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'This Is What It's All About'

Posted Nov 13, 2013

On Sunday, the Broncos will have the chance to hand the Chiefs their first loss and claim the AFC West lead in the process.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Kansas City Chiefs are the last undefeated team in the NFL. Nine times they’ve suited up this season and nine times they’ve come away with a win.

In the process, no team has scored more than 17 points against them and their defense boasts a league-best 12.3 points allowed per game.

The Broncos, on the other hand, have lost just once so far this season and have racked up the most points through nine games in league history along the way.

Sunday night, in primetime, these two teams will meet for the first time this season.

“This is what it’s all about,” wide receiver Eric Decker said Wednesday. “Coming down to all these games at the end of the season to give yourself a position going into the playoffs. They are number one in our division – number one in the NFL right now and this is a good challenge for us to see what we have as a team. We’re at home, which is always a good advantage, and we’re excited.”

The combined winning percentage between the Broncos and the Chiefs is the highest for a game this late in the season since the merger and the AFC West lead is on the line – so there’s plenty to be excited about.

In addition to allowing the fewest points in the NFL, the Chiefs also have the best red zone defense in the league and have allowed the fewest third-down conversions.

The Broncos lead the league in both red-zone offense and third-down conversions.

“I mean it seems a little bigger – for the past three or four weeks, this is the game everyone’s been talking about,” defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. “We put it on the back burner until now. We’ll be juiced up, just like the fans will be juiced up. Everybody is wanting to see it so they moved it to a primetime game. We’ll just go out there and execute and try to ruin their undefeated season.”

Though the impact of this game on the shape of the AFC West is hard to ignore, for some players, Sunday’s game is a big one because it’s the next one and it happens to be a divisional game.

“It’s a big game because it’s a division game,” quarterback Peyton Manning said. “I know there are a lot of other things that go into it, but it’s an AFC West game. It’s our first time playing the Chiefs and we play them two out of three weeks, which is kind of unique from a scheduling standpoint. It’s kind of different only playing our third division game this late in the season.

“That’s why it’s important, and that’s why all of our players, including myself, are working as hard as we can to be ready to go.”

Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson echoed those thoughts saying that there was “no added pressure” playing against the team that leads the league in scoring defense. Vickerson’s goal for the defense is simply to do what they always do and “rally to the ball.”

The facts remain that the Chiefs are in first place in the AFC West and the Broncos want to be in first place in the AFC West, and what happens Sunday will have a major impact on that race.

“They’re 9-0,” Interim Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio said. “They’re on top right now. They’ve got the lead. They’re out in front and everybody else is chasing them. They’ve earned that. They’ve done a nice job. (Head Coach) Andy (Reid) has done a nice job with the team. So we’re getting ourselves ready to combat that.”