Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, 8:20 PM, FOX/NFLN (Broncos +3, O/U: 49.5)
The Chiefs are reeling after a second straight loss after opening up the season 4-0. Mahomes had been dealing with a banged up ankle the last few weeks as well as having top receivers out with injuries. It was evident that he missed Tyreek Hill as he hit hill on a massive 46 yard TD early in the game, throwing short into double coverage as Tyreek leaped over the underneath defender to catch the ball and twist into the endzone. Hill would go on to lead the team in targets with 10, hauling in 5 for 80 yards and 2 TD’s. The Chiefs deficiencies on defense would lead to their demise however, when leading in the 2nd quarter 17-3, they allowed the Texans to score 20 unanswered points on 3 straight drives which totaled 204 yards. The Chiefs allowed nearly 500 yards of offense and allowed nearly 40 minutes of possession time keeping the high powered offense off the field and limited once they got on to the field. Regardless, the offense ranks 5th in points scored and 3rd in yardage when they are on the field.
The Broncos are coming off back to back wins after starting off 0-4. The convincing win against the roller coaster Titans was exactly what the team needed for a confidence boost heading into this matchup especially given that this offense has struggled even with the veteran Flacco and the young stud Phillip Lindsay. Flacco has been unimpressive in his 6 starts as he averages under 250 yards per game while also throwing only 6 TD’s but 5 picks. Lindsay has done what he can with his 397 yards and 4 TD’s but a poor 3rd down conversion percentage (33%) stalls drives early and puts the defense on the field for longer than they should be out there. Luckily even with all of that time spent on the field, they rank in the top 10 in points allowed (7th) and top 5 in yards allowed (4th). Still, beating a banged up Chargers team in their home isn’t special since the Chargers home games seem like road games to them and the Titans went ahead and benched Mariota even though he hadn’t thrown a pick all year coming into the game.
The Chiefs will have a tough time against the Broncos defensive front but with Hill back, don’t expect Mahomes to be under pressure all night once they start airing the ball out. Take the Chiefs to cover in the under, Chiefs 31-17.