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Beyond a divisional rivalry, beyond a game with massive playoff ramifications, we have something of a philosophical standoff in NFL strategy. A team that is almost entirely offense against one that thrives on defensive play and playing it safe when they have the ball.

The way the sport changes from year to year, there’s seemingly little hope for a team that bases itself on defensive prowess above all else.

Had this game happened in September, the Chiefs would have little chance for victory. Right now, however, it shapes up much better for them. Peyton Manning reaggrivated an existing ankle injury last week. He’ll play tonight, but it further limits whatever minor mobility Pey-Pey would have.

Ultimately, it comes down to Andy Reid’s gameplan for the Chiefs offense. Denver’s defense can be exploited, but with Alex Smith’s limitations, it comes down to clever playcalling to get a lead early and sit on it. If not, well, the division and perhaps the conference comes down to the second meeting in Kansas City in a few weeks.