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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

Prediction: DEN 10, KCC 24

Update: Travis Henry still has not practiced this week and I am lowering his projections. There is a chance that he will be inactive so check the Sunday Morning Inactives to make sure he is playing but lower expectation in the best case. This is a first round game so his status will be known by kickoff. Selvin Young will get the bulk of work if not all of it.

I am also adding Jay Cutler back into the projections as he has returned to practice. Barring any setbacks, he should play.

As expected, Eddie Kennison has been in full practices this week and should play. Dwayne Bowe's hamstring has done much better and he has been practicing and will play this week.

What a messy game. The Broncos come off a big-time spanking by the Lions and their previous road trip to that was losing by 18 to the Colts. Jay Cutler was cut down last week and the offense has never scored more than 20 points on the road this year anyway. And yet the Chiefs also come off a home loss to the Packers and they will be without Larry Johnson this week. This just looks like one ugly game.

These teams traded home wins in 2006 with the Chiefs winning 19-10 and the Broncos winning theirs by a score of 9-6.

Denver Broncos (3-5)
Homefield: Invesco Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @BUF 15-14 -3.5 37
2 OAK 23-20 -10 37.5
3 JAC 14-23 -3 35.5
4 @IND 20-38 +10 46.5
5 SD 3-41 +1 43
6 BYE - - -
7 PIT 31-28 +3.5 38.5
8 GB 13-19 -3 44
9 @DET 7-44 +3 45.5
10 @KC   +3 37.5
11 TEN 19-Nov MON 8:30 PM
12 @CHI 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @OAK 2-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
14 KC 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 @HOU 13-Dec THU 8:15 PM
16 @SD 24-Dec MON 8:00 PM
17 MIN 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
DEN at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     240,1
RB Travis Henry 20    
RB Selvin Young 70 30  
TE Tony Scheffler   50,1  
WR Glenn Martinez   30  
WR Brandon Stokley   40  
WR Brandon Marshall   80  
PK Jason Elam 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: There were fleeting hopes that the Broncos were turning around after they beat the Steelers but the last two weeks have clearly shown that all is not well in Denver and a 3-5 record may actually be exceeding expectations. Cutler has struggled this year and now is out with a leg injury while the world waits to find out when Travis Henry is suspended. Worse yet is a defense that has been horrible at stopping the run and yet has given up over 300 passing yards in two of the last three games.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler injured his leg last week but an MRI did not reveal any broken bones and there is still a chance that he could play this week depending on how quickly he bounces back. Patrick Ramsey stepped in and was generally effective throwing for 262 yards and one score with one interception. I will project for Ramsey to start this week but will update as warranted.

Plummer was the starter in both meetings with the Chiefs last year and only had one passing score against them and never more than 216 passing yards.

Running Backs: Travis Henry still awaits a decision on his appeal of his looming suspension but all he has done in the last three games is limit what Selvin Young could have done. Henry has only one score on the season and hasn't gained more than 65 rushing yards in the last three games. He injured his knee and missed the fourth quarter but is expected to be back this week. He's banged up and yet continues to start.

Selvin Young only had six carries for 12 yards last week but ran for 71 yards on 18 carries against the Packers. He's a Henry equivalent so far that is much healthier and without the background legal wranglings.

Denver never scored a rushing touchdown against the Chiefs last season and never had more than 69 rushing yards from any runner.

Wide Receivers: Without Javon Walker in the lineup, Brandon Marshall has been stepping up and has gained at least 70 yards per week for the last four games. He's a solid wideout regardless which quarterback has played. Brandon Stokley hasn't been nearly as productive with yardage but has three scores on the year including one last week. This unit will be tested against a good secondary in Kansas City.

Tight Ends: The second-year tight end Tony Scheffler continues to shine with six catches for 46 yards last week and a score in each of the previous two games. Even Daniel Graham showed up last week with three catches for 42 yards though he typically has only one catch for minimal yardage each week.

Match Against the Defense: The Chiefs rushing defense has been very good this year with only three runners scoring against them and the Broncos featuring a banged up Henry splitting time with Young. Expect only moderate overall yardage with no score.

