MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Chiefs ROLB Tamba Hali vs. Broncos LT Ryan Clady: Hali has not registered a sack in three straight weeks. But the Broncos have seen Orton go down 16 times in the last five weeks. Clady has shown flashes of his All-Pro form but has been inconsistent. And Hali's speed could give Denver problems, as it has in the past. The key for the Broncos is being able to maintain balance offensively and not let Hali just run to the quarterback without the threat of a rush.
Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson vs. Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno: Johnson already has over 100 tackles and while Moreno remains a threat running the ball, Johnson's task will be equally important shadowing Moreno as a target out of the backfield. As Moreno has regained his health after months with balky hamstrings, Denver has targeted him more and more as an outlet receiver as teams try to protect against the deep pass. Moreno has 13 of his 28 receptions over the last two weeks, gaining 124 yards in the process.
INJURY IMPACT: The absence of WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle) will give more offensive snaps to fellow rookie Eric Decker, who nearly scored off a 38-yard reception vs. the Rams. Decker may spell Eddie Royal as a slot receiver in three wides but mainly will take part in four-wide formations as a dual slot with Royal.
CB Perrish Cox will start in Goodman's place and has been picked on by opposing quarterbacks. But if McBath is unavailable, it will trickle down to the rest of Denver's nickel and dime packages, meaning more snaps for David Bruton and rookie Syd'Quan Thompson.