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Chiefs-Broncos Week 17 predictions from Arrowhead Pride

Let’s see what AP contributors — and our readers — think about Sunday’s game between Kansas City and Denver.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

For the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 16 game against the Seattle Seahawks, all but one of Arrowhead Pride’s contributors picked Kansas City to win. More than half of us expected a close game, but most thought there would be a lot more scoring. So our aggregate prediction of a 29-21 Chiefs victory was 22 points removed from the 24-10 final. For what it’s worth, our readers saw the game almost exactly the same way.

In Week 17, the Chiefs face the Denver Broncos on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored by 13 points.

Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.

Price Carter (@priceacarter)

The only thing stopping this game from being a blowout is the Chiefs. If they make some of the similar mistakes they made in Denver, the Broncos could make it a game. If the Chiefs execute the way they did last week against the Seahawks, it should feel relatively easy. Broncos defense has played with a lot of pride this year, but the last couple of weeks have proven they are vulnerable.

The biggest thing I’m looking for is the offensive playmakers and how they get on the field. This is the first game with Pacheco, McKinnon, Hardman and Toney in their current forms. The ceiling for this offense is as high as it’s been all season. Perfect for Mahomes to finish locking up the MVP.

Chiefs 31, Broncos 13

Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)

More of the same, please. At this time of the year, I only care about the result. In fact, all I really care about this weekend is Monday Night Football. The Broncos, with their interim coach, may cause the Chiefs some problems, but I can’t imagine the Chiefs playing with the same complacency as they did last time out against the Broncos, right?

Chiefs 31 Broncos 17

Nate Christensen (@natech32)

I know the game was close last time these two teams played, but I don’t see that being the case again. The Chiefs let the foot off the gas for five minutes of game time and allowed 21 points in that stretch. Since that game, the Broncos have played a game where they gave up 51 points to the 5-10 Los Angeles Rams and fired their head coach. Their interim head coach, Jerry Rosburg, has no experience beyond being an assistant head coach in the NFL. The Broncos are done with their season, and that couldn’t have been more evident than last week’s Christmas game. Kansas City will come out hot again but will finish the game this time.

Chiefs 34, Broncos 10

John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)

In Week 9 of 2018 — when the Cleveland Browns hosted the Chiefs under their brand-new interim head coach Gregg Williams — I said the Browns were a talented team that was likely to get a bounce from the departure of head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Hailey. I predicted a 30-27 Cleveland victory. Patrick Mahomes passed for 375 yards and three touchdowns as the Chiefs won 37-21. I’m not making that mistake again, but I think Denver could play above expectations.

Chiefs 30, Broncos 20

Maurice Elston (@recenickelz)

When the Kanas City Chiefs played the Denver Broncos two weeks ago, the game started like most predicted it would. The Chiefs jumped out to a 27-0 lead and were in complete control of the game in all phases. The following two drives by the Chiefs ended with two interceptions, and the Broncos took advantage of that and made it a tight game the rest of the way. That will not be the case this week. As the Chiefs continue to get in playoff mode, I expect them to be completely focused and take care of business.

Chiefs 35, Broncos 13

Talon Graff (@CoachGraff34)

The Kansas City Chiefs face the Denver Broncos for the second time in four weeks, but a lot has changed since then. The Broncos fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett, and now Jerry Rosburg will lead the way for the rest of the season. This should not be considered a gimme game by any means, this Broncos team seems to have something to prove, and Chiefs fans should recall Week 15 back in 2011 when the Chiefs had fired Todd Haley, and interim head coach Romeo Crennel led the 5-8 Chiefs to a victory over the 13-0 Green Bay Packers. Any given Sunday is much more than cliche, especially this season. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes needs to make a strong push to cement a second MVP award and carving up a playoff-caliber defense would help.

Chiefs 31, Broncos 20

Mark Gunnels (@MarkAGunnels)

It’s easy to forget the Chiefs led 27-0 against this Broncos team a few weeks ago because of how tight things got. However, I don’t expect Patrick Mahomes to throw three interceptions this time around. Since their last meeting, the Broncos fired now-former head coach Nathaniel Hackett. With just two games remaining, Denver can see the offseason at the end of the tunnel. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are still fighting for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. I fully expect the Chiefs to take care of business Sunday afternoon, so they can fully enjoy a pretty meaningful game Monday night. Chiefs 31, Broncos 13

Zach Gunter (@ZachGunter08)

The last time the Chiefs played the Broncos — Week 14 of this season — I predicted a low-scoring win by the Chiefs. Specifically, I expected a 21-7 victory. I won’t make the same mistake this time. Not only does Patrick Mahomes not care how good your defense is, but the Broncos' head coach Nathaniel Hackett is gone. No player on the team respected that man. Now, they can unite under an interim head coach... Jerry Rosburg? Oh. I see.

