Buffalo at Kansas City
Sunday, 10 am PT - CBS
CRIS Opener: Kansas City -10 O/U 47
CRIS Current: Kansas City -9.5 O/U 47
Let’s start with this: I don’t trust this Chiefs defense one iota, certainly not enough to lay double digits with Kansas City this week. KC has gone 1-4 SU since their 5-0 start because they haven’t been able to stop anybody. A struggling Raiders offense that hadn’t worked in more than a month picked apart the KC pass defense to the tune of 417 yards and 31 points. The following week, Oakland was shut down again. Then a Broncos team with no passing game whatsoever and an injury riddled, struggling offensive line run the ball all night against the Chiefs; to the tune of 5.7 yards per carry, 177 yards on the ground. The following week, Denver’s offense couldn’t move the football.
The Chiefs faced Dallas right before their bye. It was more of the same: four TD’s in four red zone tries behind a balanced attack. Their performance last week after the bye was better, but it came against a Giants offense that’s been broken since Week 1 – heck, the defense-less Redskins held the Giants without a first down in the second half on Thanksgiving. From a yards-per-play standpoint, KC is tied for #28 in the NFL on defense; not a trustworthy squad in this pointspread range.
This quote from Chiefs pro bowl tight end Travis Kelce really stood out to me last week. A subtle shot at the coaching staff, perhaps? “Teams are running Cover 2. Until we can beat Cover 2, both in the run game and in the pass game, we're going to struggle." The Chiefs rank #30 in red zone touchdown percentage on offense, doing what Andy Reid’s teams tend to do – settle for field goals. That’s a big part of the reason why the last time Andy Reid covered a pointspread as a favorite of more than a touchdown came back in 2014.
Tyrod Taylor might have lost his head coach, but he hasn’t lost that locker room. I’m expecting the Bills to come out with a real chip on their collective shoulders this week off the Nathan Peterman debacle in LA last Sunday. LeSean McCoy should have all kinds of room to run against a KC defense that’s allowing a whopping 4.6 yards per carry –a bottom five run defense.
And the Bills banged up receiving corps might not be as decimated as originally thought. WR’s Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews and Deonte Thompson, along with TE Charles Clay are all listed as questionable on Sunday. Head coach Sean McDermott: “We’ve got some guys knicked up, but we feel confident in, number one, their abilities and then they’re working through some of those bumps and bruises. Those are all part of what happens this time of the year." Read between the lines of that quote and we can expect the Bills to field a near full complement of receivers on Sunday in a game they’ve got a shot to win outright.