NFL fans get an old school AFC West battle for Thursday Night Football Week 2. The Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos will play each other for first place in the division. Both the Chiefs and Broncos won their Week 1 games, so this should be a great match.

Let's preview the game and pick a winner.

Denver Broncos (1-0)

The Broncos got a huge win in Week 1 over the Baltimore Ravens, although the offense wasn't very impressive. Peyton Manning struggled in the opener missing a few opening passes, and didn't throw a single touchdown pass. He also threw a pick six against Jimmy Smith. But, a win is a win, and the Broncos are 1-0.

Despite the offense not playing very well, the Broncos defense was fantastic. The Broncos also had a pick six of their own against Joe Flacco thanks to Aqib Talib. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware create huge quarterback problems at the line of scrimmage, so the Chiefs are in for quiet a task up front.

Manning may not have had a great Week 1 performance, but he absolutely owns the Chiefs. Manning is a perfect 6-0 against the Chiefs since joining the Broncos three years ago. The Broncos beat the Chiefs last season, also in Week 2, and again at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 13. The Broncos have won the AFC West the last four consecutive seasons.

Without tight end Julius Thomas on the field, other targets will have to step up. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders should get their fare share of touches, especially with a suspect running game. Running back C.J. Anderson plans on playing against the Chiefs on Thursday.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-0)

If the Chiefs were ever going to beat Manning and the Broncos, this would finally be the time to do it. They have home field advantage, the Broncos offensive line is still trying to figure things out, and Manning is getting used to a new system under Gary Kubiak.

The Chiefs haven't beat the Broncos at home since the 2010 season.

Like the Broncos, the Chiefs opened their season with a win, but against the Houston Texans. The Chiefs didn't have a single touchdown grab by a wide receiver last season, but that should change with Jeremy Maclin now on the roster. All eyes will be on star running back Jamaal Charles, but former No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith has to make plays to cancel out Manning. Tight end Travis Kelce was tremendous last week with 106 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Smith isn't the best quarterback when it comes to stretching the field, but he may have to make a few deep throws if the Chiefs are going to be victorious.

The dynamic sack duo of Justin Houston and Tamba Hali have to find a way to get to Manning and disrupt throws. If Manning has a lot of time to throw in the pocket, the Chiefs secondary will get eaten alive by the future Hall of Famer. Another important factor will be time of possession. The Chiefs have to get the ground game going to keep Manning off the field.


The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs will play each other on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 8:25 p.m. EDT at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The game will be shown on CBS and the NFL Network. You can watch a live game stream here.


Arrowhead Stadium is going to be louder than ever on Thursday night. The Chiefs know this is their time to finally take down the AFC West champs, but until we see it, the Broncos have to be the favorites. For whatever reason, the Chiefs just haven't been able to crack the Manning code. It will be a close game, but the Broncos prevail with the big advantage at quarterback.

Broncos win 24-17

 Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1