The Kansas City Chiefs are looking forward to Sunday and their second chance to take on the Denver Broncos this season. The first meeting between the two teams in week 11 resulted in a 27-17 victory for the Broncos. This game has a different feel, however, and hopefully this means different results for the Chiefs.
Looking forward to Manning
Facing Peyton Manning is never an easy task, but facing Peyton Manning on a cold November day in the Midwest is a lot different than facing him in favorable conditions in September. Ask Tom Brady about this, Manning does not seem comfortable in cold weather and many times he has failed in big games when the weather was anything less than ideal.
The forecast for Sunday looks like the temperature will be around 50 degrees, so this takes the brutal conditions out of the equation. Manning, did not look himself against New England last week, but perhaps this will play a big role in Sunday’s game.
The Broncos running game looked the best it had probably in the past two seasons so Manning did not have to try and win the game through the air. This more balanced attack may help the Chiefs defend against them. When you factor in Manning’s hurt ankles, the absence of Justin Houston, and a banged up Tamba Hali, week 13’s matchup between these two teams does not seem to resemble their first meeting much at all.
What the Chiefs need to do
Peyton Manning may not be 100% but the Chiefs still need to find a way to put pressure on him. Last time these two teams met, Manning got rid of his passes in an average of 2.1 seconds. With a hurting pass rush, the Chiefs need to execute a better gameplan or Manning will carve up the Chiefs man to man defense. Limiting big plays and passes down the field is something the Chiefs have failed to do in recent weeks as well and will need to be improved if they want a chance at retaking first place in the AFC West.
The Chiefs did a better job against the San Diego Chargers last week at throwing the ball more vertical downfield. I would have been worried if they did not, however, considering the Chargers pass defense is in the bottom five in the league. Alex Smith will need to build off of this and utilize it against Denver’s aging secondary if he plans on having more success than he had two weeks ago against the Broncos.
What to expect
I would expect a good game on both sides of the ball for the Chiefs on Sunday. If the Chiefs move the ball on offense like they did last week and are able to limit Manning and make Denver run the ball, I think the Chiefs could win a close one at Arrowhead on Sunday. The Chiefs are going to need to dictate the flow of the game. That means they are going to need to lead in time of possession, limit turnovers, and not fall victim to letting Manning control the fate of the Broncos.
Prediction: 27-24 Chiefs
Gametime: 3:25 pm CDT at Arrowhead Stadium.
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