On Sunday Night Football, the Broncos will take on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs (10-4) are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Tennessee Titans, while the Broncos are coming off an equally devastating loss to the Patriots. This matchup has playoff implications for both teams. This Sunday Night Football matchup will kick off at 8:30 PM. ET.
Within a two-week span, the Chiefs felt the highest of highs and then the lowest of lows. Alright, perhaps it’s not that bad, but it’s still hugely disappointing for a Chiefs squad looking for the AFC West crown and a first round bye. Two weeks ago, when Kansas City beat Oakland, the Chiefs took possession of first place in the AFC West. But then, immediately following that strong performance, the Chiefs failed to put away the Titans, falling to second place in the AFC West. Chiefs quarterback, Alex Smith struggled mightily, he completed only 15 passes on 28 attempts for zero touchdowns and an interception.
Alex Smith has helped guide the Chiefs to a 10-4 record, but to say he’s anything more than a game manager is inaccurate. It’s almost unfathomable that the Chiefs have played so well this season with such pedestrian passing numbers.
On the season, Smith has passed for only 12 touchdowns and six interceptions, and this is week 16. That’s pathetic. What’s impressive is the Chiefs have managed to win a lot of games with very little production from the quarterback spot.Speaking of little production, Broncos quarterback, Trevor Siemian, continues to struggle. Last week against the Patriots, Siemian passed for 282 yards and an interception. On the season, his number are barely better than Smith’s. So far this season, Siemian has passed for 16 touchdowns to eight interceptions. He’s completing a little over 61 percent of his passes. If the Broncos are to pull off the upset, then they’ll need Siemian to reconnect with his receivers.
Despite Siemian’s struggles, the Broncos top two receivers are having pretty good years. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both over the thousand yard receiving mark. Both are big play receivers that are matchup nightmares. But, that depends on whether or not Siemian can connect with them for points. So far on the season, both receivers have hauled in five touchdowns each. Siemian will need to connect with his top receivers quickly against a Chiefs’ defense that’s known for bringing lots of pressure.
The Chiefs rank 28th in terms of total defense according to NFL Stats. In comparison, the Broncos rank 2nd this season. The Chiefs give up a lot of yards on defense, but they don’t let their opponents into the end zone. The Chiefs rank 8th in terms of fewest points allowed per game according to NFL Stats. In comparison, the Broncos rank 4th this season.
Not allowing their opponents to score points is only half of the Chiefs’ winning formula. The other half: turnovers. The Chiefs (+13) rank second in turnover differential according to NFL Stats. If the Chiefs can force the Broncos into committing turnovers, then their path to winning this game gets a lot easier.
Both the Chiefs and Broncos rely heavily on their defenses to set up their offenses. The Chiefs rank 16th in scoring, while the Broncos rank 21st according to NFL Stats. For both of these offenses, their inability to score points have cost them in close games this season. It’s safe to say, whichever offense is able to break through in this game will have a huge advantage with even the smallest lead.
Chiefs Vs Broncos Betting Lines
The Chiefs are a solid bet in this game, but the loss to Tennessee last week, when they were in the AFC West driver seat, is a head scratcher. The Chiefs head coach, Andy Reid has a history of blowing it late in the year and last week was a prime example of another missed opportunity. The Broncos are playing with their backs against the wall. But, going on the road to Arrowhead is hard for any opponent. Even if Alex Smith struggles, the Chiefs defense will bail him out. Siemian hasn’t been in this situation before and that inexperience will come back to bite the Broncos. Expect the Chiefs to cover.
Play: Chiefs -3 @ BetOnline.ag