So we got this, right guys? Total trap-game, right? The Kansas City Chiefs bring a deflated team to Denver in the coming hours, and most would consider their chances to be sigh-inducingly slim. What can KC do to make this game competitive, or even pull off a stunner at Mile-High? Well, sadly, the gameplan for victory this Sunday involves some awfully lofty goals. If KC ends the day with a seemingly miraculous 1-1 record, a lot of things will have gone very, very right. Here are the three things that must happen for KC to win this afternoon:
3- Jamaal Charles gets 15 touches or more for 150 yards or more.
Andy Reid took some well-deserved flak for Jamaal having only 11 touches in Week 1, but he also deserves credit for being candid and honest about his failure in that regard. It should be clear that Reid will make #25 more of the offensive gameplan this time around, but a struggling offensive line must also succeed in giving their star player a seam on running downs. Despite this being the easiest goal on this list to accomplish, it’s far from a safe bet against an improved Denver defense that now includes Vince Wilfork stuffing up the center of the field.
2- Chiefs win the turnover ratio by at least +2.
Shaun Smith and Marcus Cooper are both polarizing starters in KC’s secondary that sometimes get burnt and sometimes make incredible, game-changing plays. As fans, we can only hope that we get the good side of that coin today. If first ballot Hall of Famer Peyton Manning helps us out with some errant passes, nobody in the Kingdom will complain, but the Chiefs clearly aren’t banking on that. To force turnovers, KC needs to go out and get them. This means pressuring Manning to get rid of the ball early and allowing the aforementioned guys in the secondary to go after that pick-six with reckless abandon. Maybe with a better team on paper KC would avoid such a rogue gameplan, but not this year, and especially not today.
1- Justin Houston, Tamba Hali and Dontari Poe combine for 3 or more sacks on Manning.
With the dreadful loss of both Mike Devito and Derrick Johnson, the Chiefs absolutely must see their other big-name defensive players step up if they want to be anything close to relevant this season. Multiple sacks, especially early in the game, can keep Peyton uncomfortable and lessen the chance of huge plays against that unproven secondary. KC’s chances to pull this off will begin and end at the line of scrimmage.
It’s an important sports day in KC, what with the Royals continuing their playoff race and the rival Detroit Tigers playing a day-game as well. Today could be remembered as a shining moment for both clubs, or the beginning of the end of their respective seasons.