Chiefs 34, Broncos 14

Conner Helm (@ArrowheadConner)

How do the Broncos respond to the firing of Nathaniel Hackett? I’m not exactly sure, but I could see this Bronco team being fired up to make something out of this lost season for them. I’m just not sure if the Broncos have the talent to stay with the Chiefs if the Chiefs play a good game.

If the Chiefs play as they did against Seattle, they should have a little problem handling this version of the Broncos. The only problem is this Chiefs team has not been consistent throughout the year. If they play as they played against the Texans, the Broncos will have a chance to beat the Chiefs. I'm in the camp that thinks the Chiefs have turned a corner and will start playing their best football of the year.

Chiefs 27, Broncos 13

Caleb James (@CJScoobs)

After axing head coach Nathaniel Hackett a day after an embarrassing 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, a depleted Denver Broncos squad head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. The game should not be close. This Denver team will not come out with any ra-ra speeches to end the year; they look like a team just trying to limp to the finish line.

This game should be a blowout for Kansas City on its way to the playoffs. The last matchup against the Broncos saw the Chiefs jump to a big lead before mistakes led to Denver nearly coming back to win. This should not be the case this week. Patrick Mahomes is on a tear and the clear MVP favorite at this point. A blowout win over a division rival and big passing numbers could propel his odds even higher.

Defensively the Chiefs must continue to play as a unit, but if they can get out to a hot start, it would be rise to get some extra rest for key players down the line. The goal should be for both units to start fast and be able to win comfortably. Health before the playoffs will be critical for this unit moving forward.

Chiefs 30, Broncos 7

Ashley Justice (@Justice_Paur88)

The Chiefs face a struggling divisional rival with a cringe QB and no head coach. This game will not be a blowout — simply because the division has already been won, and why would the Chiefs put more “fun” plays on tape right before the playoffs. The Chiefs did not have their best performance to end the game against the Denver Broncos just a few weeks ago, and I’m hoping that is not an issue this time. Let's just hope the Broncos do not feel motivated to play spoiler and the game is a clean one. Facing a team with nothing to lose can be Dangeruss (sorry, it was right there) but here’s hoping the Broncos are feeling as uninspired as their offense looks. Obviously, the best outcome for this game is a victory with no notable injuries.

Chiefs 33, Broncos 14

Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)

I don’t know what the Broncos’ energy level will be. On one end, their head coach, special teams coordinator, and offensive line coach have all been fired; the interim head coach is an assistant hired during the season. On the other side, Denver players have nothing to lose — and absolutely know how to defend the Chiefs’ offense, which will likely be vanilla as the team tries to grind into the postseason. I think we’ll see initial life out of the Broncos, forcing the Chiefs to play a complete game to secure their 13th win.

Chiefs 27, Broncos 12

Aaron Ladd (aaronladd0)

Round two of Denver and Kansas City feels very similar to the original matchup. No one is giving Denver any semblance of a chance. With first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett already kicked to the curb, Denver appears to be in full “figure our shit out” mode. And godspeed to the Broncos. Whoever inherits that mess will surely be tasked with one mission: find a way to beat the chiefs. I don’t think it’ll happen in Sunday's home finale. Kansas City has everything left to play for, while there’s likely to be a few more sleepless nights in Mile High.

Chiefs 35, Broncos 21

Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)

I don’t expect a happy ending for interim Broncos head coach Jerry Rosberg in his first-ever game as an NFL head coach. This isn’t going to be the classic rally around the interim head coach for a single week and play the game of our lives scenario.

Denver’s issues run much deeper than Nathaniel Hackett— they are utterly broken and dysfunctional from top to bottom and tied to a 200 million-dollar quarterback who is like a dying tree— looks fine on the outside but is rotten to the core.

The Chiefs are a better team from top to bottom. The last time these two teams met, the Broncos' defense gave Patrick Mahomes problems, but he was also taking risks he knew he shouldn’t take. Since then, Mahomes has been playing lights out— I don’t expect a repeat of Week 14.

