On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs will be on the road as they square off against the 9-6 Cincinnati Bengals. A Chiefs win gets them to 12-4 on the season and if the Tennessee Titans lose, Kansas City will lock up the AFC's top playoff seed. A Bengals win gets Cincinnati back to the postseason for the first time since 2015 and secures the AFC North crown. There's plenty to play for on both sides in this one. How will today's game unfold? The Arrowhead Report crew makes their predictions.
Joshua Brisco: The Bengals' weapons are legit and Joe Burrow projects to be a frequent challenger to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the AFC going forward, but it's too soon to predict that Cincinnati will ace its first test against KC. The Chiefs' defense is in a much better place than the massively depleted Ravens unit that Cincy beat up on last week, and the Chiefs' offense is hot again. This game should live up to much of the hype, but not to the extent of a Bengal upset.
Prediction: Chiefs 30, Bengals 24
Jordan Foote: There are a few offenses in the NFL capable of going toe-to-toe with the Chiefs' unit when it's at its best. With that said, the Bengals' offensive line is still a legitimate problem. I don't care how great your quarterback and weapons are: A poor offensive line can spell doom for any team. The Chiefs' rejuvenated pass rush should do enough to take care of business on Sunday and while Joe Burrow and company will flash greatness, the Chiefs should show them how the hierarchy in the AFC looks heading into the postseason.
Prediction: Chiefs 31, Bengals 21
Mark Van Sickle: The Bengals have had an up and down season with a few impressive victories, but also a few clunkers. They most recently beat a depleted Baltimore Ravens defense and a Ravens offense that was without Lamar Jackson. Before that, they defeated the Broncos 15-10. The Chiefs' offense will put up points and the Chiefs' defense that has come together so nicely over the second half of the season will show up again for this one.
Prediction: Chiefs 31, Bengals 20
Marlow Ferguson Jr.: Let’s preface this by saying there’s no way this game shouldn’t have been in primetime. The offensive talent is the headliner, with Cincinnati averaging 29.6 points over their last 10. The Chiefs have averaged 33.3 over their last six. But, it’s much easier imagining the Chiefs’ defense generating stops. Only two teams have allowed more yards to TEs than the Bengals (997), which wouldn’t be a problem if that Travis Kelce guy weren’t coming to town — his hometown, one might add. The Bengals’ offense is incredible, but it still ranks 30th in pass block win rate. Steve Spagnuolo didn't give Cincinnati extra bulletin board material the way Baltimore did last week, AND he has the needed exotic blitzes to challenge their weak spot(s). That combo should be enough for a competitive win.
Prediction: Chiefs 33, Bengals 28
Conner Christopherson: The Bengals are a young, exciting team — that much is for sure. As a big Joe Burrow fan, I am happy to see him succeeding in the NFL. However, this Bengals team is being hyped up a bit too much. Burrow's two best games this year have been against Ravens teams that were decimated by injuries and COVID-19. The one word to describe the Bengals this year is inconsistent. The Bengals' offense, especially, might struggle against the Chiefs due to the mismatch of Chris Jones against their interior offensive line. I don't see the Chiefs faltering here.
Prediction: Chiefs 31, Bengals 23
Taylor Witt: Cincinnati is riding a two-game winning streak. Did you know the Bengals haven't won three games in a row in six years? Joe Burrow is awesome and I expect him to give the resurgent Chiefs defense all it can handle. But, new year, same Bengals.
Prediction: Chiefs 38, Bengals 20