Five Things I Think: Can Denver Win Two?

On Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs will hope to avenge their only spanking of the season. The Denver Broncos come into Arrowhead already knowing how to decisively defeat the Chiefs. Two weeks ago they torched the Chiefs 49-29 in Denver. Will it be any different at Arrowhead? And what did we learn in Seattle, plus my NFT of the week.

1. So What Did we Learn in Seattle? - It's easy to assume that there isn't a single player in the Chiefs locker room that hasn't circled Sunday's AFC West re-match with Denver as a must win game. Kansas City sits atop of the division clinging to a one game lead over everyone's darling, the San Diego Chargers.

In fact, there are very few NFL experts that believe when the season ends January 2nd, 2011 that the Chiefs will make the post season. They are already giving the AFC West crown to the Chargers. And honestly, that's probably an accurate assessment.

The Chiefs haven't accomplished anything yet this season. Sure they're riding high after a very impressive road victory over Seattle. But to be honest, the Seahawks are a bad football team. However, the Chiefs are a good football team.

And that's why Chiefs fans should be feeling pretty excited at the potential of this team. On Sunday, players like Javier Arenas, Travis Daniels, Ryan O'Callaghan, Barry Richardson took on new roles. And they each were contributing factors in helping the Chiefs win games and bridge the gap until the men they replaced in the starting lineup can return to active duty.

Arenas played outside corner and Daniels replaced him in the slot. Richardson went from right tackle to left tackle replacing the injured Branden Albert. Ryan O'Callaghan took over for Richardson.

The result was 503 yards of offense and Quarterback Matt Cassel wasn't sacked. I'd say the Chiefs have answered the question about their depth along the offensive line.

2. Spy Gate Part Two - There isn't any question that Denver Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels is on the hot seat. In the last 24 hours, team owner Pat Bowlen has offered two statements about the future of his head coach. In one statement, McDaniels appears to get the kiss of death –Bowlen doesn't plan to fire him and he will be back in 2011. However another statement a few hours later indicates that McDaniels will be evaluated over the next five games.

Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels is finding the seat in Denver very hot.
Getty Images



So what does it mean? See you Josh. And I don't think he's going to get jettisoned based on the Broncos play on the field but rather based on the fact he was fined for cheating. But what's more disturbing about all the turmoil about McDaniels and his teams cheating ways is the fact he called out his former mentor – and I stress former –

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. In statements made to Fox Sports, McDaniels indicated what his team did in London filming a walk through practice of his opponent the San Francisco 49ers, he referred that he learned that trick in New England. Sure I'm paraphrasing for dramatic purposes but McDaniels is in way over his head.

It's one thing to get fired, which he will at seasons end. But if you want to get another job in the NFL, you don't call out the greatest modern ear NFL Head Coach in the game.

You just don't do it.

3. Will WR Dwayne Bowe Make the Pro Bowl - You bet he will. Right now he's the best wide receiver in the NFL – at least based on numbers. He already has set team records with 12 touchdowns on the season. He now holds the team record for touchdowns in seven consecutive games. And he still has five games left to play.

Going forward he's going to be facing a few teams that don't' exactly pose to much threat to Bowe suddenly going cold. The Broncos come in Sunday with injuries in the secondary. Safety Brian Dawkins and cornerback Andre Goodman are out. Limping into this game will be safeties David Bruton Darcel McBath. None are household names.

In the weeks to come, the Chiefs will face the Chargers, who have been rarely tested in their deep secondary during their four game winning streak. But with Bowe, tight end Tony Moeaki and speedster Dexter McCluster on the field, not to mention the Chiefs strong running game, there are going to be some one-on-one matchups that Bowe can exploit. After thatroad game in San Diego, KC travels to St. Louis then home contests against Tennessee and Oakland.

In other words, there isn't much the Chiefs will face the rest of the season that should damper Bowe's ability to hit the 20 touchdown mark. If that happens, he'll not only get a first class trip to Hawaii but a big fat contract from General Manager Scott Pioli.

4. So Will KC Win Sunday? – The short answer is yes. This is the perfect opponent for the Chiefs to be facing this weekend. With the Chargers game looming a week later, the fact that Kansas City has vengeance on their mind this weekend, they'll avoid this contest as a trap game.

Chiefs Quarterback Matt Cassel is a perfect 4-0 at Arrowhead this season.
Getty Images



It's easy to say that the Chiefs will look past Denver. But with ‘the snub', ‘spy gate' and the fact the Broncos just aren't very good, should be reason enough that Kansas City will win this game.

I'm not going to say it's going to be a blowout, because honestly I don't think that's going to be the case. It might still be a game in the fourth quarter. But the best thing the Chiefs can do is to play just like they have the last two weeks.

On Sunday at Seattle, the Chiefs corners jammed the Seahawks receivers at the line of scrimmage. Against Denver two weeks ago, they didn't. At Arrowhead they must disrupt the routes so the Chiefs linebackers can close in on Denver Quarterback Kyle Orton. If not, he could ring up similar numbers like he did in their first meeting.

Offensively they just need to get first downs by throwing the ball down field. The Broncos won't get the same pressure on Quarterback Matt Cassel like they did the first go around. With the Broncos secondary resembling a MASH unit, he should be able to pick apart that. Remember, like Orton in the first meeting, Cassel also threw four touchdowns on the afternoon.

This game should go according to plan. And the best part about this game should the Chiefs win it, is that they'll post the score at the time the Chargers are hosting the Oakland Raiders.

5. NFT: KU to the Big East? – Everyone knows when the Chiefs red wears off that I bleed Crimson and Blue for the Kansas Jayhawks. But on Monday night listening to the Bill Self radio show, he was asked to comment about TCU's acceptance to join the Big East Conference.

The Kansas Basketball Coach thought it was a good move for the Ft. Worth university but it's what he said afterwards that had me thinking. Self admitted had Texas left for the Pac-10 that Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Missouri would have all joined the Big East.

On Sunday, Kirk Bohls in his daily blog for The Statesmen indicated that Kansas was still sniffing around the Big East. In fact, he said that with ESPN and Texas currently working on a combined television deal that other Big 12 (soon to be Big 10ish) schools were already working on deals with the mother ship for their very own in-house sports network.

Bill Self speculated that Kansas would have bolted to the Big East had the University of Texas left for the Pac-10.
Getty Images



The goal by ESPN is to squeeze out Fox Sports from getting the lucrative television package for this conference. But the fact Bohls (no relation to Al) mentioned that Kansas was still interested in leaving the league has me wondering about the future of the conference.

But there's more. Even further, he's been hearing that the league to get even MORE money from the networks should consider or already has considered - adding two more teams to this conference. He mentions the likes of Arkansas, LSU, Arizona, Arizona State and the crown jewel of them all, Notre Dame.

There isn't any question in my humble opinion that Notre Dame will never join the Big Ten. The fact that Notre Dame has swung a deal with Texas for a home and home series later this decade indicates that their potential addition to this league isn't all that far fetched.

If that happens, the Big 12 could add any of the aforementioned teams and become an elite super league. In fact, they'd become the envy of every other conference in the country. They'd have an elite football league and a powerhouse basketball program. Even further they'd have television households eating out of the palms of there sports programming - stretching every state in the U.S.A should Notre Dame indeed join the conference.

And that would lead to record revenues for every member, which will make University Presidents very happy and boosters writing blank checks. In turn, that would solidify this conference - whatever it names itself in the future - as the best and richest in the country.

So should that happen, we can all thank TCU for getting the ball rolling in regards to the next generation of conference re-alignment. Because this university shifting is anything but done in our neck of the woods.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories