View Full Version : Game analysis for tomorrow.

T-post Tom
09-16-2006, 11:29 PM
Chiefs Try to Overcome QB Problems in Denver

(Sports Network) - Herm Edwards already knows this drill.

The first-year Chiefs head coach found out in 2005, his final season with the Jets, what having concerns at the quarterback position feels like. Four different people took snaps for New York after Chad Pennington got hurt in Week 3 of the 2005 campaign, a situation greatly aiding in the Jets' 4-12 finish. Two games into his tenure with Kansas City, as his team travels to face the Broncos for the latest installment in a longtime AFC West rivalry, the position of signal-caller is again prominent on the list of Edwards' issues.

Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, who had not missed a start since coming to the franchise from the Rams prior to the 2001 season, could be out for a month after suffering a serious concussion in last week's 23-10 loss to the Bengals. Green's replacement, Damon Huard, is a 33-year-old career backup with six NFL starts on his pro resume', none since 2000. Huard, who last week threw his first NFL pass since the 2003 campaign, will get start number seven on Sunday afternoon.

The Broncos also enter Week 2 with scrutiny focused on the quarterback position, as Denver received precious little production from that spot in last Sunday's 18-10 loss at St. Louis. Starting quarterback Jake Plummer, who was heralded for his remarkable efficiency last season, threw three interceptions against the Rams. Continued shaky play from Plummer could give rise to serious discussion about the prospect of rookie and No. 11 overall draft choice Jay Cutler, who had a strong preseason, unseating the veteran in 2006.


Kansas City holds a 51-40 lead in its all-time series with Denver, sweeping home-and-homes with the Broncos in each of the past three seasons. The Chiefs were 30-10 losers at Invesco Field at Mile High in Week 3 of the 2005 season, and returned the favor with a 31-27 victory at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 13. The home team has won the last seven installments of the series, with Denver last bucking that trend by taking a 37-34 overtime decision at Arrowhead in 2002. The Chiefs are 0-5 in Denver since earning a 23-22 victory there in 2000.

The two storied franchises have met just once in the postseason, with the Broncos claiming a 14-10 road victory in a 1997 AFC Divisional Playoff.

Denver's Mike Shanahan is 12-14 against Kansas City in his career, including 10-13 since taking over in Denver in 1995. Kansas City' Edwards is 1-1 against both Shanahan and the Broncos as a head coach.


Huard (12-of-20 passing, 140 yards, 1 TD) wasn't awful in his debut with the Chiefs last week, but after replacing the injured Green with Kansas City down 17-3 late in the third quarter, was unable to get his team back in the game. Huard did manage to throw his first touchdown pass since the 2000 season, however, hitting tight end Tony Gonzales (10 receptions, 81 yards, 1 TD) with a nine-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter. Starting Kansas City receivers Eddie Kennison (1 reception, 14 yards) and Samie Parker (2 receptions, 24 yards) were both invisible in the game, though No. 3 wideout Dante Hall (5 receptions, 31 yards) did make some noise. The Chiefs added former Redskins first-round draft pick Rod Gardner to bolster the receiving corps this week, though it is unclear whether he will play this week. No matter who does the receiving, a Chiefs o-line that surrendered seven sacks last week must do a much better job of protecting the quarterback.

Despite last week's loss, the Broncos received an encouraging sign in the form of a pass rush that sacked the Rams' Marc Bulger three times. Denver ranked near the bottom of the league in sacks last season, so the fact that three different ends - Ebenezer Ekuban, Kenard Lang, and Patrick Chukwurah - were able to get to Bulger was a step in the right direction. The Broncos are expected to once again be without end Courtney Brown, who remains doubtful following offseason knee surgery. In the secondary, cornerback Champ Bailey and free safety John Lynch will be among those seeking the team's first interception of the year. Bailey notched a game-high nine tackles against St. Louis.

