ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --It would be easy to understand if the Broncos were looking past Sunday's matchup with the Chiefs and ahead to Week 3's battle with the Seahawks.
Sure, beating Seattle in the preseason was a nice result, but a victory at CenturyLink Field against last year's Super Bowl champions would be infinitely more meaningful in avenging the Broncos' loss in February.
At the same time, Kansas City heads into Sunday's game off of a 26-10 loss to the Titans -- tied for the worst margin of defeat since Andy Reid took over as head coach -- in which Alex Smith threw three interceptions and Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito went down with season-ending Achilles injuries.
But when asked how the team can avoid overlooking the game against the Chiefs this weekend, Aqib Talib made it sound pretty simple.
"Umm, because we play the Chiefs this week," he said. "So we're going to get ready for the Chiefs this week."
And with that, he was on to the next question.
We hear that sort of "media speak" answer often during the NFL season, but it feels like a collective point of emphasis this week. The level of focus on this weekend's game echoed throughout the locker room on Wednesday.
"(Seattle is) a very important game coming up but the next game is the most important game," Montee Ball said. "If you're looking for the Seattle game right now, we'll miss the opportunity to come out with a victory against the Chiefs, which is a very important division game."
Despite winning the division by two games in 2013, the Broncos haven't forgotten how strong Kansas City's performance was en route to a wild-card berth in the playoffs. As Head Coach John Fox reminded the media, both games against the Chiefs in 2013 were hard-fought, even as the Broncos came out on top. Reid's crew stood as the last undefeated team in the league until a Week 11 defeat in Denver.
Even Peyton Manning, who lit up the Chiefs' defense for 726 yards and six touchdowns in two games last season, noted that the start of the divisional slate demands his full attention.
"I think our division is the toughest division in football," he said. "I thought it was last year as well."
"The Chiefs are a playoff team coming back. Just like last year, you throw out what happened last week; you throw it out the window. It's a division game, two teams very familiar with each other, well-coached, talented football teams. It's a physical football game and that's how we have to play Sunday because we know that's how they're going to play."
Terrance Knighton said it helps to have a divisional matchup -- in which games "always have a little extra juice" -- this weekend, with a trip to Seattle waiting in the wings.
"It's a division opponent, so the intensity will be there," he said. "We expect their best game. That's for anybody we play, just because of the success this team has had the past two or three years. So we'll get their best game and they'll get our best game."