Demaryius Thomas

Broncos underdogs at Chiefs for key Sunday Night Football meeting

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Young quarterback Trevor Siemian will need a lot of help if the Denver Broncos are to continue their history of success in Kansas City.

The Kansas City Chiefs are listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Broncos with a 37.5-point total in the Sunday Night Football matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by the OddsShark.com.

The Broncos are in a virtual must-win situation as far as their playoffs hopes are concerned, but are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven road games against the Chiefs, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. They are also 9-3 straight-up and ATS in their last 12 games as an underdog of 4.5 points or less. Conversely, the Chiefs are 10-2 SU and 4-8 ATS over their last 12 home games at Arrowhead Stadium.

Denver, which is 8-6 SU and ATS, has struggled to break 20 points on a consistent basis this season, since the offensive line simply hasn’t been strong enough at run blocking or keeping blitzers off Siemian. The young QB has made progress, but will have to be careful against a pass defense with an impressive 15 interceptions.

Broncos wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are also facing a respectable pass defense, led by CB Marcus Peters, that has kept teams to 7.1 yards per pass even though they have faced a string of tough offenses.

The Broncos will need to keep Chiefs OLB Dee Ford, OLB Justin Houston, and DE Dee Ford from getting to Siemian. Young running back Devontae Booker hasn’t always delivered on his potential, but he did scoot for 79 yards in the teams’ first meeting in Week 11.

Kansas City, which is 10-4 SU and 7-7 ATS, will be out to clinch a playoff berth with a win. Quarterback Alex Smith and his regular targets such as TE Travis Kelce, WR Tyreek Hill and WR Jeremy Maclin will have to solve a pass defense that allows an NFL-low 183 yards per game. Right tackle Mitchell Schwartz will also have to do a better job against OLB Von Miller, who had three sacks in the teams’ first meeting.

Injury issues with SS T.J. Ward (concussion protocol), DE Derek Wolfe (neck) and ILB Brandon Marshall could affect Denver’s already soft run defense, which is 29th in the NFL and has also struggled to generate turnovers. The Chiefs’ running game, with Spencer Ware as the busiest ball carrier, isn’t very efficient but it’s a sure bet coach Andy Reid won’t abandon it and let his offense become one-dimensional.

The total has gone over in 11 of the Broncos’ last 14 games with a closing total of 38 points or less.  The total has gone under in eight of the Chiefs’ last 10 games.

Siemian solidifies QB job in Denver’s 17-9 win over Rams

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DENVER (AP) Trevor Siemian thinks he’s done enough to win the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback job.

If he feels the same way, coach Gary Kubiak isn’t saying just yet.

“I’m going to make a decision this week … but I’ve got a lot of things going on, so I’ll take my time, do it the right way,” Kubiak said after watching Siemian throw his first TD pass of the preseason in Denver’s 17-9 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night.

Siemian was more impressive than his stat line – 10 of 17 for 122 yards, one TD and one arguable interception – showing off his strong right arm and just the kind of patience, poise and precision required of Peyton Manning’s successor as Denver defends its Super Bowl title.

“I feel confident,” Siemian said when asked if this was his job. “Ultimately, that’s up to Kubes.”

Asked if he felt he’d done enough, Siemian said, “I do, but again, that’s not my call.”

Aside from his 1-yard TD strike to Virgil Green, he had a beautiful pass to Demaryius Thomas streaking down the Rams sideline for a 43-yard gain that set up the go-ahead score.

“I’m impressed,” Kubiak said. “I think he’s very calm. I can tell by the way he handles the team in the huddle, he’s got control of what’s going on. What I see is I see a guy getting better every time out.”

Rookie Paxton Lynch was also more impressive than his stats – 6 of 13 for 57 yards – leading a scoring drive that ended with Ronnie Hillman‘s 7-yard TD run.

That left Mark Sanchez as the odd man out on this night and, possibly, come cut-down day.

If he’s not on the 53-man roster, the Broncos will save $3.5 million and the seventh-round draft pick they would have owed the Eagles.

