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Broncos vs. Chiefs Week 6 Thursday Night Football preview: Can Russell Wilson shock Patrick Mahomes, KC?

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Patrick Mahomes Chiefs TNF Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs could not be on more opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the outlook of this NFL season. As the two get set to square off on Thursday Night Football, it’s clear the Chiefs are not only favored to win, but they should dominate.

After dropping their Week 1 matchup to the Detroit Lions, the Chiefs have gotten their groove back with four straight wins. However, this Kansas City team does not seem to emulate the team we are accustomed to seeing at Arrowhead Stadium. Patrick Mahomes currently ranks seventh in the NFL in passing yards and 11th in QBR. While these are still above-average numbers, they are far from what football fans across America have become accustomed to seeing from the two-time MVP.

After leading the league in passing yards (5,250) and touchdowns (41) last season, Mahomes is on pace for less than 4,400 yards and 34 touchdowns this year. While these are certainly champagne problems at the moment, this will be a trend worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.

From champagne problems to rock bottom, the Broncos find themselves reeling after losing to former head coach Nathaniel Hackett and the New York Jets on Sunday. Russell Wilson and Sean Payton have had visible disagreements on the sideline as the Broncos sit at 1-4 preparing to face the top team in their division.

Jets beat Broncos 31-21
New York Jets running back Breece Hall is tackled by Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

As a whole, the Broncos’ run defense has been the worst in the NFL by far, allowing 938 total yards on the ground so far. Not only has it been the worst, but the 938 yards are 168 more yards than the second-worst run defense, the Cincinnati Bengals. The offense has held up their end of the deal, as Wilson has shown improved numbers under Payton. Wilson averages the most time to throw in the league at 3.16 seconds and touts the fourth-best QBR at 106.1. 

With these two teams squaring off in primetime on Thursday, the Broncos are going to need to find an answer for Isaiah Pacheco and the rest of the Chiefs backfield. With tight end Travis Kelce’s status trending in the right direction for this game, though, we could see that same-old air-raid Chiefs. But given the dynamic nature of their offense, it is no secret they will have a field day plotting various running schemes against this lackluster Denver defense. 

For the Broncos, Wilson must be perfect in managing the offense and keeping the ball out of Patrick Mahomes’ hands. Denver currently ranks 26th in the league in time of possession while Kansas City is ranked 7th. For Denver to pull off a miracle as double-digit underdogs, they will need to flip the script at Arrowhead.

Broncos vs. Chiefs Week 6 TNF odds

  • Spread: Chiefs -10.5
  • Over/Under: 47.5
  • Chiefs Moneyline: -535
  • Broncos Moneyline: +400

Odds courtesy of DraftKings. For more, click here.

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