All but one member of the Arrowhead Pride staff picked the Kansas City Chiefs over the Las Vegas last Sunday — but we all vastly underrated the point spread. Our composite prediction of a 26-22 Kansas City victory was nowhere close to the 41-14 final score. Our readers, however, had a different view. A little less than half predicted a close Chiefs win, while the rest were evenly split between predicting an easy Kansas City win — or a Raiders victory.
In Week 11, the Chiefs face the Dallas Cowboys at Arrowhead Stadium. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored by 2.5 points. Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
I’ve had this game highlighted as a potential game of the year ever since the schedule was released — but I’ll not lie: I was worried for this particular matchup a few weeks ago. Luckily for the neutral, both teams have rounded out into some nice form of late and are both coming off their most dominant wins of the season. If I am being honest, my prediction for a Kansas City win on this week’s Great British Chiefs Show was through rose-tinted glasses. But with the Cowboys losing star receiver Amari Cooper to the COVID list, then all of a sudden my prediction is coming from the brain and not the heart. Chiefs 37, Cowboys 34
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
If I were totally convinced that the Kansas City offense would repeat its Week 10 performance against the Las Vegas Raiders, I’d pick the Chiefs to win this game. I’d also do it if I were completely persuaded that the team’s defensive performance during the last three weeks is more a result of its ability than a reflection of the offenses it faced. Unfortunately, I am not yet convinced. All it will take for me to get there, however, is for the Chiefs to win this game convincingly. Please make it so, Chiefs — but until you do, I have no choice. Cowboys 28, Chiefs 24
Talon Graff (@CoachGraff34)
The Chiefs have bounced back nicely and are right back on top of the AFC West. Their own fate now lies mostly in their hands. Dallas is the toughest matchup remaining on the schedule — and they are dynamic on the offensive side of the ball. The running game led by Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard will need to be kept in check. CeeDee Lamb leads a talented receiving group — and of course, Dak Prescott has been phenomenal. The Chiefs’ defense will get a chance to prove they have turned a corner. Cowboys rookie defender Micah Parsons does a little bit of everything for the Dallas front seven; the Kansas City offensive line cannot allow him or Randy Gregory to get to Mahomes. The Chiefs’ offense could exploit a Dallas pass defense — but beware of Trevon Diggs and his eight interceptions. Cowboys 38, Chiefs 31
Kristian Gumminger (@kgumminger)
The stakes in this game couldn’t be any bigger. The Chiefs are 2-4 against teams with winning records — with those wins coming against the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers and the Raiders last week. The Cowboys come in boasting the league’s top offense, led by MVP candidate Dak Prescott, defensive player of the year candidate Trevon Diggs and defensive rookie of the year candidate Micah Parsons. Even at home, this will be a tough test for the Chiefs — and a win would make them true Super Bowl contenders. For me, the key matchup is the Kansas City offensive line against Dallas’ defensive pressure. Defensive standouts DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are both on injured reserve. Dan Quinn’s unit likes to bring manufactured pressure to hurry up the quarterback; just last week, the Cowboys blitzed on one-third of Matt Ryan’s dropbacks, resulting in a 25% completion rate, 21 passing yards and an interception. If the Chiefs offensive line can hold up against the depleted Cowboys’ front, does Quinn blitz — something every other team has been afraid to do against Patrick Mahomes? On the back end, the Cowboys’ defense plays a decent amount of man coverage that the Chiefs could exploit. Trevon Diggs is playing an aggressive, confident brand of football — but if the Chiefs are able to hit a deep throw from a double move, his aggression could be used against him. This is going to be a tough, back-and-forth game. I tend to believe that the Chiefs’ swagger is back — and that when it matters, Mahomes will make the big play. Chiefs 31, Cowboys 30.
