The Chiefs and Broncos are getting ready to square off for the biggest game round these parts since the Ravens playoff game. A lot of analysis has been spent on the Broncos offense and the Chiefs defense and which can make the game “their style.” Can the Broncos score at least their low of 28? Can the Chiefs at least match giving up their season worst 17?
To me this game doesn’t come down to 17 or 28. I think the numbers that will matter in this one are 7 and 3. The team that maximizes their own opportunities and limits the opponents is the team that should win this game.
The Broncos score touchdowns 80 percent of the time they get into the redzone….the best in the league. The Chiefs on the other hand give up a TD in just 23 percent of red zone trips…by far the best in the league as well. If you were to simply slit those in half the number is 51.5 percent.
When the ball goes over to the Chiefs they score touchdowns 48 percent of the time they make the redzone…good for 26th. On defense, the Broncos are 23rd in the league giving up TD’s 60 percent of the time. Again, splitting the difference the Chiefs figure to score TD’s 54 percent of redzone trips. By those numbers the Chiefs figure to actually score TD’s more often than the Broncos when they get into the red zone…by just a few percentage points.
The key then may be how often they can get there. The Broncos average 4.3 trips into the red zone per game…best in the NFL. The Chiefs are 13th getting into the red zone 3.2 times per game. The Chiefs are either going to have to find a way to get into the red zone more…or make sure they up their percentage of TD’s when they get there. I think the latter is the better option.
Similarly I think it’s unrealistic to expect to shut down the Broncos off sense. I think the more likely scenario for success is to try to keep the Broncos to 3’s instead of 7’s. When watching the game Sunday don’t freak out when the Broncos move the ball. Just pay attention to when the teams get inside the 20. The team that wins is likely to be the team that gets 7s and not 3s.
By Doug Stewart
It was a wild weekend for fans in the state of Missouri….the Tigers and Chiefs were trying to stay undefeated, and on the other side of the state the Cardinals were hosting three World Series games. For one fan, Saturday night was full of ups and downs.
All times approximate as watching my watch wasn’t at the top of the list of to do’s.
4 pm - Arrive outside of Busch Stadium - UP
6:20 – Maty Mauk throws an interception to South Carolina - DOWN
6:30 – The Mizzou defense bails him out allowing no points to score - UP
6:50 – Tickets work, inside Busch now - UP
6:55 – Nachos, Grilled Cheese and two souvenir beers in hand - UP
6:56 – $42.00 bill arrives - DOWN
7:07 – First pitch – UP
7:20 – Cards take early lead – UP
9ish – Cards load the bases with no out – UP
9:10 – Strikeout, pop up, pop up – DOWN, DOWN, DOWN
9:15 - Red Sox get a run back – DOWN
9:30 – Red Sox tie the game – DOWN
9:50 – Get word that Missouri leads 17-7 in the 4th – UP
9:55 – Cards get two and the lead back in the 7th – WAY UP
10:00 – MU Tied heading to overtime - DOWN
10:05 – Red Sox score 2 to tie in the 8th – DOWN and falling fast
10:10 – Word that Mizzou misses FG and loses – NEAR COLLAPSE
10:30 – Allen Craig doubles to give Cards 2nd and 3rd with one out – RECOVERING
10:32 – Molina thrown out at the plate – DOWN
10:32:02 – Throw to third gets away – UP
10:32:06 Craig appears out at the plate – DOWN
10:32:08 Fireworks go off because the Cardinals won somehow – UP UP and AWAY
Since that moment…for the Cards fan it’s been all down. But what a wild ride those four hours were on one Saturday night.
Being a fan is tough business at times. It’s a roller coaster ride of good and bad. Some things work, some don’t. Sometimes though it doesn’t always happen while rooting for one team…sometimes it crosses sports.
My favorite teams are the Cardinals in baseball and the Mizzou Tigers…football and basketball. Never before has a fan of two teams been on the opposite ends of fortune.
The Tiger tales are legendary….5th down, kicked ball, Tyus Edney, the Norfolk State airball. When you are a Mizzou Tiger fan you always wait for the other shoe to drop. Even your best seasons…like 2007 in football…end with a bitter pill. Not just losing to Oklahoma, that was clearly a bad match up for Mizzou, but then seeing Kansas…a team you beat head to head make the BCS Bowl game you feel your team deserved.
Mizzou has never really been the favorite in basketball, but they still manage to make heart breaking history. Tyus Edney is a staple on the CBS March Madness intro. Mizzou has joined elite company of being the victim of the biggest upset in tourney history. Football or basketball…Tiger fans are like Charlie Brown…they know Lucy is going to move the football but they allow themselves to take a run anyway.
