After just a four week turnaround from the previous matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs, I asked Pete Sweeney from Arrowhead Pride about the current conditions in Kansas City and what to look for this Sunday.
1. After what was a surprisingly close game in Denver just four short weeks ago, what do you expect the Chiefs to do differently to get more points on the board for this matchup?
I think there are quite a few fans in Kansas City who forget that the Denver Broncos defense held Patrick Mahomes to 65 yards and the Chiefs to just 10 points in the first half of the game four weeks ago. The Broncos were the first (and really, the only) team that has managed to keep Mahomes in check for a half and I found it to be by bringing continuous pressure and getting in his face. I expect the Chiefs to run offensive plays in this game designed to get the ball out of Mahomes’ hands faster than the usually have while bringing extra protection when needed.
The Chiefs defense is finding more success when the team can get out to an early lead and make opposing clubs one-dimensional, so it sounds simple, but using quick strikes to get out to a two-score lead as soon as possible will ultimately mean less Phillip Lindsay. That will make things easier for a run defense that has generally struggled this season.
2. Both teams have their share of injuries going into this game; who do you expect to be missed the most from the Chiefs lineup?
Mitch Morse will spend his second game on the bench as he is still in the concussion protocol. Morse is a good, strong, athletic center that has found a rapport with Patrick Mahomes. His backup, Jordan Devey, tore his pec in the Chiefs’ last game against Cincinnati, so Kansas City is down to its third-string in Austin Reiter. Reiter has one career start headed into Sunday’s game against Denver.
3. Continuing with the injuries, who has stepped up/do you expect to step up this Sunday?
Another injury along the offensive line at right guard means that backup Andrew Wylie will have his second career start on Sunday. With OLB Justin Houston likely out of the lineup, expect the Chiefs’ top pick Breeland Speaks to play across from Dee Ford. Speaks is transitioning to the outside linebacker position this season, and it really seems as though things have clicked for him as of late.
At the safety position, Jordan Lucas, who the coaches have called an energy-giver, has been playing especially well in the absence of Eric Berry.
4. What do you expect the Broncos to do differently this time to slow down Patrick Mahomes?
This is easier said than done, but playing four quarters. I thought the Broncos defense played outstanding for three quarters against Kansas City on Monday Night Football, but they seemed gassed and then demoralized in the fourth quarter, especially with Mahomes throwing passes with his off-hand for first downs. I think after now seeing Mahomes twice, the Broncos have realized that Kansas City is never out of the game, and if they can manage a fourth-quarter lead, they will do all they can to step on the Chiefs’ throat.
5. Most of Broncos Country and even a good percentage of MHR have serious doubts about the Broncos being able to pull out a victory this Sunday, what do the Chiefs have to do to blow this game?
I know it was against the lowly Cardinals, but I really liked what I saw from Denver in the Thursday Night Football game after a close game against the Los Angeles Rams. The Broncos played the Chiefs well last time, they have three days of extra rest and there are new faces along the Chiefs offensive line. If the pass rush can take advantage of the offensive line injuries and get to Mahomes, I think they have a shot in this game.
One thing we are finding in Kansas City is that Mahomes will score, so when he does, it’s up to Case Keenum to match so his team stays in the game.
Daily Double: Your game prediction:
I saw the 10-point spread earlier this week and I thought that was way too high. I like the Chiefs, but not in a blowout. 31-28.
Thanks for having me, Broncos fans, and enjoy the game!
Thanks to you, Pete and everyone at Arrowhead Pride, for always being a great crew to collaborate with!