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KC Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals: NFL Week 17 Preview and Predictions

Can the Chiefs get back on track with a victory over the Bengals? Arrowhead Report predicts Week 17.

In their final home game of the 2023-24 season, the Kansas City Chiefs have plenty to play for in front of their home crowd.

Kansas City is coming off a rough loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, although everything they want (minus a top playoff seed) is still out in front of them. With a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17, Andy Reid's squad can lock up the AFC West and set themselves up for a playoff run next month.

The visitors have a ton of incentive to win this one, too, as Zac Taylor and company can boost their postseason odds in a major way with an upset in Kansas City. As the 2023 calendar soon flips to 2024, this is the final opportunity these teams have to make an impact this year. 

How will Sunday's game unfold? The Arrowhead Report crew makes their predictions.

Joshua Brisco: Sticking with the story of the season: Can the Chiefs offense make enough plays and avoid the kind of crippling mistakes that can give games away? Against the Raiders, that was a strong “no.” This week, I expect the Chiefs to have a slightly better day against a weaker Bengals offense, but it would be silly to expect it to be easy.

Prediction: Chiefs 17, Bengals 13

Jordan Foote: On the heels of perhaps their most embarrassing performance of the 2023 campaign, the Chiefs are in desperate need of a win on Sunday. They're a better team than the Bengals, even with some struggles on offense. Expect a relatively boring game plan and afternoon for Kansas City, albeit one that's good enough to get the job done. Week 17 won't change anyone's mind about this year's Chiefs team, but it should at least clinch Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and Co. another AFC West title. 

Prediction: Chiefs 23, Bengals 13

Mark Van Sickle: The Chiefs are coming off one of the most disappointing losses of the Patrick Mahomes era. Losing at home, on Christmas, to the Raiders, in a game in which their rookie quarterback didn’t complete a pass in the final three quarters. Absolutely brutal. That said, if the players don’t show fight and bounce back in this game, there will need to be some overhaul in this organization sooner rather than later. This isn’t necessarily a must-win yet, but the Chiefs don’t want to go into a Week 18 road game against a divisional rival with a playoff spot on the line. Get the W at home in front of your fans, have the hat and shirt ceremony in your own locker room, and get ready for the playoffs as a three-seed.

Prediction: Chiefs 20, Bengals 13

Zack Eisen: This game has lost its rivalry luster because of Joe Burrow’s injury. However, it’s still a wildly important game for both parties. The Bengals are trying to remain in the playoff hunt, while the Chiefs are trying to clinch their eighth straight division title. With a win today, the Chiefs will likely be the third seed, which means they can decide to take Week 18 off and give a much-needed break to some key members of this team. Last week’s disaster on Christmas should leave a bitter taste in Kansas CIty’s mouth. If they want to head into the playoffs with momentum, it begins with taking care of business against a familiar foe.

Prediction: Chiefs 21, Bengals 10

Conner Christopherson: I am done betting on a Chiefs offense breakout, but that doesn’t mean the Chiefs are going to lose this game. The offense needs to fix things, and quickly, if they want any good vibes heading into the postseason. With the news they are paring down the playbook and the rotations at receiver, it is possible some things can be solved... but it does raise more questions like why this wasn’t done sooner. Regardless, the Chiefs' defense has been great throughout the offense's struggles, and I am betting on that continuing today.

Prediction: Chiefs 20, Bengals 13

Marlow Ferguson Jr.: After last week’s loss to the Raiders, it feels difficult chalking up the Chiefs for the “guaranteed wins” anymore. It won’t be as star-powered as in years past, but the implications remain high for both Kansas City and Cincinnati. The matchup out on the boundary will be one to watch, particularly with Ja’Marr Chase’s trash talk earlier in the week. This one could come down to which team manages injuries the best. Despite being in no real danger (or at least it appears that way) of losing their grip on the AFC West, the Chiefs should be able to muster just enough urgency here. Having not won a game at Arrowhead since Oct. 22(!), they should do enough to turn their momentum here.

Prediction: Chiefs 22, Bengals 19