According to the latest NFL odds, The Chiefs (-7.5) are solid home favorites after reeling off their seventh straight win in Week 15. Kansas City now has the best record in the AFC.
After a slow start to the season, the Chiefs seem to have found their rhythm once again. So how will Patrick Mahomes and the offense fare against Pittsburgh in Week 16?
- Date: Sunday, Dec 26th
- Time: 4:25 P.M. EST on CBS
- Venue: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO
- Participants: Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes Finding His Form
The start of the 2021 season was a struggle for Patrick Mahomes. The star quarterback threw an uncharacteristic ten interceptions over the first eight weeks.
The offense has shown significant improvements over the last month. In their previous five games, Kansas City averaged 32.8 points per game. Mahomes has thrown ten touchdowns and just three interceptions while averaging more than 300 passing yards per game over that stretch.
Mahomes will be tested without his top two targets this week. Both Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are in COVID-19 protocols, meaning Byron Pringle and Mecole Hardman will need to take on more prominent roles.
Can Mahomes keep up his recent form without his top targets?
The Running Game
With Kelce and Hill on the shelf, Kansas City may look to lean on the running game more this week. The Steelers have struggled to defend the run all season, ranked 31st in the league in average yards allowed (143.9). The Steelers have also surrendered a league-worst 4.9 yards per rushing attempt.
I expect a heavier workload for Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams as Kansas City looks to take advantage of a vulnerable run defense to ease the burden on Mahomes.
The Chiefs have the 19th-ranked rushing attack, averaging around 110 yards per game. We may see Andy Reid dig deep into his bag of tricks to give the run game a jolt.
Key Trends to Consider:
- Kansas City is averaging 27.5 points per game (ranked 6th)
- Kansas City is averaging 34.7 points over their last three games
- Kansas City has scored over 30 points seven times this year
- Pittsburgh is conceding an average of 23.9 points per game (22nd)
- Pittsburgh is ranked last in defensive rushing yards per attempt (4.9)
- Pittsburgh has conceded over 35 points in three of their last five games
Can the Kansas City Chiefs Stay Hot?
A lot will be riding on this Steelers vs. Chiefs game this week.
The Kansas City Chiefs are in an excellent position for a first-round playoff bye.
The absence of Kelce and Hill will pose a unique challenge for Kansas City this week. If the Chiefs can exploit Pittsburgh’s vulnerable run defense, they should still be able to put up points.
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