The NFL week 15 Broncos at Chiefs free pick needs to have the weather taken into consideration as the forecast is a very snowy day in Kansas City. Andy Reid’s team is a 10 point favorite in this one but how will Mother Nature effect that spread as well as the total of 44.5? KC relies on their speed, can Denver take advantage if that is neutralized? Is it a game to take the points regardless?
Denver Has Been Playing Well
It would have been interesting to see the Broncos and Chiefs square off without the inclement weather just to see how Denver’s recent run really stacks up. Vic Fangio’s team has rattled off two straight wins since making the QB change to Drew Lock. The former Missouri signal caller plays his favorite childhood team today, in weather that the Lee’s Summit native should be at least somewhat familiar with.
The Broncos offense has looked much better the last two weeks, scoring a 23-20 win over the Chargers (DEN +4.5) and thumping Houston 38-24 at home last week (DEN +8). The rookie signal caller was especially impressive last week, going 22/27 for 309 with 3/1. Kansas City’s defense was a laughing stock early in the season, but they’ve really buckled down over the past month. The NFL week 15 Broncos at Chiefs free pick will be a test for Lock.
Of course the Denver defense has shown some holes even though that’s supposed to be Fangio’s area of expertise. Phillip Rivers was 20/29 for 265 and the Chargers rushed for another 115 in a game that LAC could have easily won. Last week the Texans had 22 carries for 134 on the ground with Deshaun Watson throwing for another 292. Those aren’t great numbers ahead of a matchup with Kansas City.
Chiefs Slowed in the Snow?
The Chiefs offense has looked mortal at times over the last three games but you know that’s when expectations are high as K.C. has gone 3-0 over that span. Last week Kansas City was able to take the fast track to a first round playoff bye, jumping New England for the #2 spot in the AFC after a 23-16 win in Foxborough. Despite clinching the AFC West, K.C. still has something to play for then – especially with New England matched up with Cincinnati on Sunday.
Kansas City has had a very hard time getting their running game going, with just 29 carries for 75 yards vs. the Patriots. Even in a 40-9 win over the Raiders the week prior, the Chiefs had just 29 carries for 96 yards. That would be the area to exploit vs. Denver, as the Broncos pass defense is 6th in the league (rush 21st). With a snowy field though, throw everything out the window. Patrick Mahomes has ‘only’ 1 TD in each of the last 3 games, but perhaps the inclement weather makes it easier for somebody like Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce to get loose? One slip by a DB and that’s some easy points.
The biggest change in this game (besides the weather) is the fact that the Chiefs defense has been coming into their own at just the right time of year. New England had 22-94 on the ground last week and Tom Brady threw for just 169. KC held Oakland to just 9 points the game prior and the Chargers to 17 points in LA three weeks ago. The Chiefs matched up well with Denver earlier in the year too, winning 30-6 in week 7 as the Broncos had 71 yards rushing and only 134 through the air.
NFL Week 15 Broncos at Chiefs Free Pick
Can Kansas City avoid the letdown game after such a big win vs. New England last week? Drew Lock played well in his first career road game last week but he’s still very young and it’s possible the rookie is TOO amped up playing his favorite childhood team on Sunday. The snow brings out the crazy in fans, so expect an even more raucous Arrowhead crowd in this one.
Pick: Chiefs -10