Can the Falcons Upset the Chiefs?

With only one loss on the season, the Kansas City Chiefs (13-1) are the NFL’s top team and they will play host to the lowly Atlanta Falcons (4-10) on Sunday at 1 pm.

The Chiefs are coming off of a 32-19 win against the New Orleans Saints in a game that saw Patrick Mahomes throw for 254 yards and three touchdowns, while also adding 37 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, Le’Veon Bell had a good hame in relief for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who went down with a hip injury. Bell had 62 rushing yards (4.1 YPA) and a touchdown on the ground.

For the Atlanta Falcons, it was business as usual as they blew another lead to a Tom Brady-led team. This time, the Falcons were up 24-7 at one point but ended up losing 31-27. Matt Ryan threw for 356 yards and three touchdowns in defeat, while Calvin Ridley had a monstrous game, hauling in 10 receptions for 163 yards and a touchdown.

According to FanDuel, the Chiefs are expected to win this game with a moneyline of -590 and a point spread of -10.5. The Falcons moneyline sits at +440.

Spread: Falcons +10.5 (-106), Chiefs -10.5 (-114)

Total: Over 53.5 (-110), Under 53.5 (-110)

Odds from FanDuel as of Saturday, December 26 (11:20 am ET)

By the numbers

The Kansas City Chiefs are tied for first place in the NFL for points per game with 30.1. The Atlanta Falcons are about as close to the middle of the pack as a team could get when it comes to scoring, averaging 25.4 points per game (15th)

The Chiefs’ offence is also averaging 427.9 yards per game (1st) compared to the Falcons’, which is sitting at 367.4 (14th).

Defensively, the Chiefs are 8th when it comes to points against per game, only allowing 22.1. In comparison, the Falcons are allowing 25.2 points against per game (18th).

Chiefs continue to roll towards back-to-back Super Bowls

At this point in the season, it’s hard to think of a team that will force the Chiefs to lose their second game of the season — whether that’s in the regular season or playoffs.

As usual, the offence flows threw Patrick Mahomes, who’s leading the league in yards (4,462) all season. He’s also thrown 36 touchdowns on the season, which is good for 3rd.

Tyreek Hill has been lights out in his last seven games, averaging 95.7 yards per game. He’s also made 10 touchdown catches in those seven games.

In that same timespan, Travis Kelce has shown why he’s the most dangerous tight end in the NFL, averaging 116.7 yards per game while recording five touchdowns.

As mentioned earlier, Le’Veon Bell had his first solid game of the season against the Saints last week. Should rookie Edwards-Helaire miss an extended period of time, the Chiefs should feel confident in the veteran Bell.

Can the Falcons end on a high note?

With a 4-10 record, the Falcons are eliminated from the playoffs and are playing for their dignity in their last two games.

One of the main reasons that the Falcons haven’t been that great this season is the fact that superstar receiver Julio Jones has only played in nine games this season and even left a few of them with injuries. Jones has been trying to push through his hamstring injury to play against the Chiefs, which could be a good matchup since the Falcons throw a lot and could be playing from behind early on.

If Jones is, Russell Gage and Calvin Ridley will need to continue to step up for the Falcons. Gages have two touchdowns in his last three games while averaging above eight targets per game. Ridley has the same amount of touchdown in his last three while adding on 395 yards.

It’s clear that if the Falcons want to truly challenge the Chiefs, their pass-first offence will need to flow threw Gage, Ridley, and Ryan.

Confidently picking the Chiefs to win

I know that the saying in the NFL is “Never say never,” but I can’t see the Chiefs losing at home to the Falcons. While their defence may provide the Falcons with opportunities to score and keep it exciting, the Chiefs should win because of how prolific their offence is.

However, I don’t think the spread will be covered because I think the Falcons will get some garbage time points to keep it closer than it should be. On the other hand, I am taking the over in what should be a high-scoring game.