Chiefs hope to make it 10 straight over rival Broncos
Peyton Manning owned the Kansas City Chiefs in his four years with the Denver Broncos. The quarterback beat the AFC West Division rivals in their first seven meetings, and it wasn’t until Manning was hurt did Kansas City finally beat the Broncos with Manning on the team.
How the tables have turned.
Since Manning left, and Patrick Mahomes has become the Kansas City quarterback, the Broncos haven’t gotten a win in the rivalry. The Chiefs have won nine straight against Denver, the last four with Mahomes under center.
There is some fuel for the resurgent Broncos heading into Sunday’s matchup in Denver.
Kansas City (5-1), after a brief stumble against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5, is rolling again in its first season in 50 years as defending Super Bowl champs.
The already formidable Chiefs have added more firepower with the signing of running back Le’Veon Bell on Oct. 15, two days after he was cut by the New York Jets.
Bell, who spent one-plus season with New York, is happy to be playing for a contender again and is willing to take on a supporting role after being the featured back in Pittsburgh for five seasons and in 17 games with New York.
“When I decided to come here, I already knew the weapons, and there’s only one football to kind of go around,” Bell said Wednesday before his first practice with his new team. “I think there’s going to be a lot of opportunity to kind of show what I can do in space, running routes. I think this offense is a good fit for my skill set.”
Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is coming off his second 100-yard rushing game and ranks second in the NFL with 505 yards in six games. He hasn’t been featured much in the passing game, a role in which Bell excels.
Coach Andy Reid said on Wednesday he would see how Bell did in practice during the week before deciding if he will play against Denver.
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) missed Monday’s win at Buffalo and didn’t practice Wednesday. Neither did defensive ends Taco Charlton (knee) and Alex Okafor (hamstring) and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz (back).
The Broncos (2-3) have found their footing, winning two straight despite not scoring a touchdown in an 18-12 win at New England last week. Brandon McManus booted six field goals, two from beyond 50 yards, and was named the AFC special teams player of the week.
Denver will need to find the end zone against the explosive Chiefs. Quarterback Drew Lock returned after missing two games with a shoulder injury and shook off some rust.
Lock could be without a couple of key pieces on offense.
Guard Dalton Risner (shoulder), who left the win over the Patriots, tight end Andrew Beck (hamstring) and wide receiver Diontae Spencer (shoulder) did not practice on Wednesday. The good news is tight end Noah Fant (ankle) and wide receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring) were limited participants.
Running back Melvin Gordon III, who didn’t make the trip to New England due to strep throat and being charged with a DUI last week, practiced Wednesday. Linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (quadricep) did not practice.
The Broncos’ defense has played well of late but linebacker Bradley Chubb said they need to end a losing streak against Kansas City to be considered a true playoff contender.
“If we want to take that next step, this is the team we need to take that next step against,” he said.
–Field Level Media