With the passing game hampered by Green's injury, Kansas City figures to rely heavily on running back Larry Johnson this week. Johnson saw his streak of 100-yard rushing games snapped at nine last Sunday, though between his 68 rushing yards and 80 receiving yards, the 2005 Pro Bowler did manage to make an impact. Johnson has 100-yard games in two of his three career appearances against Denver. No. 2 running back and ex-Viking Michael Bennett was active versus the Bengals last week, but had neither a carry nor a catch.

The Broncos will need to tighten up against the Kansas City run this week, after the Rams Steven Jackson torched them for 121 yards on 22 carries in Week 1. The Denver linebacking corps of Al Wilson (7 tackles) in the middle and Ian Gold (2 tackles) and D.J. Williams (6 tackles) on the outside will be counted on to be more active versus the Chiefs. Up front, tackles Gerard Warren (5 tackles) and Michael Myers (6 tackles) will be looking to build on productive outings last week.


Plummer's three-interception game against the Rams was all the more astounding in light of the quarterback's nearly mistake-free 2005. The Arizona State product had 18 touchdown passes against just seven interceptions during the regular season, though he did throw two key picks in the team's AFC Championship loss to the Steelers. The quarterback will this week try to connect less with Kansas City's defensive players than with his own receivers, Javon Walker (3 receptions, 41 yards) and Rod Smith (3 receptions, 34 yards). Walker, who was traded from the Packers on draft day, will be making his formal debut in Denver. Tight ends Tony Scheffler (1 reception, 9 yards) and Stephen Alexander (2 receptions, 24 yards) both played significant minutes in St. Louis. The normally-reliable Broncos offensive line surrendered four sacks of Plummer last week.

The Chiefs were not tested much by Carson Palmer and the Cincinnati passing game in Week 1, but could be forced into greater activity by Plummer and the Broncos. Cornerback Patrick Surtain had four tackles and a couple of pass deflections versus the Bengals, and fellow corner Ty Law recorded four stops in his first regular season game as a Chief. Looking to tee off on Plummer on Sunday will be the always-active Jared Allen, who had seven tackles, a forced fumble, two quarterback hurries, and Kansas City's only sack of Palmer. Also impressive was rookie end Tamba Hali, the team's first-round draft pick out of Penn State, who notched seven tackles in his pro debut.

Shanahan finally answered a question that was on every fantasy football enthusiast's mind last week, when he gave Tatum Bell (15 carries, 103 yards) the start over rookie Mike Bell (10 receptions, 58 yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions) in the backfield. The former Bell acquitted himself nicely, reeling off a 39- yard-run in the game, though he did lose a fumble for one of Denver's five turnovers. Tatum Bell has 104 yards on just 12 carries against the Chiefs in his career. Both Bells should see regular playing time again this Sunday.

Kansas City was not awful against the run in Week 1, allowing the Bengals to amass 116 yards on 34 carries on the ground, but did allow scoring runs of 22- and eight yards to Rudi Johnson and Kenny Watson, respectively. Seeking to guard against the big play from Denver's group of running backs will be a Chiefs linebacking corps featuring Derrick Johnson (8 tackles, 1 fumble recovery) and Kawika Mitchell (5 tackles) at its forefront. Helping matters for Kansas City will be its new-look interior line, which features ex-Jet James Reed (6 tackles) and former Bill Ron Edwards, both of whom started a week ago.


The Broncos went through this "the sky is falling" schtick last year, after they laid a 34-10 egg in Miami in the season-opener. Denver promptly went on to a 13-2 record the rest of the way and landed in the AFC Championship. While the Broncos might not go on to reach such heights in 2006, for at least one week, they'll set aside the premature talk of their demise and handle the Chiefs. For Kansas City, the sky indeed may be falling. Huard hasn't played meaningful minutes since the Spice Girls were popular, the offensive line looked woeful last week, and the defense doesn't have the ability to carry the entire load and keep the Chiefs in the game. Denver rights its ship, and Kansas City expectantly awaits word on Green's status during its Week 3 bye.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Broncos 34, Chiefs 14

09-16-2006, 11:38 PM
Since our D still sucks, are O line is horrible and our QB should be playing in Arena League- I think we are going to get killed.