After announcing Siemian would make his second straight start, Kubiak decided he’d play his first-round pick and sit Sanchez, something he told him about over breakfast.

“Bottom line, I’ve got a lot to go off of on Mark. He’s played a lot of football. But we needed to see these other two kids play again,” Kubiak said.

Sanchez left the stadium without comment.

It was Sanchez’s job to lose when training camp began and he’s apparently done just that with a slew of turnovers in the preseason.

An afterthought while taking just one snap – a kneel-down – as a rookie last season, Siemian has emerged as the best option to lead the team with Manning on the links and Brock Osweiler in Houston.

Siemian’s only blemish came on a deep ball that went off receiver Cody Latimer‘s hands at the goal line and hit the ground, but was still ruled an interception by safety Cody Davis.

The Rams settled for three field goals by Greg Zuerlein.

M-V-P! M-V-P!

Super Bowl MVP Von Miller recorded his first sack of the preseason, a 9-yard takedown of Case Keenum on the Rams’ first series.

“I feel better than I ever have before with my conditioning,” Miller said. “I’m feeling comfortable out there. We’re ready to go back to the regular season.”

Miller’s was the first of six sacks by the Broncos, including 2 1-2 by LB Dekoda Watson, but the biggest hit was LB Vontarrius Dora‘s clean shot to the chest of No. 1 overall draft pick Jared Goff just before he left the game in the third quarter.

TALIB TROUBLE

Broncos CB Aqib Talib was pulled following his 15-yard penalty for hitting Keenum out of bounds on a scramble in which the Rams QB was heading for the sideline, not turning upfield.

“You don’t like to see that happen, especially in a preseason game,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

Keenum, for one, didn’t see it happen.

“It all happened pretty fast,” he said. “I was on the ground before I knew it.”

Kayvon Webster came in and made several nice plays in Talib’s place, including a pass breakup on a fourth-and-1 toss from Jared Goff to Michael Thomas.

ROOKIE WATCH

Rams: Goff was 4 of 12 for 45 yards and was sacked for a 10-yard loss.

Broncos: G Connor McGovern went in at center midway through the fourth quarter.

POSITION BATTLES

Rams: While most of L.A.’s starters played through the first half, RB Todd Gurley sat this one out.

Broncos: Riley Dixon, a seventh-round draft pick, got the start ahead of Britton Colquitt, who has a $4 million hit against the cap this season. Dixon’s night included a 56-yard punt and a nice hold on the 50-yard FG.

INJURY UPDATE

Rams: DE Robert Quinn received his first playing time since undergoing back surgery in December.

Broncos: Anderson needed stiches to close a cut on his right ear. Latimer suffered a knee injury while blocking on a punt return in the third quarter. Kubiak said he didn’t think it was serious. FB Andy Janovich injured a shoulder.

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Super Bowl 50: Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos Live Blog

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Welcome to NBC Sports’ live blog of Super Bowl 50! Settle in with us for the next few hours and enjoy the biggest event in professional sports.

Relevant links for your pleasure: Scoreboard ProFootballTalk | Super Bowl 50 Video

And that’s a wrap! Congrats to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Hope you enjoyed following Super Bowl 50 along with me. And remember #PuppyMonkeyBaby

 

10:43 P.M. EST: Keep pounding Steph

 

10:39 P.M. EST: Von Miller awarded Super Bowl MVP trophy

But according to Peyton, Miller is going to be footing the bill at the bar tonight. That’s going to be a lot of Budweisers.

 

10:37 P.M. EST: “This one’s for Pat” (Bowlen)

John Elway dedicates the Super Bowl 50 victory to Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.

 

10:34 P.M. EST: Interesting stat on Manning

 

10:30 P.M. EST: Time to celebrate and drink some Budweisers

 

10:23 P.M. EST: Broncos defeat Panthers to WIN SUPER BOWL 50 

Even though Peyton Manning accounted for just 141 yards of offense, the Broncos defense made Cam Newton look mortal for the first time this season. Manning now gets the chance to go out on top, even if Eli isn’t happy about it:

 

10:17 P.M. EST: If you’re a Panthers fan right now:

 

10:12 P.M. EST: Panthers punt from their own end zone on 4th and 26…

Where is Riverboat Ron?????

