coleryan Posts:12012 Followers:20
On 11/12/2013 04:49 PM in NFL

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos: Preview and Pick

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos: Preview and Pick

The biggest game of the week may be the Sunday night football game between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs head to the Mile High City with an unblemished record and a chance to prove to the world that they can compete with the Broncos in the AFC West. Peyton Manning is not at 100 percent, which could make this game very interesting to watch.

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Odds

The opening NFL point spread for this game has the Broncos listed as (-8.5) point favorites. Surprisingly although the Broncos are at home, the public money and the early wagering is focused squarely on the Chiefs. The wagering has shifted the line and the current point spread can now be found as low as (-8) at several of the top rated online sportsbooks.

While Manning and the passing game will be the focus, the Chiefs have to stop the running game. The Chiefs run defense will be a focus this week because their five yards per carry given up are dead last in the NFL. That seems like a problem. And it is, sort of.Look at the Chiefs rushing numbers. Against the Eagles and the Bills, they gave up 264 and 241 yards, respectively. Those are the only two games that stand out as bad ones for the Chiefs run defense. The next closest is when they gave up 121 yards to the Raiders. So those two games obviously stand out.

The Chiefs run defense will need to be strong from the nickel. A lot will be asked of the defensive linemen to be on the front line of the run defense. Manning is not the athletic quarterback that will run away from you but he is so good in the pocket that he can be just as effective by moving around in the pocket. If the Chiefs can stop the run and pressure Manning, they can win this game.

The latest football betting trends for this game reveal some interesting trends for both of these teams. Kansas City is 2-10 straight up in its last 12 games when playing on the road against Denver and 4-8 against the spread (ATS) in its last 12 games when playing on the road against Denver. The total has gone under in 4 of Kansas City's last 5 games when playing Denver and the total has gone under in 6 of Kansas City's last 8 games on the road. Denver is 19-2 straight up in its last 21 games overall and Denver is 5-0 straight up in its last 5 games at home.

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:12012 Followers:20
11/13/2013 02:46 PM

Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe will start Sunday night's AFC West showdown against the Denver Broncos after his arrest for speeding and possession of marijuana over the weekend.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that he was bound by terms of the collective-bargaining agreement from disciplining Bowe, who was pulled over for speeding in the Kansas City suburb of Riverside on Sunday. A search of his vehicle revealed what police suspect was marijuana.

Reid said he intends to let the legal situation run its course, but Bowe will be in the starting lineup when the Chiefs (9-0) take on the Broncos (8-1) with first place on the line.

"There are rules and regulations put in place and we'll abide by the rules and regulations," Reid said Wednesday, "and make sure we take in the information available as it goes through the process."

Bowe did not speak to reporters prior to Wednesday's practice, but instead issued a statement through the team in which he apologized "for the distraction I have caused the team this week."

"Due to the nature of the pending matter, I am unable to make any further comment on the situation," Bowe's statement said.

According to police, Bowe's wallet was discovered along with two containers that held about one-third of an ounce of the suspected marijuana. Bowe was cited for speeding and possession of a controlled substance. He posted $750 bond and faces a Dec. 18 court appearance.

The Chiefs were off last week before beginning their preparations for their game against the Broncos on Monday. Bowe participated in the practice at the team's training facility.

It's unlikely Bowe will be disciplined until after his court date. While the Chiefs are barred from disciplining the former Pro Bowl wide receiver for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has typically handed down one-game suspensions and fines of an additional game check for similar cases.

Bowe, who signed five-year, $56 million deal in the offseason, has struggled to live up to the expectations that come with being one of the game's best-paid wide receivers. He's second on the team with 33 catches for 369 yards and two touchdowns.

Bowe was suspended four games in 2009 for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs after taking what his agent called an unapproved weight-loss supplement. He also made questionable comments to a magazine a few years ago about womanizing that allegedly occurred at team hotels, and then misstated the name of Chiefs ownership family in his apology.

Now in his seventh season, Bowe is second in franchise history with 448 catches, trailing only former tight end Tony Gonzalez. He has 6,078 yards receiving, sixth-most in team history, and 41 touchdown catches, fifth-most in Chiefs history.

With the specter of a high-profile showdown against Denver hanging over the locker room, Chiefs players were reticent to discuss Bowe's arrest during Tuesday's availability.

Quarterback Alex Smith guided the conversation back to the Broncos any time the topic was broached, though he did say players with larger contracts have an obligation to be leaders in the locker room. Cornerback Brandon Flowers also sidestepped questions about Bowe's arrest.

"We hope it works out for him," linebacker Tamba Hali said. "We've got to focus on Denver

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:12012 Followers:20
11/13/2013 02:46 PM

The Kansas City Chiefs may get their toughest challenge on Sunday night when they take on the Denver Broncos (8-1).

