Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Matchup Preview (1/9/22): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Matchup Preview (1/9/22)

First place in the AFC West takes on last place in the AFC West this week for their last game of the regular season. For the Broncos, who were officially eliminated from the playoffs last week after a loss to the Chargers, this will be their last game of the year. They are 7-9 heading into this game, making this their fifth consecutive losing season for the franchise. Last week’s 21-point loss to the Chargers marks their third straight loss marked by the same deeply rooted offensive issues we have seen all year. The AFC West-clinching Kansas City Chiefs lost last week as well, allowing 266 receiving yards for Bengals wide receiver Ja’marr Chase, effectively snapping their eight game winning streak. They are 11-5 heading into their last regular season game, sitting at second place in the AFC standings; to clinch the no.1 seed, the Chiefs have to win this game and the Titans have to lose to the Texans. After a poor defensive performance last week, this game gives them a good chance to get back on track before heading into the postseason.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Betting Odds

The Chiefs are the obvious favorite in this divisional game, coming in as the 9.5-favored team. They were 6-0 against the spread in their previous six games, which included their game against the Broncos, before losing last week and failing to cover. Their winning rally late in the season improved their ATS record to 8-8 on the season and 4-1 in the AFC West. Their ability to hit the over in games has also improved over the season, with a 9-7 overall. The last time this team hit the under was against the Broncos in week 13 when the point total was 46.5. This week’s point total is set at 44, and considering that the Chiefs have averaged 37.25 points per game since week 13, the over should hit on their accord this game. It certainly won’t be on the Broncos accord, who have hit the over twice in their last ten games, contributing to their 4-12 record on hitting over the point total, the worst in the league. The Broncos have been a nightmare for betters this year going 7-9 ATS and failing to cover in their last three games. 

The Chiefs should easily cover this spread this week against a depleted offense. Their ability to score lately will likely cause problems for this Broncos defense, and even though they have proven to be solid defensively, they can’t back it up on offense.

My predictions: Chiefs win 35-13, Chiefs cover, over 44

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TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, January 9
Time: 4:30 PM PT
Location: Empower Field at Mile High – Denver, CO
TV Coverage: ESPN/ABC/ESPN+

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Live Stream

Where can you watch Chiefs vs. Broncos online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Chiefs vs. Broncos Free Online Now.

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Kansas City Chiefs Analysis

Considering that the no. 1 seed in the AFC is likely out of reach for them (unless Tennessee loses to Houston), this game isn’t all that exciting for the Chiefs but certainly a chance to end on a high note. History suggests it will go well for them as Patrick Mahomes has never lost to the Broncos. Their loss last week is not what stripped them over the no. 1 seed, it was their beginning that came back to haunt them. Last week’s loss ended their 8-game tear that brought them out of an early season slump that was mostly caused by poor defensive performances. We saw glimpses of those defensive lapses last week which allowed 475 yards of total offense for the Bengals and the most points scored against them since week 5 against the Bills. 

Regardless, this is still one of the most potent offenses in the NFL – they are third in total yards and average 283.5 passing yards per game. Their running game is less lethal but still noteworthy and has caused problems for defenses in the past. Upon the injury of starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, pass-catching running back Darrel Williams emerged and has 963 all-purpose yards for eight touchdowns this season. But of course this offense is run by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce who account for 150 of the 283 yards this offense averages in the air and 31% of this team’s total touchdowns this year. This offense averages 28.3 points per game, one of the highest scoring averages in the league, led by Patrick Mahomes, who despite being wildly talented, sits behind an offensive line that has allowed 27 sacks on him and has thrown 13 interceptions himself. This offense also leads the league in third down conversions at a rate of 51.83%, and they’re up against a defense that allows the fifth-most third downs to be converted, which bodes well for them. 

Make no mistake about it, this defense has seen miles of improvement, and during their 8-game winning streak, their defense played well. But giving up 446 passing yards last week is a season-high for them and won’t fly in the playoffs. Their pass defense allows over 250 yards passing per game, the fifth most in the league. This isn’t necessarily grounds for concern this week considering the struggling offense that they have against them, but it could certainly hurt them later on. Their run defense holds teams to 113 yards per game but they will certainly have their work cut out for them against a solid Javonte Williams.

Kansas City Chiefs Depth Chart

QB: Patrick Mahomes
RB1: Derrick Gore
RB2: Darrel Williams
WR1: Mecole Hardman
WR2: Tyreek Hill
TE1: Travis Kelce

Denver Broncos Analysis

The offensive issues we saw last week against the Chargers have been the same things we have seen in them all season, and if it hadn’t caught them in that game, it certainly would have in the playoffs. They were 1 for 3 in the red zone and 3 for 11 on third down against the Chargers last week and had just 83 rushing yards despite playing one of the worst rushing defenses in the league this year. In their defense, they were plagued by Covid outbreaks that resulted in being down two receivers and five defensive starters against Los Angeles. Without Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick, tight end Noah Fant led the offense with 92 yards and a touchdown, but it was far too late in the game to make a difference. 

Javonte Williams has been a changemaker for this offense this year with 857 rushing yards and 298 receiving yards. He has been important to an offense who has struggled under center. Teddy Bridgewater is out with a concussion now which leaves the Broncos’ fate in the hands of Drew Lock, who quite frankly needs another year as a backup before he can be a starter. This offense averages just 19.4 points per game (compared to 28.3 that the Chiefs offense averages) and has a weak offensive line that has allowed 39 sacks on Lock and Bridgewater. However problematic this offense is, these quarterbacks have done a stellar job at taking care of the football – they have a combined nine interceptions this year. 

Despite the Broncos’ offensive struggles this year, they have held it together on defense. They hold teams to just 322 yards of total offense per game and just 212 passing yards. Mahomes and his pass catchers will still likely be able to exploit this, but it will require a game plan, especially if the five starters they missed on defense last week make a return this week. They allow the third-least points per game at 18.4 and their ability to come up clutch and stop scoring plays is part of why the offense-heavy Chiefs were only able to put up 22 points against them last time they played. They also hold opponents to just a 60% completion percentage this year (fourth best), but will be tested by Mahomes, who has a 66.7% completion rate.

When Denver scores 20+ points, they are 7-1 on the season, when they score less than 20 points, they’re 1-8. They have a combined 30 points on offense in their last three games, which doesn’t bode well against a Chiefs team that scored more than that in their last game alone. 

Denver Broncos Depth Chart

QB: Teddy Bridgewater
RB1: Javonte Williams
RB2: Melvin Gordon III
RB3: Mike Boone
WR1: Tim Patrick
WR2: Jerry Jeudy
WR3: Cortland Sutton
TE1: Noah Fant

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos Daily Fantasy Picks

Noah Fant proved he was capable last week, tallying a touchdown and 92 yards. Considering how much Burrow and Chase terrorized this Chiefs defense in the air last week, I could see Fant have another good week against this weak pass defense. He had 15.2 points last week and is a solid TE2 option. 

Darrel Williams has proven his dual-threat capabilities and did again last week against the Bengals when he had 22.7 points against a solid run defense. The Broncos defense is less threatening to the run game which makes for a solid chance for Williams.

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. Her favorite sport to watch and write about is football but she also enjoys soccer, baseball, and basketball.

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