4 Chiefs players to watch in Week 18 vs. Raiders
The Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) are set to play their final game of the regular season on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders (6-10) in Week 18.
With a victory, the Chiefs can clinch the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a coveted first-round bye week. With a loss, they’ll possibly find themselves playing on wild-card weekend. The Raiders don’t have much to play for in this one other than to play spoiler to their most bitter rival and stop Kansas City from a clean sweep of the AFC West this season.
Here’s a look at four players for Kansas City who we’ll be paying close attention to when they square off with the Raiders on Saturday:
QB Patrick Mahomes
AP Photo/David Becker
Mahomes is an appointment viewing every week, no matter the occasion, but this week has a chance to be special. He needs just 430 passing yards to break Peyton Manning’s single-season NFL record (5,477) and he’s going up against a Raiders pass defense that is among the worst in the league. He needs 186 combined passing and rushing yards to pass Drew Brees for the single-season record for total yards (5,562). On top of all that, he has a chance to lead the Chiefs to a No. 1 seed.
CB Trent McDuffie
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McDuffie was on injured reserve for the team’s Week 5 matchup with the Raiders and he could prove to be a key piece in Week 18. In recent weeks, the Chiefs have him playing more frequently in the slot, which means he’ll be tasked with slowing down Hunter Renfrow. In his last three games against Kansas City, Renfrow has 24 receptions on 27 targets for 188 yards and two touchdowns.
WR Mecole Hardman
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Hardman is listed as questionable, but he’s poised to appear in his first game since Week 9. He’s not expected to get much work per Andy Reid, who mentioned 3-5 snaps as a possibility for Hardman. This could give fans an idea of how much Hardman will be able to contribute during the postseason. He remains tied for third in total touchdowns with six on the season.
S Justin Reid
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Since Week 11, Justin Reid has been one of the better safeties in football from a statistical standpoint. He’s not allowing many yards or receptions. He’s forcing incompletions in coverage. Really, all that has been lacking from Reid is the flash plays. This week, he’s going to be part of the unit tasked with slowing down Darren Waller, who has given the Chiefs’ defense fits in the past. It’d be a great week for one of those flash plays to show up for Reid.