Even With Hobbled Mahomes, Chiefs Will Win

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Bengals vs. Chiefs, 6:30 ET

We’ve seen this game before, right? Well, they played once this year with really nothing on the line, but it was a tightly contested matchup. Then they also played for the AFC Championship last year and Patrick Mahomes tossed up an interception in overtime. Now he gets a chance to redeem himself, or Joe Burrow can make it to two Super Bowls in a row.

When the public thinks about the Bengals, they think about Joe Burrow and Jamarr Chase. With good reason, Joe Burrow is one hell of a quarterback, the team is great, and women swoon over the guy. However, the offense isn’t really the full story with the Bengals. Their defense has been outstanding. It wasn’t just the weather that slowed down the tough Bills offense last week, it was the Bengals disrupting passing plays and snuffing out any running game. They haven’t allowed more than 20 points in any of their past four games. Now, you could argue the opponents weren’t great – Mac Jones and a bad Patriots offense, the Ravens minus Lamar Jackson twice, and the Bills in snow, but they still held them down and won the games. Can they do that to Mahomes and the Chiefs this week? It is quite possible. They were losing 24-17 heading into the 4th quarter and the Bengals scored 10 unanswered stopping Mahomes in their victory earlier this season.

Now, the big question for the Chiefs is how is Patrick Mahomes ankle feeling. Those high ankle sprains have taken people down for years but there is no way he won’t play in this game. Even if he just gives it a go and sees how they feel, I have to imagine he takes the ball and tries. All signs are pointing to that, so I’m going to assume he will. Looking at the first time they played the Bengals, Travis Kelce only had 56 yards, and the team relied on the ground game quite a bit. It was a good strategy, but there weren’t too many chunk plays from the Chiefs. They were pretty methodical down the field. I expect them to be the same way. Mahomes doesn’t need to be super mobile in this game to win, he just needs to be accurate and the team needs to be creative. Both are capable of happening. I would’ve had more faith in the Chiefs if the Bengals struggled more to win last week – and obviously if Mahomes was healthier.

This game should be great. I am a bit surprised that the total is at just 46 for this game, but I think it is actually fair. A 24-21 game wouldn’t surprise me at all. Kansas City’s defense has been better and can play at home against Burrow. The Chiefs aren’t going to just roll Cincinatti either. I’m taking the Chiefs at home +2.5. I have to imagine if Mahomes was fully healthy, this line would be flipped. The Bengals are hot, but I don’t see the Chiefs losing twice in one season to them.

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Written by David Troy

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