Chiefs seeking to extend win streak over Broncos to 14
KANSAS CITY (9-3) at DENVER (3-9)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST, CBS
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Chiefs by 9 1/2.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Kansas City 4-8, Denver 4-8.
SERIES RECORD: Chiefs lead 69-54.
LAST MEETING: Chiefs beat Broncos 28-24 on Jan. 8, 2022, at Empower Field at Mile High.
LAST WEEK: Chiefs lost to Bengals 27-24, Broncos lost to Ravens 10-9.
CHIEFS OFFENSE: OVERALL (1), RUSH (17), PASS (1), SCORING (1).
CHIEFS DEFENSE: OVERALL (16), RUSH (6), PASS (23), SCORING (15).
BRONCOS OFFENSE: OVERALL (27), RUSH (24), PASS (21), SCORING (32).
BRONCOS DEFENSE: OVERALL (3), RUSH (19), PASS (3), SCORING (2).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Chiefs minus-4, Broncos plus-1.
CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Nick Bolton is making a convincing case to be selected to his first Pro Bowl in his second year in the league. He had a team-leading 16 tackles last week against Cincinnati, pushing him into fifth place in the league with 122, and he has interceptions in each of the past two games. He does it all while wearing the green dot on his helmet, making him the coach on the field for the defense.
BRONCOS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Russell Wilson has just eight touchdown throws in 11 starts and is on pace for a career-worst 54 sacks. He has just one multi-touchdown game and that came back on Oct. 2 at Las Vegas. If the Broncos are to have any chance at ending their skid against the Chiefs, Wilson is going to have to break out of his season-long slump and lead the Broncos, who are averaging fewer than 14 points, to a breakout game. But he’ll have to do it with reserve receivers.
KEY INJURIES: Chiefs guard Joe Thuney (ankle) is expected back this week. WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring) also did some work in practice after missing most of the past two games. Broncos WR Courtland Sutton, LB Dakota Allen and FB Andrew Beck are the latest in a rash of pulled hamstrings in Denver. Sutton won’t play Sunday. K Brandon McManus has a sore thigh on his kicking leg, but is expected to play in the game.
KEY MATCHUP: Chiefs TE Travis Kelce vs. Broncos defense. Denver will have to double Kelce and they’re hoping CB K’Waun Williams is able to play so he can pitch in and help out the linebackers. Williams has been dealing with elbow, wrist and knee injuries and hasn’t played since Nov. 13.
SERIES NOTES: The Chiefs had dominated the division and the Broncos over the past six-plus seasons, winning 13 straight against Denver. The previous Broncos win came on Sept. 17, 2015, when they scored two touchdowns in the final minute for a 31-24 stunner. Since then, Kansas City has won seven straight in Denver and Patrick Mahomes is 9-0 against the Broncos.
STATS AND STUFF: Kansas City is 39-6 against the AFC West since 2015. ... The Chiefs have won their next five games the previous time they were coming off a loss. ... Kansas City is 49-3 since 2018 when holding opponents to fewer than 27 points. ... Mahomes will be starting his 76th game for Kansas City, tying Alex Smith for fourth in franchise history. ... The Chiefs could tie a franchise record with their 18th consecutive game with at least 300 yards. ... Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco has TD runs in each of the past two games. ... Bolton has seven games with at least 10 tackles, tied with Donnie Edwards (2000) for the most in a season for Kansas City. ... Chiefs TE Travis Kelce needs 26 yards receiving to reach 10,000. He would become the fifth tight end to reach that mark. ... Kelce needs 32 yards receiving for his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season, which would extend his own franchise record. ... The Broncos have secured their sixth straight losing season and a seventh consecutive year without a playoff berth. ... The good news for Wilson: he completed 77.3% of his throws at Baltimore last week and didn’t have an interception for the fourth consecutive game. But he didn’t lead the Broncos into the red zone, much less the end zone. ... Wilson has five TDs and no interceptions in two starts against Kansas City. ... Midseason pickup RB Latavius Murry has rushed for a TD in both of his games in Denver this year and he ran for a TD against the Chiefs while with Baltimore last season. ... RB Marlon Mack had 148 scrimmage yards in his only career game against the Chiefs in 2019 while with the Colts. ... WR Jerry Jeudy had 65 receiving yards in his return from injury last week. ... TE Greg Dulcich led the team with six catches for 85 yards last week. ... S Justin Simmons had two interceptions last week and has 24 for his career. ... Simmons is the only player in the NFL with at least three interceptions in each of the past five seasons. ... ILBs Alex Singleton and Josey Jewell each had 17 tackles at Baltimore, making them the second pair of teammates since 2000 to accomplish the feat. The others were the Ravens’ Kelly Gregg and Ray Lewis in 2002. ... DT DeShawn Williams is coming off his second career two-sack game.
FANTASY TIP: Even with Kelce on the field, the nod here goes to Broncos rookie TE Greg Dulcich, whom coach Nathaniel Hackett is giving snaps out wide this week with the rash of injuries at wide receiver. The Broncos are without three of their top four wideouts in Sutton, Tim Patrick (ACL) and KJ Hamler (hamstring), and Jerry Jeudy is still dealing with a sprained ankle.
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