In the headline game of the weekend we feature arguably the 2 best teams in the NFL. The undefeated Chiefs have not been dominant throughout their impressive start, however they have found a way to win in every game they have played thus far. Their defense is amongst the top 5 in the league in every statistical category and they do it with a balanced defense that is not very reliant on the blitz and usually only rushes their lineman. This has made them equally efficient against the run and the pass. The Broncos have been dominant outside of their only loss to the Colts a few weeks back. They have the most lethal passing attack in the league as evidenced by the 27 touchdown catches between wide receivers Demarius Thomas and Wes Welker and Tight End Julius Thomas. Even more amazing is that they have split these touchdowns evenly with each of them having found the end zone nine times this season. The running game has been consistent and now features a two-headed attack in rookie Montee Ball and Knowshon Moreno who complement one another well and add the proper amount of balance to the offense. The team’s defense is still a work in progress as they work cornerback Champ Bailey and linebacker Von Miller.
The teams biggest concerns for the Broncos have nothing to do with performance and everything to do with health. Head Coach John Fox is out indefinitely with heart problems and has been replaced in the interim by defensive coordinator jack Del Rio who has head coaching experience with the Jaguars. While Del Rio is a more than capable replacement to hold down the fort while Fox recovers, the question is how will losing their coordinator to the head coach role effect the defense? It remains to be seen whether or not it will hurt the defense, which hasn’t been a source of strength all season long to begin with. The other concern is the health of quarterback Peyton Manning who missed practice on Wednesday. It is normal for many NFL players to miss practice early in the week but it is unusual for Manning who always practices in full.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles for 14 seasons and was 13-1 over that time in the first game he played after the bye week. While that statistic has a lot to do with the opponent and other circumstances, it certainly makes it clear that he excels when having two weeks to prepare for an opponent. This will be a huge test on the road for the Chiefs defense against such a dynamic offense. It will also be critical that quarterback Alex Smith stays in his comfort zone and does not turn the ball over and allow for extra Bronco opportunities. A win this week will intensify the talk of an undefeated season.
Pick: Chiefs +8
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