Who: Denver Broncos (7-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3)
What: NFL Week 12
When: 6:30 p.m. MST, Sunday, Nov. 27
Where: Sports Authority Field
Announcers: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth
Radio: KOA (850 AM), The Fox (103.5 FM)
Odds: Broncos -3.5, O/U 39.5
K.C. leads the all-time series 57-55, but the Orange & Blue had reeled off seven straight wins before the Chiefs’ 29-13 win in Denver in Week 10 last season.
The Broncos have won eight of their last nine home games while Kansas City has won eight of its last 11 road contests dating back through the win in Denver last November.
This, of course, will be Trevor Siemian’s first start against the Chiefs while K.C. QB Alex Smith is 2-5 all-time against the Broncos, including one start with the 49ers, with eight touchdown passes, five interceptions and a 78.8 rating.
Largely because of the two head-to-head remaining meetings, the Broncos and Chiefs own the league’s two toughest remaining schedules with the remaining six opponents for both teams owning combined 37-26 records (.587).
This will be the Broncos’ NFL-most 17th home prime-time game since the start of the 2011 season. Denver has gone 14-2 in those 16 games with an average margin of victory of 29.4-18.9.
Since, 1990, the Broncos are 21-6 coming off their bye week, including a 15-3 mark in home contests.
The 39.5-point over/under total for Sunday night’s contest is the lowest of the season for both squads.
What to Watch For
A must-win for Denver Yeah, both teams are 7-3 and currently looking up at 8-2 Oakland in the AFC West, but make no mistake, this game is easily more important to the Orange & Blue. It’s a home contest with the return date set for Christmas night in K.C. so the Broncos must hold serve with tough matchups looming against the Patriots and Raiders down the stretch. And courtesy of their road losses to the Chargers and Raiders, Broncos aren’t in great tiebreaker shape in the top-heavy AFC West with a 1-2 division record – K.C. is 2-0 and Oakland is 2-1 – and need to make up ground, starting Sunday night.
Key injuries The bye week came at the right time for the Broncos, who should have their top cornerback Aqib Talib (back) and top defensive lineman Derek Wolfe (elbow) back after multiple-week absences. The only new injury for the Broncos is to long-snapper Casey Kreiter, who will be replaced by newly-signed veteran Thomas Gafford. Denver must ensure that transition is a smooth one. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are hurting big time with NFL sack leader Dee Ford (hamstring) and No. 1 WR Jeremy Maclin (groin) already ruled out and top CB Marcus Peters (hip), veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson (Achilles) and stud defensive lineman Dontari Poe (back) all listed as questionable. Again, the onus will be on the Broncos to take full advantage with the Chiefs at less than full strength.
Turnover tale more telling than ever Turnovers in the NFL are vital in any game, but double and triple down on that in this one. The Chiefs (23) and Broncos (20) have the most takeaways in the league this season and not surprisingly are also first and second in points scored off of takeaways with the Broncos leading the way with 93 and the Chiefs second with 72. Denver owns an NFL-best 28-game win streak when winning the turnover battle while the Chiefs are 28-6 under coach Andy Reid (since 2013) when finishing with a turnover advantage and 11-16 when they don’t. Denizens of Broncos Country and Chiefs Kingdom can do the rest of the math from there.