Red Zone

Chiefs Blitz: A look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Sunday’s loss to the Broncos

Denver running back C.J. Anderson proved lethal for the Chiefs with his 168 rushing yards.
Denver running back C.J. Anderson proved lethal for the Chiefs with his 168 rushing yards. The Kansas City Star

1. Will the Chiefs ever beat Peyton Manning?

It’s possible … some day. But it’s safe to say Manning owns the Chiefs. In his last three years as a Bronco, he is 6-0 against a Kansas City team that has been very competitive under coach Andy Reid. But in the last two years, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton has not been able to solve Manning. The Broncos pounded the rock effectively Sunday, which makes stopping Manning nearly impossible.

2. Can the Chiefs still win the AFC West?

Technically, yes. But it’s a long shot. The Chiefs had a chance to enter into a three-way tie for the AFC West lead with a victory, but the loss essentially puts them three games behind Denver with four to play. And things don’t get any easier for the Chiefs next week — they face Arizona on the road.

3. How do you explain the slow start for the second week in a row?

You can’t explain it. The Oakland loss was bad, sure, but they were coming off two physical games against Buffalo and Seattle and were on a short week. The Chiefs, however, had nine days to prepare for this game, and they were dominated, physically, on both sides of the ball. By halftime, the Chiefs had been outgained 238-59 yards, and it didn’t even look that close.

4. So ... how about that run defense?

Well, it’s a problem. In the last three weeks, the Chiefs have surrendered 204 yards to the Seahawks, 179 to the Raiders and a season-high 215 to the Broncos. The Chiefs obviously need to improve their gap discipline, and they were flat-out whipped up front against the Broncos. Good luck stopping Manning when that happens. It will be interesting to see when, or if, the Chiefs start working linebacker Joe Mays back into the mix.

5. How much did the Chiefs miss Eric Berry on Sunday?

Berry is not a perfect player — he’s long been working to improve his coverage ability and recognition — but his energy was missed tonight. He always plays hard, is often around the ball against the run and is a vocal guy who has earned his teammates’ respect. They could have used some of his strengths early on.

The number

168: C.J. Anderson’s rushing total, which is the most yards rushing by one player against the Chiefs since Cleveland’s Jerome Harrison put up 286 on Dec. 20, 2009.

| Terez A. Paylor, tpaylor@kcstar.com

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