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It’s tempting to imagine that a resurgent Denver Broncos team could keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs in primetime, but it’s probably not going to happen.
Denver’s defense has looked good in recent weeks, as the Broncos have handled some of the NFL’s weakest squads in the Chargers and the Titans. Denver had an impressive seven sacks and three interceptions against Tennessee. But the Titans offense is also bad. In reality, this defense isn’t a world-beating unit: Football Outsiders had them at 16th in defensive DVOA entering Week 6.
To win games with a fading Joe Flacco under center, this defense would need to be a top-five unit. Against bad teams, the solid two-headed running game of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman can help the Broncos dominate time of possession. But even in a shutout victory, Flacco only had 177 yards passing. The league’s best running backs couldn’t even ensure a winning team with those passing numbers.
By contrast, the Chiefs have had two bad weeks, losing to the Texans and the Colts, but that is no reason to panic. In both games, man coverage made life difficult for quarterback Patrick Mahomes while the terrible Kansas City defense couldn’t hold up under pressure.
Even in these losses, “limiting Mahomes” has meant that he still throws for about 300 yards, and that’s with a nagging ankle injury. Both games were close, and veteran coach Andy Reid will likely be adjusting to compensate for his team’s weaknesses.
Against good teams, the inability of the Chiefs to compete on defense, especially in terms of stopping the run, is a real problem, but it shouldn’t be enough to cost them here. The Chiefs gave up 4.7 yards per carry last week, but if Joe Flacco only throws for 150 yards, that may not matter.
Though they’ve won recently, the Broncos are a bad team. Though they’ve lost recently, the Chiefs are a good team. Look for Kansas City to get right and reclaim their dominance against a limited Joe Flacco. Especially with another week of rest for Mahomes’ bum ankle, look for the Chiefs to soar.
|HOW TO WATCH CHIEFS VS. BRONCOS WITHOUT CABLE|
|HULU WITH LIVE TV||TRY NOW|
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
- When: 8:20pm ET, Thursday, Oct. 17
- Where: Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado
- Streaming: Fox, Amazon Prime, NFL Network (free trials with various streaming services)
How to watch Chiefs vs. Broncos online
The majority of Thursday night games are simulcast on Fox and NFL Network. This week, you will be able to watch TNF on these two networks and with any streaming platforms that carry them.
What is NFL Network?
NFL Network is where you go if you want to be immersed in pro football. There’s plenty to love about NFL Network, including the ability to watch exclusive shows like Good Morning Football, NFL Total Access, A Football Life, Inside the NFL, and most importantly, Sunday’s NFL GameDay once the regular season begins. There’s also daily programming devoted to fantasy football and power rankings—the kind of stuff football lovers need in their lives. NFL Network shows most Thursday night games during the regular season, and it’ll exclusively show some of the international games in 2019. Take note, though: NFL Network can no longer be seen via DirecTV Now.
The bottom line: If you want to get closer to the action and catch (almost) every Thursday Night Football game, you need NFL Network.
- Cost: $54.99 per month
- FuboTV devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Android TV, iOS and Android devices
- FuboTV local channels: Fox, NBC, CBS (check local availability here)
If you’re a big-time sports fan, FuboTV is probably your best streaming service option. If you love international soccer and you’re a Spanish speaker, FuboTV also offers various add-on packages, including Fubo Latino and Fubo Português. FuboTV’s basic plan boasts nearly 100 channels and includes NFL Network. At $54.99 per month, you’ll also get FS1, FS2, NBCSN, NBA TV, Big Ten Network, Pac 12 Network, BeIn Sports, and CBS Sports Network, along with premium channels like FX/FXX/FXM. The only notable omission for sports fans is ESPN. You can add Fubo’s Sports Plus package for an additional $8.99 per month, which will allow you to stream NFL RedZone, (Here’s the complete FuboTV channels list.)
- Cost: $44.99 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV includes sports programming among its offerings, including ESPN and FS1, and as a subscriber to the service, you’ll get free access to Hulu’s sizable on-demand library. (Check out the full list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
While select NFL and college football games (on Fox, FS1, and FS2) are no longer on Sling, you can still catch Fox games with AirTV — which is something you should have as a companion to Sling.
AirTV solves one of Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “It’s practically magic.”
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—serves to strengthen one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses compared to other live streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. All those services have plenty of local channels.
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live TV directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is certainly your best bet. PlayStation works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
5) YouTube TV
- Cost: $50 per month
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
- Cost: $8.99 a month, or $12.99 a month/$119.99 per year (includes Amazon Prime service)
- Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Fire tablets, and Fire phone; Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS, and Android devices
Amazon Prime Video allows you to stream Thursday Night Football every Thursday this season (starting Sept. 26 through Dec. 12), save for Thanksgiving. It’s also possible (not obvious, but that’s what we’re here for) to watch NFL RedZone through the service.
Other ways to watch Chiefs vs. Broncos online
The NFL app
Cost: Depends on provider
Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, PS4, Roku, Android RV, iOS and Android devices
If you subscribe to NFL Network through your cable provider—or you know someone who does and they owe you a sizable favor—you can also watch via the official NFL app. All you have to do is download it from your streaming device of choice—Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, PS4, Roku, or Android TV—and then enter in your cable credentials when prompted. You can also stream on any iOS or Android device, or on your desktop. Just visit nfl.com/watch.
Fantasy Football: Who should I start?
Tyreek Hill, Wide Receiver: During Hill’s four-game suspension, you couldn’t predict who was going to lead the Chiefs’ offense. Every week, a new receiver was a favorite target. Those days are over. Hill is back and he is the man in the Kansas City passing game going forward.
Phillip Lindsay, Running Back: For the first few weeks of the season, this was definitely a platoon situation, with Freeman and Lindsay garnering similar yardage totals. In the last three games, Lindsay has pulled away from Freeman as the go-to choice in the Denver backfield.
Chiefs vs. Broncos: Why it matters
Don’t fall into the recency bias trap. The Chiefs are still elite and the Broncos are not.
Nonetheless, Kansas City isn’t just looking to win the relatively weak AFC West. A win here keeps the Chiefs ahead of a surprisingly frisky Raiders team, and also keeps them in the conversation for the best team in the conference.
The undefeated Patriots are already pulling away from the pack and the Texans now own a tie-breaker against Kansas City. Andy Reid’s team needs to win against bad teams if they want to stay towards the top of the AFC, and this is the place to start.
If ever there was a week for this Chiefs team to get right, this is it. They had better take advantage of it.
- How to watch NFL RedZone without cable
- How to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV satellite
- How to watch NFL Network online (without cable)
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Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.