NFL 2019 (Week 9): Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 9): Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs

By Pete Fasulo

Special to Pro Football Guru

In this Week 9 match-up, we have a game that pits two teams heading in opposite directions. The Minnesota Vikings have won four consecutive games while the Kansas City Chiefs have lost three of their last four contests. Patrick Mahomes may return from the dislocated kneecap that he suffered in the Week 7 win over the Broncos. Regardless, the big question in this game is: Can the Chiefs’ defense stop Kirk Cousins and a Vikings’ offense that has been averaging 31.8 points per game during their four-game win streak?

Vikings: Cousins leads a solid offense that features wide receivers Adam Thielen (returning from a hamstring injury after missing last week’s game vs. Washington) and the somewhat-disgruntled Stefon Diggs, as well as tight end Kyle Rudolph. Running backs Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison should be able to run on a Kansas City defense that has allowed an average of 145 rushing yards per game this season. The Vikings’ offensive line, led by Riley Reiff, should be able to open holes all day versus the front seven of the Chiefs that has been suspect this far this season. Defensively, the Vikings are led by stalwarts Joseph Linval, Xavier Rhodes and Anthony Barr. Expect the Vikings to have their hands full early on but settle in and control the line of scrimmage against Andy Reid’s troops. Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen should add to their team-leading sack totals (8 Hunter, 4.5 for Griffin) vs. a Kansas City line that has at times been struggling this season.

Chiefs: Reid’s offense was firing on all cylinders through the first four games of the season, averaging 33.8 points per game. Yet, since week five’s loss to the Colts at Arrowhead they’ve only averaged 22.8 points per game. This drop-off can be partly attributed to the loss of Mahomes, yet it truly began two weeks prior to that when the Colts’ defense seemed to figure out the Chiefs’ pass-happy offense. The Chiefs are calling 64.4 percent pass plays to only 35.6 percent running plays. Mahomes has participated in practice this week but was limited on Thursday and his status for this game remains up in the air. So it indeed possible that Matt Moore will make his second straight start. Both tight end Travis Kelce (14.4) and Sammy Watkins (14.6) are big-play threats and speedster Tyreek Hill is working his way back into the flow. On defense, the Chiefs are very strong with 25 sacks already this year, led by Emmanuel Ogbah (4.5).

Prediction: With the Arrowhead Stadium crowd in full throat and the Chiefs needing this victory, expect Kansas City to return to their winning ways. Expect Minnesota to be able to run the ball with success yet have trouble in the passing game. Also expect the Chiefs’ pass rush to slow down the passing attack of the Norsemen. This will be a close game throughout, yet in the end expect Kansas City to have just enough offensive weapons to pull off the victory.

Kansas City Chiefs 31, Minnesota Vikings 28

Pete Fasulo (@LISportsFans) is a freelance writer covering business, music, and sports. He has written for music publications such as Revolver and Aural Fix. His sports writing career has been resurrected here after numerous years at The Torch and The Long Island Tribune (many moons ago).

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