Kansas City (7-3) at Denver (7-3)
When: Sunday, November 27th 2016
Where: Sports Authority Field, Denver, CO
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NBC
The Kansas City Chiefs look to continue their dominance against division opponents when they visit the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football. The Chiefs have reeled off seven straight victories against AFC West rivals and are tied with Denver for the two Wild Card spots in the AFC, but just one game behind Oakland for the division lead. Kansas City is dealing with some injuries on the defensive side of the ball as linebackers Derrick Johnson (Achilles) and Tamba Hali (knee) and nose tackle Dontari Poe (back) are listed as questionable, but top cornerback Marcus Peters (hip) is likely to return after missing last week’s 19-17 loss to Tampa Bay. Kansas City’s offense has been average at best, thanks in large part to a rash of injuries, and could be without two top receivers with Jeremy Maclin (questionable, groin) and rookie Tyreek Hill (questionable, knee) banged-up. If the Chiefs are going to have success against Denver’s tough defense, though, it likely will have to be on the ground with Spencer Ware, who got off to a great start to the season but has not scored a touchdown in the last three games. LB Dee Ford (questionable, hamstring) is tied for the NFL lead with 10 sacks, including nine in his last six games. Kansas City will visit Atlanta next week before returning home for three straight.
Denver’s offense is in the same position as the Chiefs – average quarterback play and a limited rushing attack. First-year starting quarterback Trevor Siemian has not put up impressive numbers but does enough to keep the Broncos in games and has a pair of dangerous receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who have enjoyed great success against the Chiefs in the past. The running game is ranked 23rd in the league and now must rely on rookie Devantae Booker, who had a season-high 24 carries a week ago against New Orleans. Denver has won three of their last four after the win over the Saints last week, with the only loss coming against division-leading Oakland. Linebacker Von Miller has recorded a sack in four straight games against Kansas City and has registered 14.5 in his last 12 overall, including the playoffs. Denver is second in the league against the pass (194.3), but just 29th against the run (123.7). The Broncos get Jacksonville and Tennessee next, but end the season with New England, Kansas City, and Oakland.
The Broncos have dominated the series of late, but Kansas City crushed Denver at the end of last season 29-13. The Chiefs have also covered the spread in the last two meetings. Right now, I trust Alex Smith Trevor Siemian in a big game like this. Siemian looked awful two weeks ago against a poor Oakland defense on Monday night. I’ll take the field goal and hook.
Pick: Chiefs +3.5