January Eve?

NFC Game Of The Week

Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks

Chiefs: That was a tough loss for them last week against the Chargers. There’s no excuse whatsoever because when you’re up by double digits in the fourth quarter, you keep your foot on the gas pedal and you accelerate but they lost control of the wheel. Let’s also put this loss more into perspective because the Chargers were without their top two running backs nor did they have their top receiver, Keenan Allen. Here I am thinking with Eric Berry returning to the lineup, the defense would feed off his return and they’d finally step it up. The Kansas City Chiefs have been cruising throughout the year with one of the top records in the league, an offense that has been lighting up the scoreboard up on a weekly basis and the arguable front-runner for league MVP in Patrick Mahomes. If they win that game in week 15, everything is wrapped up for them and the road to Atlanta in the AFC travels through Arrowhead. There’s nothing like homefield advantage in this game because you never have to leave home, so teams come to you for a playoff game, you can keep your routine the same so schedules don’t have to change and the only time you’d leave home is if you make the Super Bowl. The Chiefs are like a basketball team on the football field along with the comparisons to a pure scorer on the hardwood. What I mean by that is I can automatically pencil them in to score at least 24 points each game. Now, Mahomes is the leader of the MVP race. He’s done so much and has really put the Chiefs in a great position all throughout the year. They’ll make another trip to the West Coast for a marquee showdown with the Seahawks.

Seahawks: Let me explain just how crazy these division games can be. It doesn’t matter what the teams records maybe at that moment, divisional showdowns are always crucial, especially at the end of the year when one team is in the hunt for a playoff spot and the other is simply playing for pride along with trying to be a spoiler. The Seattle Seahawks got everything they could handle from the 49ers and lost a close game to snap their winning streak. I didn’t know what to expect from them this year especially after deciding not to resign Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor retiring. They’ve done well this year with everything they’ve had around them and are sitting at the fifth seed in the NFC playoff picture. The key to the Seahawks success has always been running the football. Remember the days when they were the team to beat in the NFC? What was their formula? Playing physical defense, Russell Wilson just having to manage the clock and running the football. Now, they still play great defense, Russell is a playmaker that can take the game into his own hands and they’re back to pounding the rock to control the clock. This is when they are at their best and when they run the football as consistently as they can, that opens their passing game. As a defense, they still do it all. They can rush the passer, they get to their gaps and lanes to make finishes and they’re all quick to pursue the football. This is a team that the other NFC clubs should be worried about facing in January because they have experience and they’re built to win when it matters A win on Sunday night against Kansas City would clinch a playoff spot for the Seahawks.

Chiefs Player To Watch: Chris Conley– He does a lot of their damage underneath with his crossing routes. With his speed, he can turn a short yardage play into six points. He’s a threat on third down situations, he can stretch the field vertically and he’s a playmaker that wants the football.

Seahawks Player To Watch: Chris Carson– What’s the formula for keeping a hot offense off the field? Running the ball to control the clock and keep them on the sidelines. That’s where Chris will come in handy. He’s been their most consistent running back since Marshawn Lynch.

Final Analysis: What a matchup this is. This features two of the more elusive quarterbacks in the league facing off. You have the veteran Russell Wilson who displays great footwork when extending plays then you have the guy who’s taken the league by storm, Patrick Mahomes. If there’s a team that can really bring that physicality against this Chiefs offense, it’s the Seahawks. Then again, the Chiefs were able to survive the Ravens number one defense a few weeks ago. This game will come down to who runs the football better. The Chiefs offense must sustain those longer drives to take some pressure off the defense. If I’m Seattle, I’m trying everything to confuse Mahomes. I’d always keep a safety deep or you could load your safeties in the box, drop them back into coverage when the ball is snapped to confuse him. The Chiefs are the worst when it comes to stopping the run and Seattle is one of the best at running the football. This game can go in two different directions. Either Seattle slows the game down in their favor and relies heavily on that running game or the Chiefs just take it over and keep their foot on the gas pedal.

Prediction: Chiefs 31 Seahawks 24