Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning owns the most talked about ankle in the NFL and it will be tested early and often Sunday night. That’s thanks to a ferocious Kansas City Chiefs pass rush headlined by linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, who have combined for 20 sacks.
Few know about dealing with a Chiefs pass rush more than Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway. After all, Elway must still have nightmares about fellow Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas collapsing the pocket.
The Broncos icon sees quite the challenge ahead of Manning and his offensive line.
“We know that they are a formidable pass rushing football team,” Elway told the Broncos official site. “And I think we’ll pull it in, we’ll do that realizing that we can’t afford to get Peyton hit.”
Elway and everyone else in Denver realized just how scary allowing Manning to get hit can be last week. That’s when the San Diego Chargers only managed to sack the quarterback twice, but knocked him down much more than that, including a low hit late in the game that nearly knocked Manning out of the game.
As for the resurgent team the Broncos will face in Denver this weekend, Elway doesn’t think it was never an issue of talent in Kansas City.
“It was a matter of getting that talent and everybody going on the same page,” Elway said. “And I think when you have a guy like Andy Reid who has been in this league as long as he has and has also been a head coach, I think 14 years in Philadelphia where he had four straight years they were in the NFC Championship game – players have a great deal of respect for him and I think that that’s showing.”