The Sunday Night Football flex season is here. This time around, the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs game got flexed in place of the Seattle Seahawks, and San Francisco 49ers clash. Patrick Mahomes and the current AFC West leaders clash against the surging Broncos in a massive divisional matchup.
However, the Broncos might wish they got flexed to Monday Night Football for one huge Peyton Manning reason.
Chiefs and Broncos get flexed into primetime on Sunday night
Initially, this game was the Seahawks vs. the 49ers. However, Seattle is a mess and this NFC West clash doesn’t have as much traction as it should have.
Instead, two above .500 teams duel it out in Arrowhead on Sunday night. The Broncos are fresh off an impressive victory against the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Chiefs have come to life after a disappointing start to the season.
So, instead of a struggling Russell Wilson against a Deebo Samuel-less San Francisco squad, it will be Mahomes against the Broncos vaunted defensive unit.
The Broncos haven’t topped the Chiefs since Peyton Manning was under center
Yes, this is an actual stat.
Somehow, the Chiefs have dominated the Broncos lately. The past 11 matchups have belonged to the Chiefs, and with this game being at Arrowhead, there is a high chance it could move to 12 consecutive games.
So, while the Broncos got flexed into Sunday night, they sure wish it was Monday Night Football instead. For Monday’s game with the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills, the infamous ManningCast will return. Ah, indeed, the Broncos’ good luck charm.
Unfortunately, Manning won’t be involved for the Broncos-Chiefs matchup on Sunday night.
But can Denver finally get a victory over Mahomes and the Chiefs? It might be challenging, especially with Kansas City playing its best football of the season heading into December.
Oh, and here’s one more stat that bodes in the Chiefs’ favor.
None of this is favorable for the Broncos, but you never know until the games are played. But, 11 straight games against the Chiefs have not gone the way of Denver, which doesn’t sound promising one bit.
The quarterback issues have been prevalent since Manning decided to hang them up and it continues with Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock
The list of Broncos quarterbacks since Manning is a wildly unimpressive one. Since Manning hung it up, Denver has featured 11 different starting quarterbacks, with Bridgewater being the latest one.
The rest of the list includes Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Brandon Allen, Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien, and wide receiver-turned QB Kendall Hinton in the COVID-19 weirdness.
That is not a good list, and the Broncos have desperately been searching for a quarterback since Manning left town. Sure, the Aaron Rodgers talks have been going around since he expressed his displeasure with the Green Bay Packers, but who knows at this point.
John Elway and George Paton have spent ample time scouting the top options in the 2022 NFL Draft, and indeed some change is coming at the quarterback position.
This stat with Manning shows how badly the Broncos need to make a change at quarterback for the long term. If they can’t beat the Chiefs, the chances of winning the AFC West are improbable.
Nonetheless, the Broncos are hot and so are the Chiefs — hence the decision to highlight this game.
Can the Broncos finally buck this trend and beat the Chiefs for the first time since Manning was under center?
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference