Chiefs vs Broncos: A historic difference of styles

This week’s marquee NFL matchup features the 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs traveling to Denver to take on the 8-1 Broncos.  Their records are similar but everything else about the two teams couldn’t be more different.

The Broncos were (and still are) the heavy Super Bowl favorites coming into the season.  The Chiefs were a popular sleeper team, but nobody expected them to be the last undefeated team in the league.  The Broncos have won with Peyton Manning running up the score on any team that gets in their way.  The Chiefs have won with steady play from Alex Smith and a stingy defense.

When you look at the raw numbers, this divisional clash is actually historic.

  Points Scored (rank) Points Allowed (rank)
Broncos 41.2 (1st) 26.4 (22nd)
Chiefs 23.9 (16th) 12.3 (1st)

As you can see, this game features the highest scoring offense opposing the lowest scoring defense.  This isn’t the historic part.  How many times has a team averaging 40 points per game faced a defense allowing less than 14 points per game?  Check out the chart below:

Year Week # Offensive Team Defensive Team Result
1989 3 Browns Bengals (home) CIN 21-14
1998 4 49ers (home) Falcons SF 31-20
2007 2 Colts Titans (home) IND 22-20
2007 3 Cowboys Bears (home) DAL 34-10
2009 2 Saints Eagles (home) NO 48-22

As far as we can tell, this has happened five times in the NFL.  However, all of those happened in the first month of the season.  Never have we seen an offense so productive against a defense so efficient this late in an NFL season.  Whether or not the Chiefs’ defense is real or a product of its schedule, we’ll just have to wait until Sunday night.


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