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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: KCC 14, DEN 20

Update: Brandon Stokley has been held out of practice this week because of a sprained knee and could end up as a gametime decision. I am lowering his projections and realize that he may not play and Glenn Martinez could end up taking his place.

The Chiefs are on a five game losing streak and are 2-3 on the road but the Broncos have lost their last two games - both on the road - and return to Denver where they are 3-3. While Denver seems to lose in creative ways, the Chiefs just plain lose from a lack of weapons.

The Broncos won 27-11 in Kansas City just four weeks ago.

Kansas City Chiefs (4-8)
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 11-27 -3 37.5
11 @IND 10-13 +15 44
12 OAK 17-20 -5.5 34.5
13 SD 10-24 +3.5 43
14 @DEN   +6.5 37.5
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 at DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brodie Croyle     180,1
RB Kolby Smith 90,1 10  
TE Tony Gonzalez   50  
WR Eddie Kennison   30  
WR Samie Parker   20  
WR Dwayne Bowe   60,1  
PK John Carney   2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Chiefs are playing out another disappointing season and one where the youth movement has done little more than gain Dwayne Bowe and lose most all productive veterans besides Tony Gonzalez. The difference in this game from a month ago is that Priest Holmes has finally officially retired and Kolby Smith is the last man standing. What is likely this week is a lower scoring game since the Chiefs on the road have been involved in less than 30 total points four out of their five road games this year. The Chiefs defense has quietly been much improved this year, unlike the offense.

Quarterback: It appears that Brodie Croyle will return this week after sitting out the loss to the Chargers with a sore back. That could be timely since Damon Huard injured his arm last week and had to be replaced by Tyler Thigpen. But Croyle is unlikely to make much difference since he has yet to throw for more than one score in any game or turn in more than 169 passing yards.

Both Croyle and Huard played in the last meeting against the Broncos and combined for 245 yards and one score.

Running Backs: After his big debut against the Raiders when he ran for 150 yards and two scores, Kolby Smith still had a decent showing against the Chargers last Sunday when he gained 83 yards on 21 carries. In his two starts, the Chiefs have hardly used him as a receiver at all but he is averaging 4.5 yards per carry as a started and faces a weaker rush defense this week.

Priest Holmes started against the Broncos in the last meeting and only gained 65 yards on 20 carries.

Wide Receivers: Dwayne Bowe has been stuck around 60 yards per week for the last three games thanks to being the only wideout that concerns the secondary (and rightfully so) but at least Croyle is able to connect with him and gave him nine catches for 105 yards versus the Broncos this year. Any other wideout here is lucky to have two catches in a game. Croyle doesn't completely kill Bowe's production but he certainly doesn't connect with any other wide receiver much.

Tight Ends: The great news is that Tony Gonzalez comes off a season high of ten catches for 140 yards! The bad new is that was because Damon Huard was starting and with Croyle as the starter, Gonzalez settles for less than 50 yards each week. He has four games over 100 yards this year and every one was with Huard.

Gonzalez only caught three passes for 29 yards against the Broncos this year.

Match Against the Defense: The only changes this time from a month ago is that they game is played in Denver instead of Kansas CIty and Croyle should get the full start. Also Smith is the runner now instead of old man Holmes and the Chiefs will no doubt try to rush as much as possible. Look for a decent game from Smith here with a shot at one touchdown but likely a lack of carries will prevent a big game.

Croyle is just locked in at sub-200 yard games with no more than one score and that is realistic here. He always depresses what Gonzalez can do and at least holds Bowe up to decent production. Bowe's match-up against Dre' Bly should result in an average game with a shot at one score. Denver may be weak against tight ends, but Croyle just does not have the chemistry with Gonzalez.

Gaining Fantasy Points KC 28 30 29 5 30 20
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 28 23 12 30 27 29


Denver Broncos (5-7)
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 27-11 +3 37.5
11 TEN 34-20 -2.5 38
12 @CHI 34-37 +2.5 41
13 @OAK 20-34 -3 41.5
14 KC   -6.5 37.5
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 vs KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     200,1
RB Travis Henry 80,1 10  
TE Tony Scheffler   50,1  
WR Javon Walker   20  
WR Brandon Stokley   30  
WR Brandon Marshall   70  
PK Jason Elam 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Broncos continue their frustrating ways again coming off their first loss in Oakland since 2002 and being the first AFC West team to lose there since 2003. But once again, Denver's rushing defense toilet paper soft and allowed the Raiders to run all over them - with Justin Fargas no less. Travis Henry returned with little fanfare and even less rushing yards while Jay Cutler vacillates between promising and bumbling. This week should be a win, but then again, so should have last week.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler comes off one of his worst games of the year completing only 16 of 32 for 214 yards and two interceptions in Oakland. He also lost a fumble. The return of Javon Walker has been mostly just in spirit and Cutler is still making mistakes like a first year player. He only passed for for 192 yards and one score in Kansas City back in week ten. Some weeks he looks really good and others he takes a big step backwards.

Running Backs: The Broncos welcomed back Travis Henry last week and got two touchdowns in return - but only 49 yards on 15 carries against what had been one of the worst rushing defenses in the NFL. Selvin Young gained 28 yards on seven carries but left the game with an arm injury. Henry blamed his troubles running on his still injured knee that still prevents him from making sharp cuts and led to him fumbling twice in Oakland. I will project for just Henry to play this week but Young has not been ruled out. The team says he only has a bruised arm but he had to wrap it with ice after the game.

In other news, Travis Henry won his appeal. Evidently the NFL takes a really long time to get around to admitting they were wrong.

Young gained 109 yards on 20 carries and scored once in Kansas City this year.

Wide Receivers: If you were disappointed how Javon Walker did not have a pass in his first game "back" in week 12, then you probably were only slightly happier with the one catch for seven yards last week. Walker is clearly hampered by his knee and not nearly healthy yet. Brandon Stokley stepped up to a season high 102 yards on three catches last week but usually tops out around 70 yards and only had 36 yards on two catches in Kansas City a month ago. Brandon Marshall has been consistent with around 70 yards or so in most games and had six receptions for 85 yards in Kansas City this year.

Tight Ends: Tony Scheffler had four catches for 31 yards against the Chiefs this year but Daniel Graham scored once on his two catches. Graham has not had a catch for the last two weeks while Scheffler had a season high 82 yards and a score in Chicago before settling for just one reception last week.

Match Against the Defense: This game could be tougher than seems rational since the Broncos have an injured Travis Henry and an inconsistent Cutler facing a very good secondary. I still like Henry to score once this week and the Denver defense can rely on Croyle making some mistakes to put up decent field position.

Cutler was not that successful in the first meeting and will likely struggle again this week since the Chiefs are good against wideouts and held them a month ago. That should see Tony Scheffler turn in a decent game here unless Graham shows up again.

Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 14 13 16 12 17 17
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 4 22 5 7 19 30

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~ 2007 ~
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