Editor’s note: We welcome contributor Just_JoRo of Mile High Report — our sister site covering the Denver Broncos — for Five Questions with the Enemy as we head into the Week 13’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Broncos this Sunday night.
1) What was your opinion on the NFL’s handling of last week?
It made the game a bit of a masochistic affair. What shocks me most about what happened last week is that the Broncos have had four quarterbacks since Drew Lock’s injury against the Steelers and didn’t have any sort of “designated survivor” type of plan in place.
2) Are the Broncos better or worse than when we played in Week 7?
This week’s Broncos team will enter the game without Shelby Harris and Bryce Callahan, so the defense is almost certainly weaker. On offense, it’s hard to say just yet. The last time we saw Drew Lock and a functioning Bronco offense, they were running over the Dolphins. They relied on Pin and Pull, Duo, and some Traps to do it. The Chiefs front is more talented than Miami’s, but Chris Jones is the kind of aggressive penetrator who can be trapped.
3) How do you think the Broncos will attempt to slow down Patrck Mahomes and company?
I’m curious to see if Vic Fangio continues to dial up pressure as much as he has in recent weeks. The teams that have had the most success against Mahomes do so by making him uncomfortable without sacrificing bodies to blitzes. The Broncos have done a pretty good job lately with their simulated pressure packages — outside of the Falcons — but there’s a monumental gap between Tua Tagovailoa, Taysom Hill and Patrick Mahomes.
4) Can you see the Broncos being more aggressive than in previous games against Kansas City?
I don’t think so, because it’s begging for the game to turn into a circus.
5) How does this play out?
Missing both Harris and Callahan makes me nervous about the defense, but Fangio’s done a masterful job with his personnel most of this year. As happened last time, I suspect the score will belie how well the defense performs. I think the Broncos keep the game reasonable in the first half, finding success with their running game and some ball control offense. As the game wears on, Lock gets caught in an obvious passing down and makes a huge error that leads to the game tilting heavily in the Chiefs’ favor.