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Chiefs vs. Broncos: Game and score predictions

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The AP staff has weighed in on Chiefs-Broncos

NFL: OCT 01 Chiefs at Broncos Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In Week 6, the Arrowhead Pride staff was unanimous in their judgment that the game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans would be close — but only two correctly predicted the Texans would win. Our readers were a bit closer to the mark in predicting a Texans victory. Most agreed a blowout wasn’t in the works — 80% predicted a close game — but 38% thought the Texans would win.

So what do our staff members (and our readers) think about the Week 7 matchup against the Denver Broncos at Mile High? Let’s find out.


Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)

A cagey affair in the first half will undoubtedly explode into action after the break. Just like last year, the Broncos will have a sizeable lead going into the final few minutes. And just like year, Showtime Mahomes will lead the Chiefs to a fourth-quarter comeback. After a week off, I’m back on the bandwagon. Chiefs 27, Broncos 23

John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)

Before a single snap of the season had been played, I was worried about this game. It is, after all, a division opponent on the road — and even worse, it’s on a Thursday night. On these short-week games, Reid is 3-4 with the Chiefs after being 3-2 with the Eagles. But for reasons I cannot fully explain, I am calm about this game. The Chiefs’ problems aren’t going to magically go away over four days, so I expect the Broncos to get a lot of rushing yards — causing some broken TVs in the homes of Chiefs fans as objects are thrown at them — and even score some points. Vic Fangio knows what he’s doing on defense, so I don’t think it will be a cakewalk for the Chiefs offense, either. So I’m going with Chiefs 27, Broncos 24.

Ethan Douglas (@ChiefsAnalytics)

The past two weeks have been the ugliest performances by the Chiefs in the Patrick Mahomes era. The defense can’t tackle, the offense becomes seemingly unable to produce points for two to three quarters straight, and it feels like there are only a few key members of the team that are truly healthy. It would be hard to bet on the Chiefs against a large majority of the teams in the league right now. But here’s the thing. This is the Denver Broncos we’re talking about. The last time the Broncos beat the Chiefs, Peyton Manning was at the helm and Denver fielded a Super Bowl-caliber defense. This time it’s Joe Flacco and a team that has already been bested by both the Raiders and the Jaguars, teams the Chiefs have already defeated. It’s a divisional game, and the Chiefs have some glaring flaws; so it will be close. But make no mistake, the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes walk out of Mile High Stadium with a victory. Chiefs 24, Broncos 21

Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Two winnable games turned into losses and this short turnaround could not have come at a worse time with the Chiefs’ multiple injuries. Playing at Mile High is never easy — especially in primetime. That being said, Mahomes has already had some magical moments in the two games he’s played in Denver. The team is going to need a few more to win Thursday. I believe Pat will take back the lead in the NFL MVP race with a heroic effort to get the Chiefs back on track. Chiefs 27, Broncos 21

Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina)

The Chiefs are reeling on the edge of being in actual trouble for their outlook of the 2019 season between the injuries, their record, and remaining schedule. The quick turn around for a beat-up and tired team is not ideal, but this game is nearing must-win territory for the Chiefs. When the Broncos have the ball, the Chiefs should roll a safety down near the line of scrimmage to assist with the run defense but also as a way to bait Flacco into trying to beat them. The Chiefs pass rush has to make some more noise this game, and the Broncos offensive line will give them those opportunities but they have to take advantage. When the Chiefs have the ball, Patrick Mahomes should get it out quicker than he has the last few weeks to save his ankle. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce should get theirs despite extra attention but the Chiefs should make use of mismatches like Byron Pringle and RBs facing man coverage. The Broncos are peaking at the right time, but the Chiefs are almost up against the wall and this is a fight-or-flight game for them. Chiefs 24, Broncos 17

Robert Rimpson (@RRimpsanity)

I am picking the Chiefs to win this game for the same reasons I picked Houston to upset the Chiefs last Sunday — they’re the better team right now. Houston had several advantages in Sunday’s game: a better run game, an explosive passing attack, a quarterback that can make plays with his legs and a pass rush that could punish the Chiefs’ injured offensive line. The Broncos do have a strong run game and a deadly pass rush, but without the threat of taking the top off of the Chiefs defense or letting a QB that can scramble for a lot of yards, they just aren’t as threatening as the Texans were. I believe the Chiefs will slow down (but not stop) the run on at least a couple of drives and give the Chiefs offense the opportunities they need to get a much-needed win in primetime. Chiefs 30, Broncos 24

Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)

What’s the best cure for this team’s woes? Fire everyone? Trade for everyone? Change everything? Nope. Clean up some stuff, focus and go beat a division opponent on the road. Winning cures all — or damn near all. Getting healthy will help a lot... and they’ll have a couple extra days to do that after Thursday. In the meantime, they are still good enough to beat the Donkeys. Chiefs 45, Broncos 31

Craig Stout (@barleyhop)

The Chiefs have lost at home to two AFC South opponents and (quite literally) limp into Denver on Thursday night. The Broncos run the ball well and have played good defense as of late — the perfect combination to attack a vulnerable Kansas City Chiefs squad. And yet...I’m not worried. Tyreek Hill should play more snaps this week, and Sammy Watkins appears to be able to go. That should free up Travis Kelce and the Chiefs running backs underneath to do some damage while giving Mahomes his key targets once again. On the defensive side of the ball, Anthony Hitchens will return to (hopefully) organize the fronts a little bit better and get a couple more run stops. An ugly win on a short week is still a solid result. Chiefs 31, Broncos 20

Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson)

Have I mentioned recently how much I hate Thursday Night Football? I don’t know how you can feel confident going into a game where Patrick Mahomes has only a few days to rest a nagging ankle injury. It’s going to be a struggle for him to recreate the magic he showed last time he was in Denver. This is the Broncos’ Super Bowl. The quotes coming out reveal a very focused group. It’s going to be a big challenge. I think the Chiefs pull it off. Juan Thornhill gets another interception, Mecole Hardman scores a touchdown. Chiefs 27, Broncos 24

Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)

The Chiefs enter the game badly banged up, and they could be without CB Bashaud Breeland after he was designated questionable. That hurts. Until we see otherwise, the assumption has to be the Broncos run all over the Chiefs. I suspect this game will be a dogfight, and I wish I didn’t have to pick it because to me, it’s that much of a coin-flip. But I refuse to bet on Joe Flacco over Patrick Mahomes. Chiefs 27, Broncos 24

Joel Thorman (@JoelThorman)

Losing to the Colts and Texans at home isn’t ideal but it’s not a reason to freak out ... yet. Losing to the Broncos, however, would be a reason to start worrying. The Broncos are probably a little better than their record, but the Chiefs should always win this quarterback matchup. It’s a short week, Mahomes’ ankle and all the other injuries will make this a difficult game but the Chiefs need to win it. Chiefs 30, Broncos 24

Poll

Which team wins the Chiefs-Broncos game?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Chiefs in a blowout
    (579 votes)
  • 49%
    Chiefs in a close game
    (1433 votes)
  • 26%
    Broncos in a close game
    (782 votes)
  • 3%
    Broncos in a blowout
    (103 votes)
2897 votes total Vote Now

2019 Standings

Rnk LW Staffer W L Pct Error
1 4 Robert Rimpson 5 1 0.8333 23.3
2 10 Tom Childs 5 1 0.8333 41.7
3 1 Matt Lane 4 2 0.6667 24.3
4 3 Joel Thorman 4 2 0.6667 25.3
5 2 John Dixon 4 2 0.6667 25.7
6 5 Ron Kopp 4 2 0.6667 29.3
7 6 Craig Stout 4 2 0.6667 31.0
8 7 Kent Swanson 4 2 0.6667 32.0
9 8 Pete Sweeney 4 2 0.6667 37.0
10 9 Matt Stagner 4 2 0.6667 39.7
11 11 Ethan Douglas 4 2 0.6667 42.0

Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.

The AP staff’s composite guess predicted the Chiefs would defeat the Texans 36.1 to 34.5. Even though most of the staff predicted the winner incorrectly, the low point spread kept the combined prediction fairly close; even though it was wrong, it generated only 24.2 points of error.

Robert Rimpson and Tom Childs now share the 2019 Luther Ingram Award for being the first to pick against the Chiefs. (If a trophy existed, it would be engraved, “If picking against the Chiefs is wrong, I don’t want to be right”). But their picks paid off for both of them. Robert jumped from fourth place into first with his 33-24 prediction that carried just four points of error. Tom’s 34-27 pick nailed the point spread perfectly but carried six points of error — and also moved him from 10th place in the standings all the way into second.