With Sunday’s victory over Denver, the Chiefs improved to 31-4 against AFC West opponents since 2015. According to NFL Research, that’s the best divisional record of any team in a six-year span since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
That means not even the Patriots — who have won the AFC East 16 out of the last 17 years — had a better six-year divisional record than what the Chiefs are doing right now.
Chiefs at Dolphins: Betting odds, spread and line
Money line: Chiefs -334
Against the spread: Chiefs -7, Dolphins +7,
ATS: Chiefs 6-6 | Dolphins 9-3 O/U: Chiefs 5-7 | Dolphins 4-8
Lock of the Week that’s not actually a lock
Kansas City (11-1) at Miami (8-4)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Picking the Chiefs to cover against an 8-4 team might not seem like a smart pick, but I’m throwing smart out the window because all smart has gotten me is 0-7 against the spread since the start of November. Anyway, if you’ve watched the Dolphins defense play over the past three weeks, they’ve been absolutely dominating their opponents. Of course, the last three quarterbacks they’ve faced are Drew Lock, Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen, who are three quarterbacks that I’m pretty sure any team could dominate. Facing Patrick Mahomes is going to be a shock to their system, kind of like eating a vegetable after eight straight days of only eating Twinkies. Trust me, that doesn’t feel good on your system and facing Mahomes won’t feel good for the Dolphins.
Although the Dolphins have been good on defense, I don’t think they’re going to be able to slow down Mahomes, which is going to be a problem, because I don’t think Miami’s offense has the firepower to keep up in a shootout.
The pick: Chiefs 30-20 over Dolphins
Lock of the week record: 12-3 straight up, 6-9 against the spread
2013 — Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid and Alex Smith were having beautiful renaissance seasons after being run out of Philadelphia and San Francisco respectively. Kansas City took their first loss at the Denver Broncos after a 9-0 start, and then lost to the Indianapolis Colts on the road in the wild-card.
The Top Shelf
1. Kansas City Chiefs (11-1)
2. New Orleans Saints (10-2)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1)
4. Buffalo Bills (9-3)
5. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
Patrick Mahomes keeps doing Patrick Mahomes things.
I realize it’s become almost banal to celebrate the three or four absurdly difficult throws that Mahomes manages to pull out of his ass each and every week, but I’m going to keep reminding anyone who will listen that we’re witnessing the prime years of a quarterback who’s going to go down as one of the all-time best to play the game. Mahomes’s rare skill set was on full display in the Chiefs’ 22-16 win over the Broncos on Sunday Night Football, a game in which the MVP front-runner’s final stat line (318 yards, one touchdown) belied a far more jaw-dropping performance: As Ringer colleague Kaelen Jones pointed out after the game, Mahomes not only led Kansas City to a playoff-clinching 11th win on the year, but did it in his own signature style by sprinkling in a few requisite across-the-body jump-throws and sidearm tosses.
Kansas City Chiefs AT New Orleans Saints
Sun., Dec. 20, 4:25 p.m. ET | CBS
Five days before Christmas, one of the NFL’s superpowers will take a big hit to its bid for home-field advantage. This game will provide an excellent test of just how much better the Saints’ defense is playing and how much better the Saints’ offense is with Drew Brees under center, assuming he’s back. New Orleans’ offensive line and Alvin Kamara will also provide a stern test for a Chiefs defensive front that has played softer than coordinator Steve Spagnuolo would surely like as of late. There’s no game on the schedule that is more likely to be a Super Bowl preview.
Gregory Rousseau EDGE
Rousseau, who opted out before the season, came out of nowhere in 2019, logging 15.5 sacks for the Hurricanes. He’s new to the position but there’s a lot to work with and he’d give Kansas City a much-needed spark off the edge.
30. Kansas City Chiefs – Jayson Oweh, Edge, Penn State (NR)
2020 season stats: 1 pass defended, 38 total tackles
2019 season stats: 5.0 sacks, 2.0 fumbles forced, 21 total tackles
The Nittany Lions stink this season, and Oweh is not having an impact, but he’s going to test off the charts at the Combine, and he’ll instantly help the Chiefs bolster their front four.
Around the NFL
“It’s so frustrating,” Minshew said. “I pretty much went and begged before the Cleveland game to be able to play. It sucks, you know, There’s no way around it.
“I want to be out there. I want to be helping our team, but if helping our team is me being the best No. 2 I can be then that’s what I’ve got to do right now.”
Baltimore Ravens 34, Dallas Cowboys 17
1) In his return to the field after missing a game and multiple practices due to a positive COVID-19 test, Lamar Jackson got off to a bit of a slow start. But the man has catch-up speed. Bursting through on a first-quarter, fourth-down call for a 37-yard touchdown a drive after throwing an interception, Jackson put the Ravens ahead and looked to be back at full strength and full speed. Jackson often looked to be the fastest guy on the field as he galloped past flat-footed Cowboys. On the evening, he had three touchdowns, two through the air along with 107 yards on 12-of-17 passing and the aforementioned one on the ground that went with 94 yards on 13 carries. He was dazzling for much of the game and was the catalyst for a Ravens rushing attack that rolled over the Cowboys. Though Jackson has hardly looked like his 2019 MVP self in 2020, he flashed that form on a terrific Tuesday. This was a big game for Baltimore and Jackson stepped up and led his Ravens (7-5) to victory.
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
Winning the West
A week ago, Kansas City’s magic number was two. That’s the number of Chiefs wins (or Raiders losses) required to clinch the division. With Kansas City’s win (and the Raiders’ last-second win over the Jets) the magic number is one. So now, it’s simple. With a win against the Dolphins on Sunday — or a Raiders loss to the Indianapolis Colts — the Chiefs will lock up the division title and play at least one postseason game at Arrowhead.
Getting a first-round bye
Thank you, Alex Smith!
On Monday, the former Chiefs quarterback helped his creatively-named Washington Football Team hand the Steelers their first loss of the season. That’s the main reason the Chiefs’ chance to win a first-round bye has increased from 44% a week ago to 54% today. By itself, a Kansas City win against Miami on Sunday will increase that probability to 67%. If that’s coupled with a Pittsburgh loss to the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City’s chance rises to 87%. But should the Steelers win in Buffalo, it drops to 42%.