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Atlanta Falcons vs. Kansas City Chiefs Pick & Prediction DEC 27TH 2020

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Home-field advantage in the playoffs is a select prize this season after the NFL amended its playoff structure so seven teams from each conference qualify and only the top seed draws a first-round bye.

The Kansas City Chiefs (13-1) are in prime position to earn the weekend off in the AFC. Nonetheless, the reigning Super Bowl champions are reluctant to acknowledge their superiority entering a home game Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons (4-10).


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"Never bank on others; get your guys ready to go,'' said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who insisted he would not study playoff scenarios to shape alternative lineup plans.

"If you go there," he added, "then you get your tail kicked. I don't allow myself to go in that direction. We've got to maximize ourselves against a team that's playing hard. These games that they've lost, over half of them have gone into the fourth quarter."

By beating or tying the Falcons, the Chiefs can clinch the top seed in the AFC playoffs and with it, a first-round bye and home-field advantage. Other scenarios could assure the Chiefs of the top spot, but they seem focused on variables they can control.

"If you keep winning games,'' said quarterback Patrick Mahomes, "those things have a way of working out on their own."

Kansas City's dominance during a season marred by unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic includes a nine-game winning streak and the announcement this week of seven Pro Bowl selections.


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A 14th regular-season win would establish a franchise record.

Travis Kelce needs 60 yards receiving to break the NFL record for tight ends held by San Francisco's George Kittle (1,377). Kelce also needs two receptions to become the first NFL tight end with 100 catches in back-to-back seasons.

The fact that each of Kansas City's last six opponents have kept the outcome to a one-score margin could encourage Atlanta, which has seven losses by one score.

Discouraging, however, is that the Falcons are No. 31 in the NFL in passing yards allowed, especially going against a Chiefs team ranked first in average passing yards.

Mahomes has thrown for 36 touchdowns against five interceptions. He leads the NFL with 4,462 passing yards. The Falcons' Matt Ryan is third (4,016).

Much of the attention thrust on the Falcons regards openings for a head coach and general manager. The team confirmed Wednesday that Raheem Morris will receive an interview. The interim coach said he looks at the totality of his job in that prism.


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"Everything you do in these moments are interview-type moments,'' Morris said.

Morris will use the last two games to look at running back Ito Smith, who moved ahead of Todd Gurley in the rotation.

Receiver Julio Jones continues to be slowed by a hamstring injury that kept him out the last two games. Other Atlanta starters who missed practice Wednesday were cornerback Darqueze Dennard (quad), center Alex Mack (concussion) and guard James Carpenter (groin).

Rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle, hip) will miss the game for the Chiefs, though his injury is not as severe as initially thought. Tyreek Hill (hamstring) was withheld from Wednesday's practice as a precaution. Linebacker Anthony Hitchens is in COVID-19 protocol but could play.

