Give Kansas City credit
This game had no business being this close. Injury after injury after injury, followed by another couple of injuries during the game further depleted an already depleted lineup. The Chiefs didn't fold, they still played hard throughout and took it physically to the more talented Broncos defense. Heart is the word that describes the way Kansas City played. I don't care if the Chiefs have to field the waterboy in our 2nd meeting, let this be a lesson to every overconfident Bronco fan out there (me foremost)--they played their asses off and gave the Broncos all they could handle.
When the Chiefs had the ball
They kept the chains moving plain and simple. 10/14 on third downs heading into the final drive.
3rd and 8, Smith to Charles for 8 yards
3rd and 4, Smith scrambles for 25 yards
3rd and 4, Smith to Knile Davis for 6 yards
3rd and 3, Smith to Junior Hemingway for 8 yards
3rd and 18, Smith to Kelce for 20 yards
3rd and 11, Smith to Bowe for 14 yards
3rd and 13, Smith roughed by Malik Jackson
3rd and 3, Smith to Avery for 5 yards
3rd and 8, illegal contact on Chris Harris Jr.
3rd and 4, Smith to Bowe for 5 yards
3rd and 2, Smith to Fasano for 22 yards
3rd and 13, Smith to Kelce for 24 yards
3rd and 5, Broncos offsides
3rd and 9, Smith to Kelce for 20 yards
Absolutely atrocious. The Broncos couldn't get consistent pressure, they couldn't contain or account for Alex Smith's scrambling ability, they had issues covering the TE down the field, and for the 2nd consecutive week, they had issues stopping the run.
Knile Davis ran for 79 yards on 22 carries. Even though he only averaged 3.5 yards per carry, Alex Smith added another 5 rushes for 42 yards. It was said during the game that the Broncos defense was not worried about Alex Smith running the ball. If that's the truth these guys are playing grab-ass when they're supposed to be watching film. After the 1st long gain Del Rio should have stuck a spy on Smith to keep him in check. Not only that but the Broncos committed a ton of penalties, most notably a gaggle of offsides penalties on 3rd down that gave the Chiefs free ground to work with. One of which negated a potential game-ending pick 6 by Aqib Talib.
When the Broncos had the ball
Once again the running game sputtered and struggled to gain positive yardage. Outside of a long gain on a 3rd down draw, Montee Ball had 11 rushes for 37 yards. He's still recovering from injury and isn't running as hard as he could be at this point.
Protection wasn't an issue. Tamba Hali blew up Montee Ball on a blitz pickup but other than that the Broncos offensive line gave him plenty of time in the pocket.
This week the Broncos chose to use a lot of 12 personnel, with Jacob Tamme as their 2nd TE. This is something I discussed a couple of weeks ago, but when the Broncos use this group, it almost plays more like 11 personnel with Tamme becoming a target the defense has to account for. Virgil Green does not give you the same dynamic when he's in the game.
The worst thing that happened to the offense today was the 10-minute drive Kansas City had coming out of halftime. It had been close to 45 minutes since Peyton and the offense ran their last offensive play. The 2nd half woes still continued though as the Broncos only managed to put up 3 points, and only managed to control the ball for 2 drives.
Denver also struggled to convert on 3rd downs (3/8).
A win is a win right? In two weeks the Broncos defense has managed 3 goal-line stands. The problem isn't a defense that is incapable of making big plays, the problem is they haven't been able to put together a sustained effort that has shut things down and given the ball back to our offense.
Play of the game
Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton got that big hand up and deflected an Alex Smith 4th down pass icing the game for the Broncos.
Boo that man!
Malik Jackson knows better than to shove the quarterback late in the rush. That one play would have cost us points if the Chiefs' kicker wasn't so bad.
Thatta boy Peyton!
After a failed 3rd down, Peyton absolutely lit up Julius Thomas for his poor blocking. You see, Thomas failed to hold his block and the quick screen to Demaryius Thomas was swallowed up for a 2 yard gain when they needed 5. Hopefully JT takes that ass-chewing to heart, you have to do the little things right in order to succeed.
In case you missed it
San Diego beat Seattle today. They played ball control and Rivers absolutely carved up the Seahawk secondary. What does that mean for us? San Diego will be a nemesis all season. We're also heading into a hornets nest next week on the road.
We're going to find out a lot about this team's character, grit, and resolve next week.
A championship team is not forged in free agency or the draft. It comes together during the season and creates it's own identity. So far the 2014 Denver Broncos are defined by big plays. Thus far those plays have swung in our favor.
To be the man, you have to beat the man....next up Seahawks