On the other side of my sports fandom though are the St. Louis Cardinals. The anti-Tigers. Nothing seems to go terribly wrong, and of late everything seems to go right. The Cardinals are in their 3rd straight LCS and the 8th in 14 years. Numbingly good. Fans have almost come to expect being in position to play for the World Series.
The fortune, luck if you will, extends beyond the field. The Cardinals were prepared..somewhat reluctantly…to give Albert Pujols more than 200 million dollars, but the LA Angels of Anaheim raised them once more and paid more. The Cardinals used that money to pay others, Yadier Molina, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran and Adam Wainright to name a few. The result…Pujols has struggled with injuries and the Cardinals have rolled to 2 LCS appearances in a row.
Being a Cardinal fan over the last decade has been very calming. Not what fandom should be. Don’t worry, everything will work out fine. Being a Mizzou fan is just the opposite. A fanbase always looking over its shoulder. I’m sure the SEC will kick us out soon. Being a fan…what fun it is.
The Royals (as of this writing) are just 2 games away from being eliminated. But hey, it’s almost October. The last few months of this Royals season has been as exciting and as meaningful as any since 85. As the Royals prepare for next year though it’s important not to completely disregard what happened in the first 4 months of the season.
This season has taught us that the Royals are ready to compete. They’ve been among baseball’s best teams in the second half and didn’t wilt in the September pressure. But where were they in May? One thing that must be learned is that baseball is a daily, 6 month grind and focus and preparation are just as important for game 30 as it is for game 160.
Ned Yost must learn before mid-September that every game counts. Now, you can’t manage in May like you do with a 40 man September roster, but Yost needs to make more decision based on team wins than player wins. He has to realize teaching and learning days are done and winning days are here.
Dayton Moore and Ned Yost must learn that being swell guys isn’t enough to win titles. Both have to be quicker to make moves based on getting the most talent on the field than based on keeping good dudes around. Sure, they MIGHT start playing better, but more likely they are who they are…guys whos clubhouse presence is better served in a reserve roll…not as an starter. Guys like Francouer and Getz gotta go quicker when there are better options for winning.
For the first time in years, September mattered. If the Royals want October to matter soon, the front office and manager need to understand April and May matter too.
|NFC West||San Fran||Niners||San Francisco||Niners||49ers|
|NFC East||Giants||Giants||N.Y. Giants||Giants||Redskins|
|NFC North||Green Bay||Packers||Green Bay||Packers||Packers|
|NFC South||New Orleans||Falcons||Atlanta||Falcons||Falcons|
|NFC CH||Green Bay||Niners||Atlanta||Falcons||49ers|
|MVP||P. Manning||Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||P. Manning||Aaron Rodgers|
|Off Rookie||T. Austin||EJ Manuel||Montee Ball||Tavon Austin||Tavon Austin|
|Def Rookie||D Milliner||Ziggy Ansah||Alec Ogletree||Jarvis Jones||Ziggy Ansah|
As the Royals season starts to once again slide into a footnote for Chiefs camp it seems more apparent the team may be only playing for one thing now….500. After losing 7 of 9 and dropping to 9.5 games behind the Tigers the division is almost out of reach. The Wild Card also seems to be slipping away as the Royals are 6.5 games out with 4 teams to pass.
There is something though still to play for. .500. Past Septembers have been littered with players auditioning for jobs and padding statistics to better themselves for the next season. This year though it’s supposed to be different. This year the Royals said before the season it was about winning, not development. This year the Royals added at the trade deadline instead of building for the future. This year was about the team winning…not about players showing some promise for the future.
The next month plus will tell us a lot about where the Royals stand as they prepare for 2014. Are they an above average team poised to make a few moves and challenge for the playoffs next year? Or, are they a team that had an amazing run after the All Star Break that fooled fans and management to believe that they were ahead of where they actually are?
This final push could affect how the off season is approached as well. Will Dayton Moore be able to show the Glass family that when given a larger payroll he was able to improve the team to the brink of contending? Or, will ownership be able to worry that more payroll only led to a few more wins and no real advance in attendance or competitiveness?
All these questions and we haven’t mentioned a single player by name. It’s scary to think that on an individual basis the questions might be even greater. Butler and Gordon have regressed. Cain is still injury prone. Moustakas had an awful year and Hosmer, while improved, still isn’t putting up beast-like numbers. A team carried by pitching will go into the offseason once again with at least two holes in its rotation.
It has been a summer that was more fun than most around here…with record setting TV ratings and more chatter at the water cooler. But, without a good finish it may end up looking like many in the past. Yes, the playoff chances might be fading but there is still much to play for in Kansas City.
There are no games scheduled for today.
There are no games scheduled for today.