ENGLEWOOD - Dick Vermeil still can’t put his finger on what happened when his Kansas City Chiefs lost 30-10 to the Denver Broncos on Sept. 26. “Other than they just beat the hell out of us, I don’t know what it was,” the Chiefs coach said Wednesday.
The Chiefs, who get their rematch against the Broncos on Sunday, didn’t use excuses that usually come after a lopsided loss. Instead, they were realistic about what happened. “Did you see the game? They did everything well,” quarterback Trent Green said. “We couldn’t run the ball. We couldn’t pass the ball. They kept us out of the end zone until we got a junk touchdown at the end of the game. And their offense played well, their special teams too. They beat us in all three phases. There isn’t one area we can’t improve on based on that first game.” A loss Sunday virtually would knock the Chiefs out of the AFC West race. Kansas City is 7-4 and two games behind Denver in the division. A loss also would give the Broncos the tiebreaker over Kansas City because of a head-tohead sweep. The Broncos know they will be playing a desperate team. “They know, with the state of what they are now with their record being the way it is, that they need to win this game,” Denver safety Nick Ferguson said. “We know this has playoff implications, whether anybody wants to say it or not, for both teams. Because this can position both teams. They’re going to go out and come out with all types of gimmicks, because they’re going to give us their best shot.” The Broncos have won once in 17 December games at Arrowhead Stadium. “They play a lot better at home, more so than any other team I’ve played against,” defensive end Trevor Pryce said. “It’s hard to beat them at their place. When they go on the road they lose some of their edge, but when they come running out of that tunnel they’re the real deal. I don’t know how to explain it, but they are tough to beat at Arrowhead.” The Broncos want to keep their earlier win in perspective. “We didn’t play very good, they didn’t either, and that game doesn’t count now but we just played hard,” defensive coordinator Larry Coyer said. “A couple of things went our way.” CONTACT THE WRITER: 476-4891 or firstname.lastname@example.org NEXT Denver (9-2) at Kansas City (7-4), 2:15 p.m. Sunday, CBS, 740/850 AM