As the Kansas City Chiefs come out from their restful state in Week 12 given the timing of the bye week, they’re going to find themselves needing to get charged up pretty quickly. That’s because the team waiting for them in Week 13, the Denver Broncos, is already grinning with teeth bared, figuratively speaking.
It’s the first of two scheduled meetings with the Denver Broncos in December for the Chiefs, which means it’s rivalry week and one of the two most bitter ones at that. While everyone in the AFC West is a division rival, there’s a special slice of hatred reserved for the Las Vegas Raiders and the Denver Broncos that, frankly, the L.A. Chargers simply cannot touch.
Bradley Chubb is still a very young pass rusher for the Broncos, but he’s already well-versed in what it means to hate Kansas City—a feeling rooted in his team’s inability to win a single game against Andy Reid‘s team in a very, very long time. Chubb himself was back in his first season as a starter at N.C. State when the Broncos beat the Chiefs last time, a streak of 11 straight victories for the Chiefs over their West rivals.
The Denver Broncos are filled with hate and ready to play the Chiefs.
“We haven’t beat them in a while and the hatred runs deep,” said Chubb on Monday to reporters. “When we do get over that hump, everybody’s going to be rejoicing and moving onto the next one. That’s what I feel like we’ve gotta do. Knock this one out and, like I said, just keep moving forward.”
In recent seasons, the hate hasn’t boiled up as much on the Chiefs side because the series has become so one-sided, and the Broncos have turned into such a pitiful franchise, that some younger fans likely don’t know what it’s like to fear Denver or at least anticipate a tough, physical contest. In the last two years especially, the Chiefs have dominated Denver by more than 19 points per game.
Perhaps it all changes this year. All streaks must come to an end, and the Broncos look better now than they have this deep into the season in the last few years. Despite trading away Von Miller, Denver has gone on to turn their record to 6-5. They’re within a single game of first place (where the Chiefs sit at 7-4) and remain a surprise fringe contender for a wild card spot in the postseason.
Can the Broncos provide any real challenge to the Chiefs in 2021? Are the Chiefs ready with some emotion of their own? How will coming out of the bye affect the way Patrick Mahomes and company look when it’s time to take the field? We’ll find out answers to all these questions soon enough.