Welcome to Week 12 of "Repeating Business". The Broncos are now rested and ready for the stretch run and welcoming an old foe......
Kansas City - Ah yes, our hated rival is next on the schedule. The Chiefs come visiting and reeling from a bad home loss to the Buccaneers 19-17 (they haven't beaten the Bucs since 1993). Thanks to both teams having a 7-3 record, the NFL promoted the game to Sunday night. Alex Smith had an up and down game last weekend with a rushing TD and a passing TD, but threw a bad interception in the end zone that led to the game clinching TD by Tampa. All of his passes with the exception of five attempts were within 10 yards of the LOS. He has been enduring the same kind of criticism by Chief fans as Trevor Siemian has by many Broncos fans (short passes, no deep shots). KC also had some players out with injury with Dee Ford leaving the game at half and three others deactivated for injury (Marcus Peters, Jaye Howard and Jeremy Maclin). At this time, I don't know if they will be available to play. Their main receiving threat is Travis Kelce with Spencer Ware handling the rushing duties. Defensively, they gave up over 300 yards in the air by Jameis Winston but only allowed one TD. They still have a decent pass rush, but did not net any sacks and only five QB hits against Tampa.
For Denver to take the game and keep up in the division race, the Broncos must play mistake free football. Offensively, the Broncos will need to get the ball upfield more to soften up the Chiefs. Since the OL play has been so poor, KC will be keeping everyone close to the LOS so don't expect much space for runs or short passes. Going with a heavy set with an extra OL to wear down the Chiefs and using the altitude could be a good option.
Defensively, Denver needs to blanket Kelce, stuff the run and hit Smith early and often. When Smith is rattled, his passes become more inaccurate and there are chances for turnovers. Most likely we will see the return of Aqib Talib and Derek Wolfe which will be a major strengthening of the defense. Well, that is all I have for now. Happy Thanksgiving and GO BRONCOS!