Broncos vs. Chiefs, Week 4: Key matchups to watch on Monday Night Football

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 27: Outside linebacker Justin Houston
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 27: Outside linebacker Justin Houston /

The Kansas City Chiefs travel to Denver to take on the Broncos in their first primetime game of the season on Monday night. Find out who will win here.

Great googly moogly, Patrick Mahomes has done it again! The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0 and in first place in the AFC West. It’s been almost unbearable having to wait eight days for the next matchup, but we’re almost there.

It will be the Chiefs second divisional game of the season, and as previously mentioned, their first in primetime this Monday night. The last time the Chiefs and Broncos met in primetime, it was another Monday night game in which the Chiefs had their lone win on their 1-6 stretch last season. The Chiefs forced 5 turnovers including a pick 6 by Marcus Peters, but had just 1 offensive touchdown all day.

This matchup figures to be quiet different as the Chiefs managed to win allowing less than 20 points, and having four field goals. So far this season the Chiefs have attempted just two field goals, and have yet to allow less than 27 points.

It will be an important test again for Mahomes to see how well he can perform underneath the bright lights and high altitude of Mile High stadium. So lets jump right in and find out who will be key in this matchup for the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs.

Mitchell Schwartz vs. Von Miller

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A big reason the Chiefs made signing Schwartz a priority back in 2016, was thanks to the bevy of pass rushing talent throughout the AFC West. With Khalil Mack shipped off to Chicago, Miller is now the definitive premier pass rusher in the division.

Schwartz’s job, as it has been over the last two seasons; will be mitigating the Miller’s ability to make an impact in the game. In their last 4 matchups Schwartz has surrendered 11 total pressures and 2 sacks to the all-pro including one shut out game.

Perhaps what could make this a different matchup in the past is how Mahomes typically deals with pressure. He typically doesn’t like to step up into the pocket, and will instead usually drift to the right or scramble. Should the Broncos be able to get quick initial pressure from the left side or interior, Mahomes may end up walking himself into a sack or two from Miller.

So far this season both Miller and Schwartz have been at the top of their game, with Schwartz giving up just three total pressures and zero sacks and Miller has tallying four sacks and nine total pressures. It should again be one of the top tackle v. pass rusher matchups in the NFL.

My prediction: 2 pressures 1 sack given up by Schwartz to Miller.

Orlando Scandrick vs. Broncos receivers

Surprisingly the most outstanding player in the Chiefs secondary through three weeks has not been young star Kendall Fuller, but 10-year pro Scandrick. In the Chiefs dime package he’s taken the spot of former Chiefs superstar corner Marcus Peters at left corner, and statistically has performed about just as well as the former Chief.

In 3 starts so far this is how the two corners compare stat wise:

Marcus Peters: 11 targets for 6 receptions allowed, 94 yards & 1 TD given up and just 1 interception.  Orlando Scandrick: 21 targets for 7 receptions allowed, 56 yards & 2 TDs given up, no interceptions.

Scandrick doesn’t have an interception yet, and has allowed one more touchdown, but on nearly twice as many targets has given up just 1 more reception for 38 less yards.

Now on the other side of the field he’ll likely be facing a mix of Emmanuel Sanders, Demaryius Thomas, and Courtland Sutton. Together they rank 10th, 44th, and 70th respectively in yards per route run. While Thomas seems to be declining to the tail end of his career and Sutton still a young and raw rookie, Sanders has been a bright spot among the Broncos receiving crops.

Sanders and new starting quarterback Case Keenum really seem to be on the same page, as Sanders stands 2nd in the NFL in reception percentage. He’s also 8th in the NFL in passer rating when targeted, and 5th most receptions without a drop.

Scandrick will face a tough matchup in Sanders, but nearly half of his catches have come from the slot. So it’s far more likely he’ll see more of Kendall Fuller than Scandrick. Against Thomas and Sutton the 31-year-old pro should be in line for another solid outing.

My prediction: 2 receptions for 21 yards allowed, 0 TDs allowed, and 1 INT for Scandrick

Justin Houston vs… 

“Wait, another defensive matchup?” I hear you saying. Yes, while this offense has been getting tons of love and praise. I feel like the defense is being a little underrated. While yes they have given up quite a number of yards and scores, it’s not all doom and gloom. Some blame for the ridiculous totals given up can be attributed to the extremely conservative defensive playcalling by Bob Sutton.

The Chiefs have been playing with an average lead of nearly 12 points per drive (11.90 to be exact, and 1st in the league). So with tons of soft zone and prevent defenses being thrown out there, it’s no surprise the defense hasn’t looked great on the stat sheet as a whole. Because of all that I want to give some love to the defensive players that have been playing quite well this season. Anyways, enough with the interruption, back to the matchup.

Justin Houston vs. Jared Veldheer

It looks like good ol’ Houston is back to his game wrecking ways. Last week against the San Francisco 49ers, Houston managed two sacks, two forced fumbles, and four defensive stops in a dominating performance. Too often I’ve seen people questioning what happened to him, and proclaiming that he just wasn’t the same player anymore. Hopefully that performance should help quiet some of those critics.

His opponent this week will be right tackle Jared Veldheer who is a familiar face back from his days with the Raiders. Now with the Broncos, Veldheer has continued to be a solid to great pass blocker and good run defender. In three starts he’s allowed just 3 total pressures including one sack, and helped pave the way for the 5th most adjusted line yards per rush at the right tackle spot.

Houston hasn’t been as strong this year in the run game as he has in the past. Throughout his career he’s averaged a 75.7 grade against the run (by PFF), but through three games this season is currently sitting at a low 63.4 run grade.

Next. Film Review: Looking at Mahomes vs. Broncos in 2017. dark

If the Broncos are able to slow down the game and get the run involved the Chiefs may be in trouble in this matchup. But should the Chiefs offense continue to maintain control Houston will have a better chance in this matchup.

My prediction: 1.5 sacks and 5 defensive stops for Justin Houston.

Thanks for reading! I really hope you enjoy this. If you have any suggestions for future matchups or other topics you’d like me to tackle. Hit me up over at or over on twitter @DTSportsNow.