The Chiefs roll and keep fighting for the one seed in the AFC.

Chiefs 34, Broncos 10

Ricko Mendoza (@ricko_mendoza_)

In Week 14, the Chiefs appeared to be on their way to another dominant win after leading 27-0 against the Broncos. However, three interceptions by Patrick Mahomes and poor play by their defense allowed Denver to come back — turning what should have been a stress-free afternoon into a narrow and frustrating 34-28 victory. Forward to Week 17, Kansas City gets an opportunity to prove that they are closer to the team that was up by 27 than the team that almost blew the lead. With the defense coming off an impressive performance last week, look for the Chiefs to show that they have learned from the mistakes of the previous matchup as they hope to put together a complete game against a Broncos team that will also have plenty to prove after firing their head coach earlier in the week.

Chiefs 30, Broncos 10

Stan Nelson (@chiefsfanstan)

We all know the record for the last seven years and how the last time the Broncos beat the Chiefs was a Thursday night week two matchup between the two teams at Arrowhead Stadium on September 17th, 2015. They say past trends are not necessarily a good predictor of future results. Not so here. The teams could not be more opposite. While the Chiefs have the most electric and clutch quarterback in the league who has played in the same system for his entire career, seems to raise the bar to new heights each week, and has a top-five head coach and a solid system himself, the Broncos have none of these things. The only concern is playing a team that has nothing to lose, a recently fired head coach who is being replaced by an interim head coach who has never coached a game at any level at that position. A team like that will not think twice about pulling out all the stops, such as going for it on 4th down to fake punts and onside kickoffs, not to mention a handful of trick plays. Head Coach Andy Reid said he wants his team ready for anything. They will be, and the Chiefs will extend their win streak against Denver to 15.

Chiefs 31, Broncos 16

Tom Ruprecht (@truprecht)

The embarrassment the Broncos suffered on Christmas — coupled with Hackett’s firing — suggests that Denver’s defense simply has to show up this week. A good defense got FIFTY-ONE hung on them by Baker Mayfield...on Christmas! They should be angry enough to give Mahomes a bit of a fight. As far as Denver’s offense, however, the cancer remains. As long as Russ is there, this is a bad football team, and all the Sean Paytons in the world can’t change that fact. It won’t be a massive blowout, but the Chiefs win comfortably.

Chiefs 31, Broncos 10

Kramer Sansone (@KramerTalks)

He comes another win in the win column for the Chiefs this weekend. With how bad the Broncos' offensive line has played this season, expect Russell Wilson to be sacked multiple times. I feel like George Karlaftis will secure two sacks Sunday as well. Regarding the Chiefs' offense, Patrick Mahomes has way too many weapons against a defense that has practically checked out on the season. This will be a field goal-only game for the Broncos.

Chiefs 24, Broncos 12

Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)

There is a ton of concern going around that the Broncos will respond to the coaching change with an inspired performance. But it really seems that the team has been tuning out their quarterback — not the staff. With only two weeks left, I do not see this moving the needle much on the opponent. When the teams played three weeks ago, the Broncos looked just as terrible as they have all season until the Chiefs started making mistakes. With the playoffs looming — and the number one seed still in play — the Chiefs will play a clean game in front of their home crowd and continue the efficiency they showed against Seattle.

Chiefs 34, Broncos 17

Nick Schwerdt (@nick_schwerdt)

When they met three weeks ago, the Chiefs were throttling this Denver team, and they let them come back and make a game out of it. I don’t believe they’ll make that mistake this time around. The idea of Denver trying to rally around Nathaniel Hackett sounds excellent in theory, but this isn’t a Disney movie. The Chiefs still have plenty to play for, with a pivotal Monday Night Football matchup between Buffalo and Cincinnati looming that could open the door for the one seed.

Chiefs 31, Broncos 17

Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)

Traditionally picking the Chiefs to cover has been a bad bet–and Kansas City is once again a double-digit favorite this week. After their underwhelming performance in Denver, there’s plenty of reason to be skeptical about them showing up in this game–but we just saw this Broncos team get decimated by Baker Mayfield and the Rams. Russell Wilson had one of his worst games of the season last week–and I don't think less than a week after firing their head coach (however much of a disaster he was) will make a difference for the Broncos this week. I think the Chiefs will keep rolling and hope they wake up Tuesday with the AFC bye.

