After being flexed into the primetime game, the Denver Broncos will take on the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. Prior to the win over the Los Angeles Chargers, this news made many of us here in Broncos Country more than a little nervous.
After beating the Chargers, those feelings of nervousness probably haven’t changed much. On top of playing a Chiefs team that seems to be regaining their form, Andy Reid as a head coach is 19-3 after a bye week.
Add in the Broncos record in Kansas City in December, and it doesn’t really boost confidence. Denver sits at 3-19 playing at the Chiefs in the 12th month of the year. The symmetry of those numbers is not lost on me. Neither is the question about the Broncos 3 wins in KC.
In those three wins, one of these things is not like the other. In 1994 John Elway led the Broncos to a 20-17 win. In 2013 it was Peyton Manning overcoming an early deficit to lead Denver to a 35-28 win. Third Denver win in KC came in 2009. If you are thinking Tim Tebow was able to get the Broncos over the hump in KC in December, you would be wrong.
No, it was the great neck beard himself, Kyle Orton. On the day the Chiefs retired Derek Thomas’s number, the Broncos put up 44 points, and ran the ball down KC’s throat. It was a big win for Denver, and brought their record to 8-4. If you don’t remember what happened the rest of season, the simplest way to put it is that was the last time we watched the Broncos win that season.
Now, with another QB that will probably not be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Teddy Bridgewater, it might be time to add another oddball December win to the list. Knowing the chances are slim makes it hard to believe this current team can win, in the paraphrased words of Lloyd Christmas, I’m telling you theirs a chance.
It won’t be easy, but if Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon can get the running game going, a win isn’t impossible. The defense will need to limit Patrick Mahomes and the KC offense. Andy Reid off a bye week is a daunting task, but Vic Fangio’s defense has been copied by other teams (think Buccaneers in the Super Bowl) to bring down his offense.
If Fangio’s defense shows up, the Broncos could steal a win in KC, and move to first place in the AFC West. No one truly believed this was a possibility all the way back in August. While we watched Peyton Manning and Steve Atwater give their Hall of Fame speeches, we never imagined being this close to the Chiefs this late int he season.
And it’s a quirky statistic from a game in 2009 that reminds us, anything can happen.