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Thursday Night Football: Denver Broncos v. Kansas City Chiefs

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One of the biggest rivalries of the AFC West is about to get underway as the Denver Broncos take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Join other fans in the discussion during the game tonight.

"Please make it out to bigfatdrunk."
"Please make it out to bigfatdrunk."
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos

The Broncos barely edged past the Ravens in a season opener that ended in a narrow 19-13 victory.  How close was the game?  Let's start by saying that there were NO offensive touchdowns for either team.  Baltimore was held to just 173 yards of offense, which is the second fewest in team history under John Harbaugh.  The once high-powered offense of Denver was limited to just 219 yards, and there were less than five minutes remaining in the game before either offense reached the red zone of the opponent.

Defensive touchdowns for both teams were provided by dueling "pick-6" plays.  The first was by cornerback Jimmy Smith of the Ravens, who returned an interception 24-yards to pay-dirt.  Cornerback Aqib Talib answered with a 51-yard interception for a touchdown to give the Broncos the lasting lead in the game.

What's most noteworthy is not that both teams had a strong defensive showing, but that Peyton Manning slogged through to the tune of a mere 24 of 40 for 175 yards.  He was sacked four times, his most since 2013.  There is rising concern that there may not be much left in the tank for the future Hall of Fame signal-caller.  Will he be able to silence those concerns tonight in Kansas City, or will the Chiefs rag-doll the Broncos offense like they did to the Texans in their season opener?

Kansas City Chiefs

The Houston Texans were clearly unprepared when they hosted the Chiefs last week.  The first half of that game looked like a poorly scripted scrimmage by Houston, with turnovers, blown coverage by the defense, and only 9 players on the field for the first punt return of the game.  Kansas City did what any good NFL team should do, and immediately went up 14-0 by capitalizing on a multitude of ineptness by the Texans.  Quarterback Alex Smith looked sharp, Travis Kelce played like he was recording a highlight reel for the best tight end in the NFL, and the Chiefs' defense piled-up the stats with 5 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery.

Houston improved in the second half, and with about six minutes remaining in the game, they changed quarterbacks by parking Brian Hoyer and unleashing Ryan Mallett.  Before time expired, Mallett rallied Houston from a 27-9 deficit to being just an onside kick away from a chance to tie or win.  The final score was 27-20.

Game Preview From NFL.com:

Tonight's game could be another defensive quagmire between two longtime division rivals, but there are plenty of stars for both offenses to break things open as well.  Pull up a chair with your favorite beverage as we settle in for our second week of NFL football for 2015.

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