Double coverage: Will the Broncos beat Kansas City Thursday night?

Von Miller rushes Patrick Mahomes in 2017. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.
Von Miller rushes Patrick Mahomes in 2017. Credit: Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports.

The Denver Broncos are set to square off against the AFC West division rival Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football.

To preview the game, Mile High Sports writers Zach Seagers and Aniello Piro go head to head, debating who will win come Thursday night.

Zach Segars: 

The Broncos will beat the Chiefs on Thursday night for three key reasons.

First, the Broncos are the much healthier team as Kansas City continues to wrestle with injuries to several key starters. No. 1 cornerback Kendall Fuller, starting left tackle Eric Fisher, starting left guard Andrew Wylie, No. 2 receiver Sammy Watkins and their best defensive player, Chris Jones. That’s a lot of injuries to overcome, especially considering that backup left tackle Cameron Erving and even quarterback superstar Patrick Mahomes aren’t fully healthy, and No. 2 corner Bashaud Breeland could be out with a non-injury related designation. Meanwhile, the Broncos are notably down only Bryce Callahan and De’Vante Bausby, as Ja’Wuan James is listed as questionable.
 
Second, The Broncos have the luxury of playing at home for Thursday Night Football, while the Chiefs short week is even shorter due to the travel. This decade home teams on Thursday Night Football have won 61.2% of the time, that’s four percent higher than the average NFL home win percentage. Also, the Broncos are a well-above-average home team, winning 63% of their home games this decade, the seventh-most in the league.
 
Lastly, Denver matches up perfectly with Kansas City. They have the defensive talent and the defensive minds necessary to stop, or at least slow down Andy Reid, Mahomes and the electric Chiefs offense. Since January, Vic Fangio, one of the league’s top defensive minds, has been scheming up ways to slow down Patrick Mahomes. We’ll see that plan enacted against a battered Kansas City attack.
Denver also has the receiving weapons and the ground game to attack the Chiefs’ league-worst run defense and weak secondary. Those defensive units for Kansas City should only be worse with the absence of their best defensive player, Jones, and potentially its top two corners, Fuller and Breeland. 
 
The Broncos should be able to drive with relative consistency against the Chiefs and the defense should be able to limit Kansas City’s aerial assault as much as anyone else has. Broncos win 24-23.

Aniello Piro:

Taking down the Chiefs will be no easy task for the Denver Broncos. In fact, a victory versus the Kansas City would be a signature moment in what has otherwise been a down season for Denver’s favorite sports team.

That said, the Broncos enter this contest red hot, having won their last two games; however, in reverse fortune, Kansas City will travel to the Mile High City on a two-game losing streak.

After dropping back-to-back home games to the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, Kansas City will look to a bounce back versus the Broncos. The Chiefs’ two losses came to teams that have a chance to reach the AFC Championship this season.

Following two hard-fought games, Kansas City will face Denver, a team that is still looking to form its identity this season. While the Broncos are no pushover, the Chiefs are far and away a more talented team.

While Denver’s defense is solid, their offense is suspect, and they have yet to demonstrate an ability to run up the scoreboard like Kansas City can and will do on Thursday night.

The Broncos are averaging just 17.7 points per game this season, the 7th-lowest mark in the league. Even though the Chiefs have struggled on defense this season, Denver has not shown an ability to march down the field and score consistently.

Despite having a strong defense, the task of stopping Patrick Mahomes and company is daunting. Considering the Chiefs have lost two consecutive games, there is an expectation the team will be playing with an extra edge come Thursday.

Additionally, Mahomes, the 2018 league MVP, torched the Broncos last season, throwing for 607 yards, five touchdowns and rating of 104.8.

There is a lot more on the line for the Chiefs as opposed to the Broncos. Considering the Chiefs have legitimate championship aspirations; they will recognize the importance of the game and take care of the Broncos.

While the Broncos have the talent to hang with Kansas City, Mahomes will prove to be too much for Dever’s defense to handle. Until Joe Flacco can prove the Broncos can score at least 21 points a game, it’s hard to envision the Broncos defeating any team in a shootout. Chiefs win 30-17. 

SHARE