The Chiefs seem to have righted the ship with back-to-back wins against the Raiders and Chargers. In Week 16, they square off against the Miami Dolphins at Arrowhead Stadium on Christmas Eve. If Kansas City plans to enter the playoffs on a strong note, they need to continue their roll. Understanding areas of the roster where the Chiefs can pressure the Dolphins will help predict the outcome of the game.
Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler is, to put it lightly, inconsistent. At his best, he helps Miami win games against superior opponents like the New England Patriots. At his worst, he throws a handful of interceptions in a single game. When contrasted with Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, who takes care of the ball in all but a few fluke games, Cutler is a pressure point that the Chiefs should exploit. Pass rush and clogging up throwing lanes should be priorities for defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. Making Cutler hold onto the ball just a second longer than he wants to could help the pass rush get home.
The Dolphins have actually given up fewer rushing and passing yards than the Chiefs have this season. However, they also given up 24 passing touchdowns. This indicates that Miami, while capable of limiting gains in general, is susceptible to big plays which won’t bode well against the Chiefs. Their middle-of-the-pack yards allowed per passing attempt bears this out. Kansas City has two of the league’s best big-play receivers in Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill as well as Kareem Hunt. If the Chiefs can dial up a couple plays for these guys, it might seal the win for Kansas City.
Miami hasn’t done a particularly bad or a particularly good job in the kicking and punting games this season, but the Chiefs still have Hill, De’Anthony Thomas, and Akeem Hunt fielding returns. Superstar punter Dustin Colquitt continues to do his thing and has been consistently flipping field position. Meanwhile, kicker Harrison Butker is having a solid rookie season. If Miami lets the Chiefs win the field position battle, it may be a difference maker.