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will play despite being limited in practice this week and is hoping to hand Kansas City (9-0) their first loss.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked on Monday how the team will prepare for their AFC West opponent.

"The important part is that you go back to the things you've done every week from a preparation standpoint. You respect the heck out of Denver and you study them and get yourself right as a team. Make sure you know the scheme, stay up on what you need to be at physically at the highest level. That's how you go about doing your business," Reid said on a conference call.

Reid will make sure his team understands the importance of the game, but wants them to focus on just football.

"You don't want to get caught up in all the other distractions going on with it being a Sunday night game or playing the Broncos, you want to make sure you get yourself prepared to play a good football team," he said.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:12012 Followers:20
11/13/2013 02:47 PM

The Kansas City Chiefs take on the Denver Broncos Sunday night in the most anticipated regular season game this year. The game features the best offense and defense in the league: Denver’s offense scores the most points, and Kansas City’s defense allows the least. It’s the two best teams in the NFL in a primetime fight.

You’ve heard how Peyton Manning started the season. He threw seven touchdowns in the first game and then continued to masterfully dissect defenses week after week. Blah blah blah. But what you didn’t know is that in the last few weeks, Manning has come back down to earth. His QBR (on scale of 0-100, 50 is average) went from in the low 90′s to down around the upper 60′s. That’s not terrible, it just isn’t top of the league any more. His arm has looked weak in recent games, under-throwing deep receivers and just seeming a little slower. Manning isn’t at the same level he was when the season started and it seems to perfectly coincide with the week the Chiefs come to Denver.

The Kansas City defense matches up extremely well against the Broncos offense. Manning isn’t a very mobile quarterback, it’s one part of his game that has repeatedly been exposed, and Kansas City leads the NFL in sacks. One of their strongest assets is that both outside linebackers, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, require double teams to truly stop them. Offenses can’t afford four linemen to stop two players.

A good pass rush by the Chiefs will give Manning less time to find his targets from the pocket. The passes will come out faster, before the receivers can get deep down the field. The Broncos will anticipate this. Watch for short, quick slants and out routes to Wes Welker whenever Manning identifies an oncoming blitz.

The Broncos will also test the defensive backs. Every once in awhile, Manning will try a deep pass to Demaryius Thomas or Eric Decker. There is a chance that the defensive backs will be playing too shallow, trying to prevent those quick passes. Manning hopes one of his receivers will find his cover man expecting the short pass therefore allowing the receiver to get space downfield, making a long completion easier.

Then there is the tight end situation that the Chiefs will have to cover. Julius Thomas is going to be another threat, he’s too big for a safety to cover, and he’s too fast for a linebacker. There needs to be someone with an eye on Thomas at all times, maybe even some kind of zone coverage. Manning is very good at dumping off passes to tight ends when needed.

The Chiefs have the players to compete with the Broncos passing attack, but they have to play smart. The slightest mistake gives Manning the chance to move the ball. Every Denver drive that does not score a touchdown is a modest achievement.

However there is flaw in the KC defense. They allow 5.0 yards per rushing attempt, the worst in the league. This could be a major problem except that opposing teams have only attempted 214 rushing plays, the 5th fewest attempts against any defense. It’s a dilemma that the Chiefs have been able to avoid so far, but could be the deciding factor in such a huge game.

It would be beneficial for the Broncos to exploit the Kansas City defense’s weaknesses. Denver attempts 28 rushes a game, higher than league average, but has seen only 3.7 yards per attempt. Their running game isn’t their strength, so I don’t see them abandoning the pass, but the Denver runningbacks will be able to contribute on short down and distance situations.

Even so, the Chiefs still have a very good chance of winning this game. Kansas City’s style of play, heavy blitzes and good coverage, clashes perfectly with Denver’s style of play. The Chiefs have surprised many people with their defense this season, and now is not the time to stop surprising.

Either way, it’s going to be fun to watch.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:12012 Followers:20
11/14/2013 01:07 PM

Despite a sore right ankle, Peyton Manning is expected to play in the Denver Broncos' showdown with unbeaten Kansas City. So is beleaguered Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe.

Bowe was arrested this past weekend but is slated to start as Kansas City tries to remain the NFL's only perfect team after Sunday night's visit to Denver.

An MRI on Monday showed no additional damage to Manning's ankle, but he only participated in walkthroughs Wednesday.

"It's certainly my preference to be out (at practice), but I'm trying to do what's best for the team in order for me to get healthy," Manning said.

The Broncos star has been dealing with a sore ankle since taking hits to that area in back-to-back games last month. He took another one in a 28-20 win in San Diego this past Sunday, but interim coach Jack Del Rio said the veteran remains on track to start.

