Coming off a loss last week, the Kansas City Chiefs have another tough game lined up for Week 16 when they visit the Seattle Seahawks. The Chiefs are currently listed as 2.5-point favorites on the road with an over/under of 55 points.
Despite being 11-3, the Chiefs suddenly look vulnerable. They’ve lost two of their last four games, and with their close call against the Ravens, they aren’t far away from losing three of their last four. Also, last week’s loss brought them into a tie with the Chargers atop the AFC West. As it stands, Kansas City will have to win their final two games in order to secure a division title and avoid being a wild card.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, are trying to secure a wild-card spot in the NFC. Seattle saw their four-game winning streak come to an end last week after a disappointing performance against the 49ers. With a win over the Chiefs and some outside help, the Seahawks have a chance to punch their playoff ticket this week. If not, they could face a must-win game in Week 17 against the Cardinals.
Run ‘Em Over
There doesn’t seem to be anything that can stop the Seattle rushing attack, especially not the Kansas City defense. The Chiefs are conceding five yards per carry on the season. A week ago, a pair of unheralded rookies, Justin Jackson and Detrez Newsome, absolutely torched them on the ground. That doesn’t bode well for them to slow down Chris Carson, who’s rushed for 90 yards or more in back-to-back weeks.
When Seattle runs the ball effectively, it opens up play-action for Russell Wilson. The Kansas City pass defense has only been mildly better than their run defense this season. With Kendall Fuller out, it will be even more difficult for the Chiefs to defend the Seattle offense if Wilson wants to take some deep shots off play-action.
Is Something Missing?
On the other side of the ball, the Kansas City offense has been held under 30 points in back-to-back weeks. The Chiefs look as if they’re still adjusting to the absence of Kareem Hunt. It’s become even harder with Spencer Ware battling a hamstring injury that kept him out last week. Third-string back Damien Williams has had a couple of nice moments, but the Chiefs lack the consistency and explosiveness in their rushing attack that Hunt provided.
Obviously, Patrick Mahomes has proven that he can handle the pressure of carrying the team on his shoulders. However, he’ll face a new kind of challenge this week when he faces the Seattle defense and the 12th man. The 11 interceptions he’s thrown this season have gone largely unnoticed by his brilliance, but that’s something to watch as Mahomes and the Chiefs face a tough road environment and a Seahawks team that’s one of the best in the NFL in turnover ratio.
Nothing Comes Easy
The Chiefs have definitely hit a rough patch in their season, and things aren’t going to get any easier with a trip to Seattle for a primetime game. Mahomes may rise to the occasion, but the Kansas City defense probably won’t. Bet on the Seahawks to at least beat the 2.5-point spread against the Chiefs in Week 16.