 

10:04 P.M. EST: C.J. Anderson scores a one-yard TOUCHDOWN to give the Broncos a 22-10 lead. Two point conversion is GOOD

Get the orange and blue confetti ready.

 

10:01 P.M. EST: Miller strips Newton for a second time

That’s two and a half sacks for Miller with two forced fumbles. Can you say #SB50 #MVP?

 

9:58 P.M. EST: Panthers get the ball back with less than five minutes left

Alright Mr. MVP. It’s time to see what you’re made of.

 

9:52 P.M. EST: Marshawn Lynch‘s cryptic tweet

Is this the end of #BeastMode?

 

9:49 P.M. EST: T-Mobile is stealing the show

First it was Steve Harvey spot and then came the Drake ad. Well done.

 

9:47 P.M. EST: We’re just 20 minutes away from witnessing history 

 

9:44 P.M. EST: Christopher Walken is 72-years old. 

 

9:43 P.M. EST: Gano’s 39-yard field goal is GOOD. Panthers down 16-10 with 10:21 left.

 

9:37 P.M. EST: Manning stripped by Ealy, ball recovered by Panthers

Ealy is having an monster game. Interception, three sacks, a forced fumble. He should win the MVP if Carolina makes a comeback.

 

9:35 P.M. EST: Bernie vs. Peyton

Imagine these two in a 40-yard dash competition at the combine.

 

9:32 P.M. EST: What is he doing folks?

 

9:29 P.M EST: Just one quarter to go

 

9:16 P.M. EST: Newton INTERCEPTED by T.J. Ward, who fumbles the ball 

Congrats if you took the “Will Ted Ginn Jr. drop a pass” prop bet.

 

9:13 P.M. EST: Corey Brown makes an amazing catch 

Yet another example of Cam’s receivers stepping up.

 

9:07 P.M. EST: McManus’ 30-yard field goal is GOOD. Broncos up 16-7 with 8:18 left in the third quarter. 

 

9:00 P.M. EST: Graham Gano’s 49-yard kick is NO GOOD.

The ball drifted and smacked the right upright.

 

8:59 P.M. EST: Beyonce pays tribute to Michael Jackson

But why didn’t she wear a white glove?

 

8:53 P.M. EST: Ted Ginn makes an appearance

The ninth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft (yes, this really happened) turns on the jets for a 45-yard catch to quickly move the Panthers into Broncos territory.

 

8:52 P.M. EST: Now the real fun begins

Carolina gets the ball to open up the second half. Cam Newton was 8-19 for 95 yards in the first half. Safe to say he needs to be much better in the air during the final 30 if the Panthers are going to make a comeback.

 

8:47 P.M EST: Queen Bey saves herself from disaster

 

8:41 P.M. EST: The halftime show is over… 

And it was awesome! Here’s some photos and a tweet from PST’s Joe-Prince Wright. Hi JPW!

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Coldplay performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Coldplay performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07: Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

8:35 P.M EST: Bruno Mars and Beyonce join Coldplay

But don’t tell Peyton that Bruno is performing.

 

8:25 P.M EST: #NeverForget

 

8:23 P.M EST: It’s halftime! Broncos lead 13-7

Let’s see what ya got Chris Martin.

 

8:20 P.M EST: DeMarcus Ware closes out first half with sack on Cam

Broncos’ sack count is up to four with an entire half of football left.

 

8:17 P.M. EST: Neil deGrasse Tyson is here to blow your mind

 

8:15 P.M. EST: Devin Funchess makes incredible catch to extend Panthers drive

This. Is. Ridiculous.

 

8:03 P.M. EST: Manning is intercepted by Kony Ealy

Peyton’s first INT in 164 postseason passes comes at an inopportune time as the Broncos were cruising down the field.

