Thursday Night Football: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Preview, Predictions, and Spread Pick

Game: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

Date & Time: Thursday October 17th, 2019, 8:20 (EST)

Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado 

The Line: Kansas City Chiefs -3.5, O/U: 49

TV Channel: FOX/NFL Network

Week 6 Record: 2-4

NFL Season Record: 21-12

In a suddenly interesting AFC West battle, Nick Ballistreri gives his prediction on whether or not Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs can get back on track.

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Preview

Things can change in an instant in the NFL. Just 2 weeks ago, the Chiefs were sitting at 4-0 among the NFL unbeatens, and the Broncos were winless at 0-4. The tide has turned quickly, as the Chiefs are losers of two in a row on their home-field, while the Broncos are winners in a row, with dominating defensive performances in both. 

Quarterback Pat Mahomes has been slowed by an ankle injury, and it’s been showing in his play, as he’s completed just 55% of his passes in his last two outing. This is a far cry from the first four games of the season in which Mahomes threw for 10 Touchdown passes to 0 Interceptions. 

However, things are looking up for the Chiefs, at least offensively. Star WR Tyreek Hill returned from an injury last week to score two touchdowns, and as of now, Sammy Watkins is probably to play. Combine this with the return of RB Damian Williams and the Chiefs offense will be at full strength for the first time in weeks. This couldn’t have come at a better time for an offense that is reeling, and for a QB in Mahomes who has never had to deal with this type of adversity in his short, but electric career. 

The Broncos are a team that has dealt with some close losses this season, and they believe they are only a couple plays from being at least 4-2. Instead, they’re sitting at 2-4, tied for last in the suddenly competitive AFC West. They are coming off a dominating 16-0 victory against the Titans, in a defensive performance reminiscent of past Broncos teams. Finally, the defense is playing like everybody thought they would coming into the season, and with Mahomes next on the schedule, it couldn’t be coming at a better time.

In a weak AFC conference, the Broncos shouldn’t feel like they are out of the playoff race, but with November nearing fast, they are running out of time to make a move. In order to compete in this game, they are going to need to control the clock with their running back duo, Philip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, and Joe Flacco will have to take some timely shots down the field against the Chiefs swiss-cheese defense. It’s hard to believe, but after a dreadful start to the season, with a win Thursday night, the Broncos would only be a game out of first place in the AFC West. 

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Spread Prediction

Amid all their struggles, the Chiefs are still 3.5 point favorites on the road. Although they’re playing a tough defense in Denver, it’s simply hard to see this offense struggle to get things going again. With the offense at full strength once again, look for the Chiefs to get things going early and often to get Mahomes back into a groove once more.

For the Broncos to have a chance, they must control the clock, get off the field on 3rd down, and keep Mahomes camped on the sideline. Unfortunately for them, that’s much easier said than done. This game will be a dog-fight, with the Broncos playing like their season is on the line. In the end, it still won’t be enough, as Joe Flacco will not be able to put enough points on the board to beat this Chiefs team. I don’t foresee a blowout, but I expect the Chiefs to win this one by at least a touchdown, covering 3.5 with relative ease. 

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