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Scully's NFL Notebook: Chiefs embark on tough road stretch

Profile Picture: James Scully

December 16th, 2021

After reaching three consecutive AFC title games, Kansas City started the season slowly, losing four of the first seven games. The Chiefs have turned things around, stretching their win streak to six by dominating Las Vegas in Week 14, and they once again look like the team to beat in the AFC.

Five of the last six wins came at home, and Kansas City will now test its mettle on the road, finishing with three of its final four games outside the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium.

A compelling finish to the regular season is building. Let’s examine more storylines in this week’s Notebook!

Arizona's home woes

Arizona lost a third straight home game on Monday night in an error-filled 30-23 decision to the Rams.

Unbeaten away from home (7-0), the Cardinals haven’t played with the same intensity at State Farm Stadium. They fell behind Green Bay and Tampa Bay in the NFC standings, and their NFC West lead shrunk to a single game over Los Angeles.

Top receiver DeAndre Hopkins is expected to miss the rest of the regular season. With a difficult schedule over the final three weeks, Arizona could drop into the Wild Card picture, which would allow the Cardinals to avoid a home playoff game.

Chalk-heavy results

Despite Arizona faltering, favorites kicked butt in Week 14, producing a 11-3 record against the spread.

Six teams favored by at least 8.5 points covered, with Denver (12.5) rolling to a 38-10 win over Detroit as the biggest chalk.

Green Bay, Tampa Bay strengthen position

For the second consecutive year, a showdown between Tampa Bay and Green Bay in the NFC championship game appears to be looming.

Both teams are 10-3 in the standings, and Green Bay owns the tiebreaker advantage for the top spot and bye.

The Packers are eligible to win out, but they do face a tougher schedule than Tampa Bay, which finishes against four teams with losing records.

Fish win streak

New England has won seven consecutive games, and Kansas City six. Name the third-longest win streak in the NFL presently?

After opening the season 1-7, the Dolphins have become relevant by winning five straight. They can reach .500 by defeating the Jets on Sunday.

Game of the Week

Sun, December 19 2021, 1:15 AM

IND Colts

Moneyline

-139

Spread

-2.5

Total

O 45.5

NE Patriots

Moneyline

+115

Spread

+2.5

Total

U 45.5

A pair of Saturday games will be offered in Week 15, including an anticipated night matchup between New England and Indianapolis.

New England hopes the bye week didn’t stunt its momentum. The Patriots will need to slow down NFL rushing leader Jonathan Taylor to keep their win streak alive.

Colts head coach Frank Reich has plenty of experience going up against Bill Belichick's defenses, and it will be interesting to see whether Indianapolis has success against the league’s top-ranked scoring defense.

Linemakers don’t expect a low-scoring game — only four other matchups offer a higher points total.

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