On Thursday, 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 Denver Broncos — for Five Questions with the Enemy.
1. What’s been going wrong this season?
Can I say, “everything?” In all seriousness, the Broncos defense is beyond terrible. Denver is dead last in yards allowed per play (7.0). Dead last in yards allowed per rush (5.9). Dead last in yards allowed per pass play (7.9). Dead last in total defense (450.6 yards per game). Dead last in scoring defense (34.4 points per game). You have to try to be that bad in so many areas. Now Vance Joseph and this defense is facing Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes? Reid must be licking his lips like he does when he’s about to eat Kansas City barbeque.
On offense, Russel Wilson and the Broncos disappear. Denver has scored a touchdown on its opening drive in four of five games this season. And then the offense proceeds to turn into a clown car.
The Broncos also consistently play pretty well in the first half, only to collapse in the second.
I’m sure there are more when it comes to what this team does wrong, but those are the major problems.
2. Are the Broncos’ issues coachable or is it a personnel problem? What needs to change?
The biggest issue with this team is personnel. This team just has no talent, especially on defense. The offensive line has its moments but isn’t consistent. That’s the case with the offense as a whole. As for what needs to change, blow it up. The Broncos need to start over. Trade any and every piece Denver can to get draft picks to rebuild this franchise. And get rid of Joseph, though that won’t happen until after the season.
3. Let’s spin it around. What has worked so far this season? Who’s been the bright spots of the season?
The Broncos offense scoring touchdowns on their opening drive of the game. You would think that would set Denver up for success, but it hasn’t. How Wilson and the offense start so well, only to collapse and disappear makes zero sense. The bright spot is Jaleel McLaughlin. The undrafted rookie running back is so much fun to watch. He makes you inch forward on your seat whenever he touches the ball. Marvin Mims has also had his moments, but he’s made a few mistakes as a returner. It would be great to see Mims get more targets as a deep threat for the offense.
4. Russell Wilson had his best game of the season against Kansas City last year. What can the Broncos do to try and replicate that performance?
Run the football. When Denver runs the ball, it has success. It’s cliche, but it opens up the rest of the offense. The problem is the Broncos defense is so terrible Payton stops calling run plays. Also get Wilson out of the pocket and use his legs. He looks like vintage Russ when he gets out of the pocket as a runner and thrower. I’d also like to see more deep shots to Mims and Denver’s other receivers on offense. Wilson can throw the deep ball, give him more opportunities to make those plays. On defense, the Broncos will need to find a miracle and some fairy dust. Denver has no shot defensively to stop Mahomes or the Chiefs offense.
5. What are your expectations for this game? And who is your bet for any time touchdown scorer?
Reid, Mahomes and the Chiefs offense should have no problem moving the ball or scoring points against Denver’s defense. Wilson and the Broncos offense will have their moments but also do what they have done all season, and that’s disappear. KC will win this game and likely cover the 10.5 spread. It may not offer the best value, but Travis Kelce is the best, and safest, bet.
Be sure to check out the answers I gave to their questions by clicking here.