Cleat Geeks

Thursday Preview: Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs

broncos vs chiefsThis Thursday, the Denver Broncos will travel to Kansas City to take on the division-rival Chiefs. Both teams enter this game 1-0, and are the two front-runners to compete for the AFC West title. Even though both teams came out victorious on week one, they got the job done in different ways.

AlexSmith1The Chiefs traveled to Houston to take on JJ Watt and the Texans last week. The offense came out hot scoring 27 points in the first half, but were shutout in the second half. Quarterback Alex Smith looked better than expected as he threw for 243 yards with 3 touchdowns. His favorite target was tight end Travis Kelce who finished with 6 catches 106 yards and 2       touchdowns. The PeytonTexans offense came to life late, but just fell short as the Chiefs won 27-20.

The Broncos started the season on home turf as they squared off against the Baltimore Ravens. If you like high-powered offenses with a ton of points, this wasn’t the game for you. Denver’s offense looked lethargic and weren’t on the same page. While the Ravens’ defense is very good, we all expected a bit more from a Peyton Manning-led offense. His offensive line looked incompetent in both run and pass blocking. There rarely were lanes for RBs to run, and Peyton was constantly being pressured. Since he was feeling his pocket collapse, he often was unable to get his feet set, causing him to have many inaccurate throws. When he did have time, he still was a bit inaccurate and showed signs of age. The defense hung strong and scored Denver’s only touchdown as they beat the Ravens 19-13.

The last time these two teams met last year, week 13, the Broncos pulled off a 29-16 win in Kansas City. They leaned heavily on the run, used Peyton when necessary (179 yards and 2 TDs), and dominated the Time of Possession (38:47). Defensively they shut down Jamaal Charles and only allowed him to get 35 yards, and harassed Alex Smith by getting in his face and sacking him a total of six times.

Predictions:

I expect the Broncos to try to do the same thing as the last time. They will lean on their running game, and pass when the opportunity presents itself. I think the offensive line will also be better than last week. Not great, but better. C.J. Anderson will be called upon to get the majority of the touches out of the backfield, but because of his injury (toe, ankle), I think Hillman will steal some touches and be productive with them. Peyton will look better than he did last week, and should even put up a score or two. I think Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas both have similar numbers for catches and yards, but I like Thomas to get in the end zone as he did in both games against them last year.

The Chiefs ended last week’s matchup struggling on offense, and I think it will continue for the majority of this game against the best defense in the league. Alex Smith will probably get 150-200 yards with a touchdown, and I think the streak of no wide receiver touchdowns for the Chiefs continues. Jeremy Maclin have trouble finding himself in open space, but will have a decent game if you play in a PPR league. Travis Kelce is a must-start for you at this point after his performance last week. I don’t think he will replicate his stats last week, but should still give you a pretty good game. Jamaal Charles may not have an amazing game for you, but I do think he busts a couple of long runs, and Smith isn’t afraid to throw it to him out of the backfield. Defensively, the Chiefs will try to get pressure on Manning often while their secondary is physical on the Broncos’ receivers.

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Ultimately defense will prevail on Thursday night. Whoever wins that side of the ball will come out victorious. If I have had to put money on one of these two defenses, it would be Denver’s. This team is fast, athletic, and will have great pursuit to the ball. I pick the Broncos with a 23-20 win over the Chiefs.

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