|11-29-2005, 01:59 AM||#1|
Chiefs > Broncos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Denverpost - K.C. Chills December Foes
K.C. chills December foes
By Mike Klis
Denver Post Staff Writer
A full-blown furnace in July might provide more comfort.
Some kid screaming on a crowded airplane would frazzle fewer nerves.
Ever been to Arrowhead Stadium in December? To Kansas City Chiefs opponents, there's not a tougher place to play.
"One of the most electric places in the league," said Broncos punter Todd Sauerbrun, who played for the Chiefs in 2000. "To go in their house and come out with a victory is going to be very big for us. I think they're playing very well on offense, from what I hear. So it's not going to be like it was last time. It's going to be a lot harder."
The Broncos (9-2) have confronted their share of daunting challenges this season while building a two-game lead in the AFC West and the second-best record in the NFL. They have played the defending Super Bowl participants, New England and Philadelphia, at home. They have played the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving. They had to rally from a 14-3 halftime deficit with the home crowd's boos ringing in their ears while playing against the explosive Chargers.
But to play the Chiefs in December at Arrowhead? Come Sunday, which is Dec. 4, the Broncos might be facing their toughest task yet. Since last losing in 1996, the Chiefs are 16-0 in home December games.
"Didn't know that, nor do I care," Sauerbrun said. "It doesn't mean anything to me. And it shouldn't matter to anybody in here."
Anybody realize how far back that streak goes? It was so long ago, the Broncos had yet to win their first Super Bowl. OK, as winning streaks go, this is more esoteric than a Fox television graphic. The Chiefs have lost at Arrowhead, including this year. The Chiefs have lost in recent Decembers, including as recently as 2003 at Invesco Field at Mile High.
It's not until December and Arrowhead are put together - perhaps the change to standard time has something to do with it? - that it equals 16 wins in a row for the Chiefs.
Still, 16 consecutive December home wins are not to be taken lightly, especially by a Broncos team that is lined up as the next opponent. Either the Broncos break the streak, or they become victim No. 17.
Win or lose, the Broncos figure to get a more competitive effort from the Chiefs than back in the third game of the season, when Denver routed Kansas City 30-10 on a Monday night.
"They're a good team, period, but they're better there," Broncos fullback Kyle Johnson said. "We're the same. They have good, loyal fans that are passionate about their Chiefs, and I think that inspires them a little bit more. I usually don't like to say a thing like that, but it's true, just like our fans inspire us. Fans are primarily what home-field advantage is all about."
Although virtually all NFL teams are better at home than away, Arrowhead in December is to the Chiefs what warm rain is to tropical plants. They were 13-3 in 2003, and 2-0 in December at home. They were only 7-9 in 2004, 8-8 in 2002 and 6-10 in 2001, but they would have been worse had they not gone a combined 7-0 in their December home games.
Is it sinking in yet? Good or bad, if the month is December and the place is Arrowhead, the Chiefs are great.
"It's just like when you go to Buffalo - it's a tough place to play," Broncos cornerback
Champ Bailey said. "Most teams play with a different attitude when you go into their backyard. That's just the way life is in this league."
The Chiefs have a 16-game December winning streak at Arrowhead Stadium:
Year | Opponent | Score
2004 Broncos 45-17
2004 Raiders 31-30
2003 Lions 45-17
2003 Bears 31-3
2002 Cardinals 49-0
2002 Rams 49-10
2002 Chargers 24-22
2001 Broncos 26-23, OT
2001 Chargers 20-17
2000 Panthers 15-14
2000 Broncos 20-7
1999 Vikings 31-28
1999 Steelers 35-19
1998 Cowboys 20-17
1997 Raiders 30-0
1997 Saints 25-13
Last edited by Bob's your Information Minister; 11-29-2005 at 02:02 AM..