Monday Night – Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Hooray for divisional matchups on Monday Night Football. Last week was the NFC East and now we head back across the country a bit for the AFC West. The opposite of Sunday night’s contest, this matchup brings us two of the best defensive units in the NFL. The biggest difference between these two will be the poise and experience under center. Denver will have an inexperienced signal caller once again while the Chiefs have the wily veteran who’s seen just about everything at this point in his career.
Keys to the Game
Denver can’t afford to fall behind in Kansas City because they don’t want to have to rely on the passing game to win. It’s just not going to work against such a talented defense in such a hostile environment. Maybe at home, but not here. To do that, they’ll need a good start from the running game and they’ll need the defense to come out ready to play. KC showed flashes of brilliance on offense last year, so the Broncos need their defense to step up and get stops in the first quarter. There won’t be much margin for error here. If they fall behind early, it’s going to be a long night.
KC would do best to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers. Guys like Tyreek Hill and Spencer Ware can bust this game wide open — even against a top tier defense like Denver. Throwing the ball on the outside will be difficult against Denver’s corners, so the running game and quick hitters over the middle to Hill will be crucial. If they can establish those two things, it will open up more passing lanes to get the ball to Jeremy Maclin, too. At that point, it will be game on for the Chiefs because Denver won’t be able to keep up.