KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chiefs played an effective game in all three phases on Sunday Night Football. Kareem Hunt attempted to set the tempo and Patrick Mahomes picked the zone coverages apart. The defense put together their most complete game and performed at the level this team needs for a deep playoff run.
The Broncos will likely come into town wanting to make a statement that they belong. Head coach Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Mahomes have now seen what the Broncos bring to the table and can exploit it with new looks that they won’t be expecting.
Don’t get doubled and shift
The Broncos were able to run on the Chiefs by doubling the point of attack and working up to the second level to seal off the inside linebackers. It didn’t matter if it was in base or sub-package this was how the Broncos got Phillip Lindsay going for massive gains. The defensive line must drop their knee on doubles to create a pile and keep the inside backers free. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton might also need to throw in some shifts and run blitzes to hold the line of scrimmage and run fits.
Bring five and hit Keenum
The Chiefs had success in the previous matchup by bringing five in unpredictable ways. Case Keenum speeds up his reads once he has been hit and rushed off his spot a handful of times. Sutton will likely need to disguise some of their rushes with delays and overload blitzes with drops into zone coverage. The Broncos line also struggles with wide angled rushes, especially at left tackle and right guard. It is similar to a wide nine look.
Run with the bunch and pull
The Broncos defense struggled with the Chiefs ability to get Hunt to the edge with pulling guards and tackle over. Since that meeting the Jets and Rams added in the bunch formation to seal the edge and even force cutback lanes. The bunch formations had some pulls and a ton of down blocks to let the guard pull. The back side doubled giving cut back lanes when the Broncos adjusted. Hunt is the best answer to the Broncos rush early.
Move the pocket early and have screens ready
The Broncos will be determined to contain Mahomes in the pocket. Coaches and players likely consider it their downfall in the game with Mahomes plays coming outside of it throughout the game. They will likely want to bring overload and A gap blitzes along with some line stunts and loops. The Chiefs can counter these early by moving the pocket to get Mahomes comfortable and utilize the bootleg. When the Chiefs see a blitz, a hot route and a screen pass or smoke route should slow the rush down and deflate their attempts.
Run it up early
The Broncos are a team on the brink. Reports have come out that star players are on the trading block and the team’s playoff hopes are on the line. The team will come out motivated and look to prove they belong after the Monday night loss. The team will also have some confidence after a win over the Cardinals. The Chiefs will need to jump on the team early and get out to a lead so the Broncos constantly feel like they are playing catch up with a high powered offense.
The Chiefs begin a crucial point of the season. They are four wins away from reaching the mark that typically punches a ticket to the playoffs. Kansas City can’t play down to their record of their opponents. Now is the time to stomp on the accelerator.