6 Days to Denver: Change the No Respect Card

Photo: Chris Hanewinckel - USA Today Sports

When the Denver Broncos hung on to defeat the San Diego Chargers 28-20 on Sunday, everyone in the NFL turned their attention to the upcoming Mile High Showdown with Kansas City. But from what I've read this morning, the Chiefs aren't getting any respect.

There is something to be said about playing the underdog roll. Yet despite the fact the Kansas City Chiefs are 9-0 this season they're simply not measuring up to the national media or in particular to those that cover the Denver Broncos on a daily basis.

The talk at the water cooler on Monday morning was the health of Broncos Quarterback, Peyton Manning. Clearly he has ankle issues and a sore knee. As one reporter said, the Broncos hopes for a Super Bowl remain hinged to the man who is held together by bailing wire.

So that begs this question? Will the bailing wire snap first on Manning or will the Chiefs fold under the avalanche of naysayers?

Against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, Manning was brilliant for two plus quarters. Then he looked old, tired and battered. His deep ball continues to flutter and the brilliance of the semi-legal pick plays his wide receivers run to perfection in Denver, allowed Manning to put up some flashy numbers.

To be fair, the Chargers defense is woeful but they also offered up more evidence as to how you can defeat Manning. When San Diego used press coverage on the outside the Broncos offense fell victim to multiple three and outs. However, when they went to a Cover Two zone, Manning picked them apart.

The Chiefs defense won't fall victim to that soft coverage scheme. They have three shutdown corners, and an All Pro safety to jam the Broncos receivers at the line of scrimmage. Further they don't have to blitz the house to get to Manning.

With their athletic front four and pass rushing capabilities, Manning should be a relative sitting duck in the pocket if the Chiefs secondary can indeed play an efficient man-to-man scheme.

But I'm getting ahead of myself a bit. We sill have six plus days to debate the merits of the Chiefs chances to shock the NFL world by beating the Manning led Broncos in Denver next Monday night.

What this game boils down to is the determination within the Chiefs locker room. I can't tell you how many items I've read comments emphatically stating the Chiefs will lose both game to the Broncos.

Out of respect to those in my profession, that's a ridiculous statement to make. The Broncos have not faced a defense built to shut down their offense. On the flip side, the Chiefs defense hasn't faced an offense like this before either. Though the Dallas Cowboys have shown flashes of what the Broncos can do and Kansas City held them to 16 points. The Broncos held Dallas to 48 points.

So technically, it's a wash. But if the Chargers defense, with a Swiss Cheese secondary could at times slow down Manning, it begs the question what KC's defense can do?

I guess my blood is boiling a bit this morning. I completely understand the remarks from the national media but when I read the comments of Denver Post writer, Mark Kiszla, it put me over the top.

"The Chiefs play ugly football. Unless the league gets put in the hot-tub time machine, Kansas City has about as much chance of winning the Super Bowl as you have of attending the grand opening of a Blockbuster video store at your neighborhood strip mall."

Aside from his bailing wire comment the rest of his words were the opening salvos of the same old dribble we're going to hear all week long in Kansas City. The Chiefs simply are a fraud and they have no real talent.

Even further they play a stale outdated brand of football that comes from the dark ages that relies exclusively on an elite opportunistic defense that sets up field position for it's conservative offense.

So far in 2013, it's worked pretty good for the Chiefs. They are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL, they reside atop the AFC West and they certainly will be the center of attention this week.

What happens next though will be up to the 53-men in the Chiefs locker room. This game won't be decided by Manning's bailing wire but how badly Kansas City wants to earn the NFL respect card.

At the onset of my 13-day series leading up to this game, I was content on the Chiefs splitting the upcoming contests. But that's all changed this morning. Because for me the Chiefs can't earn the respect card if they beat Denver this week – especially if Manning is hobbled.

They must defeat him twice and quite likely a third time in the post season, for this team be given its due respect around the league. This is the Chiefs moment to change the guard in the AFC West and they must seize the opportunity. The Broncos are on their last gasp and the Chiefs haven't even scratched the surface to what lies ahead.

So if I'm the Broncos, who have to be scared this week in facing the Chiefs, I'd be more worried about their max protection schemes, because the Chiefs Time Machine defense is coming to test the strength of that bailing wire.

Will the Chiefs dispose of the no respect card Sunday at Denver?

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