On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs face the Denver Broncos. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored to win. We welcome Ian St. Clair of Mile High Report — our sister SBNation site covering the Broncos — for Five Questions with the Enemy.
1. The defense has held up their end of the Broncos’ preseason hype. Do you expect the frustration we’ve already seen to be a factor on Sunday?
No one could blame the Broncos defense if frustration soaked in. But that hasn’t happened, at least on the field. And I don’t think it will. This defense knows how good it is and wants to continue showing that. Even if it’s not intentional, keep making it abundantly clear why this team continues to lose. Since changes are coming — again — keep shining the spotlight on the real problem for those who will make the decisions.
2. How much would playing well in a win over the Chiefs — and ending a streak stretching to 2015 — do for repairing Russell Wilson’s reputation among Broncos fans?
Very little. And the likelihood of that even happening is slim to none — heavy on the none. As bad as Wilson has been, the issue with this team and all that ails it is Nathaniel Hackett. The guy is the Swedish Chef of head coaching, just “derp der derp der derping” his around the facility and the sideline. Get rid of Hackett, get a competent head coach and offensive coordinator who can mesh with Wilson and — I can’t believe I’m about to write this — let’s ride!
3. If a year from now, a largely identical Broncos roster is in playoff contention, what changes will have been made?
Denver has hired a competent head coach and offensive coordinator who work well with Wilson. It’s been abundantly clear since Week 2 that Hackett and Wilson are oil and vinegar. The defense is there. It’s time — finally time — to get the offense fixed. The franchise also needs to address the offensive line. It’s been an issue even when Peyton Manning was here. Think about this: the Broncos now have six-straight losing seasons and no path to ending that disgusting streak. For Denver to start, it needs to find a competent head coach who will work with the new ownership group to change the losing culture of this sad, sorry franchise.
4. Who are Broncos players on both offense and on defense you would like to see take a larger role to evaluate for 2023?
On offense, there’s no doubt: Jerry Jeudy. Talk about an evergreen statement — if there ever was one. The Broncos receiver has so much talent, but has yet to do anything with it. He either can’t stay on the field or drops another pass with his bricks for hands. Given how historically putrid this offense is, I’m probably asking way too much. On defense, the continued growth of Damarri Mathis makes him the answer. The rookie cornerback struggled early in the year. If he can continue to progress, that’s big for the secondary. And I’ll add a surprising one: Pat Surtain II. He’s had three straight bad games after being labeled the best cornerback in football. He needs to right the ship before the season is over.
5. The Chiefs are currently an 8.5-point favorite. Do you think this is fair? Score prediction?
I’m actually surprised this number isn’t closer to 13 or 14. I get this is a division game, but the Chiefs are coming off a really tough loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. And as good as the Broncos defense is, it will not cover Travis Kelce on Sunday. As for the other side of the ball, Chris Jones is going to annihilate the interior of the Broncos offensive line. Wilson and the offense may get a garbage time toouchdown, but I have the Chiefs winning 27-13.
Be sure to check out the answers I gave to their questions by clicking here.