Chiefs seeking 12th straight win over Broncos on Sunday
DENVER (6-5) at KANSAS CITY (7-4)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC
BETTING LINE: Chiefs by 10, according to FanDuel SportsBook.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Broncos 6-5; Chiefs 4-7.
SERIES RECORD: Chiefs lead 67-55.
LAST MEETING: Chiefs beat Broncos 22-16 on Dec. 6, 2020, at Kansas City.
LAST WEEK: Broncos beat Chargers 28-13; Chiefs bye, beat Dallas 19-9 on Nov. 21.
BRONCOS OFFENSE: OVERALL (20), RUSH (14), PASS (21), SCORING (21)
BRONCOS DEFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (12), PASS (10), SCORING (3)
CHIEFS OFFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (T16), PASS (4), SCORING (T9)
CHIEFS DEFENSE: OVERALL (23), RUSH (15), PASS (24), SCORING (T11)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Broncos plus-1; Chiefs minus-7.
BRONCOS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Teddy Bridgewater hurt his shin last week against the Chargers, but he wound up returning in the third quarter after backup Drew Lock threw an interception. Bridgewater had a precautionary X-ray on the shin but is expected to play against Kansas City, which has been much better at rushing the quarterback in recent weeks.
CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: DE Frank Clark got off to a slow start this season, but he had three quarterback hits and his second sack of the season against the Cowboys before the bye. His ability to get pressure on Bridgewater should free up defensive tackle Chris Jones to get into the backfield while also helping out the secondary.
KEY MATCHUP: Broncos WR Courtland Sutton against Chiefs CBs Rashad Fenton and L’Jarius Sneed. Sutton had been targeted a team-high 70 times with 45 catches for 634 yards. But he’ll be going against what Pro Football Focus calls two of the highest-rated cornerbacks in the league on Sunday.
KEY INJURIES: Broncos RB Melvin Gordon (shoulder/hip), DT Shelby Harris (ankle) and OT Calvin Anderson (ankle/knee) did not practice early in the week. OT Bobby Massie (ankle) and OL Dalton Risner (back) also were on the injury report, but coach Vic Fangio is optimistic they could play. ... Fenton strained his knee and missed practice early in the week for Kansas City. RT Lucas Niang (ribs) was limited but should be available.
SERIES NOTES: The Chiefs have won 11 straight against their longtime division rival with their last loss coming Sept. 17, 2015. The Broncos didn’t make the last one easy, though, leading 16-12 midway through the fourth quarter before Kansas City scored the final 10 points last December. Prior to the Chiefs’ current streak, Denver had dominated the series with seven consecutive wins.
STATS AND STUFF: Denver has won three of its last four games. ... The Broncos have lost six straight on Sunday night. The Chiefs have won four straight games overall. ... Kansas City can break the franchise record for consecutive wins over the Broncos with its 12th straight. ... Broncos RB Javonte Williams is third among NFL rookies with 568 yards rushing. Williams and Gordon (605) make Denver one of three teams with two running backs over 500 yards rushing. ... Bridgewater has not thrown an interception in four straight games. ... Sutton has at least 75 yards receiving in three straight games against Kansas City. ... Broncos WR Tim Patrick had two TD catches in their last game against the Chiefs. ... Kansas City is 37-13 against the AFC West since Andy Reid became head coach. ... Reid needs two regular-season wins to reach 100 in Kansas City. ... Reid is 19-3 in games immediately after a bye, 6-2 for the Chiefs, and 11-1 in such home games. ... Kansas City’s much-maligned defense has allowed 18 points or fewer in each of the past four games. ... QB Patrick Mahomes needs 257 yards passing to surpass Alex Smith (17,608) for third most in Chiefs history. ... Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill needs one more game of 100 yards receiving to tie Carlos Carson (18) for fourth most in franchise history. Hill needs one TD catch to pass Chris Burford (55) for third in Chiefs history. Two would tie Otis Taylor for second.
FANTASY TIPS: Chiefs RB Darrel Williams was a nice pickup while Clyde Edwards-Helaire was out with a high ankle sprain. But now that Edwards-Helaire has a game under his belt, and a bye last week to recover, he’ll take an even bigger share of the load against Denver. That makes him a must start and probably relegates Williams to the bench.
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