Charting the Chiefs

Broncos Update takes an inside look at the Denver Broncos next opponent - the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs aren't fooling themselves.

Their 2-0 record after games with the Jets and at Oakland and their solo occupancy of first place in he AFC West is nice and all -- maybe even better than they would have expected -- but it's no reason to celebrate, even if their fans are doing just that.

"I've been telling our players all along that we're a better football team, and now they're beginning to believe it after we've had some opportunities to prove it," coach Dick Vermeil said Tuesday.

"But this is not say we are what we have to be," Vermeil added.

"None of us are disillusioned. We're not arrogant, not cocky, not strutting around thinking about how good we are. But we are pleased, and we've earned the right to be pleased."

The Chiefs know they've gotten some breaks in their first two victories. The Jets dropped three likely touchdown passes in a 27-7 Kansas City victory. The Raiders had two TDs nullified by penalty in a six -point Chiefs win at Oakland.

"We've experienced some good fortune," Vermeil acknowledged. "But normally when you play hard, good fortune comes your way. We appreciate the good fortune, but we also know we're not there yet. The exciting thing is, everyone here feels we have the talent to get better."

The place to continue the process moves to Denver's Invesco Field on Monday night. The Chiefs haven't won there in Vermeil's five seasons as Kansas City's head coach.

--T Willie Roaf, who missed the Oakland win with a hamstring injury, remains questionable for the Monday night game in Denver. The Chiefs hold out the chance that he might practice later in the week, but Vermeil didn't sound real hopeful in talking about those chances Tuesday.
--T Jordan Black, Roaf's young replacement who started for the first time at LT against the Raiders, drew back-to-back holding penalties that effectively killed a KC drive to a first-and-goal at the 9 in the third quarter of a tied game in Oakland.
--LB Keyaron Fox, a key player in the 3-4 defense the Chiefs have been dabbling with this year, could be lost for an extended period of time after injuring his right knee in Oakland. The Chiefs declined to identify the nature of the injury, but said Fox is seeking a second opinion.
--QB Trent Green was awarded a team ball for his play in the Oakland victory. Green has a 79.0 passer rating despite not having thrown a TD pass in two games. His third-down passing rating (46.4) is one of the AFC's worst.
--RB Larry Johnson has a rushing touchdown in eight consecutive games. The Chiefs used more Johnson-Priest Holmes backfields against the Raiders than they did in the opener with the Jets.
--RB Priest Holmes' two-game numbers (41-160, 2 TDs) aren't up to his standards, but he remains the guy the Chiefs call on when they absolutely have to have a key yard. He converted twice on fourth downs in Kansas City's drive for its first touchdown against Oakland.
--WR Samie Parker had a career-long 49-yard reception against Oakland to spark the drive for Kansas City's second TD. But Parker also had a critical fourth-quarter fumble when he failed to protect the ball after catching a 22-yard third-down pass with five minutes to play.
--TE Jason Dunn, a key component of the Chiefs running game, will be questionable with a knee injury against Denver.
--TE Tony Gonzalez had a 5-44 day in Oakland when the Raiders did one of their better jobs in limiting a player who traditionally burns them badly. Oakland occasionally played corner Charles Woodson on Gonzalez just as the Broncos have been known to do with corner Champ Bailey.
--DT Ryan Sims will be sidelined for the Denver game and possibly much if not all of the season with a serious foot sprain.

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