FBG says: Tough matchup. The Chiefs rushing offense continues to struggle amidst what is a volatile situation with starter Damien Williams sidelined from a rib injury and Darrell Williams recently placed on IR. Even before the recent injury woes, this rushing offense had struggled with consistency as they rank 27th in the league with just 93 rushing yards per game. It is tough to blame this lack of success on the offensive line, as while they have had some injury issues throughout the season, this is an overall solid group that firmly ranks in the top tier according to Matt Bitonti of Footballguys. The inconsistencies in who is running the ball combined with a sheer lack of rushing attempts (298, 27th in the league) can help explain the lack of numbers put up by this group. The status of Damien Williams will be worth monitoring coming into this week, as his return would add clarity to an otherwise murky backfield situation. LeSean Mccoy led the way last week and would be expected to do the same in this one, but new addition Spencer Ware also saw five carries while actually playing more snaps (40%) than any other running back in Week 14. Darwin Thompson also saw four carries and just over a quarter of the snaps. McCoy did have some success against Denver earlier this season (12/64) while Williams managed just seven yards on nine rushing attempts in one of his worst performances of the season. Given the rotation in this backfield, it will be tough to trust whoever is back there on Sunday.
The Broncos defense has put together an impressive body of work against the run throughout the middle of the season, but their play has been dialed back slightly in recent weeks. This group had a rough outing in Week 12 against the Bills and never fully recovered as they have given up an average of 121 rushing yards per game and 4.5 yards per rush attempt to running backs over the past three weeks. On a positive note, they have given up zero rushing touchdowns to running backs over that span--however, they did allow Deshaun Watson to run for two touchdowns and 44 yards last week--the second time in three weeks that a quarterback has run for more than 40 yards against them. They have talent up front in Mike Purcell and Shelby Harris, but the recent loss of Derek Wolfe and Week 14 injury to Dre'Mont Jones certainly hurts the depth of this defensive line. Linebacker A.J. Johnson continues to play well though, and safeties Justin Simmons plus Kareen Jackson pose stout challenges for any running back making it to the second level--playing huge parts in why this defense has given up over 100 rushing yards to just two running backs and allowed just six runs of 20 or more yards (T-8th fewest).