Broncos vs Chiefs NFL Preview & Free Pick [10/12/2023]

Denver (1-4) at Kansas City (4-1)
When: Thursday, October 12th, 2023
Where: Arrowhead Stadium,
Kansas City, MO

Time: 8:15 ET | TV: Prime
Opening Odds: Kansas City -11/51.5

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The Kansas City Chiefs are on a historic run against the Denver Broncos and will look to continue that on Thursday Night Football this week. The Chiefs have won four in a row since losing on opening night at home to the Detroit Lions. They also come into this contest having won 15 in a row over the Denver Broncos – a streak that started before Patrick Mahomes came to town. That streak is currently tied with New England over the New York Jets as the two longest active ones.

Despite the dominance, the Chiefs had a rough time with Denver in last year’s two meetings. The one at Arrowhead ended in a 27-24 victory after the Broncos led 17-13 in the third quarter. Mahomes improved to 11-0 all-time against Denver, joining Andrew Luck (11-0 vs. Tennessee) as the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era with more than 10 wins and no losses against an opposing team.

Denver is a mess on defense right now and are coming off a 31-21 home loss to the New York Jets. The Broncos have yet to cover a spread (one push) and four of their five games have gone Over the total. Kansas City is coming off a 27-20 road win at the Minnesota Vikings and are 10.5-point favorites with a total of 47 in this AFC West battle on Thursday night.

Things were supposed to get better in Denver once they got Sean Payton to coach the team, but it hasn’t worked out so far. Payton had publicly ripped the job Nathaniel Hackett did in Denver. Last week Hackett was the offensive coordinator of the Jets team that beat Payton’s Broncos in Denver. The Jets recorded 407 yards and by far a season high in points. The last four Broncos’ opponents have rushed for 171 yards (Washington), 350 (Miami), 171 (Chicago) and 234 (Jets).

Payton was also seen on TV ripping Russell Wilson on the sidelines after a late strip sack led to the game-clinching Jets touchdown. The Broncos lost three fumbles and went five consecutive drives to start the second half without a first down. Denver will host Green Bay next week before a rematch at home with Kansas City on Oct. 29.

Denver Broncos Injury Report [Week 6]

Frank ClarkLBQues Thurs - Illness - 10/10/23
Justin StrnadLBQues Thurs - Back - 10/10/23
D.J. JonesDTQues Thurs - Knee - 10/10/23
Lloyd Cushenberry IIICQues Thurs - Quadricep - 10/10/23
Mike PurcellDLQues Thurs - Ribs - 10/10/23
Justin SimmonsSQues Thurs - Quadricep - 10/10/23
Javonte WilliamsRBQues Thurs - Hip Flexor - 10/10/23
K'Waun WilliamsCBOut indefinitely - Ankle - 8/28/23
Eyioma UwazurikeDLout for season - Suspension - 9/21/23
Greg DulcichTEQues Thurs - Hamstring - 10/10/23
Caden SternsSI-R - Knee - 9/13/23
Alex PalczewskiOTOut indefinitely - Hand - 8/31/23
Jalen VirgilWRI-R - Knee - 8/22/23
Jonas GriffithLBI-R - Knee - 8/3/23
Tim PatrickWRI-R - Achilles - 8/2/23
Baron BrowningLBOut indefinitely - Knee - 8/29/23

The biggest concern coming into Thursday’s game is health of Travis Kelce. He suffered a non-contact injury in the first half Sunday but did return in the second and caught five more passes and finished with 10 for 67 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Drue Tranquill (knee) and running back Isiah Pacheco (ribs) also were injured but are expected to play Thursday.

The Chiefs are a top 10 team in both overall offense and defense. They rank seventh in total yards (381.0) and ninth defensively (301.4). Mahomes was terrific last week, completing 31-of-41 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns. Pacheco was limited to 54 yards but could have a big game against the porous Denver defense.

Kansas City Chiefs Injury Report [Week 6]

Travis KelceTEQues Thurs - Ankle - 10/10/23
George KarlaftisDEQues Thurs - Hamstring - 10/10/23
Matt DickersonDTQues Thurs - Knee - 10/10/23
Nick BoltonLBQues Thurs - Ankle - 10/10/23
BJ ThompsonDEOut indefinitely - Hamstring - 10/8/23
Charles OmenihuDEElig Week 7 - Suspension - 8/4/23
Prince Tega WanoghoOTOut indefinitely - Quadricep - 9/27/23
Richie JamesWROut indefinitely - Knee - 9/23/23
Jody FortsonTEI-R - Shoulder - 8/15/23
Nazeeh JohnsonSI-R - Knee - 8/3/23

Despite how awful Denver has been, I’m taking the points. It’s a division game and the Broncos did play Kansas City tough twice last year. Russell Wilson has been historically good in prime time games and he’s capable of keeping this close.

Week 6 Staff Selections

Pick: Broncos +10.5