The Denver Broncos had a unique game this past week against the New Orleans Saints. They had no eligible quarterbacks on their roster, as Jeff Driskel had tested positive for COVID-19, and all of the other eligible quarterbacks had been in a meeting with him, without masks, last week. The league ruled them out and did not grant Denver an extension for their game. The Broncos tried to put their offensive quality control coach on the roster, but the league said no, so they turned to a rookie wide receiver on their practice squad, Kendall Hinton.
Who was the last non-quarterback to start a game at quarterback in an NFL game, you say?
It was Tom Matte, who started three games for the then-Baltimore Colts, after Johnny Unitas and Gary Cuozzo both went down (and the league didn’t have practice squads back then). So it was running back Tom Matte who started the 1965 season finale and the team’s two playoff games. He went 2-1, winning the finale, losing the league semifinal and winning the Playoff Bowl.
It didn’t go so well for Hinton this week – and depending on who the quarterback is next week, it might not go well then either, as the Broncos visit Kansas City. Check out our preview.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, December 6)
- When: Sunday, December 6, 2020, 8:20 pm ET
- Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
- TV: NBC
- Radio: Westwood One
- JAZZ Sports Odds: Chiefs -14 / Total 51*
Why the Broncos Will Win
Denver started the season at a respectable 3-4 but have dropped three of four since then. Drew Lock has turned into a bit of a turnover machine, so even if he is back to start at quarterback on Sunday night, the Broncos could be in trouble. The Chiefs can deliver on the pass rush, so whether it’s Hinton, Lock, Brett Rypien, or a free agent, the Broncos’ passing game could be in trouble.
Denver has covered in seven of their last eight games in matchups coming after a loss against the spread, and in six of their last eight games against AFC competition. However, the Chiefs would have to lay a real egg, on both sides of the ball, for the Broncos to cover a single-digit spread at this point.
Why the Chiefs Will Win
Kansas City also made history last week, but for much more positive reasons. Tyreek Hill had 203 receiving yards…in the first quarter as the Chiefs jumped out to a 17-0 lead in Tampa Bay. Patrick Mahomes threw for 462 yards and three touchdowns, and Hill ended up with 269 yards and three touchdown catches on the night.
Kansas City has covered in nine of their last 12 games at home and in four of their last six games against a team with a losing record. Under Andy Reid, the Chiefs have absolutely dominated the AFC West, and I don’t see that changing.
The Final Word
I expect the Chiefs to run roughshod over the Broncos in the first half and then cruise the rest of the way. This past week’s embarrassment and the lack of continuity at quarterback will keep them from competing.
*Odds are subject to change.