Stats are not always the path to enlightenment. Sometimes the numbers lie.
Even so, during a week in which every angle of Broncos-Chiefs has been dissected, here are some numbers worth considering:
Dallas, which took Denver to the wire, is ranked dead last in the NFL in total defense.
Indianapolis, the only team to beat Denver, is ranked 30th in total defense. Two spots from dead last.
These are the only teams to give the Broncos a run for their money. Their defenses stink.
Their offenses, though? Their offenses are capable. Indy ranks 10th in total offense, while Dallas is 14th. Not great, not awful. But good enough (in the Colts’ case) and almost good enough (Cowboys) to beat the Broncos.
I’ve written before (and will write again in Sunday’s Gazette) that the way to beat the Broncos, at least to this point, has been an offense that can score points in step with the Broncos. That is a minority opinion, but I’m sticking by it. No defense has shut down Peyton Manning’s offense, or even come close. What about the loss to the Colts? The Colts held on to win on a night when the Broncos committed 12 penalties and three turnovers.
The Chiefs can win if the Broncos give away the ball and make dumb decisions. That’s about it. But if he’s healthy, Manning has sliced every defense put before him. If he’s healthy, I suspect he will again Sunday.