Nuge's Nuggets: Chiefs Broncos

They almost pulled it off. The Chiefs were as competitive in Denver as they had been in a long time. The defense kept the Broncos out of the end zone. The offense moved the football. Unfortunately, the Chiefs came up short, dropping to 0-2 and two games behind the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West.

Head coach Herm Edwards' formula of running the football, playing tight defense and staying close until the end gave the Chiefs the opportunity to win the game with just over two minutes left on the clock. With the football, a timeout and plenty of time, the Chiefs just couldn't get in position to attempt a game-winning field goal.

The Chiefs almost completely eliminated the downfield passing game to protect their backup quarterback. Damon Huard actually played pretty well, so it was disappointing to see the Chiefs not take at least a few shots downfield. The conservative game plan worked right up until the end. It's too bad that football games last four quarters.

As disappointing a loss as this was, it's something for the Chiefs to build on. They played their archrivals to a virtual draw on the road and without their starting quarterback. Make no mistake: the goal is to win football games, but this is a team in transition. It's going to take some time, and they probably won't be the team Edwards wants immediately.

The good news is that the team is buying into Herm's philosophy. As I interviewed players after the game, it seemed like they were going out of their way to applaud the coaching staff on the game plan. If the Chiefs can eliminate turnovers and penalties, this could still be a playoff team. Maybe.


How about that defense? Talk about finally getting it. After getting torched over the last few seasons by Denver's bootleg, the Chiefs finally decided to attack Jake Plummer every time he rolled out, forcing him to make quick decisions. It worked so well that the Broncos were forced to put one of their primary offensive weapons in their pocket.

The Chiefs are committed to mixing thing up on defense. On one play, I saw Ryan Sims playing right end and Jared Allen playing defensive tackle. Looks like that are generally just to screw with the offense before the snap. The defense has gotten some timely stops, limiting teams to field goals when they get great field position. They're aggressive, and appear to be trusting each other.


The countdown to the Jarrad Page Era has begun. The young safety has spent as much time on the field as the starters, splitting time with both Sammy Knight and Greg Wesley. It's just a matter of time before the UCLA product starts. He gives the Chiefs so much versatility. He's perfect for the scheme. Page can play in the box against the running game and can cover just as well.


The key to Kansas City's season is going to be the play of the special teams. Against the Broncos, Dustin Colquitt and the punt team basically acted as a twelfth defender, pinning the Broncos at their own end of the field again and again. The Chiefs won the field position battle (lost the war). Forcing teams to play the length of the field allows the defense to be aggressive, as they were when the Broncos were pinned against their own endzone. Top Stories