AFC West Preview – Week Twelve
November 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) hands the football off to running back Knowshon Moreno (27) against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Another week in the NFL, another week the Denver Broncos get the spotlight on national television. While last week’s game in Denver against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night was a huge ratings hit for NBC, that may be surpassed this week as future Hall-of-Famer quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, are set to go head-to-head again for the fourteenth time in their careers. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the San Diego Chargers travel to Kansas City, and the Oakland Raiders welcome the Tennessee Titans. For my thoughts on all these games featuring AFC West teams, please continue reading.
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots: As much spotlight and publicity as last week’s game in Denver against the Chiefs received, this game is actually bigger, in my opinion. Despite my nervousness about last week’s game, the Broncos were expected to beat the Chiefs – at home on Sunday night, Chiefs not having faced a challenge in their 9-0 run, etc. The Patriot game though is different; the Broncos are on the road, the crowd will be against them, the other team has a quarterback and offense that is much better than last week’s opponent, etc. The list could go on and on. So, what must the Broncos do to improve their record to 10-1? The Patriots defensive backfield is somewhat banged up so this may be another big day for Peyton Manning, assuming he can handle the elements. The kickoff forecast in Foxborough is 21 degrees and windy. This may be a good day for the Broncos to finally establish a dominant running game. To do that, the Broncos offensive linemen will have to perform equal to, if not above, the level they played at last week. Obviously, this game has a huge impact on the playoff picture in the AFC; a win for the Broncos would be huge in the divisional race, as well as a major step in securing home field advantage. A loss to the Patriots and that makes next week’s game at Arrowhead much more important.
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs: Will the football gods shine down on me once again and bring the second loss in a row to the Kansas City Chiefs? As much as I would love to see the Chiefs lose again today, I think they will find some way to win, putting them in a very good position considering the challenge the Broncos face in Foxborough. I will pull for the boys from Southern California and an upset! I am hoping the Chiefs (and their fans) are looking past this game somewhat knowing they get an opportunity for revenge in week thirteen when the Broncos come to Arrowhead.
Tennessee Titans at Oakland Raiders: Given the attention the Broncos and Chiefs are getting this season, it seems like Oakland and/or San Diego are almost forgotten in any conversation/article regarding the AFC West, unless they’re playing the Broncos or Chiefs. Today is no different as the 4-6 Titans travel to Oakland to face the 4-6 Raiders. I will watch the highlights of this game considering the Broncos face both of these teams before the season ends; the Titans in Denver, and the Raiders in Oakland. Terrelle Pryor will likely be a game time decision due to a knee injury so Matt McGloin may get his second NFL start in as many weeks.
Go Broncos – beat the Patriots!
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