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The season hasn’t broken well for either team. And now the Chiefs and Washington are looking for answers.
Most trends for Sunday’s game in the nation’s capital favor the Chiefs. Coach Andy Reid has defeated Washington twice in his Kansas City tenure as part of the Chiefs’ seven-game winning streak in this series. The Chiefs are 9-1 all-time against Washington.
But history won’t matter much on Sunday. This game will turn on which recent strength can prevail: the Chiefs’ offense or Washington’s defense.
Both units have been somewhat flawed this season, but they’re the long-run strengths of these two teams. It seems unfathomable to think the Chiefs will continue their turnover-prone ways — 11 giveaways since their last takeaway. It’s more likely that Patrick Mahomes will lock in and have one of his better games so far this season. And that should be enough.
It’s time for Mahomes to step up and lead the offense to a performance similar to that of two weeks ago, when the Chiefs were held without big plays for most of the day before picking Philly apart on long touchdown drives.
Maybe this one will come down to Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker. If so, there will be some good vibes here, too. His first NFL game was against Washington in 2017 at Arrowhead Stadium, and he broke a tie with four seconds remaining to give the Chiefs a 23-20 lead. They won 29-20 when linebacker Justin Houston returned a fumble on the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown.
Bottom line, one team will get back to .500 Sunday and the other will fall two games under .500.
Here are the details about the game and our prediction.
Kickoff: noon (Central)
TV/radio: CBS (Ch. 5), WDAF (106.5 FM)
Line: Chiefs by 2 1/2
Blair Kerkhoff’s prediction: Chiefs 35-33