--Field Level Media

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Atlanta Falcons

Kansas City Chiefs

Player Position Lineup
Ricardo Allen primary: Safety Starter
Tyeler Davison primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Russell Gage primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Matt Gono primary: Left Guard Starter
Grady Jarrett primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Deion Jones primary: Linebacker Starter
Chris Lindstrom primary: Right Guard Starter
Jake Matthews primary: Left Tackle Starter
Kaleb McGary primary: Right Tackle Starter
Steven Means primary: Defensive End Starter
Keanu Neal primary: Safety Starter
Isaiah Oliver primary: Cornerback Starter
Foyesade Oluokun primary: Linebacker Starter
Calvin Ridley primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Matt Ryan primary: Quarterback Starter
Kendall Sheffield primary: Safety Starter
Keith Smith primary: Fullback Starter
Dante Fowler Jr. primary: Defensive End Starter
Todd Gurley primary: Runningback Starter
A.J. Terrell primary: Cornerback Starter
Matt Hennessy primary: Center Starter
Luke Stocker primary: Tight End Starter
Allen Bailey primary: Defensive End Substitution
Christian Blake primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
John Cominsky primary: Defensive End Substitution
Jaeden Graham primary: Tight End Substitution
Josh Harris primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Brian Hill primary: Runningback Substitution
Younghoe Koo primary: Kicker Substitution
Brandon Powell primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Ito Smith primary: Runningback Substitution
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
John Wetzel primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Hayden Hurst primary: Tight End Substitution
Sharrod Neasman primary: Safety Substitution
Blidi Wreh-Wilson primary: Cornerback Substitution
LaRoy Reynolds primary: Linebacker Substitution
Justin McCray primary: Guard Substitution
Edmond Robinson primary: Linebacker Substitution
Mykal Walker primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jaylinn Hawkins primary: Safety Substitution
Sterling Hofrichter primary: Punter Substitution
Tyler Hall primary: Cornerback Substitution
Chris Rowland primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Charles Harris primary: Defensive End Substitution
Laquon Treadwell primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
James Carpenter primary: Guard Not active
Sean Harlow primary: Guard Did not play
Julio Jones primary: Wide Receiver Not active
Alex Mack primary: Center Not active
Qadree Ollison primary: Runningback Not active
Matt Schaub primary: Quarterback Did not play
Deadrin Senat primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Marlon Davidson primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Darqueze Dennard primary: Defensive Back Not active
Player Position Lineup
Nick Allegretti primary: Left Guard Starter
Frank Clark primary: Right Defensive End Starter
Eric Fisher primary: Left Tackle Starter
Mecole Hardman primary: Tight End Starter
Darius Harris primary: Linebacker Starter
Tyreek Hill primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Chris Jones primary: Left Defensive Tackle Starter
Travis Kelce primary: Tight End Starter
Tanoh Kpassagnon primary: Left Defensive End Starter
Patrick Mahomes primary: Quarterback Starter
Tyrann Mathieu primary: Strong Safety Starter
Ben Niemann primary: Linebacker Starter
Derrick Nnadi primary: Right Defensive Tackle Starter
Austin Reiter primary: Center Starter
Daniel Sorensen primary: Free Safety Starter
Charvarius Ward primary: Left Cornerback Starter
Sammy Watkins primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Andrew Wylie primary: Right Guard Starter
Mike Remmers primary: Right Tackle Starter
Bashaud Breeland primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Willie Gay primary: Linebacker Starter
Le'Veon Bell primary: Runningback Starter
Harrison Butker primary: Kicker Substitution
Rashad Fenton primary: Cornerback Substitution
Alex Okafor primary: Defensive End Substitution
Byron Pringle primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Darwin Thompson primary: Runningback Substitution
Juan Thornhill primary: Safety Substitution
Armani Watts primary: Safety Substitution
Darrel Williams primary: Runningback Substitution
James Winchester primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Deon Yelder primary: Tight End Substitution
Gehrig Dieter primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Nick Keizer primary: Tight End Substitution
Antonio Hamilton primary: Cornerback Substitution
Mike Pennel primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Anthony Sherman primary: Fullback Substitution
Demarcus Robinson primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Ricky Seals-Jones primary: Tight End Substitution
L'Jarius Sneed primary: Cornerback Substitution
Mike Danna primary: Defensive End Substitution
Tommy Townsend primary: Punter Substitution
Omari Cobb primary: Linebacker Substitution
Yasir Durant primary: Offensive Linesman Substitution
Tershawn Wharton primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Daniel Kilgore primary: Center Substitution
Stefen Wisniewski primary: Guard Substitution
Martinas Rankin primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Khalen Saunders primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Tim Ward primary: Defensive End Not active
Damien Wilson primary: Linebacker Not active
Chad Henne primary: Quarterback Did not play
Clyde Edwards-Helaire primary: Runningback Not active
Bopete Keyes primary: Cornerback Not active
Deandre Baker primary: Cornerback Not active

