KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Denver Broncos’ offense ranks in the 20s in terms of points and yards per game.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater ranks 18th in passing yards (2,518) and 16th in touchdowns (15), but is sixth in completion percentage (68.7).
Because of the Broncos offense and Bridgewater’s safer-than-sorry quarterbacking methods, his primary pass-catchers like wide receivers Courtland Sutton (45 catches, 634 yards, two touchdowns) and Tim Patrick (39 catches, 549 yards, four touchdowns), and tight end Noah Fant (45 catches, 391 yards, three touchdowns) don’t have an eye-popping offense on paper.
And it’s that reason that makes the offense that has helped win the Broncos’ last three of four games so effective.
“Teddy (Bridgewater) does a nice job in there,” Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said on Wednesday. “He’s very smart, he’s active, he can move if he gets into trouble with a rush and throws an accurate ball on the move. Then, he gets the ball out fast and he manages the thing very well. He’s experienced. He’s a good football player.”
Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy has missed six games this year with an injury and only had two catches in Denver’s last game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
But Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo says the second-year wideout from the University of Alabama makes up a solid core of wide receivers for Denver.
“They got three quality wideouts,” Spagnuolo said on Thursday.
“We sat in there at the beginning of the week saying who do we take away, who do we try to double and you go…. pick’em. You can’t double everybody right? There’s three of them. It’s a great challenge for us, we’re gonna have to mix it up like we do and hopefully, we can confuse the quarterback a little bit. But again, you go back to the quarterback who’s smart with the football, I think we’re gonna have to challenge them and we’re gonna rely on our D-line again.”
And that’s exactly what defensive end Frank Clark likes to hear.
“You got a group of guys on the defensive front who are eager to pass rush. Myself, Chris Jones, you got Mel [Melvin Ingram] that we just added.”
The running game will be a factor as well with the two-headed backfield of Melvin Gordon (605 yards, five touchdowns) and rookie Javonte Williams (568 yards, two touchdowns).
With the Chiefs ranking sixth in rushing yards per attempt, that will be a matchup to keep an eye on.
“You got this group of guys and all we want to do is pass rush from third downs, but we kind of take it and make it hard on ourselves when we don’t do a great job of stopping that run on the first down, second down to put ourselves in position to do that on third down,” Clark said.
But Spagnuolo said he always believed the defense would come together as it has in the past few games.
“When you piece the whole thing together, the most important thing is points allowed. That’s what we’re always gearing toward. We knew we had some weaknesses in certain areas earlier in the season. Some of it’s gotten fixed. We’ve still got a long way to go,” Spagnuolo said.
“The one thing I say to the guys, so everything’s been good so far, but that doesn’t do anything for us going into this game. We’ve got to get our nose to the grindstone and get working again.”