The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs rivalry dates back to the origins of the NFL, but how strong is it today and which team is now on top?
As the 2017 NFL season approaches, we check in on the status of the best and most heated rivalries around the league. Some of these rivalries are as hot as ever. Others lay dormant after years of feisty competitions. Yet those examples pale in comparison to the most embarrassing of rivalry tropes — when you are not your rival’s rival.
Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, discuss NFL Rivalries in 2017 in today’s NFL Sports Debate.
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Two teams that seem to be going in opposite directions, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos continually pass each other in the night. But even if Denver is taking a step back, Kansas City seems unable to take that next step up.
Let’s hit up the rivalry questionnaire.
1. Is this still a rivalry?
Todd Salem: Yes. Though Denver has historically been the better club, both in terms of head-to-head wins and Super Bowl titles, Kansas City has remained a quality opponent. In fact, the Chiefs have won three straight games in this series. They have had trouble getting over the proverbial hump both league-wide and against Denver, but the Broncos are hardly walking all over them lately.
Dan Salem: This rivalry is alive and well, but it’s hard to characterize its full extent. The Broncos have had bigger rivals at times, such as the New England Patriots when it was Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady, but this rivalry with the Chiefs has more significant history and current relevance. Both teams have been fighting to win this division over the last five seasons, making it extra exciting whenever they meet on the football field. Considering it dates back to the origins of the AFC, this is an even stronger rivalry for the local fan bases.
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2. Which side of this pairing would you rather be on?
Todd Salem: This is tough, because Kansas City feels like the better team, but Denver feels like the better franchise. The Broncos had a down year in 2016, but still finished above .500 and were just a season removed from winning the championship. The team is in a slight rebuild, but I would rather be Denver.
Dan Salem: I’d much rather be on the side of the Chiefs in this rivalry. History is on their side in terms of dominance head to head, plus I’ve always found it fun to root for the Chiefs and unbearable to pull for the Broncos. As football fans, we always pick sides when watching games that don’t include our home team. I’ve struggled to root for Denver over the years, but easily found myself cheering on the Chiefs.
Arrowhead Stadium is also an amazing homefield advantage, favoring Kansas City in this decision. Since the Chiefs have more promise in 2017 as Denver attempts to find its new identity, I easily side with Kansas City.
3. What should we expect from this matchup in 2017?
Todd Salem: The Chiefs swept the Broncos last season and could do so again, though KC feels a bit overrated heading into 2017. The Denver offense is admittedly bad, but the Kansas City offense could be poor as well. If both defenses remain stout, a split of the season series is the most likely outcome.
Dan Salem: My feeling is that both teams are headed for a rebuild, at least on offense, but the Broncos are there first. They do not yet know who their starting quarterback is, while Kansas City at least has some near-term faith in Alex Smith. Both teams have a great advantage when playing at home, but I believe the Chiefs win both matchups this season. They are the better team in 2017.