Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
Peyton Manning and the Broncos are looking for a first-round bye against the woeful Chiefs in their regular season finale.
With a win, Denver would at least clinch a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed. The Broncos would also have an outside shot at gaining home-field advantage throughout the playoffs should the Houston Texans lose to the Indianapolis Colts.
Kansas City is also playing for something big. Should they continue their trend of losing, the Chiefs would earn the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, lining them up to take a quarterback in the first round for the first time since 1983.
Meet the Denver Broncos
Denver has been a balanced team all year despite most of the headlines extolling Peyton Manning and the offense. Defensively, the Broncos have been exceptional behind the play of second-year linebacker Von Miller and Champ Bailey, an ageless stalwart in the secondary.
Of course, Manning has been the lynchpin of it all. The former Colt has been brilliant after missing a year due to neck surgery, passing for 4,355 yards and leading Denver to the playoffs for the second-consecutive year.
Demaryius Thomas has also had the breakout year so many expected when Manning arrived, catching 87 passes for 1,312 yards. Eric Decker is also contributing nicely, needing just 12 yards for 1,000 on the campaign.
Meet the Kansas City Chiefs
What's left to say about the Chiefs? It's been the worst season in franchise history by just about any available metric you want to call on.
Kansas City has shattered it's previous mark for worst point differential, coming into Week 17 at -179. Incredibly, many experts picked the Chiefs to make the playoffs as a division champion. Obviously, the team has fallen grossly short of those expectations.
It's easy to blame the quarterbacks and coaching, and with good reason. Both have been utterly embarrassing, which is why Romeo Crennel, Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn will be making their last appearances in red and yellow on Sunday.
Local Takes: Denver Broncos
Knowshon Moreno had turned his career around. Not only does he deserve to be around next year, he has earned the starting spot for next year.
Local Takes: Kansas City Chiefs
When I sat in that press box and saw Charles take the handoff, rush to the left side of the field, take his block and cut back to the right, sprint to the middle of the field, and then seeing the cut back into the inside, into the end zone and jumping into the crowd ... I knew I was watching greatness.
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With a bye week in the playoffs on the line and the 2-13 Chiefs coming into town, it's impossible to see a scenario where the Broncos walk away with a loss.
Peyton Manning will have his way with a talented but seriously underperforming Kansas City defense. He won't need to score much, considering how well his defense has played and just how terrible the Chiefs offense is.
Denver can comfortably stack the box with eight men throughout the contest, focusing solely on stopping Jamaal Charles. If there was ever a player to feel for, it would have to be Charles. What a brilliant player, and yet he's being wasted on a team that is destined for oblivion once again.
The pick: 34-10, Broncos
The Broncos are favored by 17 points at home, according to Oddsshark.
The Chiefs will be playing against their couches and come in as six-point underdogs at home, while Denver will be gearing up for a playoff run.