For the Week 8 game against the Green Bay Packers, three members of the Arrowhead Pride staff took a flyer on the Kansas City Chiefs — and paid for that error. Our readers were a bit more optimistic; 45% thought the Chiefs would win, but most (67%) agreed with the staff that it would be a close game.
So what do our staff members (and readers) think about the Week 9 home game against the Minnesota Vikings? Let’s find out.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
This will come down to the availability of Patrick Lavon Mahomes. Should No. 15 play, then I think the Chiefs will get back on track, as will Mahomes’ MVP campaign. But if it’s Matt Moore under center, I can only see a Vikings victory. The pessimist in me says the Chiefs hold Mahomes out for one more week. Vikings 33, Chiefs 20
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
The identity of this Chiefs team is slowly changing. Thought at the beginning of the season to be an overpowering offense combined with an unproven (and probably subpar) defense, the tables are starting to turn. Without Patrick Mahomes — or when he has been less than 100% — the offense has just been good instead of overwhelming. While there are still some dark corners, the defense is finding its way to the light. I believe that combination will be enough to give the Chiefs a narrow victory on Sunday — and I can’t wait to see what the team looks like when Mahomes is back at 100%. Chiefs 24, Vikings 21
Ethan Douglas (@ChiefsAnalytics)
This is the toughest game to predict thus far in my short career at Arrowhead Pride (not that I’ve done any good predicting the easier games, either). It truly feels like a coin flip that rests largely on who from the Chiefs is healthy enough to play effectively. Dalvin Cook could be a problem for the Chiefs if they fall behind early, so coach Reid has to have his best opening script yet to make sure the Chiefs can take and keep the lead. Going to be optimistic and predict that happens, as the Chiefs steal one here: Chiefs 27, Vikings 17
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
The Chiefs may be facing the toughest defensive front they’ll play all year this week — and of course, they are potentially missing three starters among the offensive line. The offense needs to be able to protect Matt Moore so he can exploit the mismatch between Chiefs receivers and Vikings cornerbacks. I think coach Reid will be able to scheme up big plays — but the key factor will be the line’s performance. On the other side, the run defense will be facing one of the most run-heavy offenses in football. Dalvin Cook will undoubtedly make plays — but if the defense can force Kirk Cousins to make a few bad decisions (as he is prone to do in big games), it can cancel out the effectiveness of the Minnesota ground game. I believe they do, and the Chiefs win a tough game and snap the Arrowhead losing streak. Chiefs 24, Vikings 20
Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina)
This sounds strange coming off a loss, but it almost feels like the Vikings game is a trap game. Whether it’s just the fans’ overall spirit or the general upbeat nature of the team after a losing effort, it feels like the Chiefs think “momentum” is on their side. The Packers didn’t really come to the table looking to attack Matt Moore and the Chiefs offense specifically. They instead just tried to line up and play, and Andy Reid took them to task. I expect Zimmer and company to have a more surgical approach to forcing Moore into quicker decisions and off of his first read. The Vikings offense presents a unique challenge to the coverage unit of the Chiefs on the outside, giving the cornerback group a chance to showcase improvement or slide back to their early season ways. Patrick Mahomes’ health changes much of the outlook of this game but under the assumption that Matt Moore is the starting QB. Vikings 27, Chiefs 17
Robert Rimpson (@RRimpsanity)
This is certainly a winnable game for the Chiefs. I believe that the Vikings can only go as far as Kirk Cousins takes them, and if he struggles on Sunday, the Chiefs have an opportunity to upset a very good Minnesota team. But I think the Chiefs’ limitations at quarterback are even more daunting. I can’t see Mahomes coming back just yet, and that means another start from Matt Moore. Moore has been good, but he needs to be better than going to overcome the mental mistakes the Chiefs continue to make this season. Vikings 27, Chiefs 20
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
Another week, another difficult game for an injury-plagued Chiefs team. The matchup isn’t great, against a dynamic running game, a couple passing weapons that will challenge and solid defense. Spagnuolo’s defense seems to be coming into its own, the aggression is there, and players are finding ways to contribute. The offense can still make enough plays to be dangerous. The Chiefs will have to win a couple games without Mahomes, and this one is as good as any, why not start the second half of the season with a win? Chiefs 35, Vikings 28
Craig Stout (@barleyhop)
Minnesota touts a good offense and a good defense. They should be able to get after Matt Moore with a strong defensive line and blitzing linebackers when the Chiefs drop back to pass. On offense, the trio of Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are all nightmare matchups for the Chiefs linebackers and secondary. It seems bleak, right? Well, the Chiefs also have a nightmare matchup on the offensive side of the ball with healthy versions of Sammy Watkins, Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman. The Chiefs short passing game should give the Vikings secondary fits and lead to big plays. The Minnesota offensive line is also weak and should allow plenty of pressure against Steve Spagnuolo’s blitz-happy unit. This Chiefs defense gets to Kirk Cousins and rattles him enough to make mistakes and help the team squeak out a home victory. Chiefs 27, Vikings 24
Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson)
It looks as though the Chiefs will be treading water again this week with the absence of Patrick Mahomes and some other key players. The defense will likely have only six healthy defensive linemen — four of them interior defensive lineman. Chris Jones is among those in the group and his return is welcome. I doubt it’s enough. The Vikings will try to wear out the front seven of the Chiefs’ defense with an exceptional running back in Dalvin Cook. The Chiefs will have to commit more into the box, and will give Kirk Cousins a chance to put the ball in the hands of playmakers like Stefon Diggs and potentially Adam Thielen. Minnesota is a bad matchup for the Chiefs. I think they head to Nashville only one game above .500. Vikings 27, Chiefs 23
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
I’m not sure we’re giving the Minnesota Vikings enough credit — and I think that is because this win feels more attainable than last week because it’s Kirk Cousins and not Aaron Rodgers. But Cousins has been outstanding lately — good enough to win October’s NFC offensive player of the month. Cousins has more weapons than Rodgers in Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, who is questionable but I expect to play. The probable returns of Kendall Fuller and Chris Jones will help, but I still wonder if Matt Moore will be able to keep up with the Vikings offense. I predict a similar result to the one against the Green Bay Packers. The Chiefs play within striking distance but cannot get it done. Vikings 31, Chiefs 23
Joel Thorman (@JoelThorman)
The Chiefs have been getting after the quarterback this week and might be getting their best defensive player back on the field against the Vikings this weekend. I see the sacks causing a bad game for Kirk Cousins. Turnovers win the day, and the Chiefs win. Chiefs 28, Vikings 23
Which team wins the Chiefs-Vikings game?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout
Chiefs in a close game
Vikings in a close game
Vikings in a blowout
Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.
Last week, the AP staff’s composite prediction of a 24.7-19.4 Packers victory was its best of the season — with only 12.5 points of error.
Seven of our contributors picked the Packers to win; three of those nailed the point spread. Pete Sweeney and Matt Stagner came closest to the mark. Pete’s 28-21 pick had just six points of error, as did Matt’s 34-24 prediction — moving both of them to the middle of the pack in the standings. Tom Childs and Ron Kopp, Jr. each had eight points of error in their 27-20 prognostications, which allowed Tom to close the gap between himself and Robert Rimpson — and Ron to move up a couple of spots.