Can Seattle hold on to a playoff spot versus the Chiefs?


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Kansas City Chiefs

The Seattle Seahawks blew a golden opportunity to secure a playoff position losing last week to the 49ers. Coming in at 8-6 versus a tough Kansas City team, the Seahawks are 2.5 point home underdogs. 

The Chiefs enter Sunday's game coming off a 29-28 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Although both teams are 11-3,  the Chiefs still hold the tiebreaker.  Kansas City has the best offnese in the league, scoring at a pace of 35.6 per game. Conversely,  they are among the worst in giving up point. The Seahawks are a much more balanced team, ranked 9th in scoring in 7th in fewest points allowed.

There is no surprise that an Andy Reid lead team likes to put the ball in the air. MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 4543 yards and 45 touchdowns.  The Seattle pass rush lead by Frank Clark (12 sacks) and Jarron Reed (7.5 sacks) will have to maintain pressure to try to slow down the attack.   Given Mahomes time, he will  shred defenses by finding Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, who have combined for 163 receptions, 2524 yards and 21 touchdowns this season.

Since the release of Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware has taken over as primary ball carrier. However he is listed as doubtful for the game. If he can't go, Damien WIlliams becomes the main back. He's rushed for only 102 yards this season. Mahomes has scrambled for 238 yards but it's quite obvious the run game will be used as a change of pace only.

The plan of attack for the Seahawks will likely be to win the time of possession battle. They are averaging 155 yards per game on the ground lead by Chris Carson's 913 yards on 4.5 per attempt. Rashad Penny, Mike Davis and quarterback Russell Wilson also contribute to this total. Seattle should have some success against a Kansas City unit that has given up 127  yards per game on the ground.

When needing to pass, WIlson has capable options in Tyler Lockett, Doug Baldwin and David Moore, who have combined for 115 receptions and 18 touchdowns.

In a shootout, it's possible the game could come down to the kickers. Both Sebastian Janikowski for Seattle and Harrison Butker for Kansas City have been solid. However the verteran Janikowski has the bigger leg, having hit from 56 yards earlier this season.

The Seahwaks are 4-2 at home, but the Chiefs haven't been phased by playing on the road, having won six of seven this season. No matter who you look at it, doesn't appear Seattle wont be able to win in a shootout. Likley they can't keep pace with the Chiefs for the entire contest. Look for Kansas City to win and inch closer to top seed in the AFC.

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