The Kansas City Chiefs opened the season as favorites to win Super Bowl 56 but struggled in the early going. However, Patrick Mahomes and Co. now have won five straight games and the Chiefs are now +560 second-favorites to the Tampa Bay Bucs (+460) to win the Super Bowl. Could we have a rematch in February in Los Angeles? Definitely possible.
Analysis Chiefs odds to win Super Bowl 56
The Chiefs came out of their bye week and beat the Broncos 22-9 on Sunday. Mahomes completed 15-of-29 passes for 184 yards and an interception, adding four carries for 12 yards and a touchdown. It wasn’t Mahomes’ best day, as he missed an uncharacteristic amount of easy throws. He only engineered one touchdown drive, which he capped off by scampering into the end zone himself.
Leading by 13 points midway through the fourth quarter, Chiefs safety Dan Sorensen picked off Broncos’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and took it all the way back for a 75-yard touchdown, essentially sealing the game.
While Mahomes has struggled at times this season, the KC defense has been tremendous as Sunday was the fifth consecutive game in which the defense held the opposition under 18 points. The Chiefs are allowing just 11.2 points-per-game since Week 8 – the second-lowest mark in the NFL – while surrendering the lowest third-down conversion rate (25.8%) in that time. One big part of that success has been the play of cornerback Charvarius Ward, who is allowing the lowest completion percentage this season among defensive backs with 40+ targets.
Defensive lineman Chris Jones tallied five pressures all by himself on Sunday, recording his fourth-straight game with five or more pressures. He finished the game with a quarterback hit and two passes defensed. Since Week 8, no player in the NFL has more pressures than Jones (29).
The Broncos had an unsuccessful 20-play drive that lasted over 11 minutes in Week 13. A reporter posed the following question to Chiefs coach Andy Reid: “Have you ever seen a 20-play drive that resulted in no points?”
“No, but I’m glad I saw it,” Reid responded. “That was a positive thing from our standpoint — a great fourth-down stand by our defense. We would’ve like to have kept them back where they were, but that’s the way it rolled and the guys didn’t hang their heads. I’m glad we were able to keep them out there.”
Second-round rookie center Creed Humphrey has been terrific. The former Oklahoma Sooner has been remarkable in pass protection and run blocking. He has only allowed one sack in nearly 800 offensive snaps. That, by itself, is very impressive, but Humphrey has been even better in the running game. According to Pro Football Focus, Humphrey has a 92.7 run-blocking grade which leads all centers. Creed Humphrey has a 90.9 overall grade which is tremendous. This grade ranks him highest among active centers.
The Chiefs have now recorded at least one five-game winning streak in every season since 2013. No other team has recorded a five-game winning streak in every season since then.
Kansas City is now 33-6 against AFC West opponents dating back to 2015, and with three more games against AFC West opponents this season they’ll look to continue adding to the record of success and perhaps get the top seed in the AFC.
This Sunday, the Chiefs host Las Vegas as 9.5-point favorites. In Week 10, the Chiefs won at the Raiders 41-14 as Patrick Mahomes threw five TD passes and was 35-for-50 for 406 yards. It was Mahomes’ most dominant performance throwing the ball this season, and he’ll look to build on that in front of a home crowd. Over the last 17 games played between these two teams, the Chiefs have lost just three games.
The Raiders haven’t won a game since that loss and the Chiefs have yet to lose in that span. Las Vegas may or may not have star tight end Darren Waller in this one. He was hurt on Nov. 25 vs. Dallas and missed Sunday’s home loss to Washington. Las Vegas interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said on Monday that Waller is now day-to-day with the injury — and that he is also dealing with an oblique/ribs injury. Last week, Bisaccia said Waller was week-to-week. Rotational defensive end Carl Nassib is in the same situation as Waller.
If the Chiefs can get home-field advantage in the AFC, I wouldn’t be against them returning to the Super Bowl.