National Football League
Preview
Kansas City at Atlanta
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 4, 2016
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia

The Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons are in position to make the playoffs, and both hope to solidify their standing in the teams’ first meeting since 2012 on Sunday in Atlanta. The Falcons hold a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the NFC South, while Kansas City is fighting for position in the AFC wild-card race while also trying to keep pace in the AFC West.



The Chiefs took over second place in the wild AFC West with a thrilling 30-27 overtime win at Denver on Sunday night. Kansas City has won 18 of its last 21 regular-season contests but is one game behind Oakland in the division and just one ahead of the Broncos, who are on the wrong side of the wild-card bubble. "It's that time of the season you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and if you're in position to strike, I don't think you can afford to take games off," Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters. "At this time, that can't even be an issue. Every game is so important right now." The Falcons are in the same boat as they prepare for their toughest remaining test of the regular season, with their final four opponents all having records below .500.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Falcons -4.5. O/U: 49



ABOUT THE CHIEFS (8-3): Kansas City has survived despite a mediocre offense that has topped 300 total yards just once in the last four games. The Chiefs have missed star receiver Jeremy Maclin, who has been sidelined for three straight games with a groin injury, but his absence has helped open up more playing time for rookie speedster Tyreek Hill, who last week became the first player since Gale Sayers in 1965 to record rushing, receiving and return touchdowns in the same game. Kansas City’s saving grace has been a defense that leads the league in takeaways (24) and features dynamic pass rushers Justin Houston and Dee Ford.

ABOUT THE FALCONS (7-4): Atlanta’s offense is one of the best in the league and features a prolific duo in quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones, who leads the league in receiving yards (1,140) and recorded 108 and two touchdowns in Atlanta’s 40-24 win at Kansas City in 2012. The backfield combination of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman gives the Falcons decent balance and will need to be effective to keep the Chiefs’ defense honest. The Falcons’ most glaring weakness is their pass defense, which ranks last in the league but has held three of its last four opponents under 300 passing yards.



EXTRA POINTS

1. Kansas City has forced a turnover in seven straight games, recording 14 takeaways – and just three giveaways – over that span.

2. Ryan has passed for 2,307 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions in his last seven home games.

3. The Chiefs have not topped 100 yards rushing in their last five games after doing so three times in their first six contests.



PREDICTION: Falcons 26, Chiefs 23


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Kansas City 8-3 W1 22.9 19.5 4-1 4-2 7-3 0-0 - - 6-2
Atlanta 7-4 W1 32.5 27.5 3-2 4-2 3-1 0-0 - - 5-3
Last Meeting
Kansas City Atlanta
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/9/12 ATL 40 KC 24 393 152 241 376 84 292
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Kansas City M. Cassel 63.6 258 1 2
Atlanta M. Ryan 74.2 299 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Kansas City J. Charles 16 87 5.4 0
Atlanta M. Turner 11 32 2.9 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Kansas City D. McCluster 6 82 13.7 0
Atlanta J. Jones 6 108 18.0 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Kansas City K. Boss 1
Atlanta J. Jones 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Kansas City A. Smith 66.2 2297 10 4
Atlanta M. Ryan 68.9 3516 26 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Kansas City S. Ware 149 705 4.7 2
Atlanta D. Freeman 161 729 4.5 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Kansas City T. Kelce 57 675 11.8 3
Atlanta J. Jones 65 1140 17.5 5
Touchdowns Player TD
Kansas City T. Hill 7
Atlanta T. Coleman 7