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Denver Broncos rushing attack key for Kansas City Chiefs defense on Thursday Night Football

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to sound a little weird to say (or type) but I'm not all that scared of Peyton Manning when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. That doesn't mean I'm dismissing what he can still do, not at all. He only threw for 179 yards the last time these teams met but Peyton will get his. The Chiefs have the pass rush and the secondary to contain him and stop him from ruining the game (we think).

The key to this game is how the Chiefs run defense performs. They were better last week against the Houston Texans but that was without Arian Foster and little threat of the quarterback(s) beating them. I still want to see them tested in a game situation like this one where the Chiefs secondary - despite what you say about Peyton - still has to respect the pass. The Broncos are going to force the Chiefs into defensive looks with only one or two down linemen.

In that last game where Peyton threw for only 179 yards, the Broncos benefited from 168 yards on the ground from CJ Anderson. He'll understand the defensive alignments and won't have a problem running the ball 30-plus times if it's working. Frankly, I think I'd rather die fast with the pass than the slow, painful demise of 32 yards for 168 yards from CJ Anderson, who is questionable for the game but expected by many to play.

The Broncos offensive line is not what it was and the Chiefs have Derrick Johnson back (and Mike DeVito but I don't think he will be playing in a lot of these passing situations). I'm picking the Chiefs to win but I don't think either team is going to be scoring a lot or scoring very quickly.

The Chiefs run defense should be better. I want to see them prove that tonight.

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