DENVER BRONCOS vs. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Invesco Field at Mile High
ESPN, KUSA-TV Ch.9
6:30 pm MDT
After countless hours of meetings, mini-camps, training camps and the preseason, it all comes down to this, as the Denver Broncos open up their 2004 Season playing host to AFC rival Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs, who were last year's AFC West Champions, are still considered the team to beat in the conference, and with good reason. Under offensive coordinator Al Sanders, Kansas City, who finished first in total points and second in total offense during the 2003 season, will be looking to extend their streak and become the third team in NFL history to lead the league in offense for three or more consecutive years.
Denver will counter with what they hope will be a new and improved defense, complete with four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey, who looks to play a key role in stopping the Chiefs high-powered attack.
"I'll tell you this: we are not going to surrender because Champ Bailey's over there playing left corner," said Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil. "I watched him play in the football game and had an opportunity to draft him. We know where he is, we may not waste much time over there."
While Kansas City's offense ranks among the best, the Chiefs defense ranks among the bottom. During the 2003 campaign Vermeil's crew finished twenty-ninth in total defense and thirtieth against the rush. Not an encouraging sign going against the league's second-best rushing team with a 164.3-yards per game average.
"We'd like nothing better than to go to Denver and beat Denver," said Vermeil. "I've never experienced it. I went up there as a Ram head coach and got my butt handed to me. I've been up there three times (with Kansas City) and really haven't come close.
"They will be at their best, and for us to beat
them we're going to have to be at our best and probably better, than we were at
any time last year."
2003 FINAL STATS and NFL RANKINGS
|Total Offense||369.4 (2)||349.9 (7)|
|Rush Offense||120.6 (15)||164.3 (2)|
|Pass Offense||248.8 (2)||185.6 (22)|
|Total Defense||356.7 (29)||277.1 (4)|
|Rush Defense||146.5 (30)||100.3 (7)|
|Pass Defense||210.2 (20)||176.8 (6)|
|Turnover Ratio||+19 (1)||-4 (T22)|
|Pts./Game||30.1 (1)||23.8 (10)|
|Opp. Pts./Game||20.8||18.8 (4)|
BRONCOS vs. CHIEFS
Kansas City holds a 49-39-0 (.557) all-time advantage over the Broncos in the eighty-eight previous meetings between the two clubs (87 regular season, one postseason). Those forty-nine wins against Denver more than the Chiefs have amassed against any other NFL team. In the last 10 regular season meetings between the two clubs Kansas City has walked away with six wins, although none have come on opening day
The Broncos hold the edge when facing the Chiefs as their season opener. Four times the teams have faced each other, with Denver holding a 3-1 advantage, all games being played in Denver. While Kansas City holds the all-time advantage, Denver is 26-18 when playing at home. The last time that Kansas City was able to beat the Broncos at home came during the 2000 season when Gunther Cunningham was serving as the Chiefs head coach. Cunningham, who now acts as the Chiefs defensive coordinator, posted a perfect 4-0 regular season record against Denver as Kansas City's head coach.
Under head coach Mike Shanahan, the Broncos hold
a 6-3 advantage on home turf and a partly 2-7 record on the road.
HEAD COACH MATCHUP
Shanahan (Head Coach)
10th Year as Broncos Head Coach (91-53)
12th Year NFL Head Coach (99-65)
Vermeil (Head Coach)
4th Year as Chiefs Head Coach (27-21)
14th Year NFL Head Coach (103-94)
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