Chiefs 31, Broncos 13

Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)

This is a game with two teams in vastly different positions coming down the stretch of this season — the Broncos, having fired their head coach and dealing with a quarterback who may be on his last legs, against the Chiefs, with the best coach-quarterback combination in the league. It should not be close, even though the last one was closer than we thought. The Chiefs should use this week as another tune-up for the playoffs to continue finding ways to get the offense on the same page and the young defensive players to continue their development. We would all love to see Skyy Moore get more involved this week, but I also really like to see Kadarius Toney expand his role to be not just the goal-line gadget guy but perhaps an all-around threat that teams have to recognize. More than anything, I want to see a clean game without turnovers from the offense and sound tackling from the defense and — if all goes well — a Chad Henne appearance in the fourth quarter.

Chiefs 35, Broncos 17

Bryan Stewart (@BryanStewart_)

Bronco beatdown incoming! Denver is a mess — not terribly different than the Chiefs were before Andy Reid arrived as head coach. The big difference might be that there’s no way an established coach will want to take the Broncos' head coach opening considering the resources they have tied down to quarterback Russell Wilson. In Arrowhead Sunday, expect the Chiefs to casually roll while even putting together one of their best overall team performances of the season.

Chiefs 31, Broncos 12

Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)

Had Patrick Mahomes not uncharacteristically thrown three interceptions against the Broncos in Denver, it might have been the Chiefs dropping 40 or 50 points on them in a blowout. Mahomes hasn’t thrown an interception since, and though I do think the Broncos get a slight pickup from their interim head coach, it won’t be enough to make it a game against the Chiefs again. Mahomes plays a clean game this time around to the tune of a blowout for Kansas City.

Then it’s waiting all week for Monday night.

Chiefs 40, Broncos 13

Dakota Watson (@dwatson_56)

The NFL really does stand for “Not for Long.” This is the second matchup between the two teams in four weeks, yet the Broncos have fired their head coach, and the Chiefs' defense has rebounded with their best performance of the season. Despite all the changes, one thing I expect to continue is the Chiefs’ dominance of the Broncos. I think the Broncos will play inspired in the first half with the coaching change, but no way Mahomes throws another interception to these guys, and the defense will continue their strong performance from last week. The Chiefs win and begin the new year on a high note.

Chiefs 38, Broncos 14


Which team wins Broncos (4-11) at Chiefs (12-3)?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Chiefs in a blowout (14 or more points)
    (189 votes)
  • 45%
    Chiefs in an easy win (8-13 points)
    (219 votes)
  • 12%
    Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
    (61 votes)
  • 1%
    Broncos in a close game
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    Broncos in an easy win
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Broncos in a blowout
    (3 votes)
483 votes total Vote Now

2022 Standings

TW LW Staffer W L Pct Err
1 2 Aaron Ladd 13 2 0.8667 23.3
1 3 Pete Sweeney 13 2 0.8667 23.3
3 1 Nate Christensen 13 2 0.8667 24.0
4 4 Dakota Watson 13 2 0.8667 24.3
5 5 Matt Stagner 13 2 0.8667 25.7
6 6 Stephen Serda 13 2 0.8667 26.4
7 7 Mark Gunnels 13 2 0.8667 27.9
8 9 Rocky Magaña 13 2 0.8667 28.3
9 7 Ashley Justice 13 2 0.8667 28.4
10 12 Bryan Stewart 12 3 0.8000 21.1
11 14 Jared Sapp 12 3 0.8000 21.7
12 10 John Dixon 12 3 0.8000 22.3
13 12 Price Carter 12 3 0.8000 22.5
14 15 Talon Graff 12 3 0.8000 25.3
14 18 Ricko Mendoza 12 3 0.8000 25.3
16 16 Maurice Elston 12 3 0.8000 26.0
16 17 Nick Schwerdt 12 3 0.8000 26.0
18 19 Tom Ruprecht 12 3 0.8000 27.1
19 20 Zach Gunter 12 3 0.8000 27.9
20 22 Tom Childs 12 3 0.8000 29.3
21 21 Stan Nelson 12 3 0.8000 29.9
22 11 Kramer Sansone 11 4 0.7333 22.3
23 23 Conner Helm 11 4 0.7333 23.6
24 24 Ron Kopp Jr. 11 4 0.7333 27.1

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.

In Week 16, Ricko Mendoza led the AP staff with a call for a 24-13 Kansas City win that had only six points of error. Caleb James’ 24-14 pick was right behind — just eight points off.

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