12th Man Rising: Name one under-the-radar offensive player and one defensive player for Kansas City that could make big impacts on Sunday’s game?
Connor: This will be Week 3 with Kelvin Benjamin on the roster. He was not expected to play in the first game, and he caught his only target—a 17-yard sideline pass—in his second week. Now the Chiefs know fairly well what he can and cannot do and Andy Reid is the best at game-planning such mismatches on offense. I would expect the Chiefs to really utilize this new addition for the first time and develop some real chemistry with him in the audience for the postseason (when hopefully Sammy Watkins returns).
As for the defense, Dorian O’Daniel made some really nice plays down the stretch for the Chiefs in the Chargers loss, and I think he’s going to be key watching running backs in the passing game here as well as various assignment spying on the QB or TE. He’s still learning the nuances of the pro level, but his instincts are very clear and this third round pick is blossoming late in the season.
Who wins the game?
12th Man Rising: Who wins when the Seahawks play the Chiefs and why?
Connor: For all of my complaints about the defense, the Chiefs have lost to three teams all year by a sum total of 7 points. All three of those teams—the Rams, the Patriots, the Chargers—have good reasons to believe they could hoist the Lombardi Trophy and all needed last second plays to defeat the Chiefs. If the Seahawks win, it will be the same sort of nail-biter, likely driven by the fact that the Seahawks have more at stake than the Chiefs (who have already punched their postseason ticket), but I think the Chiefs are one class above on this one.