Chiefs Seek to Continue Division Dominance at Arrowhead
The Chiefs are 11-1 against AFC West foes at Arrowhead dating back to 2003, including a streak of eight consecutive wins. That streak ties Indianapolis for the longest active stretch of home division wins in the league. Kansas City began its home winning streak against AFC West foes with a 45-17 victory vs. Denver (12/19/04) and hasn’t lost at home to an AFC West foe since dropping a 34-31 decision vs. San Diego (11/28/04).
KC has already registered division road wins at San Diego and at Oakland this season and will be seeking to win its first three division contests of the year since winning five straight to begin the 2003 campaign. KC is 6-2 against division opponents under Herm Edwards, while Denver is 1-4 in its last five AFC West contests. The Chiefs are 15-5 at home since the start of the 2005 campaign, while Denver is 11-8 on the road over the same span.
Close Calls Frequently Occur in Chiefs-Broncos Games
Dating back to ‘94, six Chiefs-Broncos games at Arrowhead have been decided by a defensive or special teams score in the fourth quarter or OT. Kansas City has won four of those six contests. Denver has won three times in KC in the regular season going back to ‘94 with two of those wins coming on FGs in OT. The Chiefs and Broncos have played five overtime games in the all-time series between the two teams, the most OT games of any opponent the Chiefs have faced. Denver claimed the most recent Chiefs-Broncos game with an OT period, winning a 9-6 decision at INVESCO Field (9/17/06).
Chiefs QB Damon Huard is Typically Hot at Arrowhead
Chiefs QB Damon Huard owns a 5-2 record as the Chiefs starter at Arrowhead. In those seven contests, he has connected on 133 of 201 throws (66.2%) for 1,631 yards with 10 TDs and just three INTs, numbers that translate into a 101.4 rating. Huard has produced a rating of 100.0 or better in all five of his victories as a starter at Arrowhead. Denver’s defense ranks 32nd in the league, permitting opposing passers to compile a 105.4 rating and has allowed the last six QBs it has faced to accumulate a 100.0+ rating game.
The Broncos have allowed 14 TD passes and have forced just two INTs in their last six contests, permitting a passer rating of 122.6 in those games. Denver has allowed 15 TD passes on the season. Only Cincinnati (20) and Cleveland (20) have permitted more. KC owns a 7-2 record under Huard in contests when he doesn’t suffer an INT, including all five of his home wins. Denver has forced six INTs in its three wins and owns no INTs in its five losses. Only four clubs own fewer INTs than the Broncos this season.
Arrowhead an Inhospitable Locale for Opposing QBs
Kansas City has won 21 of its last 23 games against QBs in their first or second year as NFL starters who are making their initial appearance as a starter at Arrowhead. Neither QB Jay Cutler nor QB Patrick Ramsey has started in KC. It’s been nearly 30 years since a full-time Broncos starting QB won his initial start at Arrowhead. The last Broncos regular starter to pull off that feat was QB Craig Morton, who guided the Broncos to a 14-7 win at Arrowhead (11/20/77) during Denver’s Super Bowl XII season. Here’s a look at the initial Arrowhead starts for QBs John Elway, Brian Griese and Jake Plummer in a Broncos uniform. KC limited that trio to a composite rating of 45.9 in three KC victories, allowing just one TD pass while forcing five INTs. Griese was the last QB to lead Denver to a win in KC, doing it in 2002.
More Chiefs-Broncos Passing Stats
During the Chiefs four-game home winning streak against Denver, KC’s defense has limited the Broncos to a 76.3 composite passer rating, forcing five INTs and registering 9.0 sacks. The Chiefs have produced 63.6% (14.0 of 22.0) of their sacks at Arrowhead this season. Dating back to 2002, KC boasts a 24-2 (.923) record at home when it registers 2.0 or more sacks, including a pair of victories over the Broncos. Only seven teams have sacked opposing passers more frequently than Kansas City. The Chiefs are 30-4 (.882) at Arrowhead dating back to ‘95 when the club forces two or more INTs, including a perfect 4-0 mark vs. Denver. Kansas City has recorded a pair of pickoffs in four games this season and has limited opposing passers to a 77.3 rating through eight games.
Chiefs-Broncos Rushing Stats
The Chiefs outgained the Broncos by 185 yards (223 to 38) on the ground in a 19-10 victory at Arrowhead (11/23/06). KC allowed just 38 rushing yards in that contest, the lowest total KC had permitted in a Broncos game since giving up 35 yards in a 15-7 win at Arrowhead (9/20/93). Chiefs RB Larry Johnson has rattled off four straight 100-yard games against the Broncos at Arrowhead, averaging 143.5 rushing ypg over that four-game span. RB Priest Holmes owns four 100-yard rushing games vs. Denver, his highest total against any foe as a member of the Chiefs. Holmes’ last 100-yard outing against the Broncos was a 26-carry, 151-yard, three-TD performance at Denver (9/12/04).
