Monday Night Football Premier Broncos at Chiefs
Spread: Chiefs -7.5 | Over/Under 43
After starting the season 5-0, the Kansas City Chiefs have lost their last two games. Looking to return to winning ways on Monday night, they welcome AFC West rivals the Denver Broncos. They are coming in on the back of consecutive losses themselves. The Chiefs lead the all-time series 59-55. They have won the last three matchups between the two sides. The Broncos last won in Arrowhead in Week 2 of the 2015 season. 256 yards and three touchdown passes from Peyton Manning helped his side to a 31-24 victory. Current Broncos back Jamaal Charles rushed for 125 yards for the Chiefs.
Former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is enjoying a sensational 2017 season, with 1979 passing yards and 15 touchdown passes through his first seven games. He is poised to blow past his career highs in both categories if he can maintain his current rate of production. The Broncos, despite their recent struggles, continue to be one of the leagues premier pass defenses. They have not allowed a quarterback to throw for more than 230 yards in a single game this season.
Since throwing for four touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2, Broncos signal caller Trevor Siemian has just two scores in his last four games. He has also tossed five interceptions in this span. He is averaging 223 passing yards per game in 2017. The Chiefs are allowing 271 passing yards per game this season. Through seven games they have only intercepted four passes.
Rookie sensation Kareem Hunt leads the NFL in rushing yards with 717, rushing yards per game with 102.4, and total yards from scrimmage with 1002. He has found it hard to follow up his initial burst of touchdown scoring, however. After six scores in his first three games, he has been held out of the end zone in each of his last four games. The Broncos have yet to allow a rushing score this season, and through their first six games, they are holding opponents to just three yards per rushing attempt.
C.J. Anderson is the Broncos leading rusher, with 391 yards on 92 attempts with a touchdown. 30% of these yards came in just the one game, however. He rushed for 118 yards against the Cowboys in Week 2. He’s rushed for 44 yards or less in three of his last four games. Jamaal Charles hasn’t seen more than nine carries since Week 1. He has gone over 50 yards just once all year. The Chiefs have allowed the 8th most rushing yards in 2017 with 872, and runners are averaging 4.7 yards per attempt against them.
Tyreek Hill leads the Chiefs with 515 receiving yards from his 36 catches. His receptions tally is good for 2nd on the team. Albert Wilson has stepped into the starting lineup after a horrific injury to Chris Conley. He has 221 yards on 17 receptions so far this year. After four catches in his first six games, second-year player Demarcus Robinson caught five of his eight targets against the Raiders last time out for 69 yards. No wide receiver has more than 64 yards against the Broncos this year. They are only allowing 105 receiving yards per game to wideouts.
With Emmanuel Sanders week to week with an ankle injury, the Broncos main weapon at wide receiver is Demaryius Thomas. He leads the team with 30 receptions for 389 yards. He is yet to find the end zone this season. Bennie Fowler scored twice in Week 1 against the Chargers but hasn’t scored since. He has just 18 receptions for 185 yards. The Chiefs have allowed 13 wide receiver touchdowns against them this season. Four players have gone over 100 yards. Antonio Brown has taken 155 yards off them and Amari Cooper smashed his way out of his early-season funk with 11 grabs for 221 yards and a pair of scores last time out.
One of the premier players at his position in the NFL, tight end Travis Kelce has a team-high 37 catches for 423 yards. He also has three receiving scores on the season. Demetrius Harris has caught seven of 13 targets this season for 52 yards. But he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1. Tight ends have found success against the Broncos for a number of years, and this season has been no different. They have allowed three tight ends to amass at least 73 yards against them. In their two recent losses, they have allowed nine receptions on 12 targets to Evan Engram and Hunter Henry.
The Broncos have struggled to find a consistent playmaker at the tight end spot since Julius Thomas left three years ago. Former Patriot A.J. Derby has 15 catches for 190 yards and a single score. Virgil Green and Jeff Heuerman have combined for 12 catches, 163 yards, and two touchdowns. The Chiefs have not allowed a tight end touchdown reception yet this season. But Jared Cook did take 107 yards off them last time out. He is one of four players to post at least 63 yards against the Chiefs this season, although they were able to contain Rob Gronkowski in Week 1. This was in large part down to the play of Eric Berry, who was lost for the year in the same game.
Enjoy the Game!