James Campbell (@JamesC_MHH) 2-3: The Chiefs are the team to beat with their potent offense, but their defense carries their share of water, too. Winning both lines of scrimmage is critical to the outcome of this game. Denver is riding high after a good win away over the Patriots but it can't afford any mistakes. Drew Lock and the offense must not turn the ball over, and the defense must make timely takeaways and sacks itself. The Broncos can't give Patrick Mahomes and that offense free downs. Division games are always tough to predict, but the Broncos should be able to keep it close. Competency and growth are the key aims from Lock. The predicted snow should be a factor, so a healthy Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay will help.
Pick: Chiefs 24, Broncos 17
Josh Carney (@ByJoshCarney) 4-1: One week after squeaking out a win on the road at New England, Denver returns home to battle the AFC West-leading Chiefs. Denver moved the ball well last week against a tough Patriots team but failed to punch it into the end zone. The Broncos aren't beating a great Chiefs team with field goals. Mahomes lights up the Broncos' secondary and rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire holds off Le'Veon Bell for another week.
Pick: Chiefs 29, Broncos 17
Keith Cummings (@KeithC_NFL) 3-2: Is it time to for the Broncos break the nine-game losing streak to the Kansas City Chiefs? The good news is finally a resounding yes. On Sunday, the Broncos will provide the ammunition that Drew Lock requires and the defense proves it is legit by holding Mahomes in check. Albert Okwuegbunam and Noah Fant provide the daggers in the middle of the field while Lindsay and Gordon finish the shell-shocked Chiefs off.
Pick: Broncos 28, Chiefs 21
Carl Dumler (@CarlDumlerMHH) 4-1: The Broncos will walk into this game perhaps the healthiest they'll have been all season. I think the Broncos will surprise the Chiefs with how explosive some of their playmakers can be, leading to a couple of big-play touchdowns. The Chiefs are still the defending World Champions, though, and find a way to win a close one.
Pick: Chiefs 27, Broncos 26
Thomas Hall (@ThomasHallNFL) 1-4: There is considerable excitement surrounding the Broncos after marching into New England and beating the Patriots, a notoriously hard place for visitors to win. Many are expecting the Broncos to play the victorious underdogs again when the Chiefs visit the Mile High City. However, beating the Patriots, who are not what they once were, and beating the Chiefs — an elite team — are two different stories. To have a chance, the Broncos can’t afford mistakes like dropped passes in the end zone or ill-timed interceptions. With that said, Denver's downfall might be that it hasn't applied adequate pressure without blitzing this season. The Chiefs typically make teams pay when a defense is blitzing often. If the Broncos win, it will put them squarely in the playoff race, but it is more likely Denver puts up a valiant effort only to lose in the final minutes.
Pick: Chiefs 27, Broncos 24
Chad Jensen (@ChadNJensen) 4-1: I was one of three MHHers to pick the Broncos last week as nine-point underdogs to the Patriots. I believed Lock's return, combined with that of Lindsay, would spark this team emotionally and that's what happened. However, the Chiefs are a different story. It feels like the Broncos are the little brother to the Chiefs with nine straight losses to this bitter division foe. Vic Fangio brought the Broncos no closer defensively last year, getting blown out in both Chiefs matchups. Is this the game where Denver sticks its foot in the ground and refuses to go quietly into that good night? Wrap your brain around 10 straight losses to the Chiefs. It's a disquieting thought. However, I am digging the energy the Broncos have right now and that will be harnessed and shaped into a fine tool on Sunday. Lock has to help get the Chiefs monkey off this team's back and as a 'True Son' of Missouri, the emotional gravity of defeating Kansas City would be massive. It's looking like another snow game only this time, it's on Denver's home turf. I'm taking the Broncos but it's going to come down to winning the turnover battle and making those big plays in key moments offensively that eluded this unit last week. Gillette Stadium proved Denver's offense is close. With Fant and Gordon returning, this is where Lock and company bridge the gap and storm onto the NFL scene.
