The Kansas City Chiefs have finally made their way over the hump this season. The Chiefs went undefeated in November, improving to 7-4 headed into the Denver Broncos game. Their Week 13 bout should be a quality opportunity to continue their winning streak and establish an even more significant lead over the opponents in AFC West.
The Broncos are 6-5 after beating the Los Angeles Chargers last week. They are second in the AFC West and have been somewhat of a surprise team this season. They’ve put themselves in a great position to make the playoffs. At the very least, they could play spoiler for other playoff contenders down the stretch.
A decisive win over a division rival would allow the Chiefs to gain more room in the division race and the AFC.
Let’s look at two Chiefs’ dreams and one Broncos nightmare in Week 13.
The Chiefs embarrass Denver’s defense
The Broncos have lost a veteran presence and playmaker against the pass and the run by trading Von Miller earlier this season. While Denver has played well against potent offenses, notably in wins over the Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys, they let the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers hang around, resulting in a pair of bad losses.
Granted, the Chiefs’ offense has been hit or miss for much of this recent stretch of dominance, with an anomaly game against the Las Vegas Raiders where they hung 41 on them.
This feels like a trap game for the Chiefs in many ways because the Broncos are sneaky good. But Andy Reid-led teams are 19-3 after the bye week, so we should expect Kansas City to hold their own on Sunday.
Kansas City’s defense doesn’t let Teddy Bridgewater get off the ground
The Kansas City defense can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they have to face Teddy Bridgewater coming off their bye week. However, this Broncos team didn’t get to 6-5 without having playmakers and an above-average offense.
The Broncos won decisively in their most recent showdown with the Chargers. Led by their defense, Denver forced two Justin Herbert interceptions. However, the Broncos’ offense is no pushover. They gained nearly 150 yards on the ground and one touchdown through the air.
However, this isn’t the Chargers’ defense coming to play on Sunday night. In recent memory, the Chiefs defense had one of the more dramatic mid-season turnarounds, holding their opponents to 11.75 points in their undefeated stretch in November. Chris Jones is returning to form. Melvin Ingram looks like a steal of a sixth-rounder. And with Rashad Fenton and L’Jarius Sneed making plays in the secondary, this defense has become a strength for the Chiefs.
After the defensive effort this team had against the Cowboys in Week 11, holding them to nine points, they should have no problem with Bridgewater and Co.
The Chiefs play down to the Broncos
Up until this point in the season, the Broncos have won a handful of games or been very close to winning a game they had no business being in. They beat the Cowboys by two scores, the Chargers by two scores, and came within a field goal of sending their game against the Browns to overtime.
The Broncos are a classic spoiler team. No, they won’t be in the Super Bowl, and they might not even make the playoffs. But they are just good enough to win on any given week against whoever they play.
Bridgewater is an above-average QB, Melvin Gordon is dynamic in the backfield, and they have stellar wide receivers when Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy are healthy. This Sunday night matchup between the Chiefs and Broncos becomes closer than it should if the Chiefs play down to Denver and let them hang around longer than they should.
If this game is within a score at the start of the fourth quarter, there is a real possibility that the Broncos will win this game. Much of that pressure rests on Patrick Mahomes and the offense, considering how dominant this defense has been lately.