Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, November 11th, 2007
by The Crazy Snake of Predictem.com
The AFC West has proven to be one of the weaker divisions this season, so a divisional match up against the Denver Broncos looms as a vital game for the Kansas City Chiefs and will go a long way in helping to secure title honors. In fact, with the San Diego Chargers in an uphill battle this week against the all powerful Indianapolis Colts, it could be argued that this is a game for double points. A loss would not only put the Chiefs at 4-5, but would also send the division into limbo, with a Chargers loss causing a 3 way stalemate for divisional honors and a playoff berth.
If the Kansas City Chiefs had to lose their star running back, Larry Johnson, to injury then this was certainly the week to do it. Denver has been soft against the rush, allowing 160+ per game on the ground. Kansas will employ a tag team approach to running the football this week. At opposite ends of their careers will be the team of rookie Kolby Smith and 34 year old Priest Holmes, who will share duties on Sunday in an effort to exploit the apparent weakness of the Bronco’s run defense.
After sustaining a badly bruised lower leg in a tackling incident last week, Jay Cutler will try to arrest a slide which has seen his Broncos drop 5 of the past 6 games and give up a season high 44 points against a surging Detroit Lions. It was feared Cutler would not be able to start Sunday, but as time rolls on it looks increasingly likely that he will play in a “must win” game. The Broncos are extremely fortunate to be at 3-5 and but for 3 game winning fields goals could have the unthinkable 0-8 against their name. They have been poor. There is no denying it. But they still have a chance to make a run, and have come up lucky. Larry Johnson had topped 100 yards in 3 of his last 4 full games and was highly likely to be the primary offensive weapon against the leaky Broncos.
For the Chiefs, Damon Huard is batting under .500 for touchdowns to interceptions and against a team allowing an average something under 200 yards per game through the air will have to be on his best behavior to avoid a pick six against the likes of Champ Baliey. On defense, KC boasts the league’s sack leader. defensive end Jared Allen, who was ineffective against Green Bay last week but looms likely to bounce back against Cutler, who will have limited movement due to his injury.
This game is difficult to line up due to a change of circumstances for both teams of late, but given the solid form of Kansas at home against divisional rivals (3-0) this season, and the overall poor form of the Broncos, who have issues on both sides of the line, a Chiefs home victory can be expected. The trick is going to be predicting the spread in this one, and with the Chiefs set as a tricky -3 home favorite, the form of Jason Elam for the Broncos will be key to whether or not they cover that mark.
The Snake’s Bite: I just can’t come at the Broncos and think they should be worse than 3-5. The Broncos are in panic mode and I am not sure that is a good mind set going into a game of this magnitude. If Cutler plays he won’t be at his best, and if he doesn’t, I sincerely doubt Patrick Ramsey can get the job done. Kansas, though unconvincing, look to be traveling better at this stage and should be able to shut down much of the Denver offense. Take Kansas City to cover the 3 at home.