Round man in red coat best gift for Bron­cos

The Denver Post - - NFL SUNDAY - MARK KISZLA Den­ver Post Colum­nist

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.