29 Sep 2008
by Ned Macey
One thing that was interesting about the Chiefs' 33-19 upset of Denver was that the Broncos had been awful as a pass defense before this week, but they were decent on Sunday. Damon Huard averaged fewer than 8 yards per completion.
Having not watched a great deal of Denver this year, I was curious to see how a team would attack their big-name secondary. The answer, at least for Kansas City, remains "avoid Champ Bailey at all costs." The Chiefs frequently threw in front of Dre' Bly, who they obviously thought gave up too much cushion. Bly gave up some plays underneath but held his own when the ball went downfield. The Chiefs' big plays were instead surrendered by rookie cornerback Jack Williams.
On their one touchdown pass, they did go to Tony Gonzalez against Bailey -- but it was Boss Bailey who had decent coverage but not good enough to stop the Hall of Famer.
I suspect that a major problem is pass rush, and Elvis Dumervil's ever-decreasing playing time cannot help. The Chiefs makeshift line only allowed one sack. Denver is 28th in adjusted sack rate, and until they pressure the quarterback, their pass defense will struggle.
15 comments, Last at 02 Oct 2008, 12:30am by Bowl Game Anomaly
Possibly the closest Super Bowl matchup in history also poses the question: how much does it mean when certain aspects of an NFL team improve dramatically in the second half of the season?