Last Sunday night in the Mile High City, the defending Super Bowl champions Denver Broncos were beaten in overtime by the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-27. The team has lost as many games this season as they did during their championship year of 2015.
They have fallen to third place in the AFC West and are now two games behind the first-place Oakland Raiders. There’s no time to panic and this team has shown it knows how to win important games. You don’t win five consecutive division titles without a little savvy.
This Sunday’s trip to Jacksonville looks like a layup for Gary Kubiak’s club. But there are no such kind of games in the NFL, even against a 2-9 Jaguars’ team that has little or nothing to play for. Can the champs get off the carpet and start another winning streak?
Line: Broncos (-4.5)
We could see a fascinating battle when the Jaguars offense takes the field. Quarterback Blake Bortles has had his issues, but wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns will prove to be a very intriguing challenge to the likes of Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr., and the top-ranked pass defense in the NFL. Denver has forced 20 turnovers this season, including 10 interceptions, while giving up only 10 scores through the air. Robinson (53-591-6 TDs) and Hurns (46-581-2 TDs) have combined for 99 receptions, 1,172 yards and eight of Bortles’ 20 touchdown passes.
The Broncos defense isn’t exactly what it was from a year ago. But do the Jaguars have what it takes to expose this team’s biggest shortcoming? Jacksonville’s ground attack has been a big-time disappointment this season. But could Chris Ivory and the backfield exploit the league’s 27th-ranked run defense? Kubiak’s squad comes off an emotional five-quarter battle with the Chiefs and now must make the long trip to the Sunshine State. It may take them a while to warm up (what else is new?), but the champs will show their mettle.