I don't think I will watch this one.

Ugly Duck
09-16-2006, 11:39 PM
Javon Walker..... 3 receptions
Rod Smith......... 3 receptions
Rams defense.... 3 receptions

Way to go Plummer! Sounds like an Oakland QB....

keg in kc
09-16-2006, 11:40 PM
Pretty much what I expect.

09-16-2006, 11:45 PM
Javon Walker..... 3 receptions
Rod Smith......... 3 receptions
Rams defense.... 3 receptions

Way to go Plummer! Sounds like an Oakland QB....

Jake the fake has the bootleg and that is it-the Rams exposed him as the fraud he is.

Gun on the other hand has NEVER figured out how to stop it-I mean if a 3rd string washout of the Texans can fool us-we have no chance. This game will save Jake a few more weeks-as we fumble and bumble our way to another pitiful loss.

T-post Tom
09-17-2006, 12:03 AM
Don't be surprised to see more passing from Huard than the "experts" anticipate. This could be a big day for Gonzo and Hall. Hall owns the donks on S.T.'s and should have a wide range of opportunites on offense this week. Good karma for Dante. That said, let's hope someone remembers how to pass block.

BTW--It'll be interesting to see if Surtain and Paker remember how to catch the football this week.

09-17-2006, 05:51 AM
I agree Tom.
LJ should be carrying this team, but the Chiefs gameplan should include plenty of play-action on first down in this game, and throughout the season, to keep defenses honest.

Gaz Locked Out
09-17-2006, 07:49 AM
The advantages are all with the Broncos.
• Home field advantage.
• Better Defense.
• Porous Chiefs OL.
• Backup QB.

Sure, Plummer stank it up in the first game [heh]. Unfortunately for us, that only means that Shannahan will trot out the leash again. The Broncos do not need Plummer to lead the team to victory. They just need him to not screw up too badly. Of course, that is not an easy task, since Plummer is a screw-up, but they managed it most of last season. Doable.

On the other hand, the Chiefs need Huard to be excellent, because Johnson is not going to tear up the Broncos behind the OL we saw last week. It is not difficult to leash Plummer, but it will be nigh unto impossible to fix the broken Chiefs’ OL in a single week. Turley is still not back to his old form [if he is EVER back to his old form] and we still lack a dependable RT. The chemistry that made the Chiefs OL “the best in the NFL” last season is gone. Stick a fork in it.

“Any give Sunday” and all that, but this looks like a serious woodshedding to me. The Chiefs will have to play perfect football. The D will have to force some turnovers, the OL will have to give Huard some time to throw [maybe Damon should call Carr for some tips on surviving a crappy OL?], Johnson needs some cracks to run through [not bloody likely] and our WRs will have to make enough catches to force Denver to back off the LOS [because the Broncos will put their best cover guys on Gonzalez and hold him until the Referees decide that TEs get the same protection as WRs].

The Fan says I am full of it and we are going to kick some Predominantly Orange butt.

I hope he’s right.

Anticipating an ugly, ugly game.

09-17-2006, 08:06 AM
Based on my expectations of this game I'll be happy if Hali crushes Jake on a bootleg attempt. Me thinks it's gonna be uglier than the south end of north bound mule.

09-17-2006, 09:28 AM
Coach's keys to win the game.

1. Contain the bootleg/misdirection plays.

2. Defense needs to pressure Plummer. When Plummer is pressured, he tends to make mistakes.

3. Turnover battle. A road team cannot commit turnovers if they want to win. The Chiefs has always struggled on the turnover department whenever they play at Denver.

4. Managing the offense better.

DJ's left nut
09-17-2006, 09:42 AM
Here's an idea:

Throw the game. Make Plummer look like a God.

Let's face it, the only way we 'win' this game, is by buying Plummer another 3-4 weeks as a starter, that way we indirectly cause at least 2 more losses.

It's brilliant.

09-17-2006, 09:59 AM
We used to throw a ton of screen passes, to Priest but we've seem to have gotten away from doing that..