Atlanta Falcons

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Match Start
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 4 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Harrison Butker
    • Passer: Patrick Mahomes
    • Pass Receiver: Travis Kelce
  • MIN 3
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 5 Yards
    • Passer: Matt Ryan
    • Pass Receiver: Hayden Hurst
    • Conv Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • Period 4
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 25 Yards
    • Passer: Patrick Mahomes
    • Pass Receiver: Demarcus Robinson
    • Conv Kicker: Harrison Butker
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 5 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Laquon Treadwell
    • Conv Kicker: Younghoe Koo
    • Passer: Matt Ryan
  • MIN 14
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 53 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Harrison Butker
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 30% L 70%
3 7
  • @Tampa Bay L 27 - 44
  • @Kansas City L 14 - 17
  • Tampa Bay L 31 - 27
  • @L.A. Chargers L 17 - 20
  • New Orleans L 21 - 16
  • Las Vegas W 6 - 43
  • @New Orleans L 9 - 24
  • Denver W 27 - 34
  • @Carolina W 25 - 17
  • Detroit L 23 - 22
W 80% L 20%
8 2
  • @Tampa Bay L 9 - 31
  • Buffalo W 24 - 38
  • Cleveland W 17 - 22
  • L.A. Chargers L 38 - 21
  • Atlanta W 14 - 17
  • @New Orleans W 32 - 29
  • @Miami W 33 - 27
  • Denver W 16 - 22
  • @Tampa Bay W 27 - 24
  • @Las Vegas W 35 - 31

Last Meetings

  • Falcons @ Chiefs 14-17
  • Chiefs @ Falcons 28-14
  • Chiefs @ Falcons 29-28
  • Falcons @ Chiefs 40-24
  • Chiefs @ Falcons 10-20
  • Chiefs @ Falcons 14-38

American Football Conference

AFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Buffalo Bills133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-29-0-1
Miami Dolphins106 0.6253.00.00.0 5-35-37-0-3
New England Patriots79 0.4386.00.00.0 5-32-65-0-5
New York Jets214 0.12511.00.00.0 1-71-72-0-8
AFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Pittsburgh Steelers124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-36-0-4
Baltimore Ravens115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Cleveland Browns115 0.6881.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Cincinnati Bengals411 1.2677.50.00.0 3-51-63-1-7
AFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Indianapolis Colts115 0.6880.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Tennessee Titans115 0.6880.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Houston Texans412 0.2507.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars115 0.06310.00.00.0 1-70-81-0-10
AFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Kansas City Chiefs142 0.8750.00.00.0 6-28-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders88 0.5006.00.00.0 2-66-25-0-5
Los Angeles Chargers79 0.4387.00.00.0 4-43-55-0-5
Denver Broncos511 0.3139.00.00.0 2-63-53-0-7

National Football Conference

NFC EastWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Washington Football Team79 0.4380.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Dallas Cowboys610 0.3751.00.00.0 4-42-64-0-6
New York Giants610 0.3751.00.00.0 3-53-55-0-5
Philadelphia Eagles411 1.2672.50.00.0 3-41-73-1-7
NFC NorthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Green Bay Packers133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-28-0-2
Chicago Bears88 0.5005.00.00.0 3-55-33-0-7
Minnesota Vikings79 0.4386.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Detroit Lions511 0.3138.00.00.0 1-74-42-0-8
NFC SouthWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
New Orleans Saints124 0.7500.00.00.0 6-26-28-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers511 0.3137.00.00.0 2-63-52-0-8
Atlanta Falcons412 0.2508.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
NFC WestWL DPRCGBHOMEAWAYPAST L10
Seattle Seahawks124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-37-0-3
Los Angeles Rams106 0.6252.00.00.0 6-24-46-0-4
Arizona Cardinals88 0.5004.00.00.0 4-44-44-0-6
San Francisco 49ers610 0.3756.00.00.0 1-75-33-0-7

Last Injuries