Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt hope to add some spice to a stale Chiefs offensive attack in 2017.
The AFC West was given the toughest grade for their 2017 schedule. In fact, all four AFC West teams were in the top 5 of toughest schedules for 2017.
The Denver Broncos’ toughest opponent in 2016 were the Kansas City Chiefs, who the Broncos lost to in both matchups last year.
Against the Broncos in 2016
The Chiefs stunned the Broncos in the first game on Nov. 27 30-27 in overtime in Denver.
The game was by far the best game for the Denver Broncos as an offense, Trevor Siemian as a quarterback and cohesiveness in general for the team that had been sputtering.
Siemian completed 20/34 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns. Devantae Booker had a productive day as well as the primary ball carrier with nearly 100 total yards.
The game was a stunner for Denver. The Broncos had an eight-point lead with 3:00 left on the clock and allowed Alex Smith to drive down and send the game to OT.
In overtime, both teams successfully kicked field goals on their first possessions but Broncos kicker Brandon McManus missed a 62-yard field goal on his next try.
Carlos Santos won the game 30-27 on a 44-yard kick.
On Christmas Day, Denver had no answer for Kansas City at Arrowhead 33-10.
The Chiefs defense set the stage for what the 2017 incarnation will look like. Just better.
The Denver Broncos couldn’t mount any offense against the stingy Chiefs defense. Kansas City held Denver to 183 yards from Trevor Siemian, and a pedestrian 60 total yards on the ground from the rushing attack.
It was a signal that Denver’s season was over and Kansas City had peaked at the right time.
Against the Broncos in 2017
Alex Smith posted some of his the worst totals as a quarterback under Andy Reid in 2016. In the bottom third in touchdown passes with 15, Smith had only one game over 300 yards in 16.
In order for the Chiefs to advance, Smith must be better and take more chances.
Spencer Ware was a top-10 fantasy running back in 2016 in the first half of the season. But he fell off dramatically on the load of the full time split after Jamaal Charles never returned to full form after his knee surgery.
To bolster the rushing attack, the Chiefs drafted Toledo’s Kareem Hunt to push Ware for carries. The Ware/Hunt attack will likely work as a 60/40 split in Ware’s favor until the rookie gets his legs and the offense under him.
The rushing attack, much like Oakland, will attack the Denver Broncos’ weak defensive line.
Alex Smith’s deficiencies as a quarterback are less of a disability to the team who seldom (like many in the league) will challenge the Broncos elite secondary.
Despite Smith’s monekur as a game manager, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are as dynamic as they come. Hill will take over the top spot from departed #1 receiver Jeremy Maclin, and Kelce is drawing comparisons to Rob Gronkowski.
The Chief’s Vegas Win Total is 9.5. Vegas is seldom wrong with their predictions. But the offseason upheaval and disfunction leads many to believe the Chiefs are set for a regression.
Head coach Andy Reid seemed out of the loop with the firing of GM John Dorsey. He and the cutting of Jeremy Maclin, who were both “Reid” guys, came as a shock. A record of 8-8 appears a more likely result.