This week’s edition of Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video features the 4-1 Kansas City Chiefs and the 1-4 Denver Broncos; two teams with completely different starts to this 2023 regular season.
Kansas City will try to maintain their illustrious record against division rival Denver, winning every regular season matchup since 2016. Meanwhile, the Broncos haven’t been able to get over the hump against Kansas City since week 2 of the 2015 season when they were led by Peyton Manning at QB and a world class defense where they ultimately won Super Bowl 50.
It’s going to be a tough task for the Denver Broncos as they head into Arrowhead Stadium, known as one of the toughest places to play for an away team in the NFL; let’s just say it gets loud, real LOUD! I might also mention that Kansas City has only lost one game at home out of 22 since 2020.
Winning at Arrowhead is next to impossible, especially for a Denver team who through five games that has looked rather lackluster. Their defense has been dreadful in allowing 36.2 ppg on average this season to rank the worst in the NFL and their offense is very unexciting scoring only 16.9 ppg. Even with “offensive guru” Sean Payton taking the helm as the Broncos’ head coach, that amount of points per game is not going to cut it in today’s game against a Chiefs team averaging 25.3 on offense this season.
Even though Kansas City has won in very close games this season, look for them to make quick work of Denver, a team that allowed the red hot Miami Dolphins to score 70…yes 70 points in an NFL game! The Chiefs are going to get the benefit of the doubt coming off their second Super Bowl title in three years, but if they want to be regarded as the superior class in the AFC, where Miami looks like they might be taking the reins as the most exciting offense in football, the Chiefs have to make a statement in this game!
Notable injuries to look out for in this matchup include the likes of Travis Kelce who hurt his ankle in the first half of last week’s game but returned to finish it out, he is expected to play. Other significant Chiefs players expected to be out include LB Nick Bolton, DE George Karlaftis, and WR Kadarius Toney. These injuries shouldn’t be an issue for Kansas City since their offense has been by committee with 10 different players catching passes last week against the Vikings, as well as in four of the last five games. With Chris Jones being the definitive anchor for the defense, I believe they should be just fine at home against the Broncos.
Denver’s noteworthy injuries include former Chiefs LB Frank Clark, TE Greg Dulich, and RB Javonte Williams. With one of their best defensive players and two of their best offensive weapons being out for the game, the Russell Wilson-led Broncos are going to have to overcome overwhelming adversity and fight their absolute best to scratch out a win in this prime time game. If Wilson can regain his form his Seahawks glory days and Sean Payton can scheme up the game plan of the century, then they might be able to pull this off.
Can the Denver Broncos get the upset and shake up the entire NFL? Doubtful.
Will the Kansas City Chiefs route Denver like they have over the past several years and remain without a doubt the best in show for the AFC? I certainly think so. Regardless of the outcome, I think we can all agree we’d prefer an exciting close game to a blowout!