The Kansas City Chiefs have become a dominant force in the NFL, led by coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs have made the AFC Championship game the last four seasons, beginning their drive for five Sunday at the Arizona Cardinals.
Kyler Murray and the Cards present a tough opponent to start the season, despite the NFL odds listing the home teams as six-point underdogs.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs’ offense will need to make some major adjustments this season. Star wide receiver Tyreek Hill is now with the Miami Dolphins. While Hill is irreplaceable, the Chiefs did a great job “replacing” him with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Kansas City had a miserable start in 2021. After back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, the Chiefs began 2-4 overall (and against the spread). The team rallied to made it back to the AFC title game, having finished the season on a 9-1 tear (6-4 ATS).
Hill’s gone. Mahomes still has future Hall of Fare tight end Travis Kelce around. The duo figures to lead this offense once again, hoping to overcome their poor defense. Despite the NFL odds listing the Chiefs among the favorites to win the Super Bowl, it was their defense ranking 26th in yards allowed last season. Their secondary was a mess (6.9 yards allowed per pass), also surrendering 4.7 yards per rush. Things were somewhat better down the stretch, but the Chiefs need to get it together when the other guys have the ball.
So, unlike the Chiefs, the Arizona Cardinals were off to a red-hot start in 2021, 7-0 and 6-1 ATS last season. They were seemingly a contender, until falling apart. They finished 1-5 (same record ATS) in their last six, a worrisome trend under coach Kliff Kingsbury, one that the coach has on his ledger since college.
The collapse caused some in-fighting among the team, specifically with quarterback Kyler Murray. Eventually, Murray re-signed but will be without one of his top weapons Sunday as DeAndre Hopkins was suspended (performance-enhancing drugs) for the first six games. This is a big problem in Arizona, considering the offense was not good when Hopkins was out injured last season. Murray did lead the NFL in completion percentage in 2021 and may be able to manage without Hopkins.
Chiefs vs Cardinals Injury Report
KC will be without second-string TE Blake Bell (injured list), while the Cards have seven players questionable, including LB Markus Golden, G Justin ugh, TE Zach Ertz, DE J.J. Watt, and QB Colt McCoy.
Chiefs vs Cardinals Head-to-Head
The Kansas City Chiefs have won four of the last five meetings, 6-3 against their former in-state mates. Arizona has covered the last two,
Chiefs vs Cardinals Game Information
- Game: Chiefs vs Cardinals
- Location: State Farm Stadium. Glendale, AZ.
- Day/Time: Sunday, Sept, 11th, 4:25 p.m. ET
- How to watch Chiefs vs Cardinals?
Chiefs vs Cardinals Live Stream: NFL Game Pass
Chiefs vs Cardinals Betting Lines
Chiefs vs Cardinals Prediction
The Chiefs may be a favorite to win the Super Bowl, but they also have a lot to prove on defense. They surrendered the 28th-most yards per play, and their third down defense ranked a sad 22nd. Considering they did very little to improve that side during the offseason, do not expect a huge jump in production from this defense.
The last couple of years, the Cards have proven to be a good team to bet early in the season. Murray is a guy who could lead the league in passing during the first few weeks, and the Chiefs’ defense is rather vulnerable to a quarterback of his skill.
“The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.”