Kansas City, Mo. It was supposed to be a week off for Chiefs coach Andy Reid, the one time during the grueling 17-week season where there are hardly any practices and no stressful game.
Thanks to his handy iPad, Reid managed to squeeze in a little bit of work anyway.
After all, the Denver Broncos are on the docket Sunday night.
Kansas City returned from its bye Monday and turned its attention squarely toward their AFC West rivals — as if that wasn’t the case already. Several players said they’d have the showdown between two of the league’s top teams in the back of their minds throughout their week off.
Reid took it one step further. After his staff put in a full work day Wednesday, he gave them the rest of the week off. But video of the Broncos kept popping up on that darn iPad, and Reid said he couldn’t help but take a look at one of the league’s most exciting teams.
“They’ve done a great job. They’ve got a good football team, period, and their offense has been doing a very nice job. Very explosive,” Reid said. “Listen, they’ve got good players and good coaches, and that’s normally a pretty good formula.”
That formula has been thrown into a little bit of a flux, though.
The Broncos will be preparing once again without coach John Fox, who had surgery last week to replace the aortic valve in his heart. Fox is recuperating at his Charlotte, N.C., home while the Broncos are led by interim coach Jack Del Rio, who guided them past San Diego on Sunday.
Then there’s the status of quarterback Peyton Manning, who took a hard hit to his already tender ankle in the fourth quarter of the Chargers game.
“They’re still very good,” Reid said. “We’ve seen that the whole year.”
They’re also very banged up, unlike the Chiefs.
Kansas City has been blessed by good health while putting together the league’s only 9-0 start, and even welcomed back safety Sanders Commings from injured reserve last week. That means the Chiefs were at full strength Monday.
The break was actually an extended one. The NFL mandates that teams must take at least four consecutive days off during the bye week, but Reid decided to release his players after a series of meetings last Monday, which means they had nearly a full week to rest and relax.
And maybe think a little bit about the Broncos (8-1).
“We understand the importance of it,” cornerback Sean Smith said before heading off on his break.