Denver (8-6) at Kansas City (10-4)
When: Sunday, December 25th 2016
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NBC
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The Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to clinch a Playoff berth on Christmas Night when they host the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs blew a chance last week when they let the Tennessee Titans come back and beat them with a last second field goal. Head coach Andy Reid watched his team fail to score on a fourth-and-goal try from the 1-yard line, saw Alex Smith throw an interception in the end zone late in the third quarter, and then called a timeout only to let Ryan Succop get another chance to boot what proved to be a 53-yard field goal in the game’s final seconds. After a 2-2 start to the season, Kansas City has reeled off wins in eight of their last ten games despite being ranked 23rd in total offense and 28th in total defense. They still have a chance at catching the Raiders for the AFC West crown, but would need to win the last two and have Oakland lose as well. The Chiefs have won the past two games in this series led by all-purpose threat Tyreek Hill, who rushed for a score, caught a touchdown pass and returned a kick 87 yards for another score in Kansas City’s 30-27 overtime victory over the Broncos on November 27th.
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Denver’s defense continues to keep their season alive as the offense has fizzled out after failing to score a touchdown for the first time all season in last week’s 16-3 loss to New England. The Broncos’ playoff situation is very complicated – they could lose this game and still reach the postseason next week, or win both games and miss out. Quarterback Trevor Siemien’s up-and-down season continued last week when he completed 25-of-40 for 282 yards as Denver has all but given up on the running game. The rushing attack has fallen to 27th in the league (91.3 yards a game), as newly-acquired Justin Forsett led the team in rushing with 37 yards on 10 carries against the Patriots. Only two receivers have over 23 receptions for Denver this season as Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have a combined 161 catches, 2,022 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Denver’s defense remains strong as it ranks first in passing defense (183 yards a game), second in total defense and fourth in the NFL in points allowed (18.4).
I can’t see Denver getting much on offense on the road in a hostile environment like Arrowhead. The Chiefs will bounce back from their defeat last week and beat Denver convincingly.
Pick: Chiefs -3.5