Denver Broncos 2016: AFC West Preview – Week Twelve

The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs set to face each other on Sunday Night in an effort to catch the Raiders! Let’s look at the AFC West in Week 12.

To say this week’s match-up against the Kansas City Chiefs is a must win for the Denver Broncos would be a huge understatement.  Both teams enter week twelve at 7-3 and are one game behind the Oakland Raiders!  Please continue reading for my thoughts and opinion on this game, as well as the other two games featuring teams in the AFC West!

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

While I love the strategy of football, I am more of a heart-person so I tend to base my opinion and predictions on my heart, rather than my head.  I will leave the x’s and o’s to the so-called expert analysts who get paid to predict professional football.  Can this form of entertainment really be predicted?  That is probably a post for another day.

My heart-filled prediction for this game goes all the way back to November 15, 2015 when Kansas City came to Denver and went home with a 29-13 victory of the eventual Super Bowl champions.  I bring that game up because I simply want revenge for that game!!  

I don’t like it when a division rival comes to Denver and wins – especially when it is the Kansas City Chiefs.  Currently, the place I call home is in the midwest and I have had my fill of Chiefs and their fans to last a lifetime. A couple of lifetimes actually.  Truth be known, I probably get hounded by the “die-hard” Chief fans a bit more because of my total, unending dedication to Denver and the Broncos (Bronco season tickets for 23 years and counting)!

A Bronco victory Sunday night would make Tuesday morning at work so enjoyable, plus the drive home would be oh, so sweet!  Yes, I am in Denver for this Sunday night match-up.

So, how do I want to see the Broncos achieve their eighth victory of the season?  

I would love to see the offensive line finally gel and have a superb game, allowing Devontae Booker to run wild.  If that happens, it will obviously open up the passing game.  The Kansas City Chiefs rushing defense is ranked 27th in league, allowing 121.1 yards rushing per game; the Chiefs 16th ranked pass defense has allowed 252.6 yards per game.  On the flip-side of the ball, the Broncos are ranked 23rd in both rushing offense (97.4 ypg) and passing offense (227.3 ypg).  The Broncos have room for improvement in both areas.

Lastly, I really hope the Broncos defense steps it up this week and totally dominates from the opening kickoff.  I want to hear talk about the “Orange Crush” after this game.  Can they do it?  Absolutely!!  Will they do it?  I can’t wait to see!!

Prediction: Denver 31, Kansas City 17

Derek Carr

Nov 21, 2016; Mexico City, MEX; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass against the Houston Texans at Estadio Azteca. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers at Oakland Raiders

No doubt, Bronco fans need the Carolina Panthers to fly across the country and knock the Raiders of their pedestal that they are sitting on at 8-2.  I cringe when I type these words, but the Raiders 8-2 record puts them atop the AFC West.  The Broncos may need help from other teams against the Raiders, prior to their second match-up with the black-and-silver, which will bring the 2016 regular season to a close.

Can Cam Newton and the Panthers beat the Raiders?  I believe they can because the Raiders pass defense is still suspect.  In the Monday night match-up south of the border, Brock Osweiler carved up the Raiders defense for 26 completions and 243 yards.  Cam will have to do that if they want to beat the Raiders.

Derek Carr continues to have an awesome year, as well as his receiving corp.  Regardless of questionable calls last Monday night, Carr had another great game – 21 completions for 295 yards and three touchdowns.  The Panthers will have to find a way to shut this down!

Even though I think the Panthers could be the Raiders, my gut tells me the Broncos will not get any help this week.  I look for the Raiders to win this game, probably by a larger margin than the spread (currently at three), which will improve their record to 9-2.  If this happens, hopefully the Broncos will keep pace with the Raiders by beating the Chiefs!

Prediction: Oakland 31, Carolina 17

Nov 13, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks across the line during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Chargers at Houston Texans

The 4-6 Chargers still have an outside chance at a playoff spot. Mathematically, San Diego is still in it.  The Chargers travel to Houston to face the 6-4 Texans, another AFC team, making this a definite win for the lightning bolts.

This game may come down to a tale of two different quarterbacks – the aged, experienced Philip Rivers versus the young, somewhat inexperienced Brock Osweiler.  I am not a huge fan of Rivers for the obvious reasons, but I think I will give him the advantage in this game.  Even though the Texans are in first place in their division, I am not sold on them one bit; the four teams in their division are a combined 18-24 while the AFC West has a 26-14 record.   While the Chiefs and Broncos are one of the most intriguing games of the week, this contest between the Chargers and Texans is at the opposite end of the spectrum in my opinion.

Prediction: San Diego 24, Houston 21

Go Broncos – beat the Chiefs!

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