Kansas City at Miami
Time: NOON EST, CBS
Spread: KC -8.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Miami Dolphins are greatly improved, but how improved it is will be put to the test as it hosts the Kansas City Chiefs. The Dolphins enter hot, but it finds itself 8.5-point underdogs in the game, which will kick off at Noon (EST) on CBS. The over-under is set somewhat high at 50.5 points, which makes for an interesting bet clashing one of the best offenses in Kansas City against one of the NFL’s stingiest defenses in the Dolphins.
KC News & notes:
Kansas City has been great offensively thus far, and its defense receives more than its fair share of credit, for both its recent improvements and its overall status, in allowing just 21.2 points per game. Offensively, KC is ranking No. 1 in passing yards per game at 314.4, while it ranks No. 16 via the rush at 113.2 per game. Overall, the Chiefs generate 30.8 points per game, ranking No. 2 in the NFL. Defensive woes were suspected to be an issue, but there have been precious few with the “D” performing as one of the top units in the league.
The Chiefs have been good at executing in close games, too. Kansas City was tied 24-24 at the half with the Raiders, but it was outscored 16-8 in the final quarter which amounted to the difference in the final total. Derek Carr of the Raiders threw for 347 yards and three TDs while the Raiders picked up another 144 yards on 35 carries.
The Chiefs got a fair game out of Pat Mahomes, in that outing, but he was certainly far from his best, throwing an interception, suffering three sacks, and completing just over 50 percent of his looks. The backfield and rush game was ineffective, generating just four yards-per-carry, though the Chiefs were able to utilize the ground game to manage a couple of rushing touchdowns, one from Mahomes and the other on a handoff to Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs seem to go, as Mahomes does.
Travis Kelce did work catching the ball, even so. He led the Chiefs last week in catches (eight), yardage (108), and he scored one of the team’s two receiving touchdowns. The Chiefs had four receiving options with 40 yards or better last week, but it also allowed the Raiders to work its air game, and the Chiefs secondary surrendered three touchdowns, one apiece to the top-3 Raiders passing options.
Mahomes thus far this season has thrown 68.3 percent for completion, and he averages 8.2 yards-per-catch. He has thrown 31 TDs with just two interceptions, and his 15 sacks (1.25 per game) are tolerable, though 86-yards is a substantial loss on those plays.
Even so, Mahomes has a passer rating of 113.8, and he has rushed for 241 yards this season on 437 carries, managing 5.1 yards-per. Mahomes also ranks No. 2 on the team-lead in rushing touchdowns with two, while lead back Clyde Edwards-Helaire manages 4.6 yards-per-carry on his 151 attempts with four touchdowns and a team-best 35 first downs.
The Miami Dolphins have won seven of its last eight following its 19-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals last outing. The wins are carrying some quality, though the Dolphins still wonder how it stacks up against the truly elite clubs. This week will provide something of a measuring stick against the NFL’s best offense.
Miami is just not a good offensive team, for a team that is four games above .500. Miami ranks No. 24 in pass yardage and No. 26 in rushing, yet somehow it cracks No. 16 overall in scoring offense. Those 25.3 points per game have proven enough with the third-most-stingy defensive unit in the NFL, allowing just 17.7 points per game to its opponents. The Dolphins have held three of its last four under 21 points, though that also included a 13-20 loss to the Denver Broncos.
The point is, Miami’s defense has kept it in games, that its offense has “just good enough” to secure victory.
The Dolphins have a few bones to pick with their quarterback, for starters. While Ryan Fitzpatrick has not been horrible, he has been just bad enough that Dolphins fans eagerly await Tua Tagovailoa to be ready to head a team. Fitz is completing a high ratio (68.5 percent), but he has launched an average of one interception per game while having incurred 1.67 sacks per game for a loss of about eight yards per game. His passer rating hovers at a decent 93.1. Again, all that is fairly decent, even better than mediocre, but the Dolphins need better efficiency with its offense showing so many signs of being, overall, just less than satisfactory.
Tua Tagovailoa performed well last week. He completed 26 of 39 for 296 yards and a touchdown, posting a passer rating of 97.8 and a quarterback rating of 72.3.
Tua is clearly the future, and the Dolphins are tentatively making its transition from Fitz to Toa.
The Dolphins pick up just 3.7 yards-per-carry and Fitzpatrick is the only over 5 yards per, on his 30 attempts for 151 yards.
Lead rushers Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida both average just 3.9 and 3.6 yards-per-carry, respectively, and the Dolphins have just nine rushing touchdowns this season. It has managed twice as many via the passing game, with its top three pass options all possessing four or more touchdown catches. Devante Parker leads in yardage (677), first downs (39) and is tied for the lead in touchdown catches (4).
The Dolphins have seven players with at least 100 receiving yards this season.