In a surprisingly low line, the Denver Broncos (8-6) are just 3.5-point underdogs on the road to the Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) on Christmas Night.
This line seems even more absurdly low when comparing it to the 7-point spread Vegas has for the Dallas Cowboys over the Detroit Lions. On what planet is Dallas a touchdown better than another playoff team like Detroit?
The Chiefs and Broncos played their last game down to literally the final seconds of overtime. It was a first half marred with offensive ineptitude on both sides of the ball and a second half of offensive explosion.
I would say it would be critical for the Broncos not to have a five drive stretch of three and outs in this game, but I think it is safe to assume that is an every game kind of deal now. The Broncos defense will need to stay in his championship form in this game as it has over the last three weeks. If they do that, then at least they will have a chance to see the offense catch fire again for the first time since that loss several weeks ago.
The offense definitely needs to respond after last weeks’ scuffle with the defense in the locker room. Gary Kubiak didn’t think that it was a huge deal that the defensive players are frustrated.
“That’s OK,” Kubiak said of the defensive frustration on Monday. “They played really well. Offensively, we didn’t score enough points for us to win. It’s OK to be upset. There’s pain in what we do and you put a lot into it. There’s no division. That’s battling and that’s part of football. Defensively, we should feel really good about ourselves and how we played yesterday. Offensively, we should look at it and say, ‘We did some good things, but we should have scored some points.’ That’s a great team that we were playing. We played well enough on defense to give ourselves a chance to beat them, but we did not play well enough offensively to do that. That’s football.”
Kubiak went on to say that despite Trevor Siemian averaging over 300 yards passing in each of his last three games, the Broncos are not getting enough points to show for it. The big problem people point to is the run game, but Kubiak kind of pointing out that the struggles in the second half had less to do with the run game and more to do with execution.
“We had four three-and-outs,” Kubiak said of the second half run game. “On the first drive of the second half, we dropped a big third down play. When you don’t stay on the field, it’s hard to do those types of things. The second drive, we had a 10-yard run, but we got a holding call, so we had 2nd-and-17 or 18. We don’t make that third down. We had four three-and-outs. When you do that, you are probably not going to have balance. That’s the disappointing thing.”
If the Broncos fix, or at least minimize, those issues they can hang with the Chiefs as they have proven in their last matchup. It is win now or go home, so we’re about to find how much fire Siemian and the rest of the offense has in their gut in this game.
Kickoff is on Sunday, December 25, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. Mile High time at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.