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Chiefs Vs. Broncos: Todd Haley Says Offense Must Be More Efficient On First Down

The Denver Broncos are coming to visit the Chiefs on Sunday and it’s an unexpected battle for divisional placement that didn’t seem possible for either team just a few weeks ago. Both teams have enjoyed a recent resurgence — whether it’s the Broncos winning two of their last three or the Chiefs winning four of their last five. Still, Haley says the team isn’t getting it done offensively by putting themselves in position of third-and-long so efficiency is a must when facing the Broncos.

“Pretty much week in and week out you’ve got to be able to run the ball against eight in the box, nine in the box,” he said in a recent press conference. "I think that’s the key to being a successful running team is being able to run when they know you are going to run. Like I said, we’re getting better, I think we are making progress and this week will be a big, big week again for us offensively to be efficient running the ball and throwing the ball.

“What we’ve got to be better at on is first down, just in general. Offensively when we aren’t efficient on first down, it kind of puts us in the hole in second and third down and we just can’t afford that so we are putting an emphasis on being better on first down whether we are throwing it or running it.”

Jackie Battle is going to play a key role this Sunday in being able to tire the Denver defense and keep a pass rush that includes an invigorated Elvis Dumervil at bay. He had 1.5 sacks last week and Von Miller is a capable threat on the other side. Together, they could give Matt Cassel a hard time and establishing the running game is key — except not at the expense of offensive inefficiency.