The Denver Broncos have lost seven-straight to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Think about that. Actually, check that, don’t think about that, because if you’re like me, that will just make you irrationally angry. The last time the Broncos beat Kansas Shitty was in Week Two of the 2015 season. The Jamaal Charles fumble at the end of the game recovered and returned by Bradley Roby for a miraculous touchdown. From that point? No need to discuss this further.
It’s actually been even longer since Denver beat the Chiefs at home — Week Two of the 2014 season.
Is this the week the Broncos (2-4 overall, 1-1 in the AFC West) end this ridiculous losing streak to Kansas City (4-2, 1-0)?
On the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), Adam Malnati and I think the Broncos will actually/finally beat KC and end this maddening losing streak on Thursday Night Football.
Kansas City: Third in overall offense (422.0 yards), 24th in rushing (82.7), first in passing (339.3) and fifth in points (28.7).
Denver: Nineteenth in overall offense (336.2 yards), 14th in rushing (116.0), 23rd in passing (220.2) and 26th in points (17.7).
Kansas City: Twenty-seventh in overall defense (406.2 yards), 30th in rushing (161.8), 19th in passing (244.3) and 19th in points (24.0).
Denver: Fourth in overall defense (307.8 yards), 18th in rushing (111.8), fourth in passing (196.0) and seventh in points (17.7).
Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Thursday’s game.
Fast start on offense
Joe Flacco, Rich Scangarello and the Broncos offense need to get out to a quick start. Come out and punch Kansas City in the mouth. In the process, get Broncos Country even more fired up and loud, as well as the defense. Put the reeling Chiefs back on their heels. — Ian St. Clair
While the Kansas City defense has gotten a lot of flak for its performance in the last couple of games, it’s only allowed 50 percent of opponents red zone opportunities to turn into touchdowns. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid will put up points, it’s critical for the Broncos to do everything possible to keep up. — Just_JoRo
Use the running game to control the clock and keep Mahomes off the field. Even though he is banged up, he can still take over a game if he is allowed. Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman have been a solid running back duo all season, and if they can chew up yards and clock it will prevent a possible shootout scenario. — Adam Malnati
Get after Mahomes
For this particular game, I think the formula for disrupting the Chiefs’ excellent offense may be relatively simple: Get after Mahomes. The Chiefs’ offensive line is hurting at the moment, and Mahomes’ own play has been shaky these last few weeks as he’s nursed an injured ankle. Mahomes’ completion percentage dropped 16 percent in his last three games vs his first three games this season, and his passing touchdown production was cut in half. So getting after him early and often, and hopefully notching some sacks or at least some clean quarterback hits, may have a good chance of throwing him off his game where it normally wouldn’t. If Von Miller and company can do that, the odds of interceptions and other mistakes that can turn the game in the Broncos’ favor go up significantly. — Taylor Kothe
One thing that could be interesting is game management from the head coaches. Reid is infamous for mismanaging timeouts and situational football. Fangio called multiple timeouts on special teams as a rookie head coach vs the Tennessee Titans. That could make the difference between winning and losing. — Luke Patterson