The last time the Denver Broncos beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the regular season, it was Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas outdueling Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles on September 17, 2015. Since then, Kansas City has rattled off 11 consecutive wins over their AFC West rivals.
Last season, the Broncos played to a division-worst 5-11 mark for the second time in the last four years. Among the contributing factors were a bevy of big-name, season-ending injuries, including WR Courtland Sutton, OT Ja’Wuan James, DT Jurrell Casey and OLB Von Miller.
Entering his 11th season with the team in 2021, the latter wants to see that losing streak end now that he has recovered from the ankle tendon injury that had sidelined him since last September.
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Miller: ‘I Just Want to Win and Compete’
During his most recent press conference following the Broncos’ first week of organized team activities, Miller was asked about his role in being a team leader who can make sure new players feel welcome in Denver. While reflecting on that aspect of his career, the 32-year-old star pass rusher briefly diverted his thoughts to the Chiefs and their stretch of dominance since Andy Reid’s arrival.
“I want the guys to come in here and feel comfortable so they can go out there and compete. When they compete, we do good. When the Broncos are doing good, I’m doing good,” Miller told reporters on May 24. “We’re all trying to do this thing together. I just want to win and compete. We’ve lost to the Kansas City Chiefs five years in a row. I want to change that s***. I try to change it, and you’ve got to be a great teammate. You’ve got to be a great leader to get us over the hump.”
Miller and company will need to wait longer than usual to get their first attempt at the Chiefs this season. The two clubs aren’t scheduled to meet until December 5 (Week 13) in Kansas City — their latest first meeting since 2009 — before clashing again on January 9, 2022 for the Week 18 finale in Denver.
Prior to the Chiefs falling to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5 last season, Reid’s men had accumulated a similar streak over their other division rivals to the West, winning 12 of 14 matchups between and 2013 and 2019.
Miller ‘Super Excited’ About TE Noah Fant
The Broncos’ three-time All-Pro also spent a portion of his May 24 media availability discussing third-year tight end Noah Fant. If Miller’s outlook is any indication, Broncos Country should be fired up about the potential of the 2021 offense.
“Noah Fant is my favorite guy on the team,” Miller said. “I want to tell all you guys that. Noah Fant, I’m super excited about this guy. He’s buff, he’s strong. I think he’s going into Year 3 now and he just looks like a beast.”
The 2019 first-round pick posted a similar, but improved stat line last season, hauling in a team-high 62 passes for 673 yards and three touchdowns on 27 more targets than his rookie campaign the year prior.
Three days after Miller’s public praise, the 23-year-old tight end responded in kind.
“That meant a lot,” Fant said on May 27. “Von has helped me through a lot over these last couple years. I remember my rookie year and him constantly talking to me and helping me through growing pains. This last year and everything I’ve been through these last couple months, he’s been there for me. It meant a lot. I think we’ve become closer over my span here.
“I just want to maximize my potential on the field and be that household name that he is for the Broncos.”
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs and Heavy on Broncos Facebook communities for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!