Chiefs Start 2012 With Broncos … GameDay Cup O’Chiefs

From Denver, Colorado

If the Chiefs decided to celebrate the New Year at the hotel in the far northwest suburbs of the mile high city Saturday evening, they could have taken two approaches to welcoming in 2012.

They could have enjoyed a libation and toasted the end to 2011 and the disappointment it wrought for a football team that expected so much more. Or, they could have twisted the cap of a long neck and welcomed with open arms the start of a new year, and another chance to go out and chase their dreams and goals.

More than likely, most of the Chiefs were tucked in bed come the clock passing over to the New Year, getting prepared for one last afternoon of performance. The Chiefs face the Broncos at 3:05 p.m. Sunday at Sports Authority Field, formerly known as Invesco Field. TV coverage is on CBS-TV.

“We signed up for 16 games,” said veteran RB Thomas Jones. “This is game No. 16. As a pro, you go out and play and it doesn’t mean anything less.”

Certainly in the mantra of being a pro, Jones is right – they will issue a paycheck after this game with the Broncos just like they did 15 previous times since September. But it would be silliness not to acknowledge that there is something quite different about this weekend, especially for the Chiefs, since they are playing for nothing more tangible than each other and pride.

“But that’s plenty to play for,” said CB Brandon Flowers. “Push everything else away and that’s what it is every week – playing for ourselves and our teammates.”

Across the field, the situation is much different with the orange and blue clad Broncos. They sit 8-7 and need a victory to win the AFC West and host a first-round game in the playoffs next weekend. Denver hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2005. This game is the fourth time since then that the Broncos could advance to the playoffs by winning their last regular season game. They lost the first three.

Again, if they lose to the Chiefs and the Raiders beat the Chargers, the Broncos miss the playoffs again.

“Our playoffs start this week,” said Broncos coach John Fox. “That’s our mind-set. This week is a playoff week. This is a new (Denver) staff, a different team. Each season is its own thing. What’s happened in the past doesn’t really have much bearing on things.”

Oh, but it does … that’s what coach’s say when they don’t want to carry the baggage of the past. There is no running away from it with the Broncos, who have their past on the sidelines wearing a suit every week in the presence of John Elway, the man in charge of the football operation.

It was Elway and Fox that made the decision to cut loose QB Kyle Orton after they lifted his starting job in favor of Tim Tebow. Now, it’s Orton who returns to face the Broncos as the starting quarterback for a Chiefs team that while playing out the season, would enjoy putting a crimp in January plans for a division rival.

In games where Tebow has started the past two seasons, the Broncos are 8-5. With 176 passing yards and 129 yards on the ground, Tebow would reach 2,500 and 1,000 for his career. One touchdown passing or rushing and he would have 30 for his career.

And if Tebow can re-set the savior role he developed during the middle of the 2011 schedule, the Chiefs could become the first team to lose to a Tebow-led team twice.

There was a mixture of disappointment, resignation and excitement around the Chiefs locker room this past week. With the playoffs gone, with the possibility of not finishing with a losing season gone, there was a certain air of let’s get this over with. But there was also an air of anticipation. The locker room wants Romeo Crennel to remain as head coach of the team and the know going out with a victory, leaving him with a 2-1 record and their improved play, may provide enough to convince Clark Hunt and Scott Pioli to keep Crennel.

“What’ll happen, will happen,” said Crennel. “I don’t believe what I say, what I think is going to make any difference. It’s what I do, the work that I put out there, that’s the thing that will have an impact. If it’s to be, it will be. If not, it will not be. That’s the way it is in the NFL. They want to know, ‘Did you win?’”

To win this game against the Broncos, the Chiefs are going to need a bigger contribution from their offense. In the post-Haley era of two games, they’ve gone more to the running game and have generated an increase in yards, if not points.

Against Denver on this Sunday, they are going to need points of their own against a Broncos defense that has given up 81 points in the last two games.

If they can make that happen, then Sunday will be a great start to a new year. If they can’t, just chock it up to another moment in a disappointing 2011 season.

6 Responses to “Chiefs Start 2012 With Broncos … GameDay Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 1, 2012  - James says:

    This morning I hope the Chief’s beat the bloody crap out of the Bronco’s. I hope Orton has a career day, Carr has a pick six and LB’ers Johnson and Hali do bodily harm to Tebow. It doesn’t hurt to hope.

  • January 1, 2012  - el cid says:

    Got to say every losing team ALWAYs starts their next season by winning their last game of a bad year. We have no HC, some say we have no QB, our RBs are backups, the OL is sad, the DL is alive and that is about it. But the 2012 season starts today. Sure, except for every player who will not be here by training camp, draft picks, free agents, etc.

    Let’s just get thru this game and forget 2011 as soon as possible.

  • January 1, 2012  - Denverchief says:

    With the season coming to an end today, how about an article on our injured??? Will they be back? Will they be available & ready for camp?

  • January 1, 2012  - aPauled says:

    Interesting that Thomas Jones is talking about signing up for 16 games considering his last 2 seasons. We need someone to spark the running game today whether that’s Jones making one final push or McCluster or McClain getting it going. With a running threat…Orton should go 300+ and get the last laugh with the Donkey fans. Go Chiefs!!!

  • January 1, 2012  - Michael says:

    Chiefs offense needs to stay up-tempo, which usually helps them stay in a groove. It’s the last game of the year, might as well throw in some trickery; a flea-flicker, fake punt, whatever. They need to block good for the kicker when he’s trying to make a field goal-duh, you think? Don’t leave 48 alone in deep coverage. Spread the ball around like against Green Bay, especially don’t forget the tight ends.No matter what, hit Tebow hard and often, if he’s running or setting to pass-boom! Play with enthusiasm: for yourself, for your teammates, for your coach, for the fans, for your job next year. But, have fun, it’s the last game of the year. It will be some players last game in a Chiefs uniform. It will be the last game for some in their career. The Chiefs can win this game, and should have the will to do it.

  • January 1, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    2011 is so far behind me I can’t remeber it. Today is 2012. Go Chiefs.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News