Free NFL Pick: Kansas City at Denver 11-14-2010

November 13, 2010


Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

Sunday November 14th, 2010 4:05 PM EST

Line: Kansas City -2


The 5-3 Kansas City Chiefs have started out the season red hot. While some would say their winning is a product of a weak schedule, that trend will continue this week when they take on the 2-6 Broncos. After losing to the 49ers in London in their last outing, did the Broncos use the bye week to correct their mistakes in preparation for Kansas City?

Keys to the Game:

  • The Chiefs are still the number one team in the league when it comes to running the football. The Broncos have struggled mightily against this season, allowing an embarrassing 154.6 yards a game on the ground. Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones spearhead the rush attack. The Broncos are vulnerable against the run directly up the middle, which will boost Jones’ numbers, but they are especially weak against the outside rush. A serious lack of speed is going to allow Charles to bury the Broncos on the ground.
  • Denver can’t run the ball at all, but are as good as they come when it comes to airing it out. Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is an elite deep threat. While he ranks second on his own team with 44 catches, he is first in receiving yards per game in the entire NFL. The Broncos throw for nearly 300 yards a game. They are unlikely to meet resistance this week when they take on Kansas City, whose pass defense has been suspect all year long. Kyle Orton should be able to take advantage of a youthful secondary. The Chiefs have talent in their secondary, but consistently make mental errors that cost them dearly.
  • We won’t be seeing much of Matt Cassel at all on Sunday. Cassel typically hovers around 25 throws a game. While he usually takes on a game manager role, there are times when the Chiefs call upon him to make something happen down the stretch. This won’t be one of those times. The Broncos have a secondary that is packed with veterans. The last thing the Chiefs need to do is to put Cassel in a position to make poor decisions. Cassel succeeds off the play action and by hitting Dwayne Bowe a few times a game. As long as the running attack is working -which it should be given the Broncos track record-  Cassel won’t have to be overly impressive. He has thrown the ball 29 times or more three times. They just so happen to be the Chiefs three losses.
  • The Broncos are a pass happy team, which is all well and good, but Knowshon Moreno needs to get something going at some point. Moreno has topped off at 60 yards in his best performance of the year. He has as many fumbles as touchdowns and is the centerpiece of a Broncos run game that is ranked dead last in the NFL. Teams know the Broncos are going to throw the ball and still have problems stopping it. What is embarrassing is that despite constantly playing with extra defensive backs, defenses never have problems stopping the Broncos on the ground. Moreno is talented. While his attempts are limited, he is going up against defenses who are not concerned with him at all. He has taken a giant leap backwards from last year and will need to turn it around for the Broncos to be successful.
  • There you are Eric Berry. Berry has struggled mightily in his rookie campaign. I had him pegged as my favorite to win defensive rookie of the year, but he looked uncharacteristically uncomfortable on the football field for the first six games of the season. Berry, who is known for his incredible instincts and play making abilities, looks like he has turned a corner. Berry has accounted for two interceptions in his past three games, as well as a forced fumble, and two sacks in as many games. It was only a matter of time before Berry got back to his usual form. If Berry can cause problems for the Broncos pass attack, Denver doesn’t have a chance in this one.

Wrap Up:

The 2-6 Broncos are on a four game losing streak. They pass the ball better than just about anyone in the NFL, but to no avail. They cannot be successful until they get something going on the ground and their defense takes a stand. The Chiefs have their work cut out for them in this one. While this game features Denver’s pass attack Vs. Kansas City’s rush attack, Kansas City is much better at defending the pass than Denver is at defending the run. The two point spread is not going to be enough to compensate for the amount of points Denver will allow. Denver is at home, but three out of four times this season, that hasn’t been a factor.

Free NFL Pick: Kansas City -2

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