Mark Gunnels (@MarkAGunnels)
Remember the classic Chiefs-Rams game from 2018? I’m getting similar vibes here. Both offenses scored more than 40 points last week — and this Sunday in Arrowhead, I think we’ll see more of the same. The Cowboys present a very balanced attack, while Patrick Mahomes finally showed patience by taking what the defense was giving him. This game will come down to which defense can get key stops. It’s a coin flip, but I’m leaning towards the home team. Chiefs 41, Cowboys 34
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
Against the Raiders, the Chiefs’ offense clicked — and against a Cowboys defense with a similar coverage philosophy, I believe we’ll see that carry over. Because of injuries to two of their best defensive linemen, Dallas will lack pass rush — and Kansas City will be able to take advantage. But the Dallas offense will be a nightmare for the surging Chiefs defense. In an exciting, high-scoring affair, I saw the Cowboys’ attack being too much to overcome — until the news that Amari Cooper will miss the game. Cooper hasn’t missed a game since he was traded to Dallas three years ago. I believe that takes their offense out of rhythm enough for the Chiefs to outlast them. Chiefs 34, Cowboys 28
Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)
Saying this could be a preview of the Super Bowl is a worn-out sports trope. But if the Chiefs find a way to win this game, this could definitely be a preview of the Super Bowl. The Cowboys' offense is clicking on all cylinders right now. Dallas is deep at wide receiver, but Amani Cooper’s absence just might make a difference. The Cowboys are at their best when Ezekiel Elliot is a compliment to their explosive offense. The Chiefs are coming off an impressive victory where they put the pedal to the metal for all four quarters. They will need to play even better to beat the Cowboys. This game should be a fun-to-watch slugfest — but do the Chiefs have enough juice to come out on top? I think they do. Chiefs 34, Cowboys 31
Kramer Sansone (@KramerTalks)
The Chiefs looked impressive last week against the Raiders — but I am going to be the person to say they are not fully back. We all know the Chiefs are a pass-first offense — but regardless of whether Clyde Edwards-Heliare plays, I want to see more out of the running game. The Chiefs’ defense is going to need to step up against the ground game with Ezekiel Elliott. Teams are still playing the Chiefs as if they need to pass every time. Granted, the Cowboys can be a pass-first team; I can see them splitting between passing and running plays. Their offense can be dangerous. But on this one, I am siding with the Chiefs. If they win, I can officially say they are back to full strength. Chiefs 34, Cowboys 31
Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)
This is a very difficult matchup to predict. Both teams are coming off dominant performances — and in recent memory, both were dominated in losses. While almost universally predicted to be a shootout, I expect the game to have somewhat lower scoring because both offenses will be prioritizing time of possession to keep their opponent off the field. While the Kansas City running game is not even on the same planet as the one featuring Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, they should have a chance to run the ball to extend drives — especially if Clyde Edwards-Helaire returns. The Cowboys’ weakness is the middle of their defense — especially if injuries force Micah Parsons to spend much of the game as an edge rusher. The interior of the Chiefs offensive line should be able to open some nice holes in the running game and for screens. An opportunistic Cowboys secondary will also make an ill-advised interception attempt that will lead to a long Tyreek Hill touchdown. I am going to pick the Chiefs, but this could be the winning score for either team. Chiefs 31, Cowboys 27
Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)
This game doesn't really have playoff implications for the Chiefs — but it’s still one of their most important contests this season. The Raiders game was needed to show that when they have to turn things on, the Chiefs can still do it. This game is about convincing the NFL that the two-time defending AFC Champions are still a Super Bowl-caliber football team. It’s undoubtedly their toughest test of the season — and screams an offensive explosion like the 2018 matchup between the Chiefs and Rams. Both teams have playmakers on defense, but neither unit puts fear in your heart. In this game, it’s all about touchdowns — until it comes down to a last-second field goal. Chiefs 41, Cowboys 38
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
