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Chiefs vs. Lions: Game and score predictions

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The AP Staff has weighed in on Chiefs-Lions.

Kansas City Chiefs v Detroit Lions Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

For the third consecutive week, the staff was united: everyone correctly picked the Kansas City Chiefs to defeat the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday in Arrowhead Stadium. Arrowhead Pride readers did pretty well in our poll, too — 91% picked the Chiefs to win, while 63% thought it would be a close game.

In Week 4, the Chiefs play the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Let’s see what the staff (and our readers) think this time.


Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)

This game will bring back fond memories for Chiefs fan across Europe. Back in 2015, the Chiefs and Lions met in London in what was expected to be a very close affair. What followed was total domination by the Chiefs. Fast forward to this week and you have to say that domination by the Chiefs offense is far more likely than a close game. The Lions will simply not be able to keep up with the Chiefs offense, so I’m going for a repeat of 2015. Chiefs 45, Lions 10

John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)

I can’t see this as a repeat of the 2015 game in Wembley Stadium. The Lions have shown they can play a good team close — and I think it’s a mistake to underestimate them. Matt Patricia no longer has Bill Belichick picking his roster — and it shows — but there’s a reason he was the Patriots’ defensive coordinator for six seasons before becoming head coach of the Lions. And at 31, Lions quarterback Matt Stafford is still a dangerous opponent. Dustin Colquitt will get in a little work, but the Chiefs will still do what they do: win the games they’re supposed to win. Chiefs 31, Lions 24

Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)

I don’t think anyone saw the Lions game on the schedule and thought they’d be unbeaten, but here we are. The game will be indoors — and will be the first time for this Mahomes-led offense. The removal of weather conditions should only boost the speed of Hardman and Watkins and the deep passing ability of Mahomes. This offense is going to continue its dominance and will be aided by a few Detroit injuries — including a hamstring issue for star cornerback Darius Slay that may limit him. I think it may be a shootout due to the Chiefs corners possibly having trouble containing receivers Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay, but the Chiefs offense will be too much for it to affect the result. Chiefs 48, Lions 28

Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina)

Not many would have picked the Lions-Chiefs matchup to be lone game featuring two undefeated teams to start the year, yet here we sit. The Lions are a tough, physical team that isn’t afraid to grind out a game and win dirty, but the Chiefs are such a good team that the Lions won’t be able to turn it into a back-alley brawl. When the Lions have the ball, they will certainly look to attack the Chiefs’ rush defense behind a physical offensive line, then pair it with over-the-top play-action passes. The Lions starting wide receivers — Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones — are very competent working downfield, whereas the Chiefs outside cornerbacks have shown their struggles in that area. When the Chiefs have the ball, they will look to continue doing whatever they please against opposing defenses with the main concern being the power and multiplicity of the Lions defensive line. It might be difficult for Sammy Watkins to get loose against Darius Slay, but Demarcus Robinson is turning into a dangerous weapon and Robinson, combined with Mecole Hardman, should really strain the rest of the Lions secondary. Chiefs 38, Lions 20

Robert Rimpson (@RRimpsanity)

I think we have a good idea of what to expect from the Chiefs on Sundays. I expect big plays from Detroit’s best players, a big receiving day from Kenny Golladay and possibly an interception for Darius Slay. I expect an even bigger day from the Chiefs best playmakers on offense. The D-line will dominate once again, and the Chiefs will explode early and coast out the rest of the game. My one question mark is how good Kansas City’s run defense is going to be, and facing a team like the Lions on the road will go a long way in answering those questions. Chiefs 35, Lions 10

Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)

After some difficult, physical, contentious games in the first three weeks, I imagine the Chiefs are looking forward to their trip to Motown. The Lions may try a ball-control offense against the Chiefs, but when Mahomes is playing indoors with the speed KC has on offense, it might not matter. This team can strike quickly and often. I would anticipate a big lead and some coasting. Frank Clark will get another sack or two, the defense will force two turnovers, and the best QB/play-caller duo in the NFL will put on a show. Chiefs 45, Lions 17

Craig Stout (@barleyhop)

The Lions aren’t the pushover that some have made them out to be, as their victory over the Philadelphia Eagles showed this past week. They’ll come out and run the ball to try to gash the Chiefs defense and keep Patrick Mahomes on the sidelines. Unfortunately, killing the clock only works if you’re able to keep the opposition from scoring, which the Lions will struggle to do against Mahomes. His first game in a dome turns into a track meet early and takes the Lions’ running game out of the equation. Spagnuolo tees off against a less mobile quarterback and forces inaccurate throws that end drives and allow Mahomes to build a big lead. Chiefs 38, Lions 21

Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson)

That’s it. That’s the prediction. Chiefs 41, Lions 20

Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)

Even without Tyreek Hill, the Kansas City Chiefs have already had their way with some of the best defensive minds in the NFL early on this season. As much respect as I have for Matt Patricia, I think Patrick Mahomes is once again too much, and in this game, the Chiefs’ scoring starts in the first quarter as opposed to the second. I think the Chiefs find the end zone on the first three possessions, making the Lions one-dimensional for most of the game, and the Chiefs defense finally clicks on all cylinders. It is an absolute rout in Detroit. Chiefs 48, Lions 17

Joel Thorman (@JoelThorman)

The most shocking part of this game is that the Chiefs are only 6.5-point favorites. This isn’t betting advice, but you should take the Chiefs! I think the dome angle is a little overblown for Mahomes, who will show out anywhere. But I’m still expecting the Chiefs’ usual 30-40 points. Look for a classic Big Red game where the Chiefs get up big early, sit on the lead with the final score making it seem closer than it was. Chiefs 35, Lions 27

Poll

Who wins the Chiefs-Lions game?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Chiefs in a blowout
    (2030 votes)
  • 30%
    Chiefs in a close game
    (926 votes)
  • 2%
    Lions in a close game
    (85 votes)
  • 1%
    Lions in a blowout
    (38 votes)
3079 votes total Vote Now

2019 Standings

Rnk LW Staffer W L Pct Error
1 1 Matt Lane 3 0 1.0000 11.3
2 2 John Dixon 3 0 1.0000 17.3
3 7 Robert Rimpson 3 0 1.0000 22.0
4 5 Ron Kopp 3 0 1.0000 23.3
4 8 Joel Thorman 3 0 1.0000 23.3
6 5 Pete Sweeney 3 0 1.0000 24.7
7 3 Kent Swanson 3 0 1.0000 25.3
7 3 Craig Stout 3 0 1.0000 25.3
9 10 Matt Stagner 3 0 1.0000 28.7
10 9 Tom Childs 3 0 1.0000 40.7

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.

For the Ravens game, the cumulative staff prediction was Chiefs 33.5, Ravens 21.5. Since the final score was 33-28, the staff pretty much nailed the Chiefs’ scoring output but underestimated the Ravens by about a touchdown.

None of the staff got the point spread right last week, but three of the predictions were remarkably close. Matt Lane and Joel Thorman each had only four points of error in their predictions of 31-27 and 34-30. Robert Rimpson was just eight points off with his 30-24 prognostication. That kept Matt in the lead, and moved both Joel and Robert up substantially in the standings.