Chiefs face energized Broncos team with Drew Lock at helm
Broncos & their fans have suffered under Andy Reid
It’s no secret that Andy Reid has absolutely owned the AFC West in the past several seasons. With the Chiefs victory over the Patriots on Sunday, they clinched their fourth straight AFC West crown. Before this current streak, the franchise had never even won two straight division crowns. This will come as no surprise, but Andy Reid has run roughshod over the Denver Broncos in that same stretch.
Following the retirement of Peyton Manning, the Chiefs and Broncos have played in a total of seven games with the Chiefs winning every single one. In these games the Chiefs offense has over 150 percent of the point production of the Broncos, with a margin of 206 to 132. At home, the Chiefs are averaging a margin of victory of over 13 points at 30.67 to 17.33. Still dominant, though less so than at home, the Chiefs are averaging a nearly 9 point margin of victory in Denver at 28.5 to 20.
Yes, the Broncos look to have potentially found a competent quarterback for the first time since Peyton Manning retired. Yes, their defense has been very good this year ranking 10th in points allowed, 11th in yards allowed, and 6th against the pass. Still, Andy Reid has had this division’s number for one reason and one reason alone: He’s one of the best coaches in the NFL. Until that changes, you can expect him to continue to dominate this division.
My Prediction: Chiefs 35, Broncos 20
This is no disrespect to the Broncos, who seem to be ascending. They have a very good defense and look to be in a good spot with Drew Lock as their franchise quarterback going forward. It’s a small sample size, but he definitely looks like an improvement on their past several signal callers. All that said, the Chiefs are a much better team.
The Chiefs offense, which was able to score 30 points on the Broncos without Patrick Mahomes for much of the game, should be poised for a big game. Some are worried about the offense, and understandably so. They haven’t looked like their usual selves the last few games. However, some of the Chiefs latest opponents have been great defenses.
Ironically, the least of the Chiefs worries is its defense. In fact, you could argue the first meeting with the Broncos was the launching point for this defense’s ascent to competency. In that game they held the Broncos to 134 passing yards, 71 rushing yards, one of 13 conversions on third down, and had a whopping nine sacks. I’d expect the Broncos offense to improve on these numbers, but only slightly.
This will be the toughest game of Drew Lock’s career to this point, and I’d guess he will struggle to diagnose Spagnuolo’s pressure and coverages. Coming off a big win in Foxborough, this is the type of game a good team could overlook. That said, the Chiefs should win this game easily, with room to spare.