 

8:01 P.M. EST: C.J. Anderson is a baddddd man

 

7:59 P.M EST: Darian Stewart strips Mike Tolbert 

The Panthers second turnover shockingly came with under seven minutes to go in the second quarter as Stewart ripped the ball away from Tolbert. The Broncos safety absorbed quite a hit on the play.

It would have knocked me out until Super Bowl 51.

 

7:54 P.M. EST: Best commercial so far?

Steve Harvey’s T-Mobile ad IMO is the leader in the clubhouse with a few hours left to go.

 

7:51 P.M. EST: Brandon McManus‘ 33-yard field goal is GOOD. Broncos up 13-7 with 6:58 left in second quarter 

 

7:49 P.M EST: Jordan Norwood sets a Super Bowl record with his 61-yard punt return

 

7:47 P.M. EST: Football in space?

https://twitter.com/StationCDRKelly/status/696491770884915201/photo/1

 

7:45 P.M. EST: Demaryius Thomas was shaken up after this hit by Luke Kuechly

Another reason why Kuechly needs to become the next office linebacker.

 

7:40 P.M. EST: Kevin Durant’s photography game is on point

 

7:32 P.M. EST: Jonathan Stewart dives in for a TOUCHDOWN. 10-7 Broncos early in second quarter.

C’mon Jonathan, you score a touchdown in the Super Bowl and this is how you celebrate!?

 

7:30 P.M. EST: Talib would be tossed if Goodell’s new rule was instituted

Roger Goodell openly talked about a new rule in which a player would be ejected if he received two personal foul penalties. Well Aqib Talib has already racked up two and it’s not even halftime yet.

 

7:28 P.M. EST: Coldplay is ready for halftime

They’re not the only ones who are ready for a break from football:

 

7:23 P.M. EST: Broncos lead 10-0 at the end of the first quarter

 

7:16 P.M. EST: Curry ain’t scared

 

7:10 P.M. EST: Rich Eisen is a smart guy

 

7:07 P.M. EST: Von Miller strip sacks Cam Newton, Malik Jackson recovers ball in end zone for a TOUCHDOWN to give Broncos 10-0 lead

 

7:04 P.M. EST: The challenge flag makes an appearance

Panthers’ WR Jerricho Cotchery make a juggling catch on the field that was initially ruled incomplete. After a lengthy review, referee Clete Blakeman announced that the call on the field stands.

 

6:57 P.M. EST: The dabs continue

 

6:54 P.M. EST: In a rare sight, the Panthers go three-and-out on their first drive

 

6:50 P.M. EST: Broncos take a 3-0 lead thanks to a 34-yard field goal 

 

6:48 P.M. EST: Let the dabs begin

 

6:42 P.M. EST: John Elway squeezes in another jab at John Fox

 

6:35 P.M. EST: Panthers win the toss

Carolina correctly selected tails, but deferred to the second half, which means Peyton will get the ball first.

 

6:30 P.M. EST: Gaga crushes the national athem

Lady Gaga’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” was incredible:

But it caused a bit of controversy.

 

6:27 P.M. EST: Everyone is ready for the game to start.

 

6:20 P.M. EST: Curry gets the Panthers faithful ready for kickoff

 

5:50 P.M. EST: KD in the house

Steph Curry isn’t the only NBA superstar who is taking in the sights and sounds of Super Bowl 50.

 

5:29 P.M. EST: Newton’s cleats are early star of #SB50

Looks like Cam might be receiving a FedEx envelope with a letter from the NFL regarding his new gear.

 

5:07 P.M. EST: Party at the White House

The Obamas will sit back and watch Super Bowl 50 with pizza and wings. Obama says there will also be a vegetable tray “that nobody touches.”

Well done Mr. President.

Michelle Obama says the football game’s serious watchers go to the Treaty Room of the White House. She also says there’s a champagne room “where you really don’t know what’s going on, but you’re close to the champagne.”

 

5:00 P.M. EST: Blue skies and sunshine in Bay Area

The weather is perfect at the Field of Jeans as the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers prepare for the “Big Game.”