Chiefs vs. Broncos predictions: Recent struggles shake writers’ confidence
By Drew Brooks
The Kansas City Chiefs’ recent struggles have shaken some writer’s confidence in our latest writer predictions, but optimism still remains.
The Kansas City Chiefs have struggled as of late, losing their last two games to the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. They’ve slowed offensively in these games, putting up only 13 and 24 points respectively. Prior to these two games, under quarterback Patrick Mahomes the Chiefs had been scoring 26 or more points every game of Mahomes’ career. The Chiefs will now set their sights on the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football.
Part of these struggles have been due to the team being decimated with injuries, and the game against the Texans did not help as cornerback Kendall Fuller injured his right hand during the game. His injury is believed to be a fractured thumb, which will cause him to miss some time.
Fuller has already been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Broncos, along with offensive tackle Eric Fisher, offensive guard Andrew Wylie, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, and defensive tackle Chris Jones. Fisher and Wylie’s absence on the offensive line has been hurting the Chiefs in a big way. Especially with Patrick Mahomes playing on an ankle that isn’t 100%, missing two starting linemen has affected his ability to make the big plays we’re used to.
With Kendall Fuller out, the Chiefs are extremely thin at cornerback. However, they may be even thinner against the Broncos as cornerback Bashaud Breeland is questionable due to personal circumstances. Breeland did not fly to Denver with the team, and if he’s unable to play the Chiefs will be down to three cornerbacks: Charvarius Ward, Morris Claiborne, and Rashad Fenton.
Despite the Chiefs’ recent struggles, injuries, and lack of cornerback depth, our writer predictions remain mostly optimistic. However, it has been enough to shake the confidence of some. Here are our full writer predictions:
Drew Brooks: Chiefs 28, Broncos 13
The Chiefs need to bounce back, and I think they will. I think that the offense will look good early on, but it will be the defense that surprises everyone. Even without Kendall Fuller and potentially without Bashaud Breeland, I think the Chiefs defense will find a way to stop the Broncos offense and ultimately help the Chiefs coast to a much needed victory.
Matt Conner: Chiefs 24, Broncos 10
While the Denver Broncos probably were not the league’s doormat they resembled through four weeks, there are enough major concerns here on both sides of the ball that should help K.C. put together a refreshing win after such a short week.
Jalon Dodson: Chiefs 35, Broncos 17
I don’t feel bad about this game, but I don’t feel good either. Chiefs need to establish the run game and fix the run defense. If that happens, KC has it in the bag.
Jacob Harris: Chiefs 27, Broncos 24
Against my better judgement, I’m picking the Chiefs to win. I think they’d be much better off in the long run starting Matt Moore, letting Mahomes get healthy, and taking the possible L that comes with that decision. Even with Mahomes, I think there’s a good chance they blow this one anyway but I’ll still pick them despite myself.
Scott Loring: Chiefs 24, Broncos 27
Denver is riding high after last week’s shutout, and the Chiefs just need a bye week to get healthy. They get half of one after Thursday, and hopefully they leave Denver no more dinged up than they already are. I want to make optimistic predictions. I really do. But until I see something different from the Chiefs’ defense, I can’t do it this week. Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are poised for a big game against the Chiefs, who have allowed an opposing rusher to gain at least 99 yards on the ground in each of the last five games.
Jordan Mannix: Chiefs 31, Broncos 21
The Chiefs coaches and players haven’t had their best stuff the last two weeks, and it’s showed in the standings with two straight losses. It’s gut check time in a critical divisional game. Fortunately, Reid has a great track record in the division and Mahomes has a great history against the Broncos. I expect Reid’s play calling to improve and for him to give Spagnuolo a boost in the defensive game plan. The Chiefs will get back on a roll on Thursday, not a moment too soon.
Ellen Mathis: Chiefs 21, Broncos 24
I have been incorrect in every single prediction I have made for the last two weeks in the AFC West (except that the Raiders would come out of the bye with the same record). Given that, don’t trust my prediction here (and hopefully my superstitious self will win the day and the outcome is opposite of what I predict). The Chiefs are on a two-game losing streak. This is adversity at its finest. Injuries, lack of discipline, inconsistent play, inability to stop the run—all these things plague the Chiefs. This is the week for them to put up or shut up. On the flip side, the Broncos are on a two-game winning streak. They look better each week and their defense has shown flashes of its old self. I think the Broncos shock here and take this one at home, handing the Chiefs their 3rd straight loss and making people wonder if the Chiefs are really the best in the West.
Byron Smith: Chiefs 31, Broncos 28
A short week plus road game plus injury could equal a bad time for K.C. However, don’t worry much about Von Miller, who hasn’t done much all season, especially after K.C. controlled J.J. Watt all day last Sunday. Expect Lesean McCoy to get more carries and Mahomes to be protected better in a slim road win.
Kelly Thompson: Chiefs 24, Broncos 19
Kansas City is in the midst of the longest losing streak of Mahomes’ career. Denver, meanwhile, is on a two-game win streak. The Chiefs have won seven straight in the series, however, and Andy Reid owns the AFC West. But the Chiefs are still banged up and the Broncos have given up 13 points combined over the last two weeks—having not surrendered an offensive touchdown in nine quarters. The Chiefs are getting healthier, the rush defense cannot get worse, and the offensive line is going to look much improved this week. The Chiefs right the ship, kind of.
Grant Tuttle: Chiefs 31, Broncos 21
Kansas City is backed into a corner and they can either turn it around now or risk losing their dream of a 2019 Super Bowl. I expect Andy Reid to restore the fundamentals he’s been preaching. Expect screens early and often in Denver and a more inspired look from the defense.
Farzin Vousoughian: Chiefs 21, Broncos 17
The Chiefs fans will temporarily squash the negativity if they win. They face a Broncos team that can run, but aren’t good in the passing game. Mahomes is overdue for a better game, but it may not be as high-scoring as some would expect.
Thomas Welte: Chiefs 31, Broncos 23
The Chiefs are limping into a short week matchup against division rival Denver on Thursday night. Chiefs Kingdom hasn’t been on edge this much since the days #11 was under center. That said, I’m banking on the MVP and the coach who has dominated the AFC West for the last four years to put together a winning effort.