Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Daniel Collins

Written by: Daniel Collins

Last Updated:

Read Time: 5 minutes

The Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos have one of the best and most intense rivalries in the National Football League. The Chiefs and Broncos actually started out as rivals in the American Football League, but the rivalry has grown since the two teams have moved into the NFL. Kansas City and Denver are usually the top two teams in the AFC West Division, and they are constantly battling against one another for the top spot in that division.

Part of what makes this rivalry one of the best in the league are the passionate fan bases and terrific home field advantages for each team. The Chiefs and Broncos play in front of a packed house every time they take the field, and the home crowd loves to root against their division rivals. Kansas City has gotten the better of the Broncos in the last few seasons, but odds are that it will flip back to the Broncos in recent years.

History of Chiefs vs. Broncos Rivalry

This rivalry actually started out as the Dallas Texans versus the Denver Broncos, but the Chiefs were moved to Kansas City after a few seasons. This wasn’t really a rivalry during the 1960s as the Texans/Chiefs won 19 of the first 20 games against the Broncos and were clearly the better franchise.

The Broncos caught up to the Chiefs in a hurry, and Denver has won every decade since that first one. Kansas City and Dallas have met a total of 117 times in the regular season, and the Chiefs hold a slim 63-54 advantage in regular season matchups. The Broncos do have the edge in the postseason, eliminating their rival in the only playoff meeting during the 1998 NFL playoffs.

The Chiefs and Broncos are extremely familiar with each other after being in the same division since 1960 when the two teams came into the league. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, Kansas City and Denver have combined to win 24 AFC West Division championships. With two of the best fanbases in the entire National Football League, this rivalry will only continue to grow as the two teams meet year after year.

The Kansas City Chiefs began play in 1960 as the Dallas Texans as members of the Western Division of the American Football League. Kansas City became the permanent home for this franchise in 1963, and the team was renamed the Chiefs. The Chiefs joined the National Football League in 1970 as part of the merger and have been in the AFC West Division since that time.

This franchise wasted little time in winning their first championship, winning Super Bowl IV against the Minnesota Vikings in 1969. Unfortunately for the current generation of Chiefs fans, Super Bowl IV is the last time that the Chiefs have appeared in the league’s championship game. Kansas City has lost 12 of their last 14 playoff games, and had a span of eight straight playoff losses from 1993-94 to 2013-14. The Chiefs have had some legendary players and teams during this stretch, but they haven’t been able to beat the odds to win it all. Kansas City was a popular preseason Super Bowl pick in 2018, and early predictions will have them near the top again in 2019.

The Denver Broncos had a similar path as the Kansas City Chiefs given that they came into the AFL at the exact same time. Unlike the Kansas City Chiefs, the Denver Broncos were one of the worst teams in the AFL year every season, and they struggled in their first few years in the NFL as well. Things started to turn around for this franchise in 1975, and they have been one of the most successful teams in the National Football League since that time.

Denver has made eight Super Bowl appearances, but share the record for the most Super Bowl losses with five. The Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1997-98 and won five straight AFC West Division Championships from 2011-2015. Denver has taken a step in the wrong direction in recent seasons, but they will return to being one of the top picks in the AFC in the coming seasons.

Head to Head Analysis of Chiefs vs. Broncos Rivalry

The last 20 games between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs have been hard to figure out, with each team going on long winning streaks during that span. The Broncos and Chiefs have split the last 20 games, with ten wins apiece, but the last 14 games have given us some interesting trends.

After splitting the first six games, the Denver Broncos rattled off seven straight victories in this rivalry. Kansas City responded by winning the last seven games of this rivalry, and they have a clear edge heading into the 2019 season. Road teams were also able to find success in the last 20 games, with both Denver and Kansas City posting a 6-4 record on the road. These trends won’t continue like this forever, but it should help us make a prediction for the 2019 season.

The other thing to look at in this rivalry is the results for each game based on the point spreads and betting lines set for total points. The Chiefs and Broncos combined to go “over” the line for total points in 9 of the last 20 games. The two rivals combined to go “under” in eight of the last 20 matchups, while also playing to a “push” in three games. Looking at the point spread can give us a better idea of who has been the favorite in the last 20 games, and how they did when being the favorite.

In the 11 games that Denver was the favorite, they went just 4-7 against the spread. Kansas City was the favorite in the other nine games, and they posted a record of 3-6 against the spread as the favorite. If you are looking to make some predictions for the upcoming season, betting the road team and the underdog are the right picks.

A Glance at Postseason Success in Chiefs vs. Broncos Rivalry

The Kansas City Chiefs might hold a slim lead in the head-to-head battle, but the Broncos have had much more postseason success. The Chiefs actually lead in total league championships with four, but three of those came during their time in the AFL. Denver has won three Super Bowl titles, while the Chiefs have pulled off the feat just once. The Broncos also have a commanding lead in Super Bowl appearances with a whopping eight to just two for Kansas City. Denver has won 15 division titles since coming into the league, while the Chiefs have won the division just nine times. No matter how you look at it, the Broncos have been the better pick over the Kansas City Chiefs in terms of winning titles.

The Kansas City Chiefs look like they’re picking up steam now that they’ve got Patrick Mahomes at quarterback and several other promising players. The Broncos are still trying to figure out their roster, but are likely to get things back on track in the near future. Look for this rivalry to pick back up in coming seasons and give us some exciting matchups!