Chiefs face Broncos as they try to keep pace atop AFC

DENVER (4-11) at KANSAS CITY (12-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, CBS

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Chiefs by 12½

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Broncos 6-9; Chiefs 5-9-1

SERIES RECORD: Chiefs lead 70-55

LAST MEETING: Chiefs beat Broncos 34-28 on Dec. 11 in Denver.

LAST WEEK: Broncos lost to Rams 51-14; Chiefs beat Seahawks 24-10

BRONCOS OFFENSE: OVERALL (25), RUSH (23), PASS (20), SCORING (32)

BRONCOS DEFENSE: OVERALL (5), RUSH (16), PASS (6), SCORING (T7)

CHIEFS OFFENSE: OVERALL (1), RUSH (17), PASS (1), SCORING (2).

CHIEFS DEFENSE: OVERALL (15), RUSH (8), PASS (20), SCORING (16).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Broncos minus-1; Chiefs minus-5.

BRONCOS PLAYER TO WATCH: Jerry Rosburg. OK, he’s not exactly a player, but rather the interim head coach, who took over this week for the fired Nathaniel Hackett. But nobody will be under the microscope more than Rosburg, a 40-year coaching veteran, as the Broncos try to jumpstart one of the league’s worst offenses.

CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is making a strong bid for a second MVP award this season. He needs 378 yards passing to break his franchise record of 5,097 set in 2018, and two TD passes would give him 39 on the season, second only to his 50-TD season in 2018.

KEY MATCHUP: Mahomes against the Broncos pass defense, which caused plenty of problems when the teams met just three weeks ago in Denver. Mahomes threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw three interceptions and was sacked twice in a closer-than-expected win.

KEY INJURIES: Broncos CB K’Waun Williams (knee), DL Mike Purcell (elbow), DT D.J. Jones (knee), OLB Randy Gregory (knee) and TE Greg Dulcich (hamstring) missed practice time this week. … Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman (abdominal injury) will be out again after experiencing a setback in Wednesday’s practice. He has not played since Week 9.

SERIES NOTES: The Chiefs have won 14 consecutive games against the Broncos, a franchise record for any opponent, and includes a 34-28 win in Denver earlier this season. The streak is also tied for the fifth longest by any team against an opponent in NFL history, and a 15th straight win would tie for the third longest. The Broncos have not beaten the Chiefs since a 31-24 victory on Sept. 17, 2015, in Kansas City.

STATS AND STUFF: The Broncos remain stuck on 499 regular-season wins as they try to become the 17th franchise with 500 and just the ninth since 1960. … Broncos RB Latavius Murray has 54 TD runs. He needs one more to tie Melvin Gordon III for third most by an active running back since 2014. … Broncos QB Russell Wilson has 4,921 yards rushing. He needs 8 more to pass Randall Cunningham for third by a QB in league history. … Kansas City has clinched the AFC West and is tied with Buffalo for the conference’s best record, though the Bills hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. … The Chiefs have won at least 12 games in five consecutive seasons, the third-longest streak in NFL history. … Mahomes has 388 completions and needs three more for the second most in a season in Chiefs history. He had 436 last season. … Mahomes has four seasons of at least 4,500 yards passing and 35 TD passes, trailing only Tom Brady (five) for most in NFL history. … Mahomes has 12 TD runs this season, more than any QB in Chiefs history. … Chiefs TE Travis Kelce had six catches for 113 yards in last week’s win over Seattle, giving him 801 catches for his career. He needs 16 to pass Shannon Sharpe for fourth most among NFL tight ends. … RB Jerick McKinnon has six TDs over the past four games. He has a TD catch in each, which is tied for the longest streak by a running back since the 1970 merger. … Chiefs LB Nick Bolton had 17 tackles against the Seahawks, giving him a club-record eight games with at least 10.

FANTASY TIP: As bad as the Broncos have been offensively, they’ve been good on defense, particularly against the pass. And with Hardman likely returning for the first time since Week 9 for Kansas City, the ball will probably get distributed even more than usual. That makes all of the Chiefs pass catchers (aside from Kelce) risky propositions.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

NFL News | Sports

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up