The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs reconvene in one of the most bitter rivalries in all of football. Monday Night is a great setting for it.
Monday, the well-rested Denver Broncos welcome the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, appearing on the Monday Night broadcast for the 27th consecutive season.
This is the longest-active streak in the NFL and it reminds us just how valued the Broncos are by the league. This will be the eighth time in history the Broncos and Chiefs have met on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs lead this series 5-2, including last season’s 29-19 win at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Chiefs come in with a spotless 3-0 record and have been among the best teams in the NFL through September. However, the Broncos, who are 35-23 all-time at home against the Chiefs in this bitter rivalry, still have some good signs to point to.
Despite surrendering 27 points to Baltimore last week, most of the damage was done in the first half. The Ravens took a 27-14 lead early in the 3rd Quarter, but from that time on, the Broncos only gave up 37 yards to an excellent Baltimore offense.
The Broncos had their chances in the red zone, only to turn the ball over and vex themselves with penalties. Our illustrious blog boss, Sayre Bedinger, has all the sordid details.
All told, the Broncos had 13 penalties for 120 yards at Baltimore. May it suffice to say that this cannot continue if the Broncos want to get back to their winning ways. I do know that the Broncos were in the same positions at Baltimore that they were in home wins against Seattle and Oakland.
The talent is there for this squad. It simply comes down to execution. If the Broncos execute, they can ensure themselves of having an equal 3-1 record with Kansas City in the AFC West standings.
Incidentally, the Broncos will be wearing their all-blue uniforms tonight per the Denver Post. Kansas City is known for “singing the blues” as it were. B.B. King, a Kansas City staple, was known for the blues. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode where he guest stars and prevents Carlton from running away from his responsibilities was so epic!
Well, we all know about Chiefs’ star signal-caller Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes, in his first year as a starter, has 13 touchdowns and no interceptions to start the season. His 13 scoring tosses are an NFL record for the most in the first three games of a season. He has also completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 896 yards (298.7 yards per game).
At his disposal are stellar tailback Kareem Hunt, Broncos nemesis tight end Travis Kelce and fleet-footed receiver/return specialist Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs are tied for eighth in the NFL in turnover ratio at +1 and the Broncos are -2, tied for 24th in the NFL in this stat.
If the Broncos want to win this evening, I strongly encourage them to win the turnover battle. The Chiefs are 7th in the NFL in yards per game at 398.3 and tops in the league in scoring offense at 39.3 points per game.
Perhaps this is because Mahomes is so athletic, but the Chiefs have only allowed four sacks this season. Where the Chiefs are really dangerous is on 3rd down conversions (2nd in the NFL at 50 percent) and red zone touchdown percentage (91.7 percent, also 2nd in the NFL).
To me, the major issue with the Chiefs is a defense that is worst in the NFL in net yardage given up (474 yards per outing) and 30th in points per game given up (30.7 points). If you want to be a Super Bowl champion, you cannot play such horrendous defense.
If you want to know more about the current AFC West leaders, Ty Walden spoke to our friends at Arrowhead Addict.
Beyond this, the Broncos are actually comparable to the Chiefs in many respects. The passing offense has been mitigated by Case Keenum’s ineffectiveness with five interceptions. Keenum’s pluckiness and grit are definitely assets for Denver, but he needs to make better decisions with the football.
It would serve him well this evening to not have any interceptions for the first time as a Bronco. The Broncos’ running offense is back to where it was in the glory days and a new #30 is precisely why. Tailback Phillip Lindsay (233 scrimmage yards this season, 77.6 yards per game) is the key to this Broncos’ offense.
It is not a coincidence that the Broncos went flat at Baltimore once he was ejected late in the first half. He can just do so many things well and gives the defense so much to account for. Additionally, Emmanuel Sanders (19 rec, 269 yards, TD, 14.2 yards per catch; rush TD) has thrived in this Bill Musgrave offense.
If Sanders and Lindsay can continue to lead the “skill position” players and get contributions from their teammates, in Royce Freeman and Courtland Sutton, the Broncos have a chance to be really good on offense.
These teams are both perfect on field goals this season (Brandon McManus is 4-4, and Harrison Butker of Kansas City is 2-2). If this game comes down to a game-winning kick opportunity, both fan-bases should feel relatively confident with these prospects.
Date: Oct.1, 2018
Start time: 6:15 pm MT
Location: Denver, Colorado
Stadium: Broncos Stadium at Mile High
TV Info: ESPN (Channel 20 in Denver for non-cable/satellite subscribers)
Announcers: Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Jason Witten (analyst), Lisa Salters (sidelines), Booger McFarland (field level analyst)
Live stream: fubo.tv
Our illustrious colleague at Predominantly Orange, Graham Tiedtke has provided this week’s injury report. These teams are generally really healthy for the advent of October. That should give us an excellently-played game at 5,280 feet.
Yes, the Broncos have their issues with Jake Butt but it’s no different than the Bengals always losing their star tight end, Tyler Eifert. The Bengals are 3-1 and the Broncos, if they execute, have the chance to be 3-1 as well. This is the NFL. No excuses.
Speaking of weather, the latest update from Becky Ditchfield on 9 News this morning was 72 degrees at kickoff with a chance for isolated showers. As the evening progresses, the slight rain chances at kickoff, decrease. Here’s some info from weather.com for this evening’s forecast.
Anyway, as always, this is your game-thread. If you have friends, please tell them about us to get our numbers up. GO BRONCOS!!!