Ramsey goes against a secondary that has been tops this year but that was worse against the Bengals and Packers - both good passing teams. The Broncos are only average on a good day so look for just one passing score here that has to favor Scheffler the most but could end up with Stokley again.

Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 12 21 15 12 25 27
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 7 12 14 8 23 27


Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @HOU 3-20 +3 38
2 @CHI 10-20 +12 34.5
3 MIN 13-10 -3 33.5
4 @SD 30-16 +13 38.5
5 JAC 7-17 +2 35
6 CIN 27-20 +3 42
7 @OAK 12-10 +3 37.5
8 BYE - - -
9 GB 22-33 -2.5 38.5
10 DEN   -3 37.5
11 @IND 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 OAK 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 SD 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @DEN 9-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
15 TEN 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 @DET 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @NYJ 30-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
KCC vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Damon Huard     230,2
RB Priest Holmes 30    
RB Kolby Smith 60,1 20  
TE Tony Gonzalez   80,1  
WR Eddie Kennison   30  
WR Samie Parker   30  
WR Dwayne Bowe   40,1  
PK Dave Rayner 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The loss to the Packers keeps the Chiefs tied with the Chargers for the AFC West lead at only 4-4 on the season but a win here is a must and comes at home where the Chiefs always play better. With a game in Indy waiting next week, the Chiefs need to focus on this well-known opponent and they have their own fate in their hands with a 2-0 record against their own division and six match-ups coming up which will spell their fate.

Quarterback: Damon Huard has been good enough this year to keep Brodie Croyle on the bench but he's developed a pattern that keeps Croyle's name in conversations. Huard has only once had more than 200 passing yards on the road this year and yet only once fell below the mark at home. He has thrown for two scores in both of the most recent games at Arrowhead Stadium. Granted he was sacked five times in each, but Huard plays better at home than on the road.

Neither Trent Green nor Huard threw for a score against the Broncos last year and never had more than 161 passing yards against them.

Running Backs: Trading away Michael Bennett maybe was premature since Larry Johnson is not expected to play this week after a sprained ankle against the Packers left him on crutches after the game. That leaves Priest Holmes as the likely starter once again but Holmes only had seven carries for 17 yards in his two games this year. The Chiefs will be turning to the rookie Kolby Smith more despite the fact that he has not had an actual NFL carry yet. Smith had two catches for 21 yards in week five but that is the extent of his touches this year. There is no way that Holmes is up to the task of being a full-time back and Smith will be the primary rusher in this game according to both HC Herman Edwards and rational reasoning.

Johnson enjoyed nice outings against Denver last year, rushing for 126 and 157 yards against them and scoring once in the home game.

Wide Receivers: Eddie Kennison is expected back this week and he will try to last more than one series before getting injured again. His first catch will double his season totals. Dwayne Bowe suffered a hamstring injury last week and was held to no catches when he missed most of the game. I will assume that Bowe is held out this week and that the lineup looks as it did last year. Bowe has clearly been the best wideout for the Chiefs this year but Kennison has a chance to redeem himself in what could be his final year.

Tight Ends: As expected last week, Tony Gonzalez had a great game with 109 yards on ten catches and one score. That gives him three of the last four efforts topping the 100 yard mark and he has four scores on the year so far.

Gonzalez never had more than 35 yards against the Broncos last season.

Match Against the Defense: This game is harder to predict since it could have the Broncos led by Ramsey and Larry Johnson is out. Denver has been horrible against running backs this year and is a golden opportunity for Kolby Smith and Priest Holmes. It is being potentially optimistic, but Smith could surprise here at home against a soft rush defense that has absolutely no game film on him.

Huard faces a defense that has really gone downhill in the last month since each opponent has thrown for at least 250 yards and two scores against the Broncos. Gonzalez has struggled against the Broncos in the past but tight ends have been turning in huge games against the Broncos this year - the last five games have seen six touchdowns to the position. Expect at least one score from Gonzalez and possibly two this week. I like Webb the most for the second passing score since that gets him away from Bly and Bailey.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 24 29 27 3 30 15
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 27 24 13 31 21 30

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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