Manning will face a defense that has a league-best 36 sacks, with Justin Houston and Tamba Hali combining for 20. Denver has given up the second-fewest in the league (13), but eight have come in the last three games. The biggest concern has been at left tackle, where Chris Clark has been inconsistent since Ryan Clady was lost for the season with a foot injury.

"(Manning) will definitely play this week so that's good news," said Del Rio, who is leading the team while John Fox recovers from heart surgery. "We're definitely on high alert in wanting to protect our quarterback. We didn't do it as well as we could (against San Diego), and we have an even greater challenge this week in the team that's sacked quarterbacks more than anyone in this league."

With four touchdowns and 330 yards against San Diego, Manning remains on pace NFL single-season records in both categories. While trying to stay on target to break those marks, he'll seek to get Denver (8-1) a share of first place in the AFC West and spoil Kansas City's attempt at a franchise-best start.

The Chiefs (9-0) enjoyed their bye week but didn't emerge unscathed as Bowe's arrest Sunday could serve as a lingering distraction.

The Pro Bowl wide receiver was pulled over for speeding in Riverside, Mo., and also charged with possession of marijuana. Bowe posted $750 bond and is set to appear in court Dec. 18.

Instead of talking to reporters earlier this week, Bowe chose to apologize through a statement. The Chiefs cannot discipline one of their all-time leading wide receivers for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, and he likely won't face penalties until after his court date. There's a chance, however, that commissioner Roger Goodell could potentially hand down a one-game suspension or a fine.

'"There are rules and regulations put in place and we'll abide by the rules and regulations, and we'll make sure we take all of the information that comes out as it goes through the process," coach Andy Reid said. "That's where we're going with it."

"I addressed him, had that opportunity to talk to him, and I'll leave it at that. There are laws, rules and regulations, and I'll leave it at that."

Bowe, who signed a five-year, $56 million extension before this season, is currently on pace for one of the worst seasons in his career. His 33 receptions are second on the team behind running back Jamaal Charles' 47, and he's third in receiving yards with 369.

Bowe, however, has a combined 19 catches for 279 yards in his last two visits to Denver. He missed last season's trip due to broken ribs but enters this one after registering season highs of seven receptions and 67 yards in a 23-13 win in Buffalo on Nov. 3.

The Chiefs used defensive touchdowns from Hali and Sean Smith to match their 9-0 start from 2003 and offset a season-low 210 yards from their offense.

Alex Smith completed 65.5 percent of his passes (19 of 29) for a season-low 124 yards, and will face the Broncos for the second time in his career. He led San Francisco to a 26-23 overtime win in Denver on Dec. 31, 2006.

Charles, the league's fifth-leading rusher at 725 yards, has enjoyed recent success against the Broncos with a combined 576 yards in the last five meetings. He had a total of 160 in last season's two games but couldn't prevent Denver's first season sweep since 2007.

Manning threw for 589 yards and five touchdowns with just one interception in those two wins. His three TD passes started a streak of 31 unanswered points in a 38-3 home rout Dec. 30, and his 30-yard toss to Demaryius Thomas in the third quarter Nov. 25 put the Broncos ahead for good in a 17-9 win in Kansas City.

Reid's teams, though, have been historically successful returning from byes. While in Philadelphia, he won 13 straight such games until falling to then-unbeaten Atlanta last season.

The Chiefs and Broncos will meet again in Kansas City on Dec. 1.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:12012 Followers:20
11/15/2013 12:45 PM

What wins in today's NFL, offense or defense?

You're about to find out on Sunday night when the AFC's immovable object meets its irresistible force as the 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs visit the 8-1 Denver Broncos in the first of two matchups over the next three weeks.

The sequel is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 1 in Kansas City.

The two teams' combined winning percentage of .944 (17-1) is the highest in a single game this late in an NFL season since Dec. 7, 1969 when the 11-0 Los Angeles Rams faced the 10-1 Minnesota Vikings.

The Chiefs, who are coming off a bye in Week 10, are the first team in the four major professional sports leagues to start a season 9-0 after finishing with the worst record in the previous year. Kansas City has allowed a league- low 111 points and is the first club since 1934 to start 9-0, and not allow more than 17 points in any of its first nine contests.

The high-powered Denver offense, meanwhile, will try to solve the Chiefs' stingy D. The Broncos have scored 371 points, the most ever through the first nine games of a season. Leading the way of course is quarterback Peyton Manning, who has passed for 33 touchdowns, tied with Tom Brady (2007) for the most through this point of a campaign.

"It's a big game," said Broncos interim head coach/defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. "It's a divisional game against the team we're chasing right now."

"They've got a good football team," countered Chiefs first-year head coach Andy Reid."They've got good players and good coaches and that's normally a pretty good formula."

Last week Manning passed for 330 yards and four touchdowns as Denver held on to beat San Diego 28-20 and get its first win under Del Rio, who is subbing for the convalescing John Fox as the veteran mentor recovers from an aortic heart valve replacement.

