Any time Peyton Manning finishes a game without passing for a touchdown, you know something not right. That was exactly the case on Sunday when the Broncos somehow netted a win over the Baltimore Ravens despite Manning’s pedestrian performance. Manning and company have less than four days to smoothen out their offense, as they’ll play their first Thursday game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs. As for the Chiefs, they’re gunning for a 2-0 start to the season following a victory against Houston.
Read on for more about this matchup. For more Week 2 game preview, you can click here for Cardinals vs. Bears and here for Rams vs. Redskins.[sc:Football ]
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs Preview
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
When: Thursday, September 17, 8:25pm ET
Line: Denver Broncos (+3) at Kansas City Chiefs (-3); total: 42.0 – see all NFL lines
TV Broadcast: CBS/NFL Network
Betting on the Denver Broncos
[sc:NFL240banner ]The Gary Kubiak era in Denver got off to a good but not great start, as the Broncos opened up their campaign with a 19-13 win at home against Baltimore on Sunday.
Known for being a rushing-game guru, Kubiak failed to make his team leave a significant imprint on the ground game in his debut as Denver’s head coach. The Broncos rushed for just 69 yards, with Ronnie Hillman pacing the team with just 41 rushing yards on 12 carries. C.J. Anderson had as many attempts but managed to collect a measly 29 rushing yards. The Broncos’ backfield, however, may have a bigger room to burst through this coming Thursday against a Kansas City defense, which ranked among the worst against the run last season.
Even the Peyton Manning-led passing attack churned out disappointing numbers last Sunday. Manning passed for only 175 yards (24 of 40) with no touchdown and an interception. If it weren’t for the Broncos’ defense, Denver would likely fly to Kansas City with a 0-1 record.
With the offense failing to score a touchdown, the Broncos turned to an unlikely source for a score—cornerback Aqib Talib. With Denver down 13-10 late in the third period, Talib picked a Joe Flacco pass and returned it for a 51-yard touchdown pushing the Broncos ahead, 15-13.
Overall, the Broncos’ defense played well against Baltimore, limiting the Ravens down to just 219 total yards. They limited Flacco down to just 117 passing yards and picked him off twice, while allowing the Ravens to post a measly 73 rushing yards. All told, the Broncos have the tools to contain Kansas City’s passing attack with defensive studs such as Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and Talib.
As it looks right now, Denver just needs its offense to be in sync against the Chiefs. Manning should be able to shake of the rust and dissect the Chiefs’ defense that gave up 298 passing yards to Houston on Sunday.
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Betting on the Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs will have to wait for at least until Thursday to score a wide-receiver touchdown. For now, they have Travel Kelce to marvel at. The tight end hauled down six passes for 106 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead Kansas City into a 27-20 road win over Houston on Sunday.
Behind Kelce’s smashing season debut was Alex Smith’s steady play. The veteran quarterback passed for 243 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Jamaal Charles, meanwhile, rushed for only 57 yards on 16 carries, but helped contribute in the Chiefs’ air attack, as he caught five passes for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the victory, it can’t be stressed enough that the Chiefs definitely need their receiving corps to start providing receiving touchdowns. Offseason acquisition Jeremy Maclin is supposed to be the answer to that problem, but had a rather pedestrian debut in Chiefs uniform with just 52 receiving yards on five catches.
The Chiefs’ defense, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired despite the team’s pass rush recording four total sacks on Sunday. Kansas City was outgunned by the Texans’ offense in terms of total yardage, 396-330. That said, Allen Bailey and Justin Houston should be licking their chops at the prospect of nailing Denver’s offensive line that allowed four sacks in its 19-13 win over the Ravens on Sunday.
The Chiefs, who were one-point dogs in the Houston game, head back to Kansas City for their season home debut carrying a 3-1 ATS record in their last four games overall.
Denver (+3) wins, 27-19.[sc:NFL490Banner ]
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