Round man in red coat best gift for Broncos
The Broncos’ best chance to beat Kansas City and keep hope alive in their pursuit of an NFL playoff berth can be described in two words: Andy Reid. Reid coaches the Chiefs. He coaches them not to lose. That’s why Denver has a good chance to bust down the gates of Arrowhead Stadium and steal a victory Sunday night.
Reid’s record against the Broncos is 3-6. There were 99 reasons the Broncos lost to K.C. in their first meeting this season, and Reid ain’t one. Denver coach Gary Kubiak handed the Chiefs a 30-27 victory on Thanksgiving weekend when he boldly ordered a doomed-to-fail, 62-yard field-goal attempt — a decision based more on testosterone than football intelligence.
“We lost the game about three different times,” Kubiak lamented last week, still haunted by the one defeat among six on the Denver ledger that stings most.
While trying to figure how the defending Super Bowl champs can beat the odds and sneak into the playoffs, know this: If Kubiak had done the math, swallowed his pride and accepted a tie against the Chiefs, Denver could be in control of its playoff fate with victories in the final two regular-season games instead of being forced to beg for help. So Kubiak owes us all one. “We can’t think about the one we lost,” Kubiak said. “We have to figure out a way to play better in this one.”
The Chiefs are the league’s 24th-ranked team in efficiency against the run, with their de-
fense allowing 4.4 yards per attempt. If the Broncos can’t move the football on the ground against Kansas City on what could be a wet, blustery night, they can’t run the ball against anybody. This is the chance for newcomer Justin Forsett to be a hero for Denver.
Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith gets tons of grief for being the king of dink-anddunk football. But it’s Reid who is the mastermind behind the NFL’s most boring fourcorners offense. Reid seems as intent on milking the clock as moving the chains. Give Reid a lead, and rather than morphing into a snake going for the kill, he turns into a turtle, retreating into his shell.
That’s why I fully expect this to be a one-score game midway through the fourth quarter. Neither the Broncos nor the Chiefs ever do anything easy. Ten of Kansas City’s 14 contests in 2016 have been decided by eight points or less. Tell me who’s more likely to score a touchdown: the Denver defense or Tyreek Hill, who is the Swiss Army knife of the K.C. offense? Give me the correct answer and I’ll tell you the winner.
The Broncos should have a significantly better chance to prevail victorious on the road in Kansas City than they did against at home against New England. The Patriots are not only the No. 1 team in the league, they’re coached by Bill Belichick, the best in the business. Yes, I know safety T.J. Ward and Denver’s top two tight ends have been ruled out of this game. But the Chiefs aren’t all that and a bag of chips. Why?
Reid is the new Marty Schottenheimer. He’s a coach just good enough to break the home team’s heart.
On Christmas night, know where the Broncos can find their best friend?
You will spot him on the Chiefs’ sideline. He will be a round man wearing a red coat.
Ho, ho, ho. It’s Andy Reid.