We caught up with Joel Thorman over a Arrowhead Pride to talk about the Denver Broncos road matchup on Christmas Day against the Kansas City Chiefs.
1. How confident is Chiefs Kingdom with this game?
Slightly more confident than usual, maybe? This is the first time in a while where you can objectively look at this and say the Chiefs are the better team. The past five years it was the Peyton Manning factor and earlier this year the game was in Denver, so I wasn't feeling it (although the Chiefs were). The Chiefs don't blow a lot of teams out and although they've won nine straight in the AFC West it doesn't feel like they're dominating the division. So, yeah, I can sit here and say the Chiefs are the better team but that doesn't mean diddly-poo on Sunday night.
2. What happened to that vaunted rushing attack the Chiefs used to have?
It just doesn't work anymore. Andy Reid doesn't know what's wrong or else he would be able to fix it, right? The Chiefs lost a lot when Jamaal Charles went down last year. I like to say he was offensive line proof because he was going to be productive regardless of what type of line he was running behind. The Chiefs did a nice job scheming up the rushing attack last year after he went down but it never felt like they were an overpowering rushing attack. They were just productive. This year, they aren't productive and worse they can't get short yardage when they need it That cost them against the Titans last week. If the Chiefs running game could pick up two yards, they win that game. Spencer Ware appears to be Ware-ing down (I can't help myself) as the season goes on.
3. How do you think Andy Reid's staff will try to duplicate the Patriots success against the Broncos offense?
The Chiefs are going to have a plan but the Broncos defense is very good and the Chiefs offense always struggles against those types. I'm not expecting anything consistent out of the Chiefs offense. They'll hit a couple of big plays to Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce but they might need another non-offensive touchdown to win this one. The Chiefs offense didn't do much last time around until the Broncos sat back in coverage late in the game and let Alex Montana come back on them.
4. Regardless of the outcome this week, are you going to be a Broncos fan in Week 17? (Say yes.)
I would prefer to root for my Colts to beat the Raiders this weekend and just worry about the Chiefs winning, but I would be a Broncos fan for a day. I'll prepare my impression of Gary Busy doing a John Elway impression (spoiler: they're the same person), hit up a dispensary and chant incomplete with my pals.
5. What is your key to the game and final score prediction?
Neither team is going to move the ball very well. The Chiefs will be better against Trevor Siemian. This one will come down to big plays. A 70-yard touchdown pass to Bennie Fowler or a 65-yard Tyreek Hill run, this one will be won on a couple of big plays because there won't be any 10-12 play drives.
Chiefs win 16-13.