Andy Reid is the biggest thing to hit Kansas City since ... nope, can't think of anything — the guy who I believe wears size XLVIII has got to be the biggest thing in town, an undefeated coach and the key to the Kansas City Chiefs making it to the Super Bowl. Thus, entering Sunday's marquee matchup, the pressure is on Reid, 13-1 in games after bye weeks, to cook up a game plan to beat the Broncos in Denver. Is the pressure on Jack Del Rio, though? If the Broncos lose, Del Rio doesn't get a pass because he's got the word "interim" wedged beside his job title. Right now, he's the head coach. And so, this game is just as much about Denver's Del Rio as it is about Kansas City's Reid — we just don't know as much about our guy in big games. We do know he found a way to win in San Diego last Sunday, which was important to set a tone. We know the defense, his baby, is finally looking formidable, instead of hanging on for dear life game after game. But while the pressure is on the stability of Peyton Manning's right ankle and Denver's run defense, it's also on Del Rio's decision-making. Will he be red-state conservative on fourth down? How will he and offensive coordinator Adam Gase choose to protect Manning? Will they take away one of Peyton's toys (say, Wes Welker) and add an extra blocking tight end? Asked about the pressure of this game, of making John Fox proud, Del Rio said: "I've never looked at it like that. You go to a free-throw line to make a game-winning shot, those thoughts aren't in your head. It's doing your job right, taking the three dribbles, exhaling, nice smooth release, make the shot. You do what you do. I was very good at closing out games with my foul shooting," he said with a wry smile, which made me wonder if the one-time prep hoops star was joking or serious.
Jack Del Rio faces big challenge as Broncos' head coach
Denver Post | Nov 16