KC Chiefs vs Broncos is very meaningful for both sides
For the Broncos…
This is their Super Bowl because they are about as far away from the actual Super Bowl as you can get. I noted last week that Denver considered their Week 13 matchup with the Chiefs as their biggest game in years. That, of course, was more meaningful in the grand scheme of things because Denver was 6-5, KC was 7-4, and the Broncos actually had a clear view of taking the division crown away from the Chiefs. Didn’t happen, obviously, but they get an A for effort for trying. This year? This is all about pride.
No one in Denver thought this season would go as poorly as it has, nor did they think that their outlook moving forward would be as bleak as it is. Sure, the salary cap is going to go up in the next few seasons and the handcuffs and shackles that the Russell Wilson contract appears to have them in at the moment will inevitably turn into a more manageable scenario – like just being duct taped to a chair, that’s more escapable at least – the near future doesn’t look fantastic. They’ve already sold off their best pass rusher, have no draft picks in the top 2 rounds next year unless they trade off more young talent, and a QB who is already the 7th oldest signal caller in the league in the first year of his 7 with the team. Ouch.
But what do they have? An extremely talented young defense even without Bradley Chubb. The Broncos are only allowing a hair over 300 yards per game to opposing offenses this season, and are only giving up 17 points per game. Yes, they are giving up 17 points per game and are 3-9. The two teams above them in the defensive scoring ranking, the 49ers, and Eagles, are 8-4 and 11-1 respectively. The two below them in the top 5, the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets, are 9-3 and 7-5. And the Broncos are 3-9. Every player on this defense should demand a trade this off-season.
Why is it so bad? The offense is averaging 13.8 points per game. If they were just middle of the pack offensively—say, they had the Jags offense and averaged 21.5 points per game—they’d be 10-2. That is how dominant their defense has been. But Russell Wilson currently has five more bathrooms in his house than he has touchdown passes, and Nathaniel Hackett is growing a goatee presumably to be less noticeable when he’s out and about in Denver.
Sorry, got sidetracked. Long story short, this game means more to the Broncos than any other game they have remaining on the schedule because of what Kansas City represents to them: what they want to be. The Chiefs and Broncos hate each other. It may not be quite as heated or historic as the Raiders-Chiefs rivalry, but the animosity is very real and very raw. Add to that the fact that the Chiefs are titleholders on all of the Broncos’ hopes and dreams at the moment with a ridiculous winning stream—when the games kick off on Sunday it will have been 2,642 days since Denver last defeated Kansas City, 13 consecutive losses for the Broncos—and this is without question their Super Bowl. A win against Kansas City would (slightly) numb the pain and create something worth remembering a season that is without a doubt one of the more forgettable in franchise history.