Kansas City Chiefs face another serious test on Sunday

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 30: Kicker Harrison Butker
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 30: Kicker Harrison Butker /
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LANDOVER, MD – OCTOBER 29: Running back Ezekiel Elliott
LANDOVER, MD – OCTOBER 29: Running back Ezekiel Elliott /

To get back on a winning streak, the Chiefs will have to go through a Dallas Cowboys team which boasts a Top 10 offense in points, total yardage and rushing yards. Much like the Chiefs, they’re similarly mediocre defensively, but are the league’s 2nd-ranked defense in terms of sacks (nearly half of which belong to fourth-year man Demarcus Lawrence with 10.5).

On Monday night, a judge denied running back Ezekiel Elliott’s request for an injunction temporarily re-instating his six-game suspension. Should that ruling go uncontested, he’d miss Sunday’s game with Kansas City. He does; however, have 24 hours to appeal the decision and is likely to do so. The likelihood is that the appeal will buy the former Ohio State Buckeye enough time to make another start against the Chiefs come Sunday.

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Having to face Elliott on Sunday is less than ideal for a Kansas City run defense ranked 28th in the NFL. It doesn’t help that they’ll also be tasked with defending 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott. After a phenomenal rookie season, he’s continued to play efficient football for Dallas. Through eight games, Prescott has just four interceptions and a passer rating north of 95. That could be a challenge given Kansas City’s recent struggles in the secondary. The Monday night game proved the Chiefs’ bend-don’t-break defense can be effective with consistent pressure and turnovers, but that’s not something Dallas does often (they have just eight turnovers on the year). They also do a good job of protecting Prescott, having surrendered just nine sacks in 2017.

A win in Dallas would give the Chiefs some much-needed momentum heading into a handful of games where they’re likely to be favored. That’s key for a team playing catch up to the Pittsburgh Steelers. With a head-to-head loss against Steel City, the Chiefs will need to finish with a better record to secure home field advantage in the postseason. That could prove quite difficult considering the Steelers’ schedule down the stretch. The back half of their season sees contests with the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns. If you’re scoring at home, just three of those teams currently have a winning record. It should also be noted that five of those seven games are at home.