Alex Smith’s impressive performance against San Diego could give the Chiefs’ offense the confidence boost it needs to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Maybe this time around, the Chiefs’ offense will show up towards the party.
As the Chiefs and Broncos prepare for their 2nd meeting in two weeks — using the AFC West crown at stake — the Chiefs now might have a little more confidence that they can survive a shootout with Peyton Manning.
After putting up five offensive touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 41-38 loss to San Diego last Sunday, the disposition among the Chiefs’ offensive players is much more enthusiastic about matching Manning’s firepower, something they couldn’t do in a 27-17 loss two weeks ago.
“I think that San Diego game showed we can score, ” Chiefs tight end Sean McGrath said. “It’s always tough losing, but it had been great to put up some points. It gives us confidence. ”
And much of that confidence should come from quarterback Alex Smith, who else completed 26 of 38 goes by for 296 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Chargers — clearly his best game as a Main.
Chiefs defensive coordinator Doug Pederson, a former quarterback, thinks games like that can start a quarterback on a serious roll.
“It definitely can, ” Pederson said. “From the quarterback’s perspective, it definitely helps his confidence. It will help the overall confidence of your offense, that you can do something like that.
“And you saw, what we’ve been talking about all year, things coming together at the right time, and hopefully we can keep it going her within the last month of the season. ”
Smith doesn’t believe, though, that there was any magic formula within the offense’s resurrection last Sunday.
“In the end it just comes down to execution, ” Smith mentioned. “I thought we executed a lot more consistently across the board. We were great in the red zone. I thought we stayed out of a lot of third-and-longs. All of those matters kind of lead to success. ”
The Chiefs’ offense without doubt will be asked to do more this time around against the Broncos, especially as the team’s defense tries to persevere through accidents and perhaps fatigue.
Linebacker Justin Houston (elbow) is out with this Sunday, while linebacker Tamba Hali and lineman Mike DeVito are questionable. And even when those gamers were healthy, the Chiefs’ defense was appearing sluggish and exhausted over the past month.
Everything means the pressure is back upon Smith and the offense to do what did last Sunday — move the ball and be effective in the red zone.
But Jones said they won’t have to be perfect.
“You’re never going to play a perfect game, ” he mentioned. “It’s not going to happen. So much of the is about overcoming adversity. We have acquired opportunities even with the turnover a few weeks ago (against Denver) to conquer and just didn’t.
“You’ve just go to go out there, execute and score points. ”
Pederson, however , said games like the one against San Diego prove the Chiefs can be versatile offensively and hit opponents with a variety of weaponry.
“You notice that all of us put more guys in the ball game, guys like A. J. Jenkins in there, ” he said. “And we’ve got Chad (Hall) back and he is going to see more time. What that really does is, No . 1, it gives guys rest late in the game, late within the season, guys can play fast and fresh in the second half a football game.
“We also showed that we could possibly get deep balls to Donnie (Avery) that he was able to get free on System.Drawing.Bitmap some plays down the field. Alex was able to deliver the football. We just missed on a deep angle route, going in, and we did obtain the (pass interference) called. Those are the things that were dialed up throughout the year and it just hasn’t been there for reasons uknown. But now they are. Things are beginning to click that way. ”
They’ll have to Sunday.
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