In a recurring theme seemingly every week for the Denver Broncos, Denver enters their AFC West matchup at Arrowhead as more than three-point underdogs.
This is a matchup of two completely different teams who seem to be heading in different directions.
The Chiefs entered on a four-game win streak in their home game vs. the winless Miami Dolphins. They were dominated in a 31-3 losing effort that showed why the Chiefs are nothing more than a below average team.
The Broncos are not much better, but there is more reason for optimism. The Broncos ran for 300 yards in defeating the current AFC West-leading Oakland Raiders 38-24 in Oakland.
The big talk heading into Sunday other than this being a pivotal game in the race for the AFC West division title is the Broncos' implementation of the read-option attack in their offense. Mike McCoy has been perfecting this style of offense the entire week in practice after it was unleashed upon the Raiders in successful fashion.
The Chiefs have had problems of their own up front on defense. They rank 18th in rushing yards given up and 24th in rushing TDs allowed. Despite the presence of veteran nose tackle Kelly Gregg and 3-4 stalwart Glenn Dorsey, the Chiefs have been mediocre in this department thus far. They allowed 116 total rushing yards to the Miami Dolphins, including 92 to an anemic runner in Reggie Bush.
Here are the reasons why the Broncos will win this tough but winnable matchup.
The Chiefs are not a good team. They are 30th in point differential with a -70 differential. They don't have the explosive running attack that they previously had before with Jamaal Charles. Their offense is terrible and their defense is mediocre. The defense is made to look worse due to the offense's ineptitude at moving the football.
Matt Cassel is a below-average quarterback. He simply cannot make an NFL-type throws that stretch the field for his offense. Past 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, Cassel will not make plays throwing the football. His pass lacks zip, and he simply lacks the arm strength to throw the ball downfield to big-time targets such as Dwyane Bowe and Steve Breaston.
Cassel ranks 24th in the NFL in yards per attempt, 22nd in passing yards, 20th in passing touchdowns and finally, 23rd in passer rating. All marks of a below-average quarterback.
The Broncos on the other hand, are an excellent rushing team. This is what will make the difference in this game combined with the read-option attack. The Chiefs will not stop the option attack this Sunday.
The Chiefs will have one too many three-and-outs. The running game is not explosive enough this year to offset Cassel's quarterback skills. The Broncos will be on the field for the majority of the game, and they will simply wear down KC's average defense.
Tebow is never going to light the world on fire with his passing skills, and it wouldn't shock anybody to see him complete less than 50 percent of his passes yet again. However, the combination of Tebow and McGahee will be too much for the Chiefs to handle.
I wouldn't be shocked to see the Broncos win by a similar margin that they won by at Oakland. This game won't be nearly as high scoring, but I would expect to see the Broncos win somewhere in the neighborhood of 27-17.
The Broncos will win. The Chiefs will lose. Denver will be in second place in the AFC West by the end of Sunday.
Final Prediction: Broncos 27 Chiefs 17