Two NFL division winners from last year face off in Week 6, as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs travel to D.C. to take on the Washington Football Team. Last season's AFC champion now finds themselves in last place in their division, as the Chiefs have gotten off to a 2-3 start. They most recently fell to the Buffalo Bills on "Sunday Night Football," 38-20.
The Chiefs have a big problem on defense, but so does Washington. In fact, these two teams have given up more points than any other team in the NFL. It's fair to expect a shootout, but can Taylor Heinicke keep up with Mahomes? Let's break down this Week 6 game, but before we do, here's how you can watch on Sunday.
All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook.
How to watch
Key matchups to watch
Washington defense vs. Chiefs offense
Even if Washington had the best defense in the NFL, this would still be a key matchup to watch. Despite the losing record, the Chiefs have the No. 4 offense in the league in terms of yards per game. You not only have to keep Mahomes in check, but limiting star receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce is an absolute must if you want to beat Kansas City. Both are currently in the top 20 in receiving yards, with Hill at No. 4 with 516 yards and four touchdowns and Kelce at No. 18 with 369 yards and four touchdowns. Washington gave up 43 points to the Bills three weeks ago, 30 to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4 and 33 to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. What's the Over/Under for Chiefs points scored on Sunday? 35?
Eliminating chunk plays and holding the Chiefs to field goals in the red zone is going to be paramount. It's going to be the defense that has to hold the Chiefs in check if Washington wants a chance to get back into the win column.
Taylor Heinicke vs. expectations
Heinicke has done enough to prove that he's worth a spot on an active roster in the NFL, but he hasn't done enough yet to prove that he's one of the top 32 quarterbacks in the league. He pulled off an incredible game-winning drive against the New York Giants in Week 2 -- operating with a short memory after he threw what appeared to be the game-deciding interception. He also kept up with Matt Ryan and the Falcons on the road and pulled some rabbits out of his hat for another victory. However, his biggest victory would be the Chiefs if he can out-perform Mahomes.
According to TruMedia, Heinicke will face a Chiefs defense that lines up in man coverage on 38 percent of defensive snaps -- which is the fourth-highest rate in the NFL this season. Heinicke has fared OK against man coverage, as his 106.1 passer rating is the 12th-highest in the NFL and his 60 percent completion rate is the 13th-highest in the NFL. He can get Washington back on the right track and further his case as a legitimate starting quarterback with a win over the Chiefs.
Washington has a legitimate chance to upset the Chiefs, but Sunday could also serve as a "get-right" spot for Kansas City. The Chiefs have a losing record, are in last place in the AFC West and were just walloped by their biggest competition in the AFC. The Football Team has more questions than answers at this point, and virtually no homefield advantage.
Pick: Chiefs 38-28 over Washington