Into the Home Stretch for the Kansas City Chiefs
December's schedule favors the Kansas City Chiefs. Three out of their last four games at home. The next game features the Baltimore Ravens. They've won three in a row and are very much in the hunt for a playoff berth. They can also catch--and pass-- the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North if the Steelers insist on playing like they did Sunday night.
As far as Sunday's game is concerned; new Ravens starting QB Lamar Johnson is an Arrowhead first timer. First time starters tend to have trouble at Arrowhead. Chiefs defense has it's problems, but putting pressure on the quarterbacks isn't one of them. The key is to keep Johnson from breaking out and gaining ground on the run.
Elsewhere in the AFC playoff race on Sunday....
I'll pay attention to the LA Chargers and Cincinnati. Chargers escaped a 23-7 hole in Pittsburgh last Sunday night when the Steelers refused delivery on a game killing interception. Philip River was being Philip Rivers but the Steelers let him off the hook. Two defensive backs missed and the result was a Charger touchdown. Pittsburgh then allowed a punt return touchdown to really swing the momentum to the Chargers.
Cincinnati is banged up and is a mess, but they do have a knack for bad surprises.
Elsewhere in the AFC West, Denver is at San Francisco. The Broncos are playing well. Wouldn't surprise me if they catch--and pass--the Chargers. Broncos already have one win over the Bolts and the regular season schedule ends with the Chargers in the cold in Denver.
Watch for upsets as the Patriots visit Miami and with Indianapolis at Houston. Indy got shut out by Jacksonville last weekend as the Jags turned back the clock a year.
Sunday night brings the LA Rams at Chicago. The NFL and television moved the game from a noon kickoff to Sunday night to accommodate national television. The original schedule had the Steelers and Raiders in prime time. The NFL was wise in moving that stinker out of the national spotlight. I expect a Bears win. Cold temperatures and Californians don't always mix well in football. The Bears defense is solid. Rams had trouble containing the Chiefs pass rush a couple weeks ago. The Bears present a similar set of problems. And the Bears secondary is better than what the Chiefs fielded in LA.