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Can the Broncos Offense Keep Pace With the Chiefs?

It’s widely accepted the Kansas City Chiefs have the best offense in the league. The combination of Tyreek Hill‘s speed and Travis Kelce‘s size makes that duo nearly unstoppable. Not to mention they have arguably the most talented quarterback in the last decade on the richest deal in NFL history. All that combined with a solid offensive line and countless other options make them nearly impossible to beat. However, their division rival the Broncos made some pretty sizable offensive moves this offseason to close the gap. So do the Broncos have what it takes to out-gun the Chiefs?

Pass Game

The pass game is where most of the differences are found. The Chiefs have the best passing game in the league making them the better of the two. But how much better are they really?


The advantage is clear for the Chiefs at the quarterback position. Patrick Mahomes is a generational talent that impresses every time he steps on the field. He has one of the strongest arms in the league, is one of the most accurate quarterbacks and he can scramble when he needs to. This makes him a nightmare for all defenses. For the Broncos, Drew Lock is an unproven second-year player who’s only started five games. The only way for the Broncos can compete with the Chiefs is if Lock lives up to the potential the team saw in him last year.

Receiving Core

Image courtesy of Peter Aiken

The receiving core category is a real toss-up. Now skill and experience might give the Chiefs a slight edge but the Broncos have the tools to gain the advantage in the future. Two of the Broncos primary receivers are rookies but that doesn’t mean they can’t outperform the Chiefs’ vets. For the moment, Kansas City has Hill, Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman as their top receiving options. But with Mahomes’ lucrative deal they can’t afford all of them for long. With a young Pro-Bowler, two highly skilled rookie receivers and a rapidly progressing tight end all on manageable deals it’s only a matter of time before Lock has better options to throw to than Mahomes.

Running Game

The running game is an outright win for the Broncos when they go head to head with the Chiefs. The Chiefs run game is headlined by Damien Williams who really doesn’t stand out much. Other than his career game in the 2020 Super Bowl, Williams had not had great production. To add some running back depth in the draft the Chiefs selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU. While that pickup certainly helps, it’s not enough to match the Broncos’ backfield. After two pretty solid seasons with Philip Lindsay, the Broncos front office decided to add Melvin Gordon in free agency to create a two-headed monster. Now with two starting-caliber running backs on rotation, the Chiefs will have a rough time trying to stop them both.

Offensive Line

Certainly not the most appealing part of the game of football but by far one of the most important. Both the Broncos and the Chiefs have middle of the pack offensive lines. The Chiefs have a slight advantage in talent but they’re aging. The Broncos aren’t great but they have solid young talent in Dalton Risner and Graham Glasgow with time to develop them over the next few years.

Head to Head

Image courtesy of John Leyba

Now beating the Chiefs is a different story. Adding a few pieces doesn’t all of a sudden beat the defending Super Bowl champs. But with a brighter future on offense with the addition of some high power capability the Broncos are on the fast track to accomplishing that. For the upcoming season, winning head to head will take a combination of both good offensive and defensive play. The Broncos have the pieces in place to be one of next season’s top defenses but shutting down the Chiefs is no easy task. Is it doable this year? Yes, but it’s a long shot. For the years after that though look for the tide to turn and for the rivalry bragging rights to belong to the mile high.


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