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Is this a ‘must-win’ game against the Chiefs?

What would it mean for the Broncos’ season to beat the Chiefs? What would it mean if they don’t?

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country!

Ryan Edwards proposed an interesting question/dilemma on Broncos Country Tonight this week - how important is it for the Broncos to win on Sunday?

Obviously a win means first in the division, another win closer to a winning season and finally beating the Chiefs after 11 straight losses since 2016.

But would a loss be devastating? After all, the Broncos are facing the AFC juggernaut the past three years, and even though the Chiefs had a bumpy start to the season, they seem to be back on track after winning four in a row.

And the game is at Arrowhead - a traditionally tough place for the Broncos to play even when they did have franchise quarterbacks.

I have been thinking that given the odds of beating the Chiefs at Arrowhead in December, I just want to watch the Broncos compete. If they put together the kind of complete game they did against the Chargers on offense, defense and special teams, and just come up short because - well, Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, etc. - I wouldn’t be mad.

In fact, I’d still see it as a confidence booster that they hung with one of the AFC leaders and will have a great chance at beating them at Mile High in Week 18.

And I still lean that way.

But I like how Edwards framed it - obviously losing Sunday doesn’t end the Broncos’ potential for a winning season, even making the playoffs. But it does prevent this team from really getting over the hump of always losing to the Chiefs and really proving it is the team it’s been saying it could be.

Even Justin Simmons, who has lost 10 games to the Chiefs as a Bronco, sounded truly frustrated over never beating this team and showed what might even be seen as genuine urgency to end that streak this weekend.

“Everyone knows if you want to be where the Broncos are used to being, you’ve got to beat Kansas City, and especially at Arrowhead,” he said. “So, I’m really excited for Sunday night. What an opportunity — a big win this past Sunday and a chance to have a bid for first place in our division with a win.”

Not in January at home, but now.

Teddy Bridgewater, who played a tough game against the Chiefs as the Panther’s QB last season, said the team is looking at it just like another rival game against the best team in the division. But they aren’t thinking about the losing record.

“Nah. Some things you just don’t talk about. We look for what’s ahead of us. We can’t dwell on the past,” Bridgewater said. “It’s another opportunity. I’m sure they’re not sitting there saying, ‘We’re 11-0 or 10-0 against Justin [Simmons], or 6-0 against [Bradley] Chubb.’ They see it as another divisional game, and we see it the same way.”

But it seems as if there’s a little more to it than that. Like the Broncos see this game as the test for how good they really are.

If that’s the case, I approve of the accountability on display.

And if that’s the case, then I agree - this is a must-win game for the Broncos to prove what this season is going to be. There are no moral victories.

Broncos/NFL News

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