The final two weeks of the 2018 NFL schedule has arrived as teams get set to finish up the regular season. For the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks, Sunday Night’s showdown is a one of many key games during Week 15 that will have playoff implications. For the Chiefs a win on Sunday Night, will keep them alive to take home the AFC West while also a chance to secure home field advantage throughout the NFL playoffs. For the Seahawks a win on Sunday will keep them holding onto one of the final two wild card spots in the NFC.
As you look at this matchup the two teams are built around very difference philosophies and strengths. The Chiefs enter this contest as one of the top offenses in the NFL in nearly every category led by the surgence of sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Entering their Sunday Night Football contest, the Chiefs rank 1st in yards per contest (427.3), 2nd in passing yards per contest (312.9) and 1st in points per game (35.6). On the other side of the football the Chiefs have struggled on defense while allowing the 2nd most yards per contest (409.4), most passing yards per game (282.5), 7th most rushing yards per contest (126.9) and 5th most points per contest (27.1).
For the Seahawks the team continues to roll behind their defense a trend we have seen over the past few seasons. While the team has giving up their fair shares of big plays the teams overall defense has been solid holding teams to the 7th fewest points in the NFL (20.9). Over their current 4-1 stretch the team has allowed their opponents to score no more than 27 points as well as holding their opponents to fewer than 20 points in six total contests.
Here are the keys to the game for both the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks matchup on Sunday Night Football on December 23rd, 2018 at CenturyLink Field.
NFL Keys to the Game
Kansas City Chiefs – Find a Consistent Running Game
With the sudden need at the running back position after losing Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs have struggled over their last two contests running ball while allowing their opponents to focus on shutting down their fast paced big play passing attack. While the team went 1-1 in the stretch they sneaked out an overtime win against the Ravens before losing to the Los Angeles Chargers last week. In those two contests, the Chiefs failed to top the 100 yard rushing mark. If the Chiefs fail to move the ball early on the ground, they Seahawks will be able to take advantage dropping extra players back into coverage.
Seattle Seahawks – Make Plays to Move the Chains
As the Seahawks look to pick up the win on Sunday Night Football, the key to their success will come with their ability to make plays to move the chains. This success could come from the three headed rushing attack, a big play from Russell Wilson or just Wilson turning nothing into a first down. While the first down’s will help give the team a chance to score points, the more important aspect will be their ability to run time off the clock while limiting the Chiefs additional opportunities to make big plays.
NFL Betting Trends
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs enter a key Week 16 showdown against the Seahawks sitting at 11-3 overall on the year while covering the spread in nine of their first 14 games this season. Along with the strong success in the standings the Chiefs have rewarded sports handicappers by covering the spread in five of their first seven road contests of the season. The Chiefs have also covered the spread in six of their last seven road contests against teams with a winning home record as well in 20 of their last 29 overall road contests. Despite the success the team has failed to cover the spread in five straight contests leading into this matchup.
Seattle Seahawks – After a slow start the Seahawks have positioned themselves back in the playoff hunt while posting an 8-6 overall recorded leading into a must win matchup against the Chiefs in Week 16. Over the teams past ten contests, the team has covered the spread in seven of those matchups while pushing their record against the spread this season to 9-5. The Seahawks have also covered the spread in four of their last six contests at CenturyLink Field. That said the team has covered the spread in just two of their last 10 home contests against teams with a winning road record.
Head 2 Head – These two teams are very unfamiliar with each other with their last head to head meeting coming back on November 16th of 2014. In that meeting the Chiefs picked up 24-20 win at Arrowhead as well as a 42-24 in November of 2010 in Seattle. The Chiefs have won three straight in this series. In six previous meeting in Seattle, the Seahawks have won four of those contests.
What’s next for these two teams?
Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs will head home to Arrowhead to face off against the Oakland Raiders to end the 2018 NFL Schedule on December 30th, 2018.
Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks will remain at home to take on the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink field to end the 2018 NFL Schedule on December 30th, 2018.