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Mile High Morning: Broncos' duels with Kansas City a top '90s rivalry

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The Lead

Any countdown of the NFL's top rivalries of the 1990s would be incomplete without the Broncos' battles against the Chiefs. You could disagree with CBS Sports' Bryan DeArdo ranking it No. 4 on his list of top five, but you cannot disagree with its inclusion.

In detailing two of their top games from the decade, DeArdo picks out an essential pair: the Chiefs' 1994 victory in a duel between John Elway and Joe Montana and the Broncos' 1997 divisional round win in Arrowhead.

The three games during that 1997 season were particularly heated. The Broncos had lured Chiefs five-time Pro Bowler Neil Smith to Denver in free agency. Kansas City safety Jerome Woods earned a total of $15,000 in fines for hits on Elway and Ed McCaffrey in regular-season games; after the first game, Woods said, "When they come here, I'm going to get my money's worth." Kansas City center Tim Grunhard also said Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer offered to pay any fines that were levied on his players for "if you break somebody's jaw or you hit somebody and knock them down."

All that left a bad taste in the Broncos' mouths ahead of the playoff matchup.

"They say forgive and forget, but forgiveness is the Lord's job, and He knows I never forget," TE Shannon Sharpe said.

The Broncos would have vengeance with that game, leaving Kansas City with a win en route to Denver's first Super Bowl victory. The game would also provide the tiebreaker for the decade, as the Broncos won 11 games to Kansas City's 10.

I think it's also worth remembering that of Elway's 28 fourth-quarter comebacks or game-winning drives during the decade, six came against Kansas City.

So, No. 4 for Broncos vs. Chiefs? Not for me.

Below the Fold

ESPN Stats & Information staffers tackled an in-depth review of each NFL team's situation entering training camp, and former DenverBroncos.com intern Zach Pereles wrote the overview for Denver. Here's a couple of numbers you need to know: Graham Glasgow won his single-team pass-blocking matchups 92.5% of the time, and Courtland Sutton recorded 33% of the Broncos' receiving yards last season.

With two former MVPs changing scenery this offseason in Cam Newton and Tom Brady, NFL Throwback took a look back at the other MVP QBs who changed teams. Obviously, it included the only one who earned the award again after joining a new team: Peyton Manning.

The Unclassifieds

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