In one corner, wearing red trunks with yellow trim, we have the NFL’s leader in touchdown receptions. In the other corner, wearing white trunks with blue trim, stands the league leader in receiving yards.
For the second time this season, two pass-catching heavyweights will attempt to outperform each other as Dwayne Bowe and the Chiefs host Brandon Lloyd and the Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
Both receivers scored two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ Week 10 loss to the Broncos in Denver.
Bowe’s 14 touchdown catches put him in first place in the NFL in that category by three scores. He’s notched 13 of those touchdowns in the past seven weeks.
“Bowe has become as big a play receiver as there could possibly be in the league,” Head Coach Josh McDaniels said. “On third down last week, he had seven catches — all first downs. He has been a big red-zone target for them as well, so (we have) a lot of things to deal with on their offense.”
The Chiefs will have to deal with Lloyd, who is one of only two receivers to have surpassed 1,000 receiving yards this season.
His 1,122-yard total through the air is a league best, and he’s one of five receivers tied for third place with 9 touchdown receptions.
“I have a lot of confidence in (Lloyd) and he proves me right 75 percent of the time,” Kyle Orton said. “He makes great plays, makes spectacular catches.”
On Sunday, chances are both teams will look for explosive plays from their top receivers. Bowe and Lloyd both average more than 15 yards per catch for the season.
Thanks in part to the dynamic receivers, Orton and Matt Cassel are tossing up numbers that pace the league in the passing game.
The Broncos signal-caller is back in the lead with 3,370 passing yards — eight more than Philip Rivers — and Cassel has only thrown four interceptions, the same number as his former teammate, Tom Brady.
After scrutinizing the stat sheet, McDaniels voiced his respect for the quarterback-wide receiver combo in Kansas City.
“I think the last three or four games Dwayne Bowe has had the best stretch of any receiver in NFL history. One out of every four catches is a touchdown,” McDaniels said. “Cassel is one of only four quarterbacks ever to have 22 (touchdowns) and four (interceptions) at this point in the year.”
“There is every superlative that you could use in the last seven or eight weeks here in terms of where they stand in their passing offense and how explosive it has become.”
Four Broncos did not practice on Wednesday: Brian Dawkins (knee), André Goodman (hip), Darcel McBath (quadricep) and Demaryius Thomas (ankle)
For the Chiefs, CB Jackie Bates (knee) did not practice, CB Brandon Flowers (hamstring) and G Ryan Lilja (foot) were limited in practice and S Jon McGraw (head) fully participated in practice.
-Gabe Hiatt, DenverBroncos.com
Below are photos from Wednesday’s practice: