In the NFL’s Week 5, the game between Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills again failed to meet both our hopes and expectations. All but two of Arrowhead Pride’s contributors picked the Chiefs to win — although most thought it would be only a narrow victory. Our composite prediction of a 34-32 Kansas City win was way off the mark. Our readers were less confident. While almost 3 in 4 picked the Chiefs, 30% thought the Bills would win — and a third of those believed Buffalo would win comfortably.
For Week 6, the Chiefs are on the road to face the Washington Football Team. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored by 6.5 points. Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
The Chiefs will feel like they have a point to prove this Sunday. The doubts around the defense are starting to creep towards the offensive side of the ball, too — I mean, I’ve seen people throwing shade at Patrick Mahomes this week. I do expect the offense to bounce back this week and play a clean-ish game — but I’m still not expecting a lot from the defense. Chiefs 34, Washington 24
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
I’ll be honest: I’m a little shell-shocked right now. It’s getting harder and harder to know what to expect from the Chiefs each week. Still, they should be able to go on the road and beat a Washington team that barely managed wins over the Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants. The good news is that this season, head coach Ron Rivera’s squad has given up almost as many points as the Chiefs. If Kansas City can avoid turnovers, they should win this game easily. But can they? Chiefs 31, Washington 27
Talon Graff (@CoachGraff34)
The Washington Football Team is riddled with injuries, but it’s becoming really hard to count on this Chiefs team. The race to make the playoffs is underway — and Kansas City needs this win. Clyde Edwards-Helaire being out opens the door for Darrel Williams to step in. Jerick McKinnon will see increased reps as well. The passing attack needs to focus on taking what the defense gives them — and on taking care of the ball. Making sure that Chase Young is accounted for is also vital. Finally, the Chiefs can’t continue playing Dan Sorensen as much as they have been; with how many dinged-up offensive players as Washington has, the defense needs to have a good showing. Chiefs 35, Washington 28
Kristian Gumminger (@kgumminger)
I’m new to Arrowhead Pride — and Patrick Mahomes is new to having a losing record this late in the season. He hasn’t looked as sharp as we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the last three years. He’s been a little impatient in the pocket, throwing off-platform unnecessarily and not trusting anyone not named Tyreek Hill or Travis Kelce. But he still leads the league’s No. 1 offense according to DVOA — and has the highest QBR of any quarterback this season. Kansas City has flaws, but this Washington team has the worst defense of any team they’ve played this year. Mahomes is not losing to any team lead by Taylor Heinicke. The Chiefs come out angry — and on a mission — on both sides of the ball. Calling my shot: Josh Gordon gets his first touchdown as a Chief. Chiefs 35, Washington 17
Mark Gunnels (@MarkAGunnels)
In Week 5 — for the first time in the Mahomes era — the Chiefs were embarrassed without a valid excuse. In last year’s Super Bowl, everyone gave them a pass because of their depleted offensive line. But against the Bills, they were pretty much at full strength — and were just dominated. Sorry, Washington... but you’re catching this team at the wrong time — and your defense isn’t close to what it was a season ago. This is also a good spot for the Chiefs’ defense to gain some confidence against quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who will give them opportunities for turnovers. Chiefs 41, Washington 24
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
This game will represent a fork in the road for the 2021 Chiefs. You could say the same about last week, but a loss to one of the NFL’s best teams is more excusable than a loss in this spot. Washington won’t lay down; they have a sleeping beast of a defense that at any point could look like the dominant unit it was in 2020. They also have an offense that does a good job of getting the ball to their playmakers in advantageous positions. At first, I see this game being tighter than everyone would like — but in the second half, the Chiefs’ offense will pull away. The defense forces two turnovers to help seal the deal. Chiefs 37, Washington 27
Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)
I’ve picked the Chiefs to win every game this year. Heck, I’ve picked the Chiefs to cover every game this year. So why stop now? I don’t believe the Washington Football Team is as good as their record indicates. Washington had very high hopes for their defense. Instead, they are allowing 31 points per game. And this is a team that has played the Falcons, Giants and New Orleans Saints — which are not exactly offensive powerhouses. Regardless of how bad the Kansas City defense has been, I don’t think that a Taylor Heinicke-led offense has the firepower to hang with Mahomes and his teammates. In the second half against the Bills, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo started blitzing six or seven people to bring pressure on Josh Allen — and it worked. On Sunday, I think he does it right off the bat, trying to shake Heinicke off his game and force a mistake. The Chiefs will win this one by more than 10 points. Chiefs 38, Washington 27
Kramer Sansone (@KramerTalks)
