Last week was a rare strugglefest for the Arrowhead Pride contributors as every single one of us picked the Chiefs to beat the Chargers on Thursday night. Unfortunately, we stood corrected.
This week, the Chiefs travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks in a game that has the potential to drastically shake up the standings.
Let’s see what FanPulse has to say about the Chiefs contest this week:
FanPulse is a survey of fans across the NFL powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100-plus plugged-in fans from each team.
Arrowhead Pride FanPulse predicts the Chiefs to win by 5
Field Gulls FanPulse predicts the Chiefs to win by 1
You can sign up for AP FanPulse here to take the weekly survey.
Now let’s move on to the predictions!
Shawn Barber, Chiefs 35-34
This week’s prediction is #TheBattleInSeattle.
Keys to the Game
1. Chiefs offense continues to evolve as Damien Williams and Kelvin Benjamin gets more playing time.
2. Chiefs defense needs to account for Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. Both are quick with exceptional talent at finding holes in zone coverage. I would focus on shutting down the rushing game completely and force Wilson to stay in the pocket. Shrink the passing lanes. He is a smaller quarterback that needs to get clean air to make big plays.
3. Seahawks defense plays a lot of tight zone coverage to throw off the timing of the passing game. This allows their pass rush an extra sec to get to the quarterback. They are vulnerable to a committed rushing attack.
4. Understand the atmosphere. No senseless penalties. Battle and fight for every yard until the end. Sunday Night Football will be a playoff atmosphere on national TV, so the playoff mindset begins now.
”Losers focus on winners; winners focus on winning.”
Aaron Borgmann, Chiefs 28-24
The Great Northwest town of Seattle is known for many fine things to do on road trips. Pike Place Market, the original Starbucks and Metropolitan Grille are a few of my faves. For anyone that has been to a game there, the so-called 12th man is a thing—it’s not Arrowhead, but it’s real. There is a distinct challenge of playing there.
I think the mini-bye week gets this team back on track. Give Andy Reid extra time to prepare for your team and chances are it’s over for you. While the Seahawks have played some crazy games up there over the years, I don’t see that here. Chiefs win in a close one.
John Dixon, Chiefs 28-24
Both teams have a lot on the line, but the Seahawks will have their fans behind them in CenturyLink. The Chiefs are a better team, but the Seahawks have played a lot of good teams really closely this season. Russell Wilson is having a great season, but the Seahawks are decimated by injuries. Then there’s Patrick Mahomes. And oh yeah... Eric Berry. This is going to be a close one, but I think the Chiefs will pull it out.
Matt Lane, Chiefs 31-23
Everyone in KC is terrified of the Seattle Seahawks because they are the league’s top rushing attack, a great defense and are playing at home. It’s been pinned as doom and gloom for a ton of Chiefs fans for one reason or another. Take a step back, and in the immortal words of the second best quarterback in the NFL (Aaron Rodgers) R-E-L-A-X.
The Seahawks rushing attack, on the year, is averaging over 50 yards less per game the Ravens are since Lamar Jackson took over. The Chiefs held the Ravens to their lowest rushing total of the year. The Seahawks are very good but it’s not up to par with the Ravens or Chargers, especially on a yards-per-play average. Seattle is better at home than on the road, but the best team they’ve beaten at home is the struggling Minnesota Vikings. This game isn’t the Boogey Man it’s made out to be—it’s a good team playing against a better team.
When the Seahawks have the ball, they will be looking to control the clock and limit the touches for Kansas City’s offense. They will play smashmouth football, they will go heavy with extra offensive linemen or tight ends and run the ball with a bruising running back in Chris Carson. Russell Wilson will look to break contain and play “playground ball” and find deep shots downfield but the Seattle wide receivers aren’t as dangerous as the Chargers that gave the Chiefs cornerbacks fits in zone and man. The Chiefs pass rush should really shine yet again with both Chris Jones and Dee Ford making impact plays when it counts.
When the Chiefs have the ball, the Seahawks have adapted their Cover 3 scheme to play much more man out of than years past but it still very much plays out the same way most of the time. The Chiefs need to go back to their early season roots and attack coverage schemes rather than relying on playmakers to out-execute the coverage. That worked with Sammy Watkins and Kareem Hunt, not near as well since Watkins has gone down and now without Hunt. Mahomes will get a few different looks but he should also be able to break the contain in the pocket and make things happen on the move, similar to Rodgers’ against the Seahawks this year.
The Chiefs offense will get stopped a few times, they lack consistency they started the year with, but the Seahawks don’t have the firepower to keep up with the Chiefs offense. They can shorten the game but at the end of the day, they are a team similar to the Ravens that the Chiefs recently got to test their mettle against while playing a rather below average game.
Gary McKenzie, Chiefs 35-28
The only teams who have beaten the Chiefs this year have one thing in common: Great passing offenses.
