[Kansas City at Denver,
8:30 p.m., ESPN]
"They felt the cars they had were plenty fast. They kept the same cars, but got a new crew chief. I think maybe they might have needed to get some new cars or at least rebuild the engines."
Former Broncos blabbermouth and current CBS blabbermouth Shannon Sharpe, on Kansas City's defense under new defensive coordinator (and former head coach) Gunther Cunningham.
Last year on Dec. 7, Clinton Portis rushed for 218 yards and a Denver-record five touchdowns as the Broncos clobbered the Chiefs, 45-27. But Portis has moved to Washington, so Denver will trot out second-year mini-me Quentin Griffin, he of 345 yards and zero touchdowns last season. Griffin, below, 5 feet 7 and 195 pounds, won the job mostly by default after veteran Mike Anderson went down with a season-ending groin injury. The Broncos also have rookie Tatum Bell and Garrison Hearst, but Denver opens the season with questions at running back for the first time in a while.
Meantime, Gunther Cunningham comes home to take the reins of a defense that was the main reason, in the long run, the team's second-ranked offense didn't mean anything to anyone except fantasy geeks last season. But Cunningham was really the only personnel change for the Chiefs' defense, who added, well, no one. According to the players, you won't believe your eyes, or your ears. "You don't have to watch our nine-on-seven drills to see the difference," linebacker Scott Fujita told the Associated Press. "You can actually hear the drill, too. It's a completely different attitude."