Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs is shaping up to be one of the biggest games in the last few years for the Broncos.
At the end of the day the Broncos could be AFC West champions and playoff bound for the first time since 2005.
But for that to happen, Denver will have to beat Kansas City for the second time this season. Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway said Tuesday on ‘Elway Live’ that won’t be a walk in the park.
“It’s always tough to beat a team twice,” Elway said. “We’ve got to be ready to play one of our best football games.”
After winning six games in a row, the Broncos are riding a two-game losing streak punctuated by turnovers and inefficient play on third down.
“To stay on the football field and prevent three-and-outs to where you’re keeping your defense off the field and also creating field position, those third downs are so important,” Elway said. “It really comes down to being more consistent, playing error-free football — mentally — so that you can put those long drives together.”
The Broncos had success sustaining those long drives against the Chiefs when the two teams met the first time in November, as they had seven drives that lasted six plays or longer. They will look to replicate that success this week; however, both teams have changed since their last meeting.
For the Broncos, the victory over Kansas City was just their second in what would turn out to be a six-game winning streak, while Kansas City is sporting a new quarterback — former Broncos signal-caller Kyle Orton — a new head coach and a impressive victory over the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers.
“Obviously they’re going to do some different things with Kyle than they did with (Matt) Cassel and (Tyler) Palko,” Elway said. “There’s going to be some different preparation. But we have two weeks of Kyle on film against the Packers and against the Raiders.”
Elway said that the fact that Orton, who was the Broncos starting quarterback for the first five games this season, will be playing for the opposing team Sunday isn’t weighing much on the players’ and staffs’ minds. Elway believes that the biggest thing to come out of Orton’s familiarity with the team will be him knowing the players.
“Everything’s done through communications through the airwaves into Tim’s helmet so there’s not a whole lot there,” Elway said. “If anything, Kyle’s going to know personnel, just because he’s been here for two-and-a-half years and knows the guys in that locker room and knows the guys from this year having been here for the first six weeks of the season. He’ll have a good feel for personnel but I think that’s as far as it goes.”
Elway said it also works to the Broncos advantage having a former player on the opposing sidelines.
“Plus (the coaching staff and players) know Kyle as a quarterback and what he likes and what he dislikes having had him here too and the offensive staff also have worked with him here,” Elway said. “So there’s some good information on our side about Kyle too.”
To listen to the rest of this week’s show, as well as any previous episodes of ‘Elway Live’, go to www.DenverBroncos.com/ElwayLive.