Pick: Broncos 27, Chiefs 23
Trevor Judge (@TrevorJudge) 3-2: The oddsmakers are giving the Broncos 9.5 points in this game? The disrespect! I could totally understand that if the game was in Kansas City, but it's not. It's at Mile High and the Broncos are getting back A.J. Bouye, Fant, and Gordon this week. With Bouye back in the fold, this is by far the best secondary the Broncos have had since their nine-game losing skid to the Chiefs started. If the Broncos' run defense can keep the Chiefs' rushing attack in check, the home team has a much better chance at slowing down Mahomes. The Broncos have a chance to win this game but it's going to require near-perfect execution across all fronts. Denver's running game has to be solid and the offense has to get the ball into the end zone. Settling for field goals won't cut it this week. Overall, Denver has a chance to win this game late but I fear the offense's lack of reps with this full arsenal of weapons could keep them from scoring the few extra points needed to pull out a win. Denver will put up a great fight and show the rest of the league it is an up-and-coming team reckon with.
Pick: Chiefs 26, Broncos 23
Zack Kelberman (@KelbermanNFL) 2-3: The outcome of this game depends entirely on which Broncos team we get. If it's the Weeks 1-3 Broncos, they're in for a long afternoon. If it's Week 6 Broncos, they'll have a legitimate chance to score a second straight massive upset, pulling to .500. Vic Fangio's defense has the horses to limit Mahomes, but can the Pat Shurmur-led offense pull its weight? That's the million-dollar question — now and for the past five years. Inclement weather should be a nice equalizer for the home club, who will keep this affair a lot closer than many expect. This is a big litmus test Denver can pass even without victory.
Pick: Chiefs 24, Broncos 23
Nick Kendell (@NickKendellMHH) 2-3: The Broncos are coming off a victory and riding high. Nobody expected this team to go into New England and come out with a 'W' but this week is a different beast with the Chiefs coming to Denver. The Broncos haven't beat the Chiefs since Week 2 of the 2015 season. Anything can happen on any given Sunday but a win this week would be most unexpected for the Broncos. Can Denver win the turnover battle and come away with touchdowns instead of field goals in the red zone? Denver loses but covers the spread.
Pick: Chiefs 28, Broncos 27
Bob Morris (@BobMorrisSports) 3-2: The Broncos get arguably their biggest test this season in the defending Super Bowl champions. The Chiefs' offense continues to play well and the defense is still good, though the secondary remains an issue. Still, the Broncos will have to finish drives and limit mistakes — six field goals aren't going to get it done in this one. We've seen the Broncos challenge the top teams this season and, with several players back and others likely to return, they can challenge the Chiefs. A win, though, is another issue, because the Broncos haven't put it all together yet. Blame it on injuries if you want, but right now, the Chiefs are simply the better team.
Pick: Chiefs 27, Broncos 20
Luke Patterson (@LukePattersonLP) 4-1: It’s finally here. The first of two divisional games against the Chiefs. GM John Elway loaded up on speed in the draft presumably to compete with Kansas City. Instead, Fangio’s defense has been heating up. Denver's defense cannot blitz more than four times in this game. Rush three and sit back. Bend but don’t break. As for Lock, it’s time for him to ‘put on for his city.’ Weather makes this an old school game. Broncos have nothing to lose, and shock the world behind leg of Brandon McManus.
Pick: Broncos 27, Chiefs 24
Lance Sanderson (@SandersonMHH) 4-1: In a game where offense is key, we cannot trust the Broncos to keep up with the high-powered Chiefs. Fangio desperately needs to copy the Raiders' blueprint and spy Mahomes, keeping him within the frame of the play. If Mahomes can extend, it's going to be a long day for the Broncos' defense. Denver needs to clean up the dropped passes, play keep-away from Mahomes, and win the time of possession battle. I don't see it happening.
Pick: Chiefs 31, Broncos 17
Erick Trickel (@ErickTrickel) 2-3: The Broncos' self-inflicted wounds of the last two weeks can't be sustained if they want to win a third straight. Everyone will need to play at their highest level of the season if the Broncos want any chance to walk away with a win, especially the rookies. While the Broncos are getting many players back healthy for this one, they're still outmatched, outclassed, and out-coached by the Chiefs. Blitzing won't work against that offense so they will need to adapt off the blueprint the Raiders showed two weeks ago. Offensively, Denver can't settle for field goals and has to end drives by punching it in the end zone. Denver surprises by keeping it close, but still falls short.
Pick: Chiefs 31, Broncos 27
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