For the third time in four seasons, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving mark.
That doesn’t surprise Champ Bailey, who will most likely spend the majority of his day matched up against the talented wideout.
“He’s tough every time I face him,” Bailey said. “He’s one of my biggest challenges, and I look forward to it every time because I know he’s going to give his best shot. It’s just his size and speed — the combination of both. And he’s so deceptive with his speed in route-running, because he can start and stop just like a quick guy. He’s dangerous.”
Last year, Bowe was one of the hottest receivers in the league in the middle of the season. In the seven games leading up to the Broncos-Chiefs Week 13 rematch, the receiver racked up 733 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Included in that stretch was the first Broncos-Chiefs matchup, when Bowe accumulated 186 yards and two touchdowns.
However, 120 of the yards and both touchdowns came in the second half of a blowout, 49-29 Broncos win. Still, Bailey was upset at himself, and made sure there was no repeat performance.
In that Week 13 game, Bailey held Bowe without a single catch.
“That will be a matchup that will be pretty big in the game this Sunday,” Head Coach John Fox said. “When you have two great players going at each other, you expect those types of matchups. Hopefully it’s one that we’ve prepared to where we can win.”
In the Broncos’ past two losses, Tim Tebow has thrown three interceptions and lost two fumbles.
On Wednesday, he was asked if he simply has to wipe the slate clean and move on from those mistakes.
“I feel like I usually let stuff go pretty well, but I don’t know if you always want to,” Tebow said. “It’s a part of being motivated. It’s learning from mistakes, learning from past failures, and also learning from losses and having that feeling of disappointment drive you in practice and meetings to watch more, do more. I don’t know if you always want to just let things go and just continue to be the same person. I think you need to let it eat at you a little bit because I think that can make you better as a player, as a person.”
Offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy agreed with Tebow’s assessment on Thursday, saying the second-year quarterback has learned plenty from week-to-week.
But at the same time, Tebow can’t get down on himself.
“The first thing I told him after the game was, ‘Tim, don’t ever question yourself,’” McCoy said. “Playing quarterback, you have to play with confidence, and the decisions he made he was confident with what he was doing. It was just unfortunately it went the wrong way, and we’ve talked about that.”
“That’s all a part of the game,” McCoy continued. “Tim is moving on. He’s a professional, and he’s been here before. He’ll be fine.”
MAKING THE OPPORTUNITY COUNT
Bailey and D.J. Williams are the only remaining Broncos from the 2005 squad that made it to the AFC Championship game — the last time Denver entered the postseason.
So Bailey has a unique perspective to share with his younger teammates, and he has taken that opportunity this week.
“You don’t really realize it because I’ve been in this situation before, and you don’t realize it until you get older that those opportunities pass you by,” Bailey said of his message. “If you don’t take advantage of them, you never know when it’s going to come back again.”
The Broncos have an opportunity this weekend to clinch the AFC West and enter the playoffs with a win — or an Oakland loss.
Denver had a chance at the playoffs in 2008 and 2009 and didn’t make it in, but Bailey said there’s no comparing what’s happening this season to those years.
“The last two times it happened we had two different staffs, so you can’t really compare it to what we had on our team at that time,” he said. “As far as this organization, yes, it’s happened. We’re trying not to let it happen. We’re going to do everything in our power to go out there and win this game because our playoffs start this week, plain and simple.”
Here’s a look at Thursday’s injury report.
For the Broncos:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: Safety Brian Dawkins (neck).
LIMITED: Safety David Bruton (Achilles), cornerback Chris Harris (neck).
FULL: Safety Quinton Carter (hip), linebacker Von Miller (thumb).
For the Chiefs:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: Running back Jackie Battle (foot), wide receiver Jeremy Horn (illness), safety John McGraw (ankle).
Below are photos from Thursday’s practice: