The Kansas City Chiefs (12-3) are gearing up to face the Denver Broncos (4-11) in Week 17.
Just as we have over the past six seasons, the Chiefs Wire staff will offer its weekly predictions for each Chiefs game. Below you’ll find all of our picks for Kansas City’s Week 17 matchup against the Broncos on Sunday, Jan. 1 at Noon CT at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Charles Goldman's prediction:
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I don’t tend to believe that the Broncos will get any sort of “boost” from having an interim head coach — especially one that was brought in midseason by the coach they just fired. We’ve heard all about how Russell Wilson had his best practice week of the season, but I just don’t buy it. Nathaniel Hackett’s scheme certainly didn’t do Wilson any favors, but there’s only so much a coach can do to help on-field performance.
Kansas City isn’t going to be caught with their pants down against some reinvigorated team because they already felt like Denver got the drop on them at the end of the second quarter in Week 14. Instead of racking their brains on what the Broncos might change this week, the Chiefs will work on correcting some of the mistakes they made in the first matchup. They’ll also look to keep the defense rolling after a really good game against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16.
There’s also the fact that Kansas City has a significant home-field advantage in this game. Wilson and the Denver offense have enough trouble without 70,000 members of the Chiefs Kingdom screaming at the top of their lungs. They’ll have to contend with that atmosphere on New Year’s Day, which will hardly be an easy task.
Chiefs 42, Broncos 14
Ed Easton Jr.'s prediction:
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The Kansas City Chiefs can begin their sweep of the AFC West his Sunday against the Denver Broncos as they finish the season with sights still set on a first-round bye in the postseason. A Broncos team with an uncertain future following the firing of head coach Nathaniel Hackett could be a tougher out than expected.
The group game led by Isiah Pacheco will need to do more damage since the Broncos’ secondary has proven to be able to get takeaways. Mahomes will need to be great as usual and make sure not to turn the ball over, as Denver will take chances with little to play for this year. This is another excellent opportunity for Kadarius Toney to be used in special packages, and Jerick McKinnon can add to his touchdowns streak.
The defense will look to replicate the effective pressure and coverage they applied on the Seattle Seahawks a week ago. Frank Clark and Chris Jones have garnered attention from offensive lines over the years, but George Karlaftis will continue to make plays. If the Chiefs play turnover-free football and take advantage of the Broncos’ issues, they should complete the season sweep and wrap up the entire division in Las Vegas next week.
Chiefs 28, Broncos 10
Nick Roesch's prediction:
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I know the Chiefs inexplicably let the Broncos back in the game after going up 27-0 on them in Week 14, but that’s the exact reason why I think the Chiefs win in a blowout this time around. Coach Reid stated this week he wants to see his team play a complete game in all three phases as they head toward the playoffs.
The Broncos are limping into this game with multiple injuries and having just fired their head coach. I think the Chiefs will carry over their high-energy defensive performance from last week and the offense will do its thing per usual.
Dropped passes and lack of commitment to the running game are still a bit concerning, but I think those issues are at the forefront of everyone’s minds and can be corrected.
Chiefs 38, Broncos 10
Wesley Roesch's prediction:
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I predicted a Chiefs blowout in their last matchup with the Broncos, and we all know how that turned out. I should probably learn my lesson, but I’m going to run it back and predict a blowout this time around.
Why? Well, the Chiefs were on track for a blowout in the first game after going up 27-0, but they did what they always do and let the opponent back into the game. I don’t think they make that mistake this time. They’re more healthy and more focused (especially the defense) compared to a few weeks ago. Denver, right now, is the complete opposite after firing its coach. The Broncos are done. They’re looking forward more to the NFL draft than this game.
K.C. should be able to control this game and dominate. They’ll go into Monday night hoping for a Bengals win over the Bills.
Chiefs 31, Broncos 10