Denver (7-3) opened a three-game lead in the West with a 30-23 victory over San Diego last Sunday, sweeping the season series. The Broncos are on the cusp of matching their win total from last season thanks to a five-game winning streak, but they'll have to go forward without Willis McGahee. The team leader with 731 rushing yards, McGahee was placed on injured reserve after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee when he was tackled low against the Chargers. McGahee will be replaced by rookie Ronnie Hillman, Lance Ball and former first-round pick Knowshon Moreno, who have combined for 297 yards and two TDs on 82 carries this season.
At least Peyton Manning doesn't have to worry about his defense, which ranks among the NFL's best allowing 312.8 yards per game, including 93.8 on the ground. Denver's defense also leads the league with 35 sacks, with Von Miller recording seven of his 13 in the last three games. He had three against San Diego and is second in the league in that category. Miller's 24 1/2 sacks are the most by a Bronco in his first two seasons since the stat became official in 1982. Manning is looking for an improved effort after struggling by his standards last week. He completed 25 of 42 for 270 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, while getting sacked three times.
Kansas City (1-9) is averaging 12.0 points during a seven-game losing streak, mustering just 166.0 passing yards over the last five contests. The Chiefs, losers of all five home games, were far from perfect last weekend, converting only one third down and totaling just 284 yards of offense. He's completed 24 of 42 passes for 181 yards with three interceptions in two starts this year.
Given the fact that the Broncos have not quite locked up the AFC West, a win here would only get them one step closer so this doesn't feel like a letdown spot especially with Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs going nowhere at 1-9. While the Chiefs have had their share of troubles on both sides of the ball, the offense has been particularly abysmal, averaging just 10.67 points per game over the last six games. Not nearly enough firepower against a team that has averaged 33 points over their last 5 games.