1. Zone Discipline
When playing the Chiefs, zone discipline needs to be at its highest. Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce are the best duo in the league at finding gaps in the opposing defenses’ zone coverage. Defensive backs and linebackers for the Broncos need to communicate at their best when dropping into coverage on Thursday. The biggest reason why offensive players get open in zone coverage is when the defense is not communicating which receivers they are passing off to the next zone defender. This error cannot happen against Mahomes and Kelce or else they will make you pay every time. Kelce did suffer an ankle injury last week and might not play, but you know what they say, “prepare for the worst.”
2. Control the Clock
Running the ball well, executing key third downs, running a balanced offense, and good clock management all contribute to giving Mahomes less time with the ball in his hands. It’s almost impossible to completely stop Mahomes entirely, but teams can take away the one thing he cannot control, which is time.
3. Halftime Adjustments
The offense cannot afford to sputter coming out of half like it has in every game this season so far. This is Sean Payton’s responsibility to find the weaknesses of the Chiefs defense and change the offensive game plan to attack it. Good teams and good coaches do not just come out of halftime and keep running the same plays over and over that they did in the first half, add a wrinkle to this offense and give something for the Chiefs to worry about. It’s time for Payton to earn his paycheck.