DENVER (CBS4) — The Denver Broncos (2-4) put their two-game winning streak on the line Thursday at 6:20 p.m. as they host the Kansas City Chiefs (4-2). The Broncos have lost seven straight to the Chiefs and haven’t beaten them at Empower Field at Mile High in five years. Here are four ways the Broncos can end the losing streak to the Chiefs tonight.
Run Phillip Lindsay, Run
The best way to keep Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes off the field is by controlling the clock. The Broncos can eat up the clock and move the chains by running the football. The Chiefs have the third-worst run defense in football, giving up 161.8 yards per game. The defense will miss one of its top players in defensive tackle Chris Jones who is out with a groin injury.
During the Broncos winning streak, the offense has rushed for an average of 147 yards. Phillip Lindsay leads the team with 397 yards and four touchdowns.
Cover Travis Kelce
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce seems to play his best against the Broncos. Last year, he torched Denver for 13 catches, 157 yards and two touchdowns. Kelce comes to Mile High with 497 receiving yards, which is seventh in the NFL. He’ll have a bigger role in tonight’s game with wide receiver Sammy Watkins out for the second-straight week with a hamstring injury.
The Broncos give up the 13th most receptions to tight ends with 28 catches. Expect Denver’s safety Justin Simmons to cover Kelce with help from the linebackers underneath in coverage.
Score Plenty of Points
Denver has the 26th scoring offense, averaging 17.7 points a game. That won’t be good enough against a Chiefs offense that averages 28.7 points a contest, which is fifth-best in the NFL. The Broncos will move the ball against the Chiefs defense, but it all depends how they fare in the red zone. The Broncos will need to get the ball in the hands of Courtland Sutton who scored twice this season from inside the 20 yard-line.
The last time the Broncos scored more than 24 points, was last season on Thursday night in the 45-10 rout over the Arizona Cardinals.
Get After Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes hasn’t been sacked much due to his quick release and mobility. But a recent ankle injury has slowed the gunslinger down. In the last two games, the Chiefs quarterback has been sacked five times and has only completed 55.4 percent of his passes.
Vic Fangio and the Broncos defense has seemed to gel in the last two games, not allowing a touchdown in nine consecutive quarters. The Broncos have always picked up in the sack department wrapping the Titans quarterbacks seven times last week. All eyes will be on Von Miller and his battle against Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, but if Denver can get pressure up the middle from Demarcus Walker and Shelby Harris, then Mahomes will not be able to step in his throws and will have to scramble on his sore ankle.