Four months ago, the Chiefs-Broncos game on New Year’s Day was seen as potentially having postseason implications.
However, things went south out of the gate for Denver, which is out of the playoff race and can’t even be excited about having a top-five pick in the NFL Draft. That’s because the Broncos, 4-11, sent it to Seattle in the Russell Wilson trade.
The Chiefs, 12-3, are still alive for the top seed in the AFC playoff field and have clinched the West title. The game is one of four in the noon slot for CBS, and it will be seen by a sizable chunk of the nation (outside of the Eastern Time Zone).
This is the broadcast map from 506Sports.com, and Greg Gumbel and Adam Archuleta are on the call.
Here is who 52 national experts are predicting will win the game, which kicks off at noon and will air on KCTV (Ch. 5).
A 34-17 Chiefs victory is the forecast from Bill Bender of the Sporting News. This is a snippet from his story: “The Broncos have bottomed out, and now they face the Chiefs – who have won 14 straight in this AFC West rivalry and are hanging on to home-field advantage in the AFC. Patrick Mahomes is 10-0 with a 95.4 passer rating against Denver, too.”
All 10 Athletic writers picked the Chiefs to win: Zack Berman, Larry Holder, Michael-Shawn Dugar, Mark Kaboly, Josh Kendall, Nick Kosminder, Austin Mock, Jay Morrison, Tashan Reed and Ben Standig. The Athletic staff wrote: “The Broncos are eliminated from playoff contention and, with no first-round draft pick to better position themselves for in 2023, are taking the field solely to play the role of spoiler. Of course, spoiling Kansas City’s shot at a first-round bye will be tough, considering Denver has lost to its division rival 14-straight times, with its last win over Kansas City dating back to 2015 when Peyton Manning was the quarterback.”
Each of the eight writers at CBS Sports have the Chiefs winning: Jason LaCanfora, Pete Prisco, Jared Dubin, Will Brinson, John Breech, Dave Richard, Ryan Wilson and Jamey Eisenberg. Prisco sees a 33-10 final. Here is part of what he wrote: “The Broncos are playing consecutive road games, and they are playing for nothing. Kansas City still has a chance at the top seed in the conference.”
A 41-20 Chiefs win is the prediction from NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal. This is an excerpt from his story: “On Tuesday’s episode of the Around the NFL Podcast, my old friend Andrew Hawkins noted that you can tell a lot about how a team felt about its previous coach based on how the players perform the week after he’s been let go. It’s just a guess here, but I don’t think Nathaniel Hackett was the Broncos’ biggest problem. Their quarterback is.”
The Chiefs are the pick for the writers at Pro Football Talk. Michael David Smith sees a 35-14 final. He wrote: “Jerry Rosburg is not going to have a pleasant Sunday in his debut as the Broncos’ interim head coach.” Mike Florio predicted a 40-21 final. He wrote: “The Chiefs will happily stomp the Broncos while they’re down”
A 38-13 Chiefs victory is the prediction from FanSided’s Matt Verderame. He wrote: “This feels like a game where Denver barely tries, because the fight has been completely taken out of it. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are trying for the AFC’s top seed.”
Going with the Chiefs are the six USA Today writers: Jarrett Bell (34-13 final score), Chris Bumbaca (30-12), Nate Davis (27-17), Safid Deen (34-17), Tyler Dragon (31-20) and Lorenzo Reyes (30-20).
The five Audacy writers think the Chiefs will win.
The seven experts at ESPN all have the Chiefs winning: Matt Bowen, Mike Clay, Jeremy Fowler, Domonique Foxworth, Dan Graziano, Laura Rutledge and Seth Wickersham.
The Chiefs are the choice for the five Sports Illustrated writers: Conor Orr, Gary Grammling, John Pluym, Albert Breer and Mitch Goldich.
The Chiefs are the pick from the Score’s four writers: Jack Browne, Caio Miari, Daniel Valente and Dan Wilkins.
Rich Gannon and Bruce Murray of SiriusXM picked the Chiefs.