This week has some games that could be very interesting. This, however, is probably not one of them, as the Kansas City Chiefs have opened as 16.5-point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals in their Week 10 matchup at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM ET on November 11th.
Simply put, Arizona’s offense has been a problem this season. They struggle to move the ball through the air, averaging just 165.8 passing yards per game (31st), and running the ball has been even worse, managing just 67.5 rushing yards per game (32nd). As you probably assumed, this has led to just 13.8 points per game (31st). If it weren’t for the Buffalo Bills, they would be the worst offense in the league.
Behind a bad offensive line, rookie Josh Rosen has been incredibly inconsistent since taking over the starting job midway through Week 3. He’s completing just 55.6% of his passes and has had trouble pushing the football down the field. If Rosen and Christian Kirk (31 receptions for 410 yards this year) cannot get the aerial attack going, you can expect similar results from the Cardinals’ offense moving forward.
A little help from David Johnson (averaging 3.2 yards per carry) on the ground could make a huge difference, too, but it’s hard to put up any sort of yardage when your line can’t generate holes.
Arizona’s defense is the relative strength of the team. It’s built to defend the pass, only ceding 224.6 yards per game through the air (7th), compared to 143.1 on the ground (31st). That strength against the pass hasn’t allowed it to keep opponents off the board, as the Cardinals allow 24.9 points per game (18th). You can chalk up some of that to Arizona’s 17 turnovers, of course.
Arizona’s defense is in tough this week against a Kansas City offense that looks unstoppable. Thanks to a potent aerial attack, the Chiefs are scoring 36.3 points per game (1st). Patrick Mahomes has been remarkable for Kansas City this season, amassing 2,901 yards through the air (1st) with a 29:7 TD-to-INT ratio, good for a 116.7 passer rating. The first-year starter has staked his claim to MVP favorite through nine weeks.
Mahomes would certainly admit he’s received a lot of help from his pass-catchers, first and foremost Tyreek Hill. His favorite target has hauled in 48 passes for 774 receiving yards (6th in the NFL) and seven TDs this season.
Even if Mahomes isn’t having his best day, the Chiefs remain dangerous when handing the ball to Kareem Hunt and company. As a team, Kansas City averages a very respectable 4.7 yards per carry (8th in the league). No defense has come up with a solution for stopping this high-powered offense yet. The team has only been held under 30 points once all year, and that was in a 27-23 road win over Denver.
Defensively, the Chiefs are a pretty mediocre unit. They allow 25.1 points per game, ranking 20th in the league. They’ve been poor against the run, giving up 124.8 yards per game on the ground (25th). It has been even worse when defending the pass, though. Kansas City is being embarrassed through the air for 302.7 yards per game (the fifth-most).
This is a defense that clearly operates under the bend-but-don’t-break motto. Lucky for KC, the Arizona offense isn’t capable of breaking a sweat.