Broncos, Seahawks are battle-tested

Stats of the Week No. 4: Indianapolis is on a 10-1 streak in its division.

Stats of the Week No. 5: Kansas City became the first NFL team ever to open 9-0 then go 0-3.

Stats of the Week No. 6: In opening 9-0, Kansas City's defense allowed 11 touchdowns while scoring six. In going 0-3, the Chiefs' defense allowed 13 touchdowns while not scoring.

Stats of the Week No. 7: Outgaining the Packers by 435 yards, the Lions won at home on Thanksgiving for the first time in a decade.

Stats of the Week No. 8: The Eagles are a league-best 20-5 coming out of a bye week.

Stats of the Week No. 9: Carolina, which has allowed just two touchdowns in the first half, is on a 13-3 run.

Stats of the Week No. 10: The Seahawks are 14-0 at home when Russell Wilson starts.

Sweet Play of the Week: Seattle facing third-and-1 on its 36, the Bluish Men Group lined up in a three-tight end power set, suggesting run; the Seahawks are that rare contemporary NFL team that rushes more than it passes. Two tight ends were in line. The third lined up as a fullback, then went in motion left; two linebackers moved with the motion man, guessing toss left, a play Seattle uses a lot. At the snap, Russell Wilson bootlegged right with the tailback in front of him and the left-side in-line tight end running a short "drag" right. To the linebackers and safety on the play side, the action looked like fake left, bootleg flare pass right -- a common tactic on short yardage.

But where was the tight end from the right side, Zach Miller? He stutter-stepped once, then went deep. Tight end going deep is a surprise at every level of football, even professional. ILB David Hawthorne, who should have taken Miller in the New Orleans 3-4 scheme, instead let him bolt past, to defend what Hawthorne thought would be a flare pass or Wilson rush. Sixty-yard completion to the uncovered Miller. A few snaps later, Seattle led 17-0 and the rout was on.

Sweet bonus: With 18 seconds before intermission, Seattle was on the New Orleans 4. The Seahawks showed a trips bunch at the goal line -- exactly what New Orleans used earlier for its lone touchdown. Doug Baldwin ran from the trips bunch across the end zone and was uncovered for the touchdown that made the halftime score 27-7. Two uncovered receivers on key plays in the same half! The Saints' defense looked like its 2012 self.

Sour Play of the Week: Game tied at 21 midway through the third quarter, Kansas City faced fourth-and-2 on the Denver 42. That cannot be the punt team! The Broncos are the league's highest-scoring club, you cannot punt on fourth-and-short inside the territory of the league's highest-scoring club!

Denver required just two snaps to pass the point where the ball would have been, had the Chiefs gone for it and failed. On the day, Kansas City rushed for 159 yards and a 6.4 yard average. Yet when the Chiefs needed two yards at home to take command of the most important game of their season, their head coach, Andy Reid, sent in the punt unit.

Now mired in an 0-3 streak, Kansas City is making football IQ mistakes, such as Dexter McCluster fielding a punt on his own 3, where he was immediately tackled. The Chiefs went three-and-out, then Denver scored a touchdown the other way. Never field a punt inside your own 10! This standard isn't hard to follow: The return man is supposed to plant his feet on the 10 and not backpedal, no matter what.

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