Week 14 Preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs Miami Dolphinsby Christopher Gallagher December 12, 2020 1 comment
In a game between two teams fighting for playoff seeding in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Miami to battle the Dolphins in week 14. Playing in their third road game over the past four weeks, the Chiefs will look to clinch the AFC West with a victory while trying to remain in the hunt for the conference’s top overall seed. On the other side is one of the surprises of the 2020 season. Miami remains just a game back of the Buffalo Bills for the AFC East lead at 8-4. Destined to battle the Bills in week 17, the team currently holds onto the second wild-card spot as they look to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Kansas City Chiefs
Racking up historic numbers on offense once again, the Chiefs (11-1) have rattled off seven straight wins since losing to their divisional rival Las Vegas Raiders in week five. Ranked first in the NFL in almost every major offensive category, the team is averaging more than 430 yards per game, leading to over 30 points scored on average. Surviving an upset bid against the Denver Broncos in week 13 on Sunday Night Football, Kansas City found themselves trailing at multiple points in the game. However, thanks to a five field-goal performance by kicker Harrison Butker, this time, it was the team’s defense that stepped up to help capture their 11th victory of the season. Holding the Broncos to just six second-half points, the team intercepted quarterback Drew Lock twice in a dominant second-half performance.
Held in check a week ago, Patrick Mahomes, the NFL’s odds-on favorite to capture the MVP award, was held to his third-lowest completion percentage of the season. He threw just one touchdown pass in the victory and will have it tough once again this week against a stingy Miami defense. Ranking second in points allowed over their last few contests, Brian Flores’s group has surrendered just three touchdowns over that time span. A typical bend-don’t-break unit; the team is also one of the highest blitzing groups in the league. Sending extra rushers at the quarterback on over 41.1 percent of their plays, Miami will need to be careful in timing up their blitzes in this one. Posting the highest quarterback rating against the blitz this season, Mahomes has the weapons to make the Dolphins pay.
They’ve been relying mainly on their defense this season to capture victories. This week the Dolphins will need more out of their offense if they hope to upset the Chiefs on Sunday. Ranked right in the middle of the NFL, the team averages just 320 yards, leading to 25 points per game. Only averaging 17 points over their last three contests, Miami found a rhythm against the Cincinnati Bengals a week ago as rookie signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa recorded his highest passing total of the season at 296 yards. The Dolphins also received a major contribution on the ground from running back Myles Gaskin, who amassed 90 yards rushing. Hoping to carry over their rushing attack to week 14, the team should have the opportunity to move the ball on the ground against Steve Spagnuolo’s group.
Susceptible against the rush all season long, the Chiefs are ranked near the bottom of the league in rush yards per game, with over 132 given up. Gashed on the ground a week ago, the defending Super Bowl champions allowed Broncos’ running back Melvin Gordon to rush for 131 yards on a healthy 8.7 yards per carry. Receiving tough news on the injury report this week, Miami will be without two top offensive players as running back Salvon Ahmed, and offensive guard Ereck Flowers were both ruled out with injury. Along with this, starting linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts are both expected to be game-time decisions with chest and hip injuries.
Date: Sunday December 13th 2020
Start Time: 1PM est
Location: Miami Gardens, FL
Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Points Spread: KC -7 (-110) | MIA +7 (-110)
Moneyline: KC -345| MIA +270
Over/Under: O 50.5 (-110) | U 50.5 (-110)
Looking right away at the seven-point spread, take the Chiefs to cover the number and at a price of -345 on the money line. Clearly, the Chiefs are the better team on the field and maybe the best team in the NFL. The Dolphins do not possess the talent on offense to keep up with Mahomes and company. While Brian Flores should have an aggressive gameplan to force the reigning Super Bowl MVP off his spot, look for Kansas City to do enough to win by multiple scores in this one. All coming down to how many points the Chiefs supply when looking at the over-under total, look for Andy Reid‘s group to provide enough offense to push the number over a low 50.5 total.
Two teams with their sights set on postseason play, look for this one to be one of the best matchups of week 14. With the defense and coaching staff intact to slow down a high-powered Kansas City offense, expect Miami to send pressure all game long at Mahomes. With the Dolphins content with a low-scoring affair, the Chiefs should start fast on offense and score enough points to stave off the upset and capture their 12th victory.
Final Score: Kansas City Chiefs 30, Miami Dolphins 21
Follow Chris Gallagher on Twitter @ChrisGally06
Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images