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Thursday, November 14, 2013
Chiefs need to play their game, not Denver's

By Adam Teicher

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It might be easy for the Kansas City Chiefs to get caught up in the point totals posted this season by the Denver Broncos and then try to keep up when the teams get together Sunday night. That's what the Broncos would prefer, but it's a trap the Chiefs need to avoid.

Sure, the Chiefs, who haven't scored an offensive touchdown in their last six quarters, will need some points to win. This isn't going to be a 3-0 game. But if it becomes a high-scoring affair, count the Chiefs out once the points get to, say, the upper 20s. The Chiefs have scored more than 30 points just one time this season, in a late September game against the New York Giants, and they got there only with the help of a punt-return touchdown by Dexter McCluster.

Judging from the comments of quarterback Alex Smith, it sounds as if the Chiefs understand this and appreciate it.

"This isn’t a contest,'' Smith said. "Yeah, they put up a ton of stats and done all that. For us, we've just got to score [enough] points.''

Neither should the Chiefs worry about keeping Peyton Manning and Denver's potent offense off the field. Time-consuming drives and winning the time-of-possession battle would be nice, as they always are. But the Chiefs' strength lies in their defense, and they can't be afraid to use it. The Chiefs lead the NFL in sacks, takeaways, third-down defense and red-zone efficiency; they’re capable of landing their share of blows against the Broncos’ high-scoring offense.

So the Chiefs don’t need to alter their offensive game plan to account for Denver’s offensive might.

"That's certainly not something we're talking about or focusing on at all," Smith said. "If you go out there, play keep-away and try to hold the ball, I don't think good things happen. For us, it's just to go out there and score points."