Often times recently I've noticed among myself, friends and members here, that we have expectations that may not align with reality going into a game. Take for example the last Chiefs game, many members here were expecting the Chiefs game at Arrowhead to be a blowout, but anyone whose looked at the fact would see that Arrowhead is considered one of the hardest places to play, even if the Chiefs suck, they fight hard at home.
Now there aren't predictions I'll be making, rather looking at expectations and seeing how they lineup with history. I'm hoping to do this weekly.
Don't Be Surprised If... Jamaal Charles Tears It Up
The Chiefs are a bad team, the sum of their parts suck, but they have some serious talent and running back Jamaal Charles is the best representation of this. Charles is currently the most explosive running back in the history of the NFL and he did it on a team that had no passing game (worse than even the Vikings and Christian Ponder) and never had the lead. So if you are able to be that successful in situations where your horrible QB is throwing the ball late in games.
Now back to this game, the Broncos know that the Chiefs will want to run the ball, and will likely game plan late, but it won't matter. Every single week this season teams have tried to stop the run, even top ranked run defenses like the past game against the Broncos, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Miami, and Baltimore. While I don't expect Charles to run over the Broncos like he did against the last ranked Colts run defense, but I do expect over 100 yards and over 4.5 YPC and throw in a huge run as well.
Don't Be Surprised If... This Is The Week The Broncos Create Turnovers
The Broncos aren't exactly a defense that creates turnovers and the offense doesn't turn the ball over more than about once per game. Over the course of the season the Broncos currently hold a turnover differential of 0.0. Now that's not really great (18th in the league) it's not bad because that means the Broncos aren't exactly making huge mistakes.
The Chiefs on the other hand are terrible. They hold the worst turnover differential of -25, that's good for about 1.7 (or two for you rounding people) turnovers per game. That's bad enough even the Broncos defense will be able to create a few turnovers. Now the current Bronco leaders in terms of creating turnovers are:
- Von Miller (6 forced fumbles, 1 interception)
- Elvis Dumervil (6 forced fumbles, 0 interceptions)
- Wesley Woodyard (1 forced fumble, 3 interception)
Normally these would be defensive backs but due to Del Rio's coaching style the focus is more on coaching up the linebackers compared to past Broncos defensive coordinators which focused more on the defensive backs. I expect at least two turnovers, likely one fumble and one interception, neither the Chiefs QB's or RB's are turnover machines but they do make a few mistakes per game. Look for the Broncos linebackers to continue to lead the team in turnover creation.
Don't Be Surprised If.. The Chiefs Don't Top 10 Points
The Chiefs offense is bad, no denying that, but they are among the worst in terms of scoring offense in recent memory. They are averaging 13.9 points per game but have been shut out once already this season and have been held under 10 points five times. Throw in the fact that they are coming to Denver to face a team that is fighting for seeding in the playoffs, I doubt they will be motivated enough, this isn't like last year where another former Broncos quarterback, Kyle Orton, and the Chiefs had motivation to play spoiler. While they won the game the Broncos got lucky and made the playoffs anyways. That level of motivation isn't there this year, and while we know who Orton is as a QB, no one in their right mind would say that any of the Chiefs QB's are better than he is.
Don't Be Surprised If... The Broncos Run Game Breaks A Few Big Ones
While Ronnie Hillman is extremely limited in his uses, his straight line speed is one area he isn't lacking. While the Chiefs defense is talented, especially up front, their secondary tends to allow big runs, ranking among the worst in the NFL. Even a fairly average top speed RB like Knowshon Moreno tends to break big runs against the Chiefs.
In the end the Chiefs D is built to run the passer not stop the run so look for both Moreno and Hillman to rip off at least one big run apiece.
As I said, these aren't locks, rather when we look at the history these are the conclusions we can draw. Reasonable expectations are important, that way we won't as easily be surprised, either for good or bad. The Broncos can win this game, but it may not be the way some fans think.