Kansas City will face a Denver defense that ranks 32nd in the league, allowing 161.5 rushing ypg. Dating back to 2002, the Broncos are 4-15 (.211) when permitting a 100-yard rusher, including a 1-3 mark in 2007. Denver has lost seven of its last eight contests when relinquishing two or more rushing TDs. Dating back to 2001, KC is 24-3 (.889) when scoring two or more rushing TDs at home, including 11 consecutive wins. Only Oakland (12) and Cincinnati (12) have allowed more runs of 20+ yards than Denver (11) this season.
KC has not permitted an individual 100-yard rusher in 26 of its last 27 contests at Arrowhead. The Broncos rank 13th in the NFL in rushing (114.9 ypg) and have benefited from a 100-yard performance by RB Travis Henry in two of their three victories in 2007.
A Strong First Half is Usually Important in Chiefs-Broncos Games
Kansas City owns a 53-8 (.869) record at Arrowhead when leading at halftime dating back to ‘95, including wins in nine of the club’s last 10 such contests. The Chiefs led at intermission in both of their meetings with Denver a year ago. The Chiefs own a 9-2 record when holding a halftime lead under Herm Edwards, including each of KC’s last two victories.
Denver owns a 21-5 (.808) record when tied or leading at halftime since the start of the 2005 campaign. The Broncos are 5-9 (.357) when trailing at halftime over the same timeframe. Denver has permitted 124 points in the second half this year, meaning only NYJ (142) and STL (131) have given up more points after intermission. KC has scored 45.2% (56 of 124) of its points in the fourth quarter. Denver has been outscored by a two-to-one margin (58 to 26) in the fourth quarter, while only STL (68) has given up more third-quarter points (66).
More Chiefs-Broncos Scoring Stats
Kansas City has held seven of its eight foes to 20 points or less. The Chiefs are 55-9 (.859) at Arrowhead dating back to ‘95 when holding foes to 21 points or less, including victories in 24 of the club’s last 26 games in those circumstances. Denver has been held to 20 points or less in all five of its losses this season. Dating back to 2000, the Broncos are 24-7 (.774) on the road when they hold their opponents to 21 points or less. However, two of those losses have come at Arrowhead: 20-7 (12/17/00) and 19-10 (11/23/06). The Chiefs are 41-0 at Arrowhead dating back to ‘90 when holding opponents to 10 points or less, including four victories against Denver. The Chiefs also own an 8-2 record under Herm Edwards when scoring 21 points or more.
KC Always Stresses the Importance of the Turnover Column
The Chiefs are 45-4 (.918) at Arrowhead with a positive takeaway margin dating back to ‘95. KC has won 18 consecutive games when positive at home dating back to 2002, the third-longest active streak in the league. KC is 8-2 under head coach Herm Edwards when positive. The Chiefs have posted a +4 turnover mark (10+ takes/6+ gives) in their four wins in 2007.
Denver is 5-20 (.200) on the road with a negative turnover ratio dating back to 2001. Since the start of the 2006 campaign, Denver is 1-9 when negative including a string of seven straight losses. The Broncos are -10 (3 takes/13 gives) in their five losses and are +2 (6 takes/4 gives) in their three wins in 2007.
KC’s Defense Strong in the Scoring Zone, on Third Down
KC’s defense leads the league with a 27.8 Red Zone TD pct. (5 of 18). Denver’s offense is 19th in the NFL with a 46.2 Red Zone TD pct. (12 of 26). The Chiefs are fourth in the league, limiting opponents to 34.9% (38 of 109) on third down. Denver’s offense is fifth in the NFL on third down, converting at a 48.5% clip (48 of 99). Denver’s average scoring drive covers 9.96 plays, the longest average in the league thanks in large part because of the fact they go three-and-out just 13.9% of the time. Only Indianapolis (11.1%) goes three-and-out less frequently. Only Chicago (100), San Francisco (100) and Tampa Bay (99) have had more offensive possessions than Kansas City (98). Only Pittsburgh (70) has had fewer offensive possessions than Denver (79).
November Win-Loss Records
The Chiefs are 14-5 (.737) against the Broncos at Arrowhead in regular season games played after November 1st. Dating back to 2000, Denver is 10-3 (.769) in November road games. The Broncos had won eight straight November road contests before suffering a 19-10 loss at Arrowhead (11/23/06).