2 Ints and has added 25 tackles, Arenas has 27 tackles. Eric Berry is second on the team in tackles with 56 and has added an INT and Lewis has 13 tackles on the year.
It looks like the Broncos will be getting Tracy Porter back this week which will give the Broncos a good problem. The Broncos have been winning with Chris Harris and Tony Carter at CB. Now they will add another talented corner to the mix, which will give coach Del Rio even more options and schemes to work with. On the year star corner Champ Bailey has 42 tackles and 1 Int, Chris Harris has 41 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2 Ints, Tony Carter has 17 tackles and 2 Ints and Tracy Porter has 21 tackles and 1 Int. Safety Rahim Moore has 50 and added an Int, Veteran safety Mike Adams is second on the team with 53 tackles and 1 sack, and Jim Leonhard has 11 tackles and 2 Ints. The Broncos secondary is starting to look impressive.