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Arrowheadlines: The Chiefs will be three-point ‘dogs in Foxborough

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Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, December 4

NFL: JAN 20 AFC Championship Game - Patriots at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The latest

NFL Week 14 picks, odds, how to watch, stream: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs upset Patriots in Foxboro | CBS Sports

Kansas City (8-4) at New England (10-2)

4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, CBS All Access)

Point spread: Patriots -3

After being burned by the Patriots each of the past two weeks, I’m going with my gut and taking the Chiefs on the road in Foxboro. Patrick Mahomes’ track record of success against the Patriots, New England’s offensive issues and the Chiefs’ newfound ability to play defense are the three main reasons why I’m taking the Chiefs.

The pick: Chiefs 27, Patriots 24

The Chiefs reign atop the AFC West could last awhile, and they could clinch playoff berth Sunday | Kansas City Star

Among the four, the Chiefs have the least projected cap space next season, according to Spotrac, and they have contracts for impact players inching closer to expiration, though that’s at least partially a product of talented players costing money.

But their current superiority isn’t dependent on one player, or even one phase of the game. They have the quarterback. They have the potent offense. And yet they also rank 14th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA, which trails only Denver’s 12th-place ranking among AFC West teams. Kansas City is also seventh in special teams DVOA, while the remaining three rank among the bottom 10 in the league.

Running game might again be the key for Patriots vs. Chiefs | ESPN

In last season’s AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium, one of the greatest wins of the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady era, the Patriots ran the ball 48 times for 176 yards (3.7 YPC) and four touchdowns.

In the 2018 Week 6 matchup between the teams, the Patriots did similar damage: 38 carries for 173 yards (4.6 YPC) and three touchdowns.

2019 NFL playoff-clinching scenarios for Week 14 | NFL.com

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

KC win + OAK loss

2020 NFL Mock Draft: Colts take QB, Patriots target big-play WR and Cowboys find Witten’s replacement | CBS Sports

Round 1 - Pick 23

Kansas City Chiefs

Terrell Lewis EDGE

The Chiefs defense has gotten better as the season progresses but you can never have enough pass rushers. Lewis has battled through knee and elbow injuries that forced him to miss most of the previous two seasons but he’s shown in 2019 just how disruptive he can be off the edge. If he’s healthy, there’s a good chance he finds his way into Round 1.

The NFL’s Worst Divisions Since Realignment, Ranked | The Ringer

4. 2011 AFC West

Broncos, 8-8 (winner)

Chargers, 8-8

Raiders, 8-8

Chiefs, 7-9

Of course, the 2011 Broncos beat the Steelers in one of the most shocking playoff wins of the century. But how did this 8-8 team running a prehistoric offense even get there? Well, it’s because the rest of its division seemed to want nothing to do with the postseason. The Raiders also finished 8-8 in what constitutes one of their best seasons of the decade, but lost four of their final five. The Chargers—also, you guessed it, 8-8—won four of their final five, but that was after losing six consecutive games in the middle of the season. The Chiefs finished 7-9 and beat the Broncos in Week 17, but they started Cassel as QB for nine games, and we’ve already established the football gods don’t take too kindly to that.

Around the NFL

Panthers owner David Tepper on Ron Rivera firing: ‘I thought it was time’ | ESPN

“I thought it was time,’’ Tepper said. “Why specifically now is I was informed of other teams doing different types of searches out there, and I’m not going to start a search and not tell Ron Rivera I’m starting a search. Too good of a man.’’

Jerry Jones: Jason Garrett will coach in NFL next year | NFL.com

“Nobody has the exclusive skills to get the job done so that collectively you can win a Super Bowl,” Jones said, per The Athletic. “But there are qualified people. Jason Garrett is one of them. In my opinion, Jason Garrett will be coaching in the NFL next year.”

Duck Hodges will continue as Steelers QB, Mike Tomlin says | ESPN

“Going on the road is something we respect, especially when you’re working with a young QB,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “Duck will continue to be our quarterback again this week. He’s performed well in hostile environments, but he just doesn’t have a big sample size.

AFC Playoffs 2019: Ranking wild-card chances for teams still in NFL playoff hunt | CBS Sports

2. Tennessee Titans (7-5) - Prediction: No. 6 seed

The Tennessee Titans are arguably the most interesting team to watch over the course of the final month. Since naming Ryan Tannehill the starter, the club is 5-1 and just one game behind Houston for the division lead. They face them twice over the final four weeks and could very well overtake them in the AFC South with a strong month. It won’t be easy as they also face the Saints in that stretch, but they could at the very least contend to steal that final spot from the Steelers if they go .500 the rest of the way.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Let’s Argue: “The Chiefs offense is the problem — not the defense”

It’s my belief that the Chiefs defense has two responsibilities: give the offense opportunities to take (or extend the lead) — and protect the lead once it has been obtained. In my opinion, creating opportunities is especially important — and in that department, the defense has overachieved in the last few weeks.

The problem has been that the offense isn’t capitalizing on those opportunities. Over the last three games, the Chiefs defense has forced eight total turnovers. Just 24 points have been scored from those turnovers — and the offense has accounted for only 17 of them. This means that out of the seven extra opportunities they’ve had, the offense has only scored on three of them.

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