Had the Chiefs won last week, they’d enter Sunday’s game in Denver with a chance to make the playoffs.
But Kansas City lost to Oakland in overtime, eliminating them from postseason contention.
The Chiefs are now relegated to playing potential spoiler against the Broncos in Week 17, and linebacker Derrick Johnson said his team is determined to the end its season with a win.
“We had a chance last week to keep ourselves in the playoffs, and we didn’t take advantage of that opportunity,” Johnson said in a conference call. “We are disappointed about that, but that week is over, and we’ve got one more game left in the regular season. We’re going to try our hardest to get a division win. If that spoils something on the way, that’s just what it does.”
“They have more to play for, but at the same time, every time you get out on the field as an NFL player, you want to beat the guy on the other side of the ball,” Johnson added. “If we can do that, that’s the satisfaction of playing football and winning the game.”
With the AFC West title and a playoff berth at stake for Denver, Johnson expects the Broncos to put forth an inspired effort in front of the Sports Authority Field at Mile High crowd.
“I expect Denver to be fighting and scratching and clawing for every yard,” Johnson said. “They’re going to give us their best, and we’re definitely going to give them our best.”
To execute their offensive game plan, Kansas City Interim Head Coach Romeo Crennel knows his team must contain defensive end Elvis Dumervil and linebacker Von Miller — two of Denver’s three Pro Bowl starters (the other being cornerback Champ Bailey).
“I think it has to be (the key),” Crennel said of slowing down Dumervil and Miller. “When we throw the ball, we have to get those guy blocked and we have to slow them down. That’s no easy task because they are exceptional football players. They have excellent quickness coming off the edge. They can also go speed to power if you get them a little lax and they end up pushing you back on the quarterback. They definitely pose some problems that we have to handle.”