Free NFL Pick: Denver at Kansas City 12-05-2010

December 4, 2010


Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday December 5th, 2010 1:00 PM EST

Line: Kansas City -9


Last time they faced each other, the Kansas City Chiefs were embarrassed by the Denver Broncos. So much so that head coach Todd Haley refused to shake the hand of Denver head coach Josh McDaniels. The Chiefs’ 20 point victory stands as their only victory in the past seven games. The Chiefs sit on top of the AFC West and need a victory to keep the cushion between them and the surging Chargers.

A victory at home over the 3-8 Broncos will not be enough to make the Chiefs content, as they will look to embarrass the Chiefs in front of their home crowd, the way the Broncos did when they were throwing the ball in the 4th quarter in Denver.

Keys to the Game:

  • There is a difference between being committed to running the football the way that the 49ers and Titans are committed to running the football and being committed to running the football the way the Chiefs are committed to running the football. The Chiefs might have flashy running backs, but their line is punishing and physical against opposing fronts. The Chiefs need to run the ball to no end, which should come with success against a team who allows 141.6 yards.
  • Josh McDaniels might be fired after this season. Trading away Peyton Hillis, running Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall out of town, and drafting Tim Tebow out of town are all critical errors. He stems from the Bill Belichick coaching tree. While Belichick might be able to win without having super stars on his team, McDaniels is not half the coach that Balichick is. McDaniels is on the hot seat and the Broncos might not survive another McDaniels draft.
  • The Chiefs are the best running team in the NFL and the Chiefs passing game is dominating because of it. Last week, Dwayne Bowe has posted back to back to back multiple touchdown games of more than 100 yards. He has posted 13 touchdowns in his past seven games. Nobody has more touchdowns than Bowe does this season. The last time he took on Champ Bailey and the Broncos secondary, Bowe hauled in 13 catches for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Look for Bowe to have a big day.
  • Last week marked Kyle Orton’s fourth time he has thrown for over 300 yards in a loss. The Broncos have one of the best passing games in the NFL, but they simply don’t win football games. With no running game and no defense in sight, it is hard to understand why the Broncos continue to disregard logic and focus solely upon getting the ball to Brandon Lloyd down the field. They fail to put together consistent drives most of the time and go for the home run constantly. This is not a recipe for success.

Key Matchup:

Matt Cassel Vs. the Denver Secondary

  • Denver has only gotten to the quarterback 16 times this season. Matt Cassel is going to have all day to throw, in all likelihood. The defensive line is going to be expecting run for the entire game, so as long as Cassel can be accurate and protective of the football, you can expect the Chiefs to have long, successful drives. Cassel’s quarterback rating is approaching 100 and he looks better every week.
  • The Broncos aren’t going to be able to stop the run, so taking care of the passing game is imperative. Allowing Cassel to put up four touchdowns and no interceptions like he did the last time the Broncos faced him could spell blowout. The secondary is going to get no help, so they need to do focus on Bowe and force Cassel to utilize other targets.

Wrap Up:

This is a huge spread, given the way the game went the last time these two teams met. Todd Haley is going to seek revenge and while I think ten is a fair spread, this game has blowout written all over it. These teams don’t like each other, but that is about all the Broncos have going for them that could keep this game close. They have been on a steady decline this season and it doesn’t look like a resurrection is anywhere in their immediate future.

Free NFL Pick: Kansas City -10

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