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Finally, Week 1 is here

Preview of Sunday’s Game at Arizona


Derek Dietz     @OriginalMrDietz                                                                          

Well, we made it. Here we are, week 1! The Chiefs head to the desert to face the Arizona Cardinals.

 Arizona Kliff Notes: 

Kyler Murray just signed a massive 5-year deal after a brutal off-season that seemed to put him at odds with ownership and management. $230 million dollars seems to have silenced those problems. HC Kliff Kingsbury is on thin ice, in three seasons he is 24-24-1.  But he is trending in the right direction. In 2019 they were 5-10-1, 2020 yielded an 8-8 campaign, and 2021 was 11-6 with a first-round exit in the playoffs.  The Cardinals play in a very strong NFC West, so who knows what 2022 holds.

The biggest moves the Cardinals made were retaining their own free agents such as James Conner and Zach Ertz. On draft day, there was a major trade for Hollywood Brown to beef up their thin Wide Receiver room after the suspension of DeAndre Hopkins, and the loss of Christian Kirk in Free Agency.


The Chiefs enter the season healthy. Both the OL & DL are healthy.  They have a fully re-vamped Wide Receiver group based on four #2 level wideouts and no true #1 WR.  Hopefully, this strategy will allow Mahomes to spread out the ball more because in 2021 three guys (Hill, Kelce, Hardman) got 60% of the target share.

Darrel Williams, Byron Pringle, and DeMarcus Robinson are no longer with us, and they took up 158 targets. Jody Fortson appears to be fully healthy and ready to make a difference in the red zone, and I am excited at what Mecole Hardman can do away from Tyreek Hill’s shadow. MVS & JuJu & Skyy Moore have a great opportunity here to shine with the top QB looking their way early and often.


For Defense, Kansas City will trot out a very young (but fast & talented) defensive back corps that will sport at least 5 new faces.  Gone are fan favorite whipping boys and villains Anthony Hitchens, Dan Sorensen, and Ben Niemann.  In are new faces such as Furious George, Trent McDuffie, Justin Reid, and Leo Chenal.  9 of the 10 KC Chief draft picks made the roster.  George Karlaftis made some plays in pre-season, and Nick Bolton appears to be a real stud anchoring the defense.   Frank Clark needs to prove the doubters wrong that he is NOT a declining player.


The Chiefs are chasing a 7th straight AFC West Title, but this year the sportsbooks aren’t sold on the Chiefs being heavy favorites.  The stiffest competition may be coming from the Chargers, not to mention the national media love they routinely get from April to September. Don’t sleep on the Raiders either as they made the playoffs, and Denver has attempted a quick reload with the trade for Russell Wilson and some other nice additions. Needless to say, it will be a very competitive division.

For those of you with a penchant for more than a rooting interest in the game, BetMGM has the Chiefs at +160, and the Chargers at +250. The Raiders fall in at +260, and the Broncos are paying +650 (6.5 to 1).

The Chiefs are the first team in history to open with 8 straight games against opponents with 2021 winning records.  If the Chiefs can run this gauntlet from Arizona to Tennessee and go 6-2, I would be impressed. The 2nd half of the season is not much easier but includes games against Jacksonville, Houston, and Seattle and 13-4 is not out of the question.

Under Andy Reid, the Chiefs are 8-2 against the spread in opening games with a 9-1 straight-up bet.  Personally, I would not bet against Andy & Patrick, so I would take the first-half spread (KC -3.5) and the game total over 53.5 in a parlay. Patrick Mahomes is 4-0 as a starter in his 4 opening day games as well.


Game prediction:  Chiefs 34, Arizona 30. 


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