Broncos Update Insider - 12/7

If the Broncos can beat Kansas City and Oakland, they would get to 10 wins and likely earn a playoff berth. Based on their performances against other losing teams, that seems like a good bet.

In a league in which letdowns lead to surprise losses just about every week, the Broncos have played well against losing teams. They beat Oakland by 20, Cleveland by 21 and Kansas City by 31 on Sunday. The only loss to a losing team came against Washington, but the Broncos led at halftime in a game in which Kyle Orton was knocked out with an ankle injury.

The Broncos play the 12-0 Colts this week, so the game against the Chiefs was one they easily could have overlooked. Instead, they led the entire way.

"They came out here and played with a lot of energy," Broncos coach Josh McDaniels said. "We knew we would be the only ones to bring it today from our side, and I thought they were really into the game, executed early and stayed with it for 60 minutes."

The Broncos have had a tough schedule this season, but are 8-4 with a good chance of making the playoffs as a wild-card team if they don't catch San Diego in the AFC West. They have taken advantage of the soft spots in their schedule.

"In this league, if you're not prepared on Sunday, you can lose no matter who you play," running back Correll Buckhalter said. "If we didn't prepare ourselves through the week and didn't come out and execute today, we would have lost to the Chiefs."

NOTES, QUOTES

--The Broncos have been up and down on special teams this season, often letting down in their losses and allowing big plays. The Broncos played a very sound game on special teams against Kansas City, and coach Josh McDaniels was happy with the results.

"It started with our performance in the kicking game," McDaniels said. "I feel we challenged them in every phase of our special teams."

--The Broncos were 1-17 all-time at Kansas City in December before a dominating win on Sunday. With a new coaching staff and plenty of new players, the Broncos want to change their poor history at Arrowhead Stadium.

"The team understood the history, it wasn't great," cornerback Andre Goodman said. "We want to change that tradition."

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER NOTES

--LB Spencer Larsen had four special teams tackles against the Chiefs. Larsen impressed last year's coaches with his work on special teams, and the new coaching staff has also been happy with his play covering kicks.

--DE Vonnie Holliday had a couple of tackles and a sack against Kansas City. Holliday isn't playing much but has played valuable snaps as part of the Broncos' defensive line rotation.

--LB Robert Ayers registered a quarterback hit against the Chiefs. He still doesn't have a sack but has shown flashes of his potential as a pass rusher during his rookie season.

--WR Jabar Gaffney was held without a catch on Sunday. Gaffney has been pretty consistent, and the Broncos' desire to spread the ball around means he should continue to contribute some catches the rest of the season.

--P Mitch Berger continues to improve. After a shaky start with the Broncos, Berger has been better, and he had a fantastic 45.7-yard net average on three punts against the Chiefs.



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