STDL: Sunday a foregone conclusion?

So, the Chiefs suck, the Broncos are well-rounded and still improving, and may be the best team in the NFL.

The kickoff time for Pats/Dolphins has been shifted to 4:25pm ET, in order to coincide with Broncos/Chiefs, and ensure that Denver has something to play for.

Should be a blowout, right?

Probably, but the Broncos were supposed to have emerged from Kansas City with more than the eight-point victory they did a month ago.

What do the advanced metrics say about the rematch?

Advanced NFL Stats

Of course, the Broncos remain atop Brian Burke's effiency rankings (3rd offense, 3rd defense); the Chiefs are 31st overall (31st offense, 28th defense).

Denver is tied with Washington for passing efficiency and fourth (tie) in rushing, while on defense, they're third (tie) against the pass and sixth (tie) versus the run.

Pro Football Reference

The Broncos rank fourth overall (2nd offense, 5th defense) according to PFR's Simple Rating System.

Kansas City is 32nd overall (32nd offense, 26th defense).

Pro Football Focus

After having closed their gap with the top-ranked 49ers a week ago, Denver is now the highest graded team according to PFF, by a smidge over San Francisco. PFF grades the Broncos offense as third, and their defense as best in the league.

The Chiefs are graded at 25th overall (20th offense, 23rd defense).

Outlook

As follows, Burke's weekly probabilities favor the Broncos more heavily than any other team in Week 17.

The betting public has Denver as a whopping 16-point favorite.

If the Broncos can take care of business, they can lock up a first-round bye, and a likely Divisional Round rematch with the Patriots at SAF@MH. With a bit of help from the Colts, Denver could end up with home field throughout, and an even clearer path to New Orleans for SB 47.

But as we noted yesterday, 13% is still something, and indeed, the Broncos still need to take care of business against the Chiefs, even if by a point.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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