The 5-1 Chiefs head into snowy Denver looking for their tenth straight win over the struggling divisional opponent.
Chiefs Pass Protection
The Chiefs offensive line has been hot and cold this season. The team has been banged up along the line and will be without Mitchell Schwartz. Denver’s pass rush has been above average with 14 sacks this season(12th). Last week they had their best game with four sacks and constant pressure. In the Chiefs lone loss this season they struggled to contain the pass rush which led to the offense being in a funk all game. The offensive line must play cohesively or Denver could pull of the upset.
Last week Andy Reid went to rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire early and often. Instead of getting away from the run, Reid stuck with it as Edwards-Helaire ran wild for 161 yards at 6.2 YPC. Denver is giving up the 13th most rush yards per game at 110.6. The best way for the offense to slow down the pass rush would be to once again trust the rookie to get it done on the ground.
Drew Lock returned to the starting lineup for the Broncos last week. He went a measly 10-24, threw two interceptions, and finished the day with a 34.9 passer rating. The Chiefs still inexplicably have a reputation for being a bad defense. The secondary is anything but. through six weeks the defense in fourth in passer rating at 81.9 and third in passing yards allowed at only 208 per game. This will be a difficult game for Lock to find his groove.
The run defense looked like a new unit last week but they’re still weak on the season. The defense is giving up 145.3 rushing yards per game which is the third most. Philip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon will be a tough test for the group.
Keys to Victory
- The defense has to stop the rush. If the Broncos are able to run the ball effectively then that allows them to keep the Chiefs offense on the sideline.
- The offense has to play efficiently. Drew Lock has struggled this season and if the offense gets up early then Denver will be forced to abandon the run and throw against the stingy secondary.
- OLB Jeremiah Attaochu is out
- WR Diontae Spencer is out
- FB Andrew Beck is questionable
- G Dalton Risner is questionable
- Chiefs ML
- Chiefs -7.5
- Over 44
Denver has the running game to potentially give the Chiefs trouble. You cannot put up points by just running the ball, however. The Chiefs will get out to an early lead and Denver’s passing offense won’t be able to keep up.
Chiefs 31-Broncos 17
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