AFC West Breakdown: KC at Denver, Why the Chiefs Easy Schedule Will Plague Them

Dallas DavisCorrespondent INovember 9, 2010

DENVER - JANUARY 03:  Daniel Graham #89 of the Denver Broncos is unable to make a pass reception in the endzone as Demorrio Williams #53 of the Kansas City Chiefs defends during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on January 3, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 44-24.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Following a loss in Oakland, Kansas City hopes to rebound on what has collectively been agreed upon as an easy remaining schedule.

Just how easy is the road ahead?

The Chiefs will travel to Denver this weekend to take on a lackluster Denver Broncos squad that has dropped a staggering four straight games. However, a division game is just that: Records can be considered a little less relevant.

The Broncos haven't been thrown out of the division discussion for quite some time, and this year isn't entirely different. While they may not be able to challenge the likes of Oakland, KC and San Diego for the division title, they can play a much more devastating role as a "spoiler."

Both the Chiefs and Raiders played horribly this last week, but Oakland has a bye week to think about their mistakes. KC doesn't.

Denver is coming off a bye and has heard the criticism thrown their way that they are no longer a worthy opponent. Truth of the matter tells a different story.

Denver sits at No. 3 in passing yards, while Kansas City hopes to improve upon their No. 21 ranked passing defense.

What does this mean for Sunday?

The Broncos have consistently been forced to pass, so let's not value their passing offense as clutch. However, after a debacle by the Chiefs secondary in the clutch moments of last Sunday's loss against the Raiders, Denver will look to expose the lofty coverages that have plagued the Chiefs defense. Let's not forget about speedsters Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney.

As the above is meant to be reasons for Denver to walk away from Sunday with a victory, the second comparison is down-right predictable. But what fun would it be going with stats? You have to remember the schizophrenic nature of the NFL.

Kansas City will bring their No. 1 running attack to Denver, and Denver will combat this threat with their disgusting No. 31 rank at stopping the run. Safe to say, if a rout does take place, Charles and Jones will be the beneficiaries.

Can KC establish the tempo and maintain a lead in Denver?

Absolutely. My question is more of an "if" statement. If the Chiefs get down by a score or two, will they be able to establish the pass against a pretty tough Denver secondary? Yes, the running game is an open and shut argument, but the Chiefs have yet to prove they are obvious victors in the passing game. Denver has the No. 8 defense against the pass, and Kansas City has the 30th best passing offense. If Dwayne Bowe drops another potential game clinching catch, Denver could steal their second win at home in front of a angry crowd.

Oakland has their own issues to deal with: injuries, the Chargers and their rise and the Steelers and Colts looming large on their remaining schedule. It's the "guarenteed" games that are never as such. Kansas City will not only have to play in Denver, but like the Raiders, they will also have to visit San Diego to take on a bitter Chargers squad.

Nothing is impossible in the AFC West. Just like the Raiders schedule is daunting, the Chiefs schedule seems like a cake walk. I don't know how Denver feels about that. We will see Sunday.