Manning connected with Demaryius Thomas on three of his touchdown passes and Julius Thomas took the other one 74 yards. Demaryius finished with seven catches for 108 yards, Julius had three grabs for 96 and Knowshon Moreno rushed for 65 yards on 15 carries.

After Demaryius Thomas scored three straight touchdowns to help Denver build a 28-6 lead in the third quarter, the Chargers got a pair of touchdowns to make it a game but a final drive ended in a punt.

Manning, who was 25-of-36, helped the Broncos kill off the remaining time with a 9-yard pass to Thomas on the left side on 2nd-and-7. The veteran quarterback came up limping on the play, however, after Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget tackled him low.

Manning, who was reported to be nursing two ankle sprains last month, had an MRI exam Monday which revealed an aggravation of a high right ankle sprain but no new damage.

When asked if Manning is still a definite to start against the Chiefs on Sunday night, Del Rio said, "No doubt."

By Wednesday Manning confirmed "he'll be ready to roll on Sunday."

"Yeah. They're not going to Wednesday games yet, are they?" the four-time MVP deadpanned. "I was able to go to the walk-through but spent the rest of the time getting some treatment and was a part of all the meetings to get a head start on the mental aspect of things heading into this weekend."

The Chiefs, meanwhile, haven't been in action since topping Buffalo, 23-13, on Nov. 3.

Sean Smith came up with a tide-turning 100-yard interception return touchdown in that one, and Tamba Hali took a fumble back 11 yards for a go-ahead score in the fourth as the Chiefs rallied past the banged-up Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Ryan Succop kicked three critical field goals to help Kansas City remain unbeaten despite being outgained by a 470-210 margin in total yards. Jamaal Charles added 90 yards on 17 carries in the victory.

"We never panic, not even for one second," said Chiefs safety Kendrick Lewis. "We always go in knowing that someone on our defense is going to make a play. That's how we believe in each other. No matter who it may be, someone will come up with a play."

Things weren't all peaches and cream for Kansas City during the bye, though. The team's top receiver, Dwayne Bowe, was arrested last weekend on charges of speeding and possession of marijuana.

According to a press release from the Riverside (Mo.) Police Department, Bowe was pulled over for speeding shortly before midnight on Nov. 10 and a K-9 officer detected the strong odor of marijuana. The dog then found two containers with 6.6 grams and 3.8 grams of marijuana in a black bag that appeared to belong to Bowe, whose wallet was inside the bag.

A court date of Dec. 18 has been set for Bowe, who is expected to play his week despite his troubles because the league's CBA does now allow for the suspension of a player until the legal process plays out.

"There are rules and regulations put in place and we'll abide by the rules and regulations, and we'll make sure we take all of the information that comes out as it goes through the process," Reid said. "That's where we're going with it."

"I addressed him, had that opportunity to talk to him, and I'll leave it at that. There are laws, rules and regulations, and I'll leave it at that."

The Chiefs lead their all-time series with Denver by a 56-49 margin but the Broncos have won the past two encounters and six of the last nine.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0
coleryan Posts:12012 Followers:20
11/15/2013 12:46 PM

Manning, who isn't the most mobile guy when he's at 100 percent, will be facing a defense which has amassed an NFL-best 36 sacks thanks in large part to its two edge pass rushers, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. Manning has always combated his lack of speed and elusiveness with a lightning-quick release, along with the smarts to understand where blitzes are coming from and who the hot read is.

Despite the absence of All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady, the Broncos have only allowed 13 sacks, the second fewest in the league. However, eight of them have come in the past three games as Clady's replacement, journeyman Chris Clark, has struggled.

At some point the cumulative effect of some of the hits Manning has been taking could add up and if he is slowed even further by the ankle injury, it's conceivable Houston and Hali could have a field day racing toward a stationary target in the backfield.

"(Manning) will definitely play this week so that's good news," said Del Rio, "We're definitely on high alert in wanting to protect our quarterback. We didn't do it as well as we could (against the Chargers), and we have an even greater challenge this week in the team that's sacked quarterbacks more than anyone in this league."

Manning's counterpart is Alex Smith, a signal caller who certainly isn't explosive but is well-versed in what it takes to win in this league.

Since 2011 Smith is 28-5-1 as a starter and became the first QB in the Super Bowl era to win his first nine outings with a new team when the Chiefs topped Buffalo.

Kansas City's biggest offensive threat, however, remains dual-threat running back Jamaal Charles, who averages an AFC-best 123.8 scrimmage yards per game and generally brings it against Denver.

Charles is averaging 115.2 rushing yards per game in his last five games against the Broncos and ran for a career-best 259 yards in the Rockies on Jan. 3, 2010.

  • Last 7 Days Record: 6-4-0