To beat the Chiefs, you have to outlast them and score on the final drive of the game. I don’t believe the Seahawks pass defense is strong enough to stop Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs offense. That puts the pressure on the Seahawks offense, and it’s just too much to ask of a run-heavy offense.
The Chiefs are going to make the Seahawks play their game, and the Seahawks won’t be able to keep up. I’m pretty confident about this one, but it should be close at the end of the game.
Matt Stagner, Chiefs 35-24
I feel less certain about this week’s outcome than I did last week. I think the Chiefs have proven to be the better team. I think Mahomes is learning and improving and will deliver when it matters most. I think the defense is adequate with Berry on the field. I’d prefer to be surer at this point, with only two games left. Seattle is a tough place to play, and they present similar challenges that Baltimore did. The Chiefs need big games from their offensive stars to keep this game from being too close. We’ll see what they are made of.
Craig Stout, Chiefs 31-24
For the second time in three weeks, the Chiefs defense faces a zone-read offense. The Seahawks run the ball more than any other team not named the Baltimore Ravens, and they average the seventh best yards per carry in the league. The Chiefs rushing defense gives up a league-worst five yards per carry. Doom and gloom, right?
Nah. The Seahawks defense doesn’t come close to what the Chiefs offense has faced over the last two weeks, especially through the air. The Chargers were ninth in DVOA and the Ravens were second. The Seahawks? 19th — six spots worse than the Chiefs pass defense DVOA ranking. Pat Mahomes comes out slinging it in primetime with the No. 1 seed on the line and forces the Seahawks to play catch-up after Eric Berry and the Chiefs defense get a couple early stops. The Seahawks run game becomes a non-factor, and the score makes it seem like a closer game than it is due to some garbage time touchdowns.
Kent Swanson, Chiefs 31-26
Let’s be honest, the Chiefs are playing for the one seed on Sunday night. The Raiders are not going to play spoiler at home in Week 17, so regardless what everyone else does, this one sets them up beautifully if they win. Seattle is capable of playing ball control. The defense needs more snaps from Eric Berry. You can rest him if you win. I expect a bounce-back from both sides of the ball with the extra time to heal and to prepare. This game is close, but the Chiefs pull this one out.
Of course, with Christmas upon us, it would only be right if I made my prediction in the spirit of the season:
Twas the game before Christmas
Fan anxiety high
The Chiefs on the road
Trying to lock up a bye
The Seahawks were prepped for this critical bout
Thought LA and Baltimore had put the book out
But the ball control game didn’t work quite as well
Berry and Mahomes just kept answering the bell
The Chiefs were plus three on the fumbles and picks
And won in Seattle 31-26
Pete Sweeney, Seahawks 27-24
This might be the toughest game to call all season. Had nothing bad happened to the Chiefs this year—the forced release of Kareem Hunt, the foot injury to Sammy Watkins, a perfectly healthy Eric Berry—I think Kansas City goes in and whoops the Seattle Seahawks without batting an eye. But the problem is that all those things did happen, and I find the Seahawks fit the mold of a team that can give this year’s Chiefs trouble. The Seahawks run the football well, and Russel Wilson is having one of his best seasons to date, but nobody’s talking about it with Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees distracting them. In my mind, this game comes down to two players: Kendall Fuller and Berry. Fuller needs to be healthy enough to go for the Chiefs, while Berry needs to full game without a snap count. Based upon Chiefs’ comments this week, it sure sounds like the latter won’t happen, and that’s why I am picking the Seahawks. Too tough a venue, too tough an opposing running back and not enough fully healthy bodies. The Chiefs lose a close one to a Seahawks team playing for playoff life.
Joel Thorman, Chiefs 27-24
This is the least confident I’ve felt about a prediction since the Chiefs had to go into Foxboro. The Seahawks have the type of team to beat the Chiefs and they’re at home. That’s a big task. I’m not ready to bet against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs putting up 30 points, though.
Aly Trost, Chiefs 31-24
I feel like a broken record saying this, but here lies yet another big test for Patrick Mahomes. A tough environment in Seattle, coming off of a mini-bye and the first home loss — all with a critical bye on the line. Seattle’s young defense has, for the most part, risen to the occasion this season — helping put them in a position to clinch a playoff berth and win four of their five last games before being upset by the 49ers last week. However, if there’s one offense that could expose the weaknesses of a young defense...it’s Mahomes, Andy Reid and the Chiefs.
Dane Van Why, Chiefs 28-24
The 10-day break was probably the best thing that could have happened to the Chiefs after the heartbreaking Thursday night loss to the Chargers. By this point, the team and the fan base has moved on. This game will be critical for ensuring Kansas City gets the coveted number one seed in a heated AFC playoff race. I’m predicting the team will rebound in a hostile environment, where the Chiefs’ offense will be too much for Seattle to handle down the stretch in this one.
Last week each contributor failed to pick the Chiefs, and that means there is no shuffle in the contributor standings this week.
|Dane Van Why||12-2|
Who wins Sunday night in Seattle?
This poll is closed