The naysayers had been taunting the Kansas City Chiefs all season even as they hit their bye week at 9-0, calling them pretenders and not contenders.
The reasoning was that their schedule, on the heels of a 2-14 campaign a year ago, was soft and that their defensive ranking was built on the backs of losing teams with poor offenses.
Two weeks later, the Chiefs are trying to avoid a three-game losing streak and are home underdogs to Peyton Manning and Denver Broncos Sunday afternoon.
Denver handled KC two weeks ago, but both teams come off discouraging losses in Week 12 (the Broncos after blowing a 24-0 lead at New England and Kansas City at home to San Diego).
As of Friday, the Chiefs remained 5.5-point home underdogs at most sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, which provides NFL lines to NBCSports.com. The Week 13 trends suggest Denver might be the best play here in this crucial matchup.
While the under is on a 5-0-1 run in this series, the Broncos have won nine straight games against AFC West foes.
On the other hand, the Chiefs check in having lost eight of their last nine in intradivision play, while covering only two of those games. Kansas City is also mired in an 0-3 ATS slide at home, according to the Chiefs-Broncos matchup report.
Elsewhere in Week 13, the Indianapolis Colts have won nine of their last 10 meetings with Tennessee and have covered seven of them. They've also covered seven of their last eight against AFC South foes.
The bad news for Indy is the Titans have covered five straight road games while the Colts have lost two in a row straight-up as home favorites. Indianapolis was -4 on Friday.
In the NFC, in an old-school rivalry, Washington is in on a short week after being stymied by the San Francisco 49ers, and has lost three straight both SU and ATS versus their NFC East rivals this year. The good news, with this being their first meeting with the Giants this season, is Washington has covered five in a row against New York.
The game is currently a pick.
In a potential preview of the NFC Championship Game, the Monday night game features the high-powered New Orleans Saints marching into Seattle's deafening stadium for a battle with the defensive Seahawks.
The Saints, who play in a rather loud venue of their own, have covered six of their last seven appearances on Monday Night Football, but are also on a 2-6 ATS losing skid on the road.
Seattle was favored by five points and arrives on winning streaks of 13-0 SU at home and 5-1-1 ATS on Monday nights. However, they ride an inexplicable 2-11-1 ATS slide following a bye week.
Also after their off week, the Seahawks have played OVER the total 12 of the last 13 years.
See all the NFL lines and totals here at NBC and watch for changes up to game time.