Reading KC's Fortune – Weeks 12 and 13

We continue our preview of the 2009 season with Weeks 12 and 13.

Week 12 Overview

For the third time in four games, the Chiefs are back on the road, traveling to San Diego after their bye week for another matchup with the Chargers.

Why The Chiefs Could Win

During our preview of the first Chiefs/Chargers tilt in Week 7, we discussed the early-season struggles of the Chargers in the two years since Norv Turner has taken over as head coach. As the Bolts have entered Week 7, their record has sat at 3-3 in both years under Turner.

Surprisingly, their record has been equally unimpressive entering Week 12. At this point of the season, Turner's Chargers have stood 5-5 and 4-6.

Those numbers show that San Diego's slumbers actually extend throughout three quarters of the NFL season. From there, factor in how well the Chiefs have played in San Diego in recent years – they defeated the Chargers 30-16 in 2007 and lost by a single point in 2008 – and a victory doesn't seem impossible.

Why The Chiefs Will Lose

Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Week 12 seems to be right around the point where San Diego finally starts to wake up and play up to their talent level. Of course, as we covered in the first Chargers' preview, the belief here is that the team will finally play up to expectations throughout the whole season.

Continuing with that assumption, since we picked the Bolts to beat the Chiefs at home in their first meeting, it only makes sense that they'd get the job done at home.

Most Likely Outcome: the Chiefs (3-8) come close but can't pull off the upset.

Week 13 Overview

After playing three of four on the road, the Chiefs return to Arrowhead for their first game of the season with the Broncos. Due to the odd scheduling quirk that didn't pair up the teams until Week 13, two of the Chiefs' final five games will come against Denver.

Denver has been one of the league's most entertaining stories this offseason, as they've parted ways with a Hall of Fame coach, traded their franchise quarterback, and alienated their top receiver, just to cover the major highlights.

What has been a tumultuous first season for new head coach Josh McDaniels could play out any number of ways. But with the first matchup between the two teams coming so late in the season, the Chiefs should know exactly what to expect when the Broncos come to town.

Why The Chiefs Could Lose

Even with the loss of Jay Cutler, the Broncos still possess talented weapons on offense. Assuming disgruntled receiver Brandon Marshall falls in line, Denver's attack has the potential to be even more potent than it was a year ago thanks to the addition of rookie running back Knowshon Moreno.

However, the key cog in the machine will be new Broncos' quarterback Kyle Orton. Since this game doesn't come until Week 13, Orton will have 12 games to work out the kinks and grow in McDaniels' offensive system.

If Orton comes around as the season progresses, Denver could be more than capable of going on the road and putting up enough points to win – especially if the Chiefs' defense hasn't shaped up much from last year.

Why The Chiefs Will Win

The Broncos went into Arrowhead a year ago and became one of only two teams to lose to the Chiefs all season. When Kansas City made their trip to Denver, it took a late-game stop on the one-yard line to prevent the Chiefs from having a chance to tie or win the game.

With the loss of Cutler, new systems on both sides of the ball, little being done to improve a porous front seven on defense, and the overall turmoil that's plagued the team since last season ended, it's simply difficult to imagine the Broncos being an improved team.

If the 2008 Broncos couldn't get it done in Arrowhead, this group shouldn't have much chance.

Most Likely Outcome: the Chiefs (4-8) pull out the win. Top Stories