3 things to watch
1. Clean football
Sunday’s conditions – expected to be rainy and windy – often lead to an increase in turnovers. The Chiefs are second in the NFL heading into Week 16 with a plus-13 turnover margin due to their relatively low number of giveaways (15) and an NFL-leading 28 takeaways. The Broncos have a plustwo turnover margin, but they’ve won a NFL-best 29 consecutive games when winning the turnover battle.
2. Winning third downs
The Broncos’ three-and-outs are killing the offense. Kansas City and Denver are in the bottomseven in third-down conversion percentage. The Chiefs also are in the bottom four defensively at stopping third-down conversions, which could present an opportunity for Denver to right its offense. Running the ball effectively on early downs is a major key for both teams.
3. Effort level
A lot has been made about the offense vs. defense dispute following their loss to Patriots, but the Broncos have downplayed any divide in the lockerroom. It’ll be interesting to see what their energy level is going into their showdown with the Chiefs. If their offense struggles out of the gate once again, will the defense keep up with their high level of play? There’s plenty to play for, but not if the result seems inevitable due to another poor showing by the offense.