No matter your overall thoughts of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011, there is no way you predicted a blowout as large as the one the Miami Dolphins administered to the Kansas City Chiefs in week 9. 31-3… embarrassing!
Although the Chiefs were blown out, they held tight to their 1st place ranking in the AFC West. Well, as tight as holding all the tie-breakers in a 3-way tie can be, after the San Diego Chargers lost to the Green Bay Packers and the Oakland Raiders lost to the Denver Broncos. Going into their week 10 matchup against the Denver Broncos, the Kansas City Chiefs find themselves in 2nd place, behind the Oakland Raiders by 1/2 a game, following the Raiders win on Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers.
Week 10 is absolutely a “must win” game for both the Broncos and the Chiefs.
On to the reasons the Denver Broncos could beat the Kansas City Chiefs…
NFL fans and experts may disagree about Tim Tebow’s ability to be a successful QB in the NFL. I will wait for 10-12 starts from Tebow to make a full and complete assessment, but one thing that cannot be argued, Tebow knows how to win… and winning is ultimately what it is all about.
Kim Constantinesco from Predominately Orange (@PredomOrange on Twitter): With Kyle Orton, the Broncos easily moved the ball in the long field, but could not convert in the red zone. Tebow doesn’t have the best pass completion rate, but he does have the highest TD percentage among all quarterbacks since 2010. He plays exceptionally well on the road with 7 career TDs and 0 turnovers in 128 touches. When his back it against the wall, that’s when he plays his best football. A crowd like the one he will see at Arrowhead is the kind of crowd that he likes to silence. He did it in the Black Hole last week.
Arguably the front runner for the defensive rookie of the year, yet fans in Denver still expect more… Don’t get greedy, this kid is a legit NFL stud. Miller leads all NFL rookies with 6.5 sacks, which is good enough for 8th in the NFL.
While the Chiefs offensive line seemed to play well against Jared Allen, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and Richard Seymore, the defensive front seven of the Miami Dolphins beat up the Chiefs O-line to the tune of five sacks in week 9.
Matt Cassel has not exactly been Pro Bowl caliber, throwing for 9 interceptions to 9 touchdowns. Some say Champ Bailey has “lost a step.” I don’t agree. Bailey is still one of the best in the game at corner back… Give me Champ over Brandon Flowers! With pressure on Matt Cassel from Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, I expect Bailey to intercept at least one Matt Cassel pass.
For the reasons mentioned above, the mediocrity of Matt Cassel will, once again, hurt the Chiefs. In week 9, the Dolphins sacked Cassel 5 times. Critics, experts, analysts, etc. will argue sacks fall on the offensive line. I put sacks on the quarterback the majority of the time. It is the responsibility of the QB to read the defense, change plays and make a play. Green Bay and Pittsburgh have much worse offensive lines than the Chiefs at this point of 2011… How are Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger playing? Those guys MAKE plays.
Kim Constantinesco: Matt Cassel has struggled mightily since his days with the Patriots. When he’s pressured in the pocket, that’s when he makes his mistakes. The Broncos bring an intense pass rushing duo in Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. Miller is a rookie and leads the team in sacks with 7. Dumveril is finally healthy and recorded 1.5 sacks and a batted pass against the Raiders.
It is quite possible that every single person in Kansas City had undervalued Jon McGraw. Before 2011, sports authorities in Kansas City preached about how poorly Jon McGraw plays the position of safety. Following the week 1 injury to Eric Berry, McGraw was thrust into the starting role.
It wasn’t until Dolphins back-up QB, Matt Moore, shredded the Chiefs secondary in week 9 that fans and critics alike were awakened to the true value of McGraw. Going into week 9, I never thought I would miss McGraw so much… Hopefully he will be back in week 10.
McGraw is listed as questionable going into week 10, although most expect him to play.
My Chiefs v. Broncos Prediction
When asked about the week 10 matchup against the Broncos a week ago, I would have told you I like the Chiefs to win big. That is not the case as the game quickly approaches. I still like the Chiefs to win the game, and I hope the team as a whole has realized there is no such thing as an “easy game” in the NFL, after their loss to the Dolphins.
I expect the Chiefs to re-commit to the running game with Jackie Battle, stay away from using the greatly over-rated and over-valued Dexter McCluster and create mismatches for Jon Baldwin in the passing game.
If McGraw is back in week 10, the Chiefs will get a huge boost in the defensive backfield. While Tim Tebow may not be able to exploit the Chiefs in the passing game like Matt Moore did for the Dolphins, I feel much more comfortable with McGraw spying Tebow over Sabby Piscitelli.
Kansas City Chiefs 24 – Denver Broncos 20
What are your thoughts on the game? Let us know in the comments section below!