The Denver Broncos will host the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17, each team’s last regular season game. Currently riding a nine-game winning streak, the Broncos cannot afford to lose this game as they still have a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed before they enter the NFL playoffs.
This game doesn’t mean much for the Chiefs who are 2-13, but are looking for a win so they won’t have the worst record in the NFL. I’m sure they would like to play spoilers for the Broncos, who are looking to keep their No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs and possibly move up or down a spot depending on some other games. The Chiefs could tank the game and secure that they would receive the No. 1 pick of the NFL draft, but even if they win, they could still get it if the Jacksonville Jaguars lose their final game as well.
Though this seems like a meaningless game the Broncos will be making sure they have everything down for the playoffs and hopefully avoid any injuries. I would be shocked to see any starters sitting out because this game could be the difference in a first-round bye and how many games the Broncos will get to play at home in the playoffs. If Denver gets out to a large lead, then you may see a few players start coming out of the game to prevent injury, but not before then.
The Broncos will have their hands full with Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, who has rushed for over 100 yards in five of his last seven games and has had two 200-yard games this season. However, Charles has only found the end zone five times this year and most of those have been long runs outside of the red zone.
If the Chiefs are to have a chance in this game they must get Charles established early and often. If he has a monster game then they may keep it close, but even then, Broncos QB Peyton Manning will likely have an even bigger game and pull it out for Denver.
My prediction: Broncos 37, Chiefs 16
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