Hoping to muffle a quarterback who's 9-1 in his career against K.C., the Chiefs' sack-happy defense aims to punish Manning from wire to wire.
"He's not very mobile, and people haven't gotten to him that much ... but when you get there, you've got to do some damage," inside linebacker Derrick Johnson said this week, per The Kansas City Star.
Johnson and pass rushers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali have helped the Chiefs pile up a league-leading 36 sacks this season, but 24 of those takedowns have come against first-year or untested passers. Defenses have sacked Manning just 13 times on the year, the second-lowest total in the NFL.
Besides, hitting Manning is far from a groundbreaking plot. Teams have tried that his entire career, but Peyton's pre-snap adjustments, rapid release and near-infallible timing make him a wily target. Playing on a pair of shaky ankles doesn't help, but Manning is the acid test of Kansas City's surprising season.
The Chiefs might be the most casually dismissed 9-0 squad in league history. In an era of offensive revolution, the Chiefs are winning with their pass rush and a style of ball movement that looks shot out of a cannon from the mid-1960s.
It's gotten them this far, but let's face it. The Chiefs will be judged on how they handle business -- and Manning -- in Denver.