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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 22, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
  CIN at CLE NYG at TEN   Updated

Prediction: DEN 13, KC 17

What a nice ending to Turkey Day! In the NFL's quest to blanket the airwaves and gain even more advertising revenue on Thanksgiving, they served up a game that should no in way resemble a turkey. The Broncos are 7-3 and trail the Chargers that beat them last week. The Chiefs are 6-4 and trail the Broncos by one game. The Broncos barely won 9-6 when the Chiefs came to Denver earlier this year and now in Arrowhead there's even more on the line.

Denver Broncos (7-3)
1 10-18 @STL 10 17-13 @OAK
2 9-6 KC 11 27-35 SD
3 17-7 @NE 12 --- @KC
4 Open Bye 13 --- SEA
5 13-3 BAL 14 --- @SD
6 13-3 OAK 15 --- @ARZ
7 17-7 @CLE 16 --- CIN
8 34-31 IND 17 --- SF
9 31-20 @PIT - MON THU
DEN at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Jake Plummer 20 0 200,1
RB Damien Nash 30 0 0
RB Mike Bell 60 20 0
TE Stephen Alexander 0 10 0
WR Rod Smith 0 40 0
WR Brandon Marshall 0 30 0
WR Javon Walker 0 80,1 0
PK Jason Elam 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: Denver fell to the Chargers last week when the defense suddenly took a vacation in the second half. Once the Chargers got the lead, it forced the Broncos right where they never wanted to be - relying on Jake Plummer. Now Denver hits the road to Arrowhead where Denver has not won since 2002. This is a game that both need to win to have any hopes of the division title and Denver manages at least some nice timing with Tony Gonzalez likely out this week.

Quarterback: Last week when the Chargers roared back and the Broncos could no longer rely on defense and the running game, Jake Plummer stepped up to the plate and only completed 13 of 28 passes for 183 yards and no scores. Plummer only threw for 173 yards and no score in week two against the Chiefs. While he had a couple of good games this year, they came against weaker opponents. Against a good defense - Plummer has folded.

Running Backs: Last week had Tatum Bell inactive and Mike Bell start the game. Mike ran for a very respectable 90 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns. But he had to share with Damien Nash who took ten carries and gained 52 yards. Tatum is still hampered by his turf toe and while he may return this week, I am projecting for the same backfield as last week. This is a big game and a hobbled running back makes even less sense than Shanahan usually does.

Tatum Bell (16-69) and Mike Bell (13-44) were still sharing carries in week two when the Chiefs came to Denver.

Wide Receivers: No secret here. Plummer throws to Javon Walker and almost no one else - at least not for completions. Walker had four catches for 68 yards last week and failed to score for the first time in four weeks. Rod Smith and Brandon Marshall? Nothing more than garnish on the plate. They usually ring in with two or less catches every week though they have turned in the odd touchdown three times this year.

Walker had 79 yards on five catches against Kansas City while Rod Smith was limited to just two receptions for 16 yards in week two. Nothing has changed.

Tight Ends: Tony Scheffler was inactive against San Diego for the second straight week while Stephen Alexander played in order to make one catch for four yards.

Match Against the Defense: Bad news for the ever shifting Denver backfield - no opposing runner has rushed in a score in the last four games and that includes Tomlinson (15-66) and Gore (14-65). Expect moderate numbers at best from whichever runner ends up the primary this week and no scores.

Plummer has to step up here for the Broncos to win but he has already struggled once against the Chiefs in Denver and struggled just last week against the Chargers. This smacks of a low scoring game that should see Plummer throw no more than one touchdown. He only likes Walker anyway and the Chiefs are good at the corners.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 26 17 19 31 20 21
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 6 17 20 9 20 10


Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)
1 10-23 CIN 10 10-13 @MIA
2 6-9 @DEN 11 17-13 OAK
3 Open Bye 12 --- DEN
4 41-0 SF 13 --- @CLE
5 23-20 @ARZ 14 --- BAL
6 7-45 @PIT 15 --- @SD
7 30-27 SD 16 --- @OAK
8 35-28 SEA 17 --- JAX
9 31-17 @STL - THU SAT
KCC vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 190
RB Larry Johnson 110,2 40 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 30 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 40 0
WR Samie Parker 0 60 0
WR Dante Hall 0 20 0
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs were rolling along well for three high scoring weeks but then fell flat in Miami with a surprising loss. They barely clipped the Raiders much like most teams that know they can mail in their effort because this game was looming on the horizon. While the schedule is far from light, this game is throw down time for the Chiefs if they are going to have any place in the AFC West.

Quarterback: Trent Green returned to the playing field last week when he only completed 9 of 16 passes for 102 yards and no score. It was a rusty showing but the Chiefs had no need to make him press and throw more than necessary. The ground game with Johnson has been clicking well and Green needed a slow game to get back into the flow.

Huard threw for 133 yards and no score in Denver back in week two. Green had 253 passing yards and two scores when Denver visited last year.

Running Backs: Larry Johnson ranks tops in the league with 248 carries this year - 26 more than Edgerrin James who ranks second. His 12 rushing touchdowns would easily lead the league were it not for Tomlinson. He also ranks second in total yardage (1388). Over the last four home games, Johnson has always run for more than 100 yards and scored at least twice in each game.

Johnson gained 126 yards on 27 carries in Denver this year. He gained 140 yards and two scores in Kansas City last year when Denver showed up in week 13.

Wide Receivers: Green's return last week was no measuring stick though and these receivers will need to show up this week if only to keep the defense from committing 11 players against Larry Johnson. So far, this squad has held verr little fantasy value.

Eddie Kennison only had 39 yards on two catches and Samie Parker turned in five catches for just 37 yards in Denver earlier this season.

Tight Ends: Tony Gonzalez missed the game last week for the first time since 1999 but he is reported to be back in practice on Tuesday and likely to play in this game. While Gonzo did not do much in Denver earlier this year - he only had two catches for seven yards - he did score once on a 25 yard pass last year when Denver came to town. He may not be 100%, but he now is expected to play.

Match Against the Defense: The Denver rushing defense is good but not unbreakable. Tomlinson showed that last week and three runners have topped 100 yards against them including Larry Johnson, Expect two scores here and nice yardage because he will be getting quite the heavy workload.

Green goes against a very good secondary this week. Look for a low passing yardage effort here from Green who is still a bit rusty and has never used his wideouts much anyway. Kennison draws Champ Bailey, so more work should head over to Parker.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 28 3 28 5 21 28
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 5 15 2 18 15 4