The Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos kick off the second week of the NFL season with a Thursday night match-up. Will Peyton Manning bounce back from last week’s embarrassing defeat? Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 10:25am (AEST).
Despite 40 attempts and 24 completions, Peyton Manning could only manage 175 yards and a pick six in the Broncos’ 19-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
The veteran quarterback was put on the injury report with a back issue – possibly brought on by the four sacks he sustained. He is listed as ‘probable’ for the clash with the Chiefs, with full participation in practice.
Other players on the injury list who are also ‘probable’ and fully participated in practice include linebacker Brandon Marshall (foot), wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hand), safety David Bruton (hip) and linebacker Lerentee McCray (groin).
Running back C.J. Anderson (ankle), safety Darien Stewart (groin) and defensive end Malik Jackson (head) are all listed as ‘questionable’, with limited participation in practice. Safety Omar Bolden (foot) is doubtful, and defensive end Kenny Anunike (knee) is out.
With so many injuries, it could be a tough night for the Broncos, and if Peyton and Thomas aren’t fully healthy and in step, expect another dismal performance. If C.J. Anderson doesn’t play, along with all those missing members of the defence, they won’t win.
The Chiefs had a nice, 27-20 win against the Houston Texans, even forcing the team to name Ryan Mallett as starting quarterback after Brian Hoyer’s poor performance. Alex Smith was on fire, going 22 of 33 for 243 yards and three touchdowns.
Travis Kelce caught six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns – expect him to be utilised heavily again. Jamaal Charles had a better day receiving than running, notching 46 yards and a touchdown in the air; look for Jeremy Maclin to get his first career touchdown too.
The Chiefs’ injury woes are even greater than the Broncos if you’re just going off the mere number of players listed on the injury report. The good news is that all of them are ‘probable’ to play against the Broncos and participated fully in practice.
On the offence, you have guard Jeff Allen (knee), tight ends Demetrius Harris (foot) and Travis Kelce (hip), running back Charcandrick West (achilles), tackle Eric Fisher (ankle) and wide receivers Jason Avant (hip), Albert Wilson (shoulder) and Jeremy Maclin (back).
The defensive casualties are fewer – linebackers Joshua Mauga (achilles), Tamba Hali (neck) and D.J. Alexander (hamstring), safety Husain Abdullah (quadricep) and defensive tackle Dontari Poe (back).
There are some big names on the injury report for the Chiefs too, but with all 14 players currently listed as likely to play, they should have the upper hand.
Manning and company will end up going 0-2 behind another great Alex Smith outing and some improved play for Jamaal Charles. Kelce and Maclin will dominate the air and put up three touchdowns between them.
Is this the beginning of the end for Peyton, or we being overly dramatic and need to remember it’s only the first week of football, and this is Peyton Manning we’re talking about?
Join The Roar from 10:25am (AEST) for score updates and debate in our live blog.