This is not going to be a for-sure win for either team. I do have some concern for the Chiefs’ defense trying to stop wide receiver Terry McLaurin — and if running back Antonio Gibson plays, he would be hard to stop as well. [Editor’s Note: both players are listed as questionable for the game.] I will admit the Washington defense is not what we expect it to be, so the Chiefs offense should be able to fire on all cylinders — pending the pass rush of Washington defensive linemen Chase Young and Montez Sweat. If Lucas Niang and Orlando Brown Jr. can be a wall that does not allow pressure, the Chiefs should be able to win this game. Also, you have to go back to 2018 for the last time the Chiefs lost a home game and then went on the road and lost. It should be an enjoyable game that will come down to the wire. Chiefs 30, Washington 28
Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)
Making predictions for the Chiefs has become a frustrating practice. This is not a game to overthink: despite having the same 2-3 record, the Chiefs are simply a much better squad than the Washington Football Team. Both defenses appear to be hemorrhaging big plays through the first part of the season — but Washington almost certainly lacks the firepower to win a shoot-out against Mahomes. Expect the Chiefs offense to look more on track this week, with Josh Gordon taking on a larger role in his second game. The defense will play better situationally — but will still give up more yardage than should be expected to a team led by Taylor Heinicke. As with almost every Kansas City game, I predict a late Washington score will make this game appear closer than it truly was. Chiefs 38, Washington 30
Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)
There is a popular theme of doubt in this week's Arrowhead Pride predictions. I totally understand that. It seems foolish to keep picking the Chiefs to win when I’ve been wrong 60% of the time through five weeks. This isn’t a get-right game, because the way this team is currently constructed, I don’t know if there’s a way to do a total fix — but even at 2-3, it is a superior team. Add in the fact that the Washington defense is drastically underperforming this season and it’s all a recipe for the Chiefs offense to at least bounce back after Sunday's disappointing performance. Chiefs 35, Washington 24
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
At this point, who can actually predict the outcome of a Chiefs game? My confidence in my predictions is similar to my confidence in Daniel Sorensen. The Chiefs need to take this opportunity to get right: to build upon the defense’s success in the second half of the Bills game and to get the offense back on track. If this team is going to be who we thought they would be, the defense will have to force some turnovers — and the offense will have to get back to the machine-like efficiency we saw against the Eagles. This could be a breakout game for Josh Gordon and Jerick McKinnon, transforming the offense and the team’s fortunes. But who knows if they will actually be able to accomplish such a turnaround on Sunday? I don’t pretend to know, but I do believe that the Chiefs are the better team — and that in this game, it should be pretty apparent. Chiefs 45, Washington 35
Bryan Stewart (@BryanStewart_)
The injury report heading into this game will impact a lot of the thoughts I have regarding this matchup. However, if roughly the same group of players suit up for the Chiefs as those who did against Buffalo, I do think they take a step in the right direction with a victory. First, I suspect we see some defensive lineup changes. Regardless, I expect Spagnuolo to be highly aggressive with pressures — while simplifying the responsibilities of the defenders on the back end. Washington will start Taylor Heinicke — a younger, inexperienced quarterback — against whom the Chiefs will need to create pressure early and often. Offensively, Travis Kelce will post a big stat line for the first time in a few weeks, while Mahomes tries to clean up his decision-making process. I’ve got Chiefs 35, Washington 24
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
After losing to three surefire playoff teams in their last four games, this feels like a get-right week for Kansas City. But it is difficult to be sure about anything with this team anymore. I think the offense cleans up the turnovers and builds on the 30.8 points per game it's scoring. The Chiefs' defense gets a boost as Frank Clark and Willie Gay continue to get healthier — and there’s a potential lineup change at free safety. Washington hangs around until midway through the third quarter, but then the Chiefs will pull away. Chiefs 37, Washington 24
Ethan Willinger (@ecwillinger)
This game will feature two teams that depend on offensive production to overcome shortcomings on the other side of the ball. Although Washington’s defense has struggled as a unit, it has the personnel to execute the “never blitz Mahomes” game plan; its defensive line is talented enough to generate pressure independently. The Chiefs will once again need to be methodical on offense, running the football and executing in the short-to-intermediate passing game. I believe the offense will do just that — and after lulling Washington’s secondary into a false sense of security, the unit will start to see success pushing the ball down the field. I wouldn’t be shocked if Kansas City’s defense takes a small step out of the basement — but at this point in the season, I’ll believe it when I see it. Mahomes outguns Heinicke. Chiefs 38, Washington 27
Which team wins Chiefs (2-3) at Washington (2-3)?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout (14 or more points)
Chiefs in an easy win (8-13 points)
Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
Washington in a close game
Washington in an easy win
Washington in a blowout
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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.
Among the staff in Week 5, Kramer Sansone’s prediction of a 34-21 Buffalo victory was the closest with only 10 points of error. Tom Childs also picked the Bills to win, nailing the point spread with a 53-41 prognostication. Tom now has a firm grip on the top spot in our standings — and Kramer has jumped into second place.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.