Quarterback Peyton Manning puts his 13-1 career mark against the Kansas City Chiefs on the line when the Denver Broncos face their AFC West foe Thursday night at Arrowhead Stadium. Including the postseason, Manning hasn’t suffered a loss to the Chiefs since he was in Indianapolis way back in 2004, and since he arrived in Denver in 2012 he’s gone a perfect 6-0 with a passer rating that’s never dipped below 85.3.
However, following a punishing Week 1 victory over Baltimore that saw him take four sacks, the 39-year-old finds himself on a growing list of ailing players on the Broncos' roster because of a sore back.
Along with Manning, Denver’s top offensive weapons could labor into a matchup with one of the league’s top defenses. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (hand) and running back C.J. Anderson (ankle/toe) are banged up and listed as questionable, while the Broncos defense could also be shorthanded after only four days of rest.
Denver will miss starting defensive end Kenny Anunike (knee) for the second straight game, even though he was at practice this week, while safety Omar Bolden sat out practice sessions and is doubtful. Safety Darian Stewart (groin) and defensive end Malik Jackson (head) are listed as questionable. Linebackers Brandon Marshall (foot) and Lerentee McCray (groin) are hurt, but probable.
The injury bug hitting the Broncos depth along the line and secondary couldn’t come at a worse time, with Kansas City looking like an offensive juggernaut in Week 1.
The Chiefs lit up Houston -- one of the deeper, more talented defensive units in the league -- for three first-half touchdowns, all off the arm of quarterback Alex Smith. His offensive line mostly kept Smith clean, allowing only two sacks and three hits. But Smith will have to shake the issues he's had with Denver that have led to a 1-4 career mark against the Broncos, including a 57 percent completion rate.
Kansas City listed 14 players on its injury report, however all are probable and only four -- defensive back Husain Abdullah (quad), linebacker Tamba Hali (neck), receiver Jeremy Maclin (back), and linebacker D.J. Alexander (hamstring) -- were limited at some point during practices this week.
Kickoff Time: 8:25 p.m. ET
TV Channels: CBS and NFL Network
Live Online: NFL Game Pass