The Broncos are off to a sizzling 3-0 start while division rival Kansas City has stumbled out of the gates with a vastly contrasting 0-3 start to its season.
But don’t think the Broncos are overlooking this weekend’s matchup against the Chiefs, they would be foolish to do so. Not only is K.C. one of Denver’s most bitter rivals but also Sunday’s game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium, historically a notoriously hard place for the Broncos to come away victorious.
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Sunday’s game will be quarterback Jay Cutler’s third start against the Chiefs and second at Arrowhead but he knows already how tough it is to beat Kansas City.
“It has a lot to do with the rivalry,” he said. “We have been playing them for a long time. It’s a tough stadium—it’s one of the loudest in the league. They just play good defense against us. They always have a good scheme, they always come ready to play and every NFL team out there has talent. Every team can win each and every week and you can lose to anybody. We have our hands full, definitely.”
Since Mike Shanahan became Denver’s head coach in 1995 the Broncos own a 3-10 record at Arrowhead, so don’t think Shanahan is taking this weekend’s matchup lightly.
“You can look at our history that shows how tough those games have been,” he said. “We haven’t faired very well. Our football team is well aware of what it is like to play at Arrowhead. Hopefully we are ready for it.”
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With a win on Sunday the Broncos can win two consecutive regular season games at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since 1979.
One Bronco who would particularly like to see the nearly 30-year streak of not winning two consecutive regular season games at Arrowhead come to an end is center Casey Wiegmann.
Photo: Eric Lars Bakke
Wiegmann came to Denver this offseason after spending seven seasons as a Chief, starting 111 consecutive games with the club during that time.
He has filled in for injured veteran center Tom Nalen for the first three games of 2008, and now that Nalen has been placed on injured reserve for the season, Wiegmann is the team’s starting center.
Shanahan said the Broncos signing of Wiegmann had little to do with questions about Nalen’s health but instead had everything to do with Wiegmann’s talent as a football player.
“Casey (Wiegmann) was such a great player in Kansas City for so many years and we were just shocked that he was on the street,” he said. “When we saw that he was on the street, we just tried to gobble him up as quickly as we could knowing that any injury is possible during the season.”
The center position is one that doesn’t get a lot of recognition, and Cutler said having a person and player of Wiegmann’s caliber at that position helps a lot.
“It’s a tough position,” he said. “You don’t get a lot of love. The left tackle gets a lot of attention. I have to have a great relationship with the center because you communicate a lot. We have to be on the same page. Me and Casey (Wiegmann) are still battling through some stuff communication-wise, but he’s been phenomenal this year. We are lucky to have him.”
-Jake Grilley, DenverBroncos.com