AFC West

Chiefs Look to Bounce Back vs Broncos

Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs look to bounce back as they face the Denver Broncos in their season finale at Mile High Stadium. Coming off a loss against Cincinnati, the Chiefs still have a chance at the 1 seed in the AFC. If the Chiefs are able to beat the Broncos, and the Titans lose or tie the Texans, they will take over the 1 seed. With the 1 seed still in reach, expect the Chiefs to be highly motivated against their division rivals in Denver.

INJURY/COVID UPDATE

After being decimated by Covid in the week leading up to the Chargers game, the Chiefs have become healthy. In fact, the Chiefs are amongst the healthiest rosters in football right now. Heading into their game against the Broncos, questions still remain with some of the injuries they are facing. Although it was a healthy position all year, injury problems arose for the Chiefs’ offensive line last week. In pregame warmups, left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. strained his calf and was unable to play. After being moved to left tackle to replace Brown Jr., Lucas Niang suffered a Patellar Tendon tear. While Orlando Brown Jr. is set to return against the Broncos, Niang is likely done for the year. The only other notable player on the injury report for the Chiefs is Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Points Allowed: While the Broncos have struggled to score all year, their defense is very stingy. The Broncos defense ranks third in the fewest points allowed all season at just 18.4 ppg. Even the Chiefs prolific offense struggled to score against the Broncos. Only 16 of the 22 points scored were by the Chiefs offense in the matchup last month. Look for the Chiefs to polish up some things that they struggle with in the second half of last week’s game in Cincinnati.

Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Struggles: After putting up 38 points against the Detroit Lions, the Denver Broncos have struggled to score. In their last three games, the Broncos have averaged 12 points per game. If the Broncos want to stand a chance against Kansas City, they will need to find a way to get into the end zone with some kind of regularity.

Finding Balance: Despite not running the ball well against the Chargers, Mahomes was able to put up one of his best passing games of the season. In the past two weeks, the Chiefs have found balance. The Chiefs averaged 141 yards rushing per game in their last two contests. Despite averaging the second-most pass yards per game, the Chiefs have been able to rush for 113.8 yards per game which rank 16th amongst NFL teams.

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

MATCHUPS TO WATCH FOR

Chiefs’ weapons against a depleted secondary: The Denver Broncos announced on Thursday that they are shutting down multiple players due to injury. Cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Pat Surtain II have both been shut down for the year by head coach Vic Fangio. What this means for the Broncos is that they will have a bunch of non-starters going up against the Chiefs’ dynamic receiving weapons.

Motivation Factor: Following the Broncos’ loss to the Chargers, they have been eliminated from playoff contention. With 4 starters being officially shut down for the year, and more possibly on the way, one is left to wonder what the Broncos’ motivation is coming into this game. Kansas City on the other hand is coming off a painful loss to a top AFC contender. The first quarter of this game could show how interested the Broncos are in playing one more time this year.

PREDICTION

Following a demoralizing loss to the Bengals, the Chiefs look to bounce back against a depleted Broncos’ roster. With a lot still to play for this season, expect Kansas City to try and put this game away early. By doing this the Chiefs can get into the postseason as healthy as possible. My final score prediction is Chiefs 34 Broncos 10.

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  1. Pingback: Patriots-Dolphins Preview: An Important Finish - Championship Sports Media

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