We’ve seen all of the stories. The Chiefs — and Patrick Mahomes — are “back.” Now that they’ve defeated the Raiders, returned to the top of the AFC West and appear to have their confidence back, all is right with the world. Most importantly, the win in Las Vegas looked easier (and more fun) than any game yet this season. The hope is that it’s the start of a new trend for the second half of the season — and that it’s a precursor to another Super Bowl run. But there won’t be much time to enjoy this turnaround, because the Cowboys are coming to town for what could be the most difficult matchup of the season. If they beat the Cowboys, it’s all-systems-go for the Chiefs. But if they stumble, doubts will be back in full force. Going into the bye week, the team has the opportunity to get on a serious roll — but the Cowboys have an opportunistic defense and a dynamic offense, so they won’t go quietly. The improved Chiefs defense will have their hands full with Ezekiel Elliott and CeeDee Lamb, so a step back — and a shootout — should be expected. As usual, though, the Chiefs will live or die by Mahomes’ play — and I’m not betting against the best player in the league. Look for another big game from the MVP, distributing the ball all over the field. This could be a fun one. Chiefs 42, Cowboys 35
Bryan Stewart (@BryanStewart_)
Kansas City’s biggest regular-season game? Right now, it feels like it. But for all of the talent the Cowboys possess — especially on offense — I have a good gut feeling about this matchup. I think this will be one of those games we see each year where Andy Reid is totally on his A game — and even though Dallas will likely score their fair share, it won’t be enough to overcome the palpable energy flowing through Arrowhead Stadium. On Sunday afternoon, the Chiefs officially welcome themselves back into the Super Bowl conversation. Chiefs 33, Cowboys 26
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
In my mind, this matchup between the Chiefs and Cowboys had all the makings of a first team-to-40 game; the last team with the ball would finish the job. The Cowboys have been solid all year — sans a dud against the Denver Broncos two weeks ago — and against the Raiders on Sunday Night Football, the Chiefs looked like those Chiefs. Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper being ruled out for the game on Friday tips what was a close-to-even scale in favor of Kansas City. The Chiefs have shown the ability to curb an opposing team’s top receiver (see the outputs of Keenan Allen, Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams) but with two top-caliber options in Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, I wondered how the Chiefs would handle it. Now, I suspect will be the Lamb Show — sprinkled with some Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz— with the Cowboys leaning more on their running game. If the Chiefs offense looks as it did last week, it may be able to run away. It’s a lot of ifs — but given the late scratch, I’m once again siding with Kansas City. Chiefs 40, Cowboys 32
Ethan Willinger (@ecwillinger)
Amari Cooper’s absence complicates the prediction a bit. He commands a ton of double teams, which helps the Cowboys dice up defenses elsewhere. However, Dallas is one of the best-equipped teams in the NFL to deal with such an absence. Versatility is what makes the Cowboys’ offense potent — and I suspect we’ll see a lot of it on Sunday. They still have enough talent to spread out the Chiefs, but the Cowboys love to run and pass in multiple tight-end sets as well. With Prescott running the offense, the Cowboys have been able to adjust to the defense and transition between looks rather seamlessly. On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs should be able to drive against the Cowboys’ defense. However, to throw off the timing of Kansas City’s offense, I think Dan Quinn will prioritize slowing down Kelce at the line of scrimmage — which the Packers and Raiders failed to accomplish. A big play by either team can flip this game. I’ll take the Cowboys in a close one. Cowboys 34, Chiefs 31
Which team wins Cowboys (7-2) at Chiefs (6-4)?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout (14 points or more)
Chiefs in an easy win (8-13 points)
Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
Cowboys in a close game
Cowboys in an easy win
Cowboys in a blowout
|10||10||Ron Kopp Jr.||6||4||0.6000||34.2|
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.
In Week 10, Talon Graff not only predicted the Chiefs would win, but came closest to forseeing the big point spread. Still, his 31-17 pick carried 26 points of error. Bryan Stewart had the next-best pick. His call for a 27-17 Chiefs win was off by 34 points. As the only AP staffer to pick the Raiders, Kramer Sansone fell out of the top tier of the standings, leaving Tom Childs alone at the summit. Meanwhile, Talon’s pick allowed him to leapfrog into a tie for fourth place.