Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs suffered a tough loss to the Tennessee Titans after a last second field goal. The Chiefs not only fell behind the Raiders in the AFC West standings but lost their position for a first-round bye in the postseason. That makes this week’s matchup against the Denver Broncos all the more important. Last time these two met, the Chiefs won in overtime after a banked field goal by Cairo Santos. Expect this week’s game to be just as close since both teams need wins to get into the playoffs.
Kansas City Chiefs Week 16 Keys to Victory
Stay Aggressive on Offense
The Kansas City Chiefs have not put up points in the second half for two weeks straight now. Both games the Chiefs have had two or more possession leads going into the half. They are able to get up early and put their opponent on the ropes, but they just can’t finish them. When the second half comes around, we see very conservative play calling from Andy Reid (such as the screens on third and long) and conservative decision-making from Alex Smith. These two factors combined lead to quick three and outs, forcing the defense to go back out onto the field on short rest. This week, the Chiefs need to continue to throw the ball downfield as they have in the first half. Not getting complacent and avoiding a prevent style offense will allow the Chiefs to put the game away when they have the chance. This is crucial against the Broncos since they have continually been able to put up points in the fourth quarter. Staying aggressive and generating points in the second half needs to be at the top of the Chiefs priority list this week.
Involve Tyreek Hill More
This season Tyreek Hill has been the most explosive player for the Chiefs on the offensive side of the ball. He is a big play waiting to happen. We saw a flash of that last week when he broke off a 68-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. As the game went along, however, Chiefs fans started wondering where Hill even was. In the game against the Titans, Hill was only targeted three times and had one rush. He was criminally underused, especially in a game where offense was hard to come by. If the Chiefs want to come out on top against the great Denver defense, Andy Reid needs to get Hill his touches. He has shown that he can be more than just a gadget player like Tavon Austin, and more of a legitimate receiver. It’s time the play calling reflected this.
Attack the Denver Tackles
Last time the Chiefs took on the Broncos, Denver’s offensive line was in shambles. Justin Houston had a great day, as he racked up three sacks and was constantly pressuring the quarterback. Houston was such a problem that Ty Sambrailo was benched in the second quarter for former Chief Donald Stephenson at right tackle. It’s no secret that defensive coordinator Bob Sutton likes to call plenty of blitzes. Sunday should be no different. Expect to see extra pressure coming at the right tackles from corners, safeties, and linebacker blitzes in hopes of overwhelming the Denver tackles. Trevor Siemian is young, inexperienced, and not particularly mobile. If Kansas City can get him rattled early, Denver might move away from the passing game. This needs to be the goal since Denver has struggled running the ball without C.J. Anderson.
It’s going to be another cold, hard, grind-it-out type of game this week in Arrowhead. Playoff hopes are on the line for both teams, ramping up the drama even more for this division rivalry. Denver has struggled down the stretch, as they have been unable to get anything going offensively. If the Chiefs can avoid three and outs and get pressure on Trevor Siemian, they should come away with a win. I’m sure the Chiefs would also love to be the ones to put the nail in the defending Super Bowl champion’s coffin.