Chiefs vs. Broncos: The Biggest Stories of Denver's 1st Half

Matt King@TheRealMattKingFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2012

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 18:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos hands the ball off to Willis McGahee #23 of the Denver Broncos against the New England Patriots at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 18, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 41-23.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

This is it. Win and the Denver Broncos are in the playoffs. Lose and they'll need some help from the Chargers to knock out the Raiders.

Standing in the way of Denver controlling their own destiny is their former quarterback, Kyle Orton, and the Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have dominated the majority of the first half, but Denver has kept themselves within striking distance, down 7-0.

Here are the biggest stories of the first half.


Moving the Chains

The Broncos were subject to two quick three-and-outs in their first two drives. Meanwhile, the Chiefs were moving the ball with efficiency, getting nine first downs and a touchdown before Denver even got one.

Time of possession in the first quarter was 11:49 to 3:11 in the Chiefs' favor. Not the way to start the game.


Chump Bailey?

Early in the game it was clear that Champ Bailey stopping Dwayne Bowe was going to be tough today, with Bowe popping off for two quick receptions of over 20 yards apiece. He ended up going for 49 yards in the first quarter alone.

Can Bailey shut him down for the second half, or will Bowe continue to run rampant?


Running Game

The Broncos aren't going to beat the Chiefs in the air. After a slow start to the game, they got things rolling on the ground in the second quarter, getting big runs for McGahee and a crucial third-down conversion on the ground from Tebow.

But Denver still needs to mix it up or Kansas City is going to stack the lines and make it impossible to run.



Tim Tebow seems to have continued his turnover-prone ways that he has picked up over the last couple of weeks, fumbling right outside the red zone.