After a big win over the not so mighty Giants, questions are once again swirling around the Denver Broncos. Are they back to their winning ways? Are they good enough to win in Arrowhead stadium for a change? Was Thanksgiving’s win a holiday miracle or a sign of a late season surge? Trust me friends, I’d like to know the answer to those questions myself, and using Madden 10 down the final stretch of the NFL season, we’ll see if we can’t find some answers. As for whether or not the Broncos can beat the Chiefs, and do it in Arrowhead, well that’s a tougher call than you might think. The Chiefs found a way to take down the defending champion Steelers, but then got blown out by the Chargers. Which of those teams will show up against the Broncos, the plucky underdogs or the inept losers? Well, Madden 10 seems to think that although it won’t be a mistake free game, the Broncos will have a pretty good shot at beating the Chiefs this week, even if it is in Arrowhead.
While the Broncos had their share of mistakes, including a couple of fumbles by Moreno, and a slow start in the first quarter (only 2 plays and grand total of 1 yard), overall the Broncos played well. The offense put in a solid performance with 15 of 18 passes completed by Orton for 144 yards and 2 TDs. Moreno carried the ball 19 times for 119 yards and two TDs of his own, but he also fumbled the ball twice and lost both. Meanwhile, the defense had a heyday. The D had four sacks, including two by Dumervile and about another half dozen knock-downs on Cassel. All of this harassment led to a couple interceptions, one of which was returned by Bailey for a TD. All of that added up for a 35-7 over the Chiefs. The Broncos need at least ten wins to find their way to a wildcard playoff berth, so despite all their trouble in winning at Arrowhead, if they want to see the post-season, this game is a must win. Can they do it? Monday will tell.
[Update] The Broncos really didn’t have any trouble handling the Chiefs this weekend, and if they can play at this level next week agains the Colts, well, anything is possible. Kyle Orton was his solid, reliable self throwing 15 of 25 passes for 2 TDs and one INT. The ground game was where the action was really at. Moreno rushed 21 times for 86 yards and 2 TDs. Meanwhile Buckhalter gashed the Chiefs for 113 yards on just 12 rushes and the Peyton Hillis mopped things up late in the game with another 47 yards on just 7 runs. On the defensive side, Dumervile picked up another sack, Goodman recoverd a fumble for a TD and had an INT, and the defense generally just harassed Cassel and shut down the ground game in a truly dominating performace. If there was one weak aspect to Denver’s game this week, it was the turnovers. Orton lost two fumbles and threw an interception. If the Broncos plan to get a win at Indy, they need to hang on to the ball and bring their A game. With just four games left, Denver needs at least two more wins, although three would be nice. Can they get one in an upset over Indy? See what Madden 10 predicts later this week.