(Photo: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi)
The Kansas City Chiefs will play the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football tonight in a huge match up in Week 11 of the NFL 2013 regular season. This game will have huge implications on the AFC West division title race, and this will be one of the most hotly contested games of the week in the NFL. The game will start at 8.30 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).
The Chiefs are top of the AFC West coming into this game, with a perfect record of 9-0. However, they will need a performance of epic proportions to take down the 8-1 Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning.
The Broncos have been phenomenal this season, and it's hard to believe that they have been able to maintain their form all the way through the first 10 weeks of the season. They are still averaging more than 41 points per game, and posting an average total yard gain per game of nearly 460 yards.
Of course much of their success has come on pass, with Manning taking apart opposition defenses at will. On pass, the Broncos are averaging a massive 353.4 yards per game, with Manning at 262 of 369 for 3,249 yards and an extraordinary 33 touchdowns to date.
Last week was the first time this season that the Broncos failed to get over the 30 point mark in any game, but they still ran out 28-20 winners against the San Diego Chargers.
Even though the Broncos boast the number 1 ranked offense in the NFL, their defense has been lacking at times this season. They have leaked far too many points, and the only reason it really hasn't been an issue is because they have Peyton Manning firing over touchdowns seemingly at will on the other side of the ball. However, with a 23rd ranked defense they will know they have to improve.
The Chiefs meanwhile, have been much sterner in defense, and they rank 9th in the league at shutting down opposition teams. It will be interesting to see how they fare against Manning and co. and if they can get to grips with and apply pressure on the Broncos' quarterback then they might just have a chance at making it 10 straight wins today.
However, whether they will be able to do so or not is another question. Manning has a 9-1 career record against the Chiefs, and most teams have been helpless against him this season.
The Chiefs will rely heavily on taking down Manning, and their sack-happy defensive unit will have been planning all week for how to get to him.
Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson said this week about Manning: "He's not very mobile, and people haven't gotten to him that much ... but when you get there, you've got to do some damage," according to The Kansas City Star.
The Chiefs lead the league in sacks this season, with Johnson, along with pass rushers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, posting a massive 36 sacks this season. Though, some analysts have been quick to point out that 24 of those 36 sacks have been against first year or untested quarterbacks
That means Manning will be a whole different challenge for them, and defenses have only managed to sack Manning 13 times this year, which is the second lowest in the league. The Broncos will have also been well drilled at the importance of protecting their star quarterback, and they will not let anyone get near him easily.
This should be an immense clash, and not one that any NFL will want to miss. The Kansas City Chiefs against the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football will start at 8.30 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the NBC network, or online through free live stream by clicking here.