Dec 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Khalif Barnes (69) pass protects on Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
After an extremely disappointing game last week, the Denver Broncos must find a way to recover as they are in a tight race for the division championship and playoff seeding. The task will not be easy as the Broncos travel to Pittsburgh to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, winners of four out of their last five games. For my thoughts and opinions on this game, as well as the other games featuring teams in the AFC West, please continue reading.
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh: The Broncos have the number one defense in the league (272.5 yards per game) and the Steelers have the number two rated offense (404.8 yards per game) so it is obvious that is the most anticipated aspect of this AFC slugfest. This anticipated battle could go either way – both units, the Broncos defense and Steelers offense, may continue to perform at their expected levels and it will come down to one or two plays; or one unit may have devised a plan that allows them to dominant the other team. Definitely, if you’re a football fan, this is must-watch TV!
On the other side of the ball, the Broncos need to figure out a way to score touchdowns rather than field goals and let’s hope Demaryius Thomas and Vernon Davis will not have dropped balls today. I am sure there was also a lot of attention at Dove Valley this week on the offensive line; if they perform like they did last week, I am confident Bronco fans will be very upset at the end of this game. The pieces are in place for this team to do great things, they just have to go out and execute! The Broncos let a tremendous opportunity slip out of their hands last week; I am hoping that Gary Kubiak will take that situation and use it to motivate the team today! A win today and the Broncos secure a playoff spot! As much as I would love to be very confident heading into this game, I am concerned that the Broncos may not secure a playoff spot today! I really hope they prove my self-doubt wrong and unnecessary!
Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders: Note to Green Bay Packers – be very aware of Khalil Mack! Mack destroyed the Broncos last week and Brock Osweiler paid the price. The Raiders still have a slim chance for a playoff spot and are probably pretty confident after upsetting the Broncos in week fourteen. Considering the Raiders travel to Kansas City the final week of the season, I hope the black-and-silver continue their winning ways because I want them to be very confident when they visit Arrowhead!
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers: The Chargers are coming off of a tough 10-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week and the Dolphins suffered a 31-24 loss to the New York Giants on Monday Night Football! Despite the combined 8-18 record, this may be a very entertaining game. The Chargers are at Oakland next week and close out the season in Denver so this may very well be the last game for the Chargers in San Diego. I am sure the fans will be fired up and given the history between the Broncos and Chargers, a small part of me would like to see the Chargers end the season (if not their stay in San Diego) with a victory!
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens: The Chiefs are winners of seven straight, which ties them with the Arizona Cardinals for the longest winning streak of the 2015 season. Baltimore on the other hand, has lost two straight and has a 2-4 record at home this season. Kansas City is favored by seven points in this game and it is very likely they will cover the spread; my heart on the other hand, hopes this is the day that the Chiefs winning streak comes to an end. I always tell myself in the NFL there are never any easy games. Afterall, the Chargers had a very realistic shot last week to beat the Chiefs. When this game is near the end, I am hoping that the Ravens still have a shot to upset the Chiefs. A hole still exists in my heart from the disappointing Bronco playoff loss suffered to the Ravens in 2013; today, however, the Ravens will be my second-favorite team!
Go Broncos – beat Pittsburgh!