Chiefs-Broncos Preview: Struggling Rivals Look To Rebound

Chiefs-Broncos Preview: Rivals Look To Rebound
Dec 25, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) runs against Denver Broncos linebacker Todd Davis (51). Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos come to Arrowhead for Monday Night Football this week. The Chiefs and Broncos both enter this game with a two game losing streak, and the Chiefs hold a one and a half game lead on Denver in the division. Both teams are also coming off division losses on the road, where Denver was shutout by the Chargers, and the Chiefs were stunned in Oakland once again on Thursday Night Football. Recently, whenever these two teams meet the games always feel tight, and both teams need a win in the worse way.

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Road Woes

The Broncos have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL over the last decade, making the playoffs five of the last seven years. But on the road, they are almost the opposite team that they are at Mile High. The Broncos have gone 4-6 in their last ten road games, including four straight road losses against the division. Trevor Siemian has really struggled on the road this season with no touchdowns and three interceptions with a fumble lost. Also, Denver has been outscored 47-16 on the road on the season. The Chiefs are also entering this game with five straight division wins at home. The Chiefs will look to continue that trend on Monday night.

Rising to the Occasion

The Broncos defense is suffocating and many veteran quarterbacks have struggled against them in the last few years. The Chiefs have been able to find success though, scoring in many different ways against Denver in the last couple of years. Last year, the Chiefs used the wildcat formation, handed the ball off to Tyreek Hill in a singleback formation, and even found ways to confuse possibly the best defensive backfield in the league. The designations have not been announced, but both Mitch Morse and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif were listed as full practice participants on Friday, which is typically the biggest day of the week to watch for the injury report. If the Chiefs can protect Alex Smith and the offense find ways to confuse Denver’s defense like a few times last year, the Chiefs may continue to score multiple times against this menacing opposition.

Welcome Back JC

Jamaal Charles will be making his first appearance in Arrowhead, where he will not be wearing a Chiefs jersey. Charles is not the lead back, but his role in the offense has been something Denver was looking for before this season started. Charles’ exit from Kansas City was tough for Chiefs fans, but most knew it was coming following his second torn ACL injury in his Chiefs career. Charles is arguably the best running back the Chiefs have ever had, single handedly leading a once dormant offense. Hopefully, he gets a good ovation from the crowd. Although, Tony Gonzalez got cheered in his first appearance at Arrowhead as a member of the Falcons, and then got booed heavily after dunking through the field goal post after a touchdown catch. Charles has been praising his time in Kansas City throughout the week and there is talk of him retiring as a Chief in the future, once his playing days are over.

As heartbreaking as the two losses for the Chiefs have been, Denver’s last two losses have been just plain bad. They lost to an 0-5 Giants team, who came into the Mile High city without their top three or four playmakers. Their loss to the Chargers last week was filled with a lot of messy plays and it let the Chargers back into the AFC West race, as the Chargers got their third straight win following an 0-4 start. This game feels like it could be low scoring, but the Chiefs lead the league in touchdowns and have been scoring points in bunches all year except for one game. This game could show why the AFC West is the best division in all of the NFL.

Braden Holecek is a writer for cover32 Chiefs. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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