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Chiefs will dare the Broncos to beat them through the air

The Kansas City Chiefs will put eight men in the box and dare Trevor Siemian and the Denver Broncos to win in the passing game.

Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos desperately need Trevor Siemian to have a big game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s been in a four-game slump and the Broncos have lost three of those.

Head coach Vance Joseph and the Broncos coaching staff knows exactly what the Chiefs are going to do on defense.

“It’s going to be a man-free day,” Joseph said of the Chiefs defense. “They’re going to load the box for the run game and that’s always an issue because they have one guy you can’t block in the run game. The pass game has to be efficient for us to move the ball. That’s been one of our challenges these past couple weeks. Teams are playing us more single high, which is cover three or cover one. That’s the same for the outside guys; they have to win one-on-ones. This Chiefs group, as far as their corners, they’re very aggressive. They’re very good at press man. We have to win our one-on-one, first, second and third down.”

It’s against the Cover 3 that Siemian has struggled the most against, which is something our own Jeff Essary has covered extensively over the last two weeks. Against man coverage, however, Siemian has actually excelled.

“When they close the middle—again, when they play in cover three or cover one—there is one guy in the box that we can’t block because the quarterback can’t block anybody,” said Joseph. “Numbers wise, they have one more guy. When they do that, we have to throw the ball with efficiency to keep the chains moving. That’s going to be the key.”

The Chiefs defense has run man coverage on 63% of their snaps this season according to Pro Football Focus, which is far and away above the team with the second-most snaps in man coverage.

This bodes well for Siemian and the Broncos pass game.

There was an unconfirmed report from Mile High Huddle that Siemian has some egregious tells that is giving away the play call pre-snap to opposing defenses. Joseph has flatly refuted that claim.

“I don’t feel that,” Joseph said when asked if Siemian is telegraphing plays. “I’ve watched every snap that the guy has played since I’ve been here. I don’t see that. Obviously after games like that, they had success, so there’s a reason why. It wasn’t that.”

If the Chiefs play mostly man defense in this game, the Broncos could be ready for an upset. Siemian has posted some Peyton Manning-like numbers against those defensive alignments and if there were ever a need for a big game from Trevor it is in this one.

The season may very well be on the line and it’s only Week 8.