A key battle for AFC West supremacy unfolds Sunday night as Peyton Manning and his Denver Broncos will look to get back on track as they travel to Kansas City to battle the Chiefs. Manning and the Broncos have looked very sluggish in recent weeks, and if they’re not ready to bring their A-game to Arrowhead, it could be a long and raucous evening for the visitors. Kansas City has overcome many key injuries on defense, and remained afloat in 2014. They’re an excellent home team and have been in fine form of late despite their last-second loss to Oakland in Week 12. With extra rest and extra hunger following that defeat, expect an explosive affair for the divisional lead tonight in Kansas City. Read on below for a game breakdown and our featured selection for this AFC West clash.
Broncos vs. Chiefs Betting Odds:
Denver Broncos -1.5 (-110)
@ Kansas City Chiefs +1.5 (-110)
Over 49 (-110)
Under 49 (-110)
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Broncos vs. Chiefs Pick:
All of the explosiveness and hype the Denver Broncos seemed to generate early on in the season has simply evaporated of late. They’ve looked very sluggish in all facets of the game in their past few weeks, and last week’s narrow victory at home against an inferior Dolphins squad has fans worried and the pundits puzzled. This week it’s not going to get any easier as the Chiefs will put loads of pressure on Manning and his offense. Kansas City has a ferocious pass rush, led by Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, and Dontari Poe. As we’ve seen before, there is a tendency for Manning to struggle when he faces constant pressure. If his offensive line struggles dealing with the Chiefs’ front seven, it could be an ineffective day for number 18. They’ve generated 31 sacks thus far in 2014 and should add to that total tonight. Moreover, their road offense has been shaky throughout the year. It’ll be a loud and hostile environment tonight, and while the Broncos will still get their points, the Chiefs are more than capable of holding them in check.
On the other side of the ball, look for Kansas City to face little resistance with their offense. They moved the chains quite well back when they took on Denver in Week 2 and they’ll have similar results tonight. The Broncos were horrible on defense against Miami, conceding 5 yards per carry to their rushers. Jamaal Charles is surely excited for this one as he’s in for a monster day. The Broncos simply don’t defend the run, and for all of the hype about their improved defense, the results just aren’t there right now. With Charles running well, the Broncos can’t cheat. It will then open up opportunities for the reliable Alex Smith to deliver quick strikes and keep the chains moving.
The Chiefs will completely control this game, led by the performances of their defense and Jamaal Charles. Their pass rush will rattle Manning and the methodical attack of Smith and Charles will keep the clock ticking, with Manning forced to watch helplessly from the sidelines. Don’t read to much into Kansas City’s defeat to Oakland in Week 12, they’ve had this game circled for a while and were definitely looking ahead to this moment tonight. This is simply a great spot for the Chiefs, and they should be able to run all over the fading Broncos. Look for Kansas City to get it done tonight in front of their raucous fans at Arrowhead.
PICK = Chiefs +1.5 (-110)