Five to Remember: Chiefs vs. Broncos

Who stood out in KC's big win over Denver? Nick Athan looks at five players.

1. RB Jamaal Charles - When was the last time the Chiefs had a running back who cleaned house in Denver? It was Priest Holmes. Right now Charles is the second coming of Holmes and his numbers back it up. He's a 1,000-yard rusher and could be a 1,500 to 1,800-yard rusher in 2010. Imagine if he gets a real offensive line in front of him, along with a top-notch offensive coordinatior (Charlie Weis). Charles will be a restricted free agent so Scott Pioli may want to think about signing him to a long-term contract. Regardless of what happens in the months to come, Haley's Comet was a man possessed Sunday afternoon, with 259 yards on 25 carries.

2. LB Derrick Johnson - Two interceptions returned for touchdowns. Johnson is about to become an unrestricted free agent – talk about perfect timing. Sunday he became one of only 25 defensive players to score a pair of touchdowns in a single game in the history of the NFL. Not bad for a player who has been riding the pine in Kansas City. The DJ we saw Sunday was the one that had the Chiefs giddy over what he did at Texas. When he's at his best, he's playing in open space. Johnson also had five tackles and was all over the field. The Chiefs made a huge blunder passing on Aaron Curry and can't afford to let another talented linebacker get away.

3. DE Glenn Dorsey - Outside of linebacker Tamba Hali, the Chiefs have no starter who can get to the quarterback as Dorsey did Sunday. If he's going to return as a starter next season, he needs more than one sack in 16 games. But we can't ignore that KC's run defense is far better when Dorsey is in the game, as was the case against the Broncos. If Dorsey can improve his pass rush as much as he improved his run defense this season, maybe he can become one of the NFL's best 3-4 defensive ends.

4. K Ryan Succop - He's the Chiefs' offensive MVP this year and nailed three more field goals Sunday, giving him 25 on the season. Succop only missed four kicks all season long and hit all 29 of his extra points. He was the last man to get drafted but KC's best draft pick by far. He never succumbed to the pressures most rookies do. Not much was expected of him this season but he delivered and has solidified a position that has been rocky for the Chiefs since Nick Lowery left Kansas City.

5. HC Todd Haley - I've criticized him this year but he had a solid gameplan this Sunday. With the accusation of an obscene gesture put to pasture, he came through like a real head coach and had his team ready to beat the Broncos. This year Haley was dealt a weak hand by his owner and general manger, and took bullets for the franchise. Sunday he showed something – how badly he wants to be in Kansas City and coach the Chiefs. He has passion. Hopefully the Chiefs surround him with better coaches. If that happens, I'm officially on the Haley band wagon for 2010.

WarpaintIllustrated.com Top Stories