Broncos lineman on facing Chiefs: ‘You guys have run the division the last few years’

·3 min read
David Zalubowski, File/AP Photo

The last time the Broncos beat the Chiefs, Denver guard Dalton Risner was a freshman at Kansas State, and coach Bill Snyder was preparing the Wildcats to play Louisiana Tech.

A lot has happened since Peyton Manning and the Broncos defeated the Chiefs 31-24 on Sept. 17, 2015. For starters, the Chiefs have won five straight AFC West titles, appeared in two Super Bowls and won one.

Risner was the Big 12’s Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2018, the same year he was a second-team all-American. He was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and he has started 38 games for Denver.

But the Broncos haven’t defeated the Chiefs during Risner’s tenure in Denver, a fact he knows all too well heading into Sunday night’s game. The Chiefs, 7-4, are a game ahead of the Broncos, 6-5, in the AFC West.

“Yeah, it’s a huge one man,” Risner said Tuesday on Soren Petro’s show on WHB (810 AM). “From our perspective here in Denver, you guys have beat us 11 times in a row. ... Let’s be honest, you guys have run the division the last few years.

“I know (the game is) still a very big deal to you guys out there in Kansas City. I know how your fans are. You guys care. Same thing here in Denver. We’re a very prideful fanbase, a very prideful team and we’re having a good season. We still could have done a lot of things better. But truth be told, we’re going into this week with an opportunity to win and be first in the AFC West.”

While Risner knows a win Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium would be big for the Broncos, he’s also aware that it would hardly decide the AFC West race. It’s the only division in which every team has a winning record.

If Denver wins Sunday, along with the Chargers and Raiders, every team in the West would have a 7-5 record with five games to play.

“It’s anyone’s game at this point,” Risner said. “We got a lot of divisional games left, there are 17 games this season and we’ve still got six games left, man. There’s a lot of work to be done but this game is still significant.”

It’s also significant to Risner because he has another barbecue bet with Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones.

First responders in the winning city will get barbecue that will be paid for by the foundation of the player on the losing side. Jones’ Sack Nation Foundation is working with Joe’s Kansas City, while the RisnerUp Foundation is partnering with GQue Barbecue in Denver.

“I choose to use the platform I have with the NFL to give back and to be good to others and hopefully make an impact,” Risner told Petro. ”Big shout-out to Chris Jones because I believe he does the same thing. Last year we did this for the first year together. Doing this again this year. One, I think it’s so important, we’ve got a big rivalry between the Chiefs and the Broncos, both in the AFC West so that’s always fun. ...

“Whenever we’re doing a first responders, I don’t know what we would do without first responders. I think that sometimes their work goes unnoticed, but a lot of us know how much they put in, and all the work that they do to make this world go round. Really in all facets, it’s a cool deal.”

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