It’s halftime at Mile High Stadium, and the Chiefs lead the Denver Broncos 9-3 in their Week 12 showdown. Here are some quick thoughts.
1. With both offenses struggling entering the contest, both teams came out looking to establish the run in hopes of seeing it pay off later. In games like that, turnovers tend to play a big role.
2. Hence, the importance of Justin Houston’s sack-strip, which led to a safety. Houston has three sacks already, and the Broncos haven’t been able to block him. None of them have. Houston left the game late in the second quarter with a shoulder injury, but his return is probable. He was missed in his brief absence; the Chiefs surrendered a field goal on the only drive he missed.
3. Tyreek Hill would absolutely lead the league in “almost touchdowns” for a return, if that were a stat. The fact he finally took one back – via an 86-yard return on a free kick – was not a surprise. But the truth is, he couldn’t have picked a better time. Given the way the Chiefs’ offense looked in the first half, they absolutely needed a score like that to win this game.
4. So far, this is shaping up to be a hard-hitting, physical game. There have already been random bouts of chippiness, too. This second half is going to tell me a lot about the Chiefs’ moxie.
5. By the way, the second half will also tell me about the Chiefs’ ability to make adjustments on offense. Alex Smith doesn’t have any time to throw; he’s been sacked twice, and when he has managed to get the ball off, the pass has either been dropped, uncatchable or the Broncos have snuffed it out. This is an elite pass defense, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but if this offense has any juice – somewhere, anywhere – you imagine you’d see it in the second half. The Chiefs have recorded a mere 49 yards of offense so far. That’s embarrassing.