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Pro Football Week 11

NFL Tonight's Game

November 16, 1998|JERRY CROWE

DENVER AT KANSAS CITY

* Kickoff: 5:15 p.m.

* TV: Channel 7.

* Records: Broncos 9-0; Chiefs 4-5

* Story line: This obviously wasn't the matchup ABC envisioned when the schedule was announced last spring: Bubby Brister vs. Rich Gannon. Brister, though, is 3-0 filling in for John Elway, who is sidelined because of strained rib muscles. "I'm not comfortable," Elway said, "and this is not something I'm going to rush." Why should he? The Broncos have taken control in the AFC West and Brister, 36, is doing his best impersonation of Earl Morrall, the veteran who came off the bench after Bob Griese was injured in 1972 and led the Miami Dolphins to nine consecutive victories during their 17-0 season. "He's done a good job with keeping the team on a winning track," Morrall said of Brister, who passed for 229 yards and two touchdowns in last week's 27-10 victory over the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have lost their last four games and are rapidly playing themselves out of playoff contention. Gannon replaces the struggling Elvis Grbac, who started all four games during the losing streak but was benched late in the first half of last week's 24-12 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. "Right now, my feeling is we have to try to create an energy that is the product of the style of play of Rich Gannon, his ability to move around and run around with the ball, things of that nature," Coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "That, in my opinion, is what is best for our football team."

* Line: Broncos by 4 1/2

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