The Kansas City Chiefs have the inside track to the first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. However, that could be in jeopardy with a loss this weekend at Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bengals pose the biggest challenge remaining on the Chiefs schedule. The week of practice did not get off to the best start, with a number of key players missing, including JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Fellow wide receiver Kadarius Toney and running back Jerick McKinnon also missed Wednesday’s session. Toney missed last week’s win over the Los Angeles Rams with a hamstring injury. McKinnon played but picked up his own hamstring injury in the win. Meanwhile, Smith-Schuster is dealing with an undisclosed illness, according to NBC Sports’ Josh Alper. There is nothing suggesting this is COVID related. But with cases back on the rise nationwide, it cannot be discounted until we hear otherwise officially.
JuJu Smith-Schuster was quiet in Sunday’s 26-10 win over the Rams. He caught two of four targets for 33 yards. That came on the heels of three exceptional showings from the former pittsburgh Steelers standout wide receiver. The three games prior, Smith-Schuster reeled in 22 catches for 325 yards and two touchdowns.
This weekend’s game against the Bengals is expected to have plenty of points. It has the highest over/under totals on the board, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Patrick Mahomes is 1-2 in his career against the Bengals, including the AFC Championship Game loss last year. The Chiefs will look to avenge that loss Sunday on the road. If they lose the game, that opens the door for the Bills to re-take the top seed in the AFC.