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Chiefs vs. Broncos: 10 Stats to Know

Some stats to know heading into Sunday’s game

The Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) host the Denver Broncos (8-6) at Arrowhead Stadium in primetime in a game with playoff implications for both teams.

The Broncos have to win on Sunday if they're to remain in the playoff hunt, while the Chiefs can secure a playoff spot with a victory.

It's two rivals playing late in the season on Christmas night with everything on the line and the entire country watching—that's what it's all about.

Here are 10 stats to know heading into Sunday's game:

 1.     Chiefs have played on Christmas Day twice before, once in a historical game

The Chiefs played on Christmas Day in 1971 against the Miami Dolphins in an AFC Divisional Playoff matchup. Kansas City and Miami dueled for 82 minutes and 40 seconds, the longest game ever played in NFL history.

It was the final game ever played at Municipal Stadium and featured 11 future Pro Football Hall of Fame players as well as Hall of Fame head coaches Hank Stram and Don Shula. The Chiefs ultimately lost that game, 27-24.

The Chiefs also played on Christmas Day back in 2004 against the Oakland Raiders, which ended with a game-winning 38-yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes with 22 seconds remaining. The Chiefs won that game, 31-30.

2.     Andy Reid has played on Christmas Day one other time as an NFL head coach

Back on Christmas Day in 2006, Reid was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, who had an 8-6 record as they travelled to take on their division rival Dallas Cowboys, who were leading the NFC East with a 9-5 record.

Thanks to a great defensive performance against the young and relatively unknown Cowboys quarterback at the time, Tony Romo, the Eagles won the game 23-7 to capture a playoff spot and ultimately win the NFC East division.

That's a pretty good parallel headed into the game on Sunday, because although the Chiefs can't win the division, they can clinch a playoff spot for the second time in Reid's career on Christmas Day.

For the Chiefs to have a chance at the division title, which could also include a first-round bye and home game in the playoffs, the Raiders will have to lose either this week to the Indianapolis Colts, or next week against the Broncos. 

For that to happen, the Chiefs would also have to win both of their games, including the game next week on the road against the San Diego Chargers.

3.     Chiefs are looking for their 10th straight AFC West victory

The Chiefs haven't lost a divisional game since Week 2 of last season—spanning nine straight games.

In those nine contests, the Chiefs have outscored their opponents by an average of 27 to 15. 

In his career, Reid is 22-9 at Arrowhead Stadium.

4.     Last time they played: Justin Houston was virtually impossible to block

Houston finished the last game against the Broncos with a team-high 10 tackles, which included five for loss, three sacks, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble that led to a safety.

The Broncos benched starting right tackle Ty Sambrailo early in the game and brought in former Chief Donald Stephenson to try and slow down Houston. 

The best players always seem to step up in the biggest situations in primetime.

5.     Tyreek Hill is two touchdowns away from a franchise record

Through the first 14 games of his NFL career, Hill has scored a touchdown in four different ways, which goes to show the impact the young playmaker is making, as he's a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

Last week against the Titans, Hill raced 68 yards down the field on an inside handoff for the touchdown.

Hill joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1965) as the only rookies in NFL history to have two touchdowns rushing, two touchdowns receiving, a kickoff return touchdown and a punt return touchdown in their first season. 

Hill is just two touchdowns shy of tying Chiefs great Abner Haynes for the most total touchdowns by a player in their rookie season in franchise history. Haynes had 12 for the Chiefs back in 1960.

With one more touchdown receiving, Hill, who currently has six and is tied for the best in franchise history in that category, would move into sole possession of the top spot and pass Fred Arbanas (1962) and Stephone Paige (1983).

6.     Last time they played: Hill went off

The last time these two teams played back on November 27, Hill had three touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving and one on a kickoff return). He became the first rookie since Gale Sayers in 1965 to have a touchdown in each of those three ways in a single game. 

In three primetime games so far this season (Steelers, Broncos, Raiders), Hill has six touchdowns (3 receiving, 1 rushing, 1 kickoff, 1 punt).

7.     Alex Smith can break a franchise record on Sunday

With 4 yards rushing on Sunday, Smith would become the franchise's all-time leader in yards rushing by a quarterback—a record currently held by Pro Football Hall of Famer Len Dawson. 

Smith has rushed for 1,250 yards in his three-plus seasons with the Chiefs.

8.     Travis Kelce ranks among the best

Over the past four games, Travis Kelce ranks third in the NFL with 383 yards receiving on 24 receptions.

According to Pro Football Focus’ premium stats, 34 of Kelce's 73 receptions this season have come from him lining up in the slot. Their numbers also show that Kelce has been targeted on passes 20-plus yards down the field on seven occasions, and he's caught five of those passes for 157 yards.

Overall, Kelce ranks second in the league among tight ends with 957 yards receiving, and he only trails Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (992).

With two games remaining on the regular-season schedule, Kelce has already established new career highs in targets (103), receptions (73), yards receiving (957) and first-down receptions (48). He also doesn't have a single fumble this season. 

The last time these two teams played one another, Kelce finished with eight catches for 101 yards.

9.     It's still about takeaways

The Chiefs lead the NFL with 28 takeaways this season, and the plus-13 turnover differential ranks second in the league (Raiders, plus-15).

Since Reid, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton and company took over prior to the 2013 season, the Chiefs rank third in the NFL with 107 takeaways.

In his career, Reid is 102-23 in games that his teams win the turnover battle.

10.  Last time they played: Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders went off

The last time these two teams played, Sanders finished the game with seven catches for 162 yards and a touchdown.

Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian finished the game 20 of 34 for a career-high 368 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. 

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