clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Broncos vs Chiefs preview: Can Denver get first win over KC since 2015?

The odds are certainly not in the Broncos favor this Sunday, but here’s how they can get that allusive win vs the Chiefs.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

This is the year of the firsts, maybe this can stay alive one more week.

Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos (2-3) just won their game in New England since 2006.

Perhaps now the Broncos can beat the Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) for the first time since 2015. The odds are certainly not in Denver’s favor.

BetMGM currently has the Broncos at a 9.5-point underdog, and you can get an awesome offer on the game here if you think Denver might cover that spread at home against the Chiefs.

On the MHR Radio Podcast, Adam Malnati and I think Denver will keep the game close but we don’t see an upset in the cards.

Offensive Rankings

Kansas City: Eighth in overall offense (396.0 yards per game), sixth in rushing (140.3), seventh in passing (276.7), ninth in scoring offense (29.2 points per game).

Denver: Twenty-ninth in overall offense (305.2 yards per game), 25th in rushing (101.0), 27th in passing (204.2), 29th in scoring offense (20.0 points per game).

Defensive Rankings

Kansas City: Sixteenth in overall defense (353.3 yards per game), 30th in rushing defense (145.3), third in passing defense (208.0), ninth in scoring defense (21.2 points per game).

Denver: Fifteenth in overall in defense (349.8 yards per game), 13th in rushing defense (110.6), 20th in passing defense (239.2), tied for 11th in scoring defense (22.0 points per game).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.

Score touchdowns

The only chance Lock and the Broncos have to beat the Chiefs and end this ridiculous five-year losing streak is to end drives with touchdowns. The offense moved the ball efficiently and effectively against the Patriots, now put a bow on those drives with six points instead of three. — Ian St. Clair

Coverage must hold up

Locking down New England’s sorry excuse for a receiving corps was one thing, but Kansas City’s group of track stars is a whole other animal. If the success Vic Fangio and Co. had against Cam Newton by bringing various blitzes is going to translate over into giving Patrick Mahomes an uncomfortable day in the pocket, the coverage has to be locking his many weapons down consistently first. — Taylor Kothe

Make the most of every possession

This means, like Ian said, finishing in the red zone. It also means no wasted possessions with poor decisions and turnovers. This is going to be a track meet, regardless of how well the defense plays. The lowest the Chiefs have been held in scoring all year has been 23 points, and Denver has only scored more than 23 points once all year. If the Broncos any hope of beating Kansas City, they can’t have wasted possessions that put them behind. — Jeff Essary

Control time of possession

The best path the Broncos have to win this week is to control the clock and absolutely own the time of possession. This means a successful run game that keeps putting the offense in favorable down and distance, which keeps moving the chains and draining the clock. This also means an absolutely smashing defensive display that gets Kansas City off the field on 3rd downs early and often. This Broncos team isn’t going to win a typical Chiefs shoot out against the game’s best young QB. They have to play great in every phase of the game and change the storyline to an old school style slog. — sadaraine

Win the turnover battle

It bears out every week. The team who can steal possessions will have the best chance to win. Lock has to be better protecting the ball, and the defense needs to step up like it did against the Patriots and force some turnovers. Michael Ojemudia looked like he was channeling his inner Charles Tillman. More of that, please. And if Shelby Harris can continue to tip passes at the line, interceptions will follow. — Adam Malnati

What are your keys to Sunday’s game?

Do you think the Broncos will cover the 9.5-point spread against the Chiefs on Sunday? Click here to try a bet with BetMGM: Bet $1, get $100 paid in free bets!