The last time the Kansas City Chiefs met the Denver Broncos, it was a bittersweet game. The Chiefs picked up a blowout 30-6 victory, but Patrick Mahomes suffered a dislocated kneecap. This time around, Mahomes is healthy and the Broncos will have a new quarterback under center.
Kansas City is coming off a win in Foxborough against the New England Patriots. This is the second week in a row that the Broncos are facing a team that defeated the Patriots in the previous week. The Chiefs will look to avoid the dreaded letdown in Week 15. Against a divisional opponent, there is no reason for the Chiefs to be sleepwalking.
The Chiefs are starting to look like the Super Bowl contender that everyone expected them to be coming into the season. Here are two major x-factors if they want to continue their momentum towards the end of the season.
2. Chiefs Pass Rush vs. Broncos O-Line
The Chiefs’ pass rush has played decent football this season, led by Chris Jones and Frank Clark. They have both been solid but have not met expectations so far. Last time they played the Broncos, everyone on the defensive line showed up. Kansas City racked up nine sacks in the first meeting. They will have to put pressure on rookie Drew Lock in this game.
Lock has been sacked just one time and hit seven times in his first two career starts. The Broncos are 2-0 when Lock is under center and a large part of that is the offensive line that has protected him. The Chiefs will need to put pressure on the quarterback and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. The Chiefs’ defense has been vulnerable in 2019, so it is important to force the rookie to make some mistakes.
The Chiefs are one of the most penalized teams in the league. They have been flagged 88 times for 874 yards this season, the seventh-most yards in the NFL. Kansas City’s penalty woes have allowed teams to hang around a little longer than they should.
That cannot happen against the Broncos.
It is important for Kansas City to remain disciplined in Sunday’s tilt. Down the stretch, the Chiefs cannot get tripped up in any games that they are expected to win. If they eliminate false start and holding penalties, their offense will be even more dominant.
In the postseason, the Chiefs are expected to make a long run and they will have to cut down the penalties.