It’s round #2 for the Broncos and Chiefs (2-10). As we are often times forced to remember, the Broncos lost their first game of the season in Kansas City to a previously winless Chiefs team. The Chiefs then went on to lose 7 in a row before picking up a win last week against the Raiders. The Broncos are out for revenge, and they want to secure their first place standing in the AFC West. The Broncos have won their last 3 consecutive road games, but lost their last home game to the 3-8 Raiders. The Broncos have won their last 7 home games against the Chiefs. Both teams are full of rookies, and there are quite a few similarities between Jay Cutler and Chiefs’ QB Tyler Thigpen. I would be very disappointed if the Broncos lost this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised with the way the team has played this season. My Prediction: Broncos 36 Chiefs 21.
Broncos - The Broncos offense gave up 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles in their week 4 loss. Since then, Cutler has minimized his turnovers, and the running game has been more of a threat. Cutler has plenty of options in the air, and Peyton Hillis will be starting in the backfield. Selvin Young returns to action this week, so he will be sharing carries with Hillis. These two guys could potentially have a big game against the Chiefs run defense which is ranked 31st in the league. Cutler is a barometer for this team. When he throws the ball away and gets down on himself, the rest of the offense takes a big hit. In the team’s 7 wins, Cutler averaged 2 TDs and almost 310 yards passing. In their 5 losses, Cutler averaged 2 turnovers and 246 yards passing.
Chiefs- Denver’s defense will meet a new Chiefs offense. If you thought they looked good back in week 4, take a look at them now. Out with Damon Huard and in with Tyler Thigpen. Thiggy can run just as well as Cutler, and he is proving himself to be the Chiefs QB of the future. In fact, he leads all NFL QBs in rushing yards. Larry Johnson had almost 200 yards rushing and 2 TDs in week 4. When these two teams last played, the Chiefs relied on the run, and only passed on third downs. Now, the Chiefs are running a spread offense and giving Thigpen more chances to throw the ball. Tony Gonzalez has been on fire lately with over 100 yards receiving in the last two games. This team found gaps in the Broncos defense last time, and they are very capable of doing that again.
Broncos - Creating turnovers helped this team win in New York, and that’s exactly what this defense needs to do for the rest of the season. Nate Webster is back in the lineup and there’s a possibility of D.J. Williams returning to action. In week 4 the Broncos were still testing their 3-4 alignment which allowed Larry Johnson to go off. Now, they are content with sticking to the 4-3 formation. Johnson does have a tendency to fumble the ball, so this defense needs to take advantage of his carelessness. The secondary has their work cut out for them with Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe, and Mark Bradley looking for open slots down field. As defensive players start to return from injuries, there will be more leadership on the field which will hopefully be enough to provide a nice springboard into the playoffs.
Chiefs - The Chiefs are just as bad as the Broncos are on defense. The Chiefs are a young team. Rookies Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr will be responsible for stopping the Broncos high powered passing offense. They do have veteran safeties, Bernard Pollard and Jarrad Page helping them out, but it has been the pass rush defense (or lack thereof) that has hurt the Chiefs. They have the lowest sack total in the league (6), so the Broncos offensive line should have a great day. This team is last in total defense, but they can create turnovers. They are tied for the lead with 13 forced fumbles recovered.
Broncos - This unit is back on track. Matt Prater connected on both of his field goals last week. Punt coverage has been exceptional, but there are still some gaps in kickoff coverage. Eddie Royal has the potential for some big run backs setting the Broncos up in great field position.
Chiefs- Dantrell Savage leads the Chiefs in returns. His long for the season is 59 yards, and he has not returned any kicks for a touchdown. Connor Barth replaced Nick Novak in kicking field goals. Novak was 6 for 10 on the season, and Novak is 8 for 8.
Broncos - Mike Shanahan will not let his team lose at home to one of the worst teams in the league. The coaching staff did a great job of calling aggressive plays on offense and defense against the Jets. When the team is executing, and the play calling throws other teams off balance, this coaching staff looks brilliant.
Raiders - Herm Edwards does not deserve to keep his job. His play calling abilities go down the drain as the game wears on. He gets too conservative if he has the lead, and he doesn’t utilize his stars the way he should. Edwards and Shanahan have coached against each other for many years, but give the edge to the Broncos this time around.
Tags: Bernard Pollard Brandon Carr Brandon Flowers Connor Barth D.j. Williams Damon Huard Dantrell Savage Denver Broncos Dwayne Bowe Eddie Royal Herm Edwards Jarrad Page Jay Cutler Kansas City Chiefs Larry Johnson Mark Bradley Matt Prater Mike Shanahan Nate Webster Nick Novak Peyton Hillis Selvin Young Tony Gonzalez Tyler Thigpen