By Charles Jay
The Denver Broncos knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, as they lost one quarterback (Peyton Manning) to retirement, and another (Brock Osweiler) to free agency. They did their best, seemingly, putting Trevor Siemian into the starting role, and he has held the fort down, although he had certainly has not busted down any doors. On Sunday night Siemian will try to help keep the Broncos alive in the playoff race as they pay a visit to Arrowhead Stadium and play the Kansas City Chiefs in a game that begins at 8:30 PM ET and will be televised by NBC. While BetAnySports customers are watching it, they can place wagers in real time with the assistance of Live Betting Ultra.
The Broncos have had their opportunities, for certain. They started the season with four straight victories, and were sitting at 6-2 at the halfway point. But they have lost back-to-back games against the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots, scoring a total of only 13 points in the process. They have had all kinds of difficulties running the football, so the defense has had to work overtime to keep them in ball games. And some of those defenders are not happy that the offense has not held up its end of the bargain. Reportedly there was a rift in the locker room after the loss to New England last week, so there has been the danger of the situation getting out of hand in the Mile High City.
Currently Denver is 8-6, both straight-up and against the pointspread, while the Chiefs are 10-4 straight-up and 7-7 ATS. Kansas City has beaten the division leaders, the Oakland Raiders, twice this season, so if they win their last two games and Oakland loses next week, the Chiefs will be the AFC West champions.
In the NFL odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Kansas City is the favorite at home:
Kansas City Chiefs -3 (+100)
Denver Broncos +3 (-120)
Over 37 points -110
Under 37 points -110
So a big question here is whether the Broncos can muster something on the ground to take the pressure off Siemian, and we really don’t know the answer to that. They got 54 combined yards out of Justin Forsett and Devontae Booker last week, and statistically it would appear that the Chiefs, who give up 4.4 yards per carry, would be vulnerable. It might all come down to what Denver can get on first down, because favorable down-and-distance situations will work for the Broncos. After all, Kansas City allows its opponents to convert 45.2% on third down.
Let’s also not forget that Denver has allowed only 39 points over the last three games. Defensively, they are superior to this Kansas City bunch, in all but one area – that of takeaways, where the Chiefs lead everyone in the National Football League. But Denver has the second-best sack percentage in the league, and they allowed only 5.3 yards per passing attempt, which is by far the best figure. BetAnySports patrons should know that Kansas City allows 6.8 yards per pass, which is basically middle of the pack.
But there’s a little twist here; Denver will be missing safety TJ Ward, who has a concussion, and linebacker Brandon Marshall, who has a hamstring injury. On the other side, KC’s Justin Houston, who was working up a head of steam after coming back from injury, is listed as doubtful for this game with an aggravation of his knee.
Alex Smith, as we know, is a guy who does his best to avoid making mistakes. He has thrown just six interceptions in 425 attempts, and it’s his good fortune that Jeremy Maclin has come back and has been reasonably effective. Tyreke Hill has emerged as somebody who can catch the football as well as break loose on kick returns. Denver’s offense is 27th ein the league in yards per drive, but Kansas City has forced its opponents into a three-and-out only 15.6% of the time.
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