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Kansas City Chiefs: Four players to watch vs Falcons in Week 16

Lil'Jordan Humphrey #84 of the New Orleans Saints catches a touchdown pass over L'Jarius Sneed #38 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Lil'Jordan Humphrey #84 of the New Orleans Saints catches a touchdown pass over L'Jarius Sneed #38 of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Who should Kansas City Chiefs fans keep an eye on against the Falcons?

The Kansas City Chiefs can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win over the Atlanta Falcons this weekend at Arrowhead Stadium. The Falcons might only have four wins on the season, but they could be a bigger challenge for the Chiefs than fans might anticipate. They have a good offense that’s capable of scoring points, but it really just depends which Falcons team shows up.

With all of that said, here are four Chiefs to keep an eye on as the reigning Super Bowl champions host the Falcons on Sunday.

Kansas City Chiefs to watch vs Falcons – No. 4: Frank Clark

Frank Clark has been disappointing this season, only notching five sacks through 14 games (he had eight sacks in 14 games last year. The Chiefs’ pass rush as a whole has been pretty up and down, but the good news for them this week is that Atlanta’s offensive line has given up at least one sack in every game this year (they gave up EIGHT SACKS to the Saints in Week 11).

Clark doesn’t necessarily need to get home and hit Matt Ryan this week, but he needs to make an impact in the game. Hitting Ryan and making him uncomfortable is key and if Clark can disrupt the long-time Falcons quarterback, that’d be enough. Hopefully, he can get a sack though.

Kansas City Chiefs to watch vs Falcons – No. 3: Mecole Hardman

The Falcons have one of the worst passing defenses in the league and that’s not great considering they’re going up against the BEST passing offense in the NFL. Mecole Hardman is on my list of players to watch this week because Patrick Mahomes is going to be cooking on Sunday and should spread the ball around frequently.

Getting Hardman involved opens up the offense more and we saw that last week against the Saints. Hardman had just three catches for 22 yards in New Orleans, but he was the recipient of the incredible touchdown pass Mahomes had late in the game. While the throw was all Mahomes, Hardman’s ability to get open was a big key in that touchdown occurring.

Hardman’s best game this season was in Week 8 vs the Jets where he had seven catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Sammy Watkins wasn’t playing in that one, which helped Hardman get more targets. Still, I want to see Hardman show up big for this matchup against the Falcons.

Kansas City Chiefs to watch vs Falcons – No. 2: Le’Veon Bell

We’re all aware of the injury to Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the fact that he’s going to miss the rest of the regular season. That means Le’Veon Bell is the next man up in the run game and Chiefs fans feel pretty good about him being the No. 1 option. Had Bell not been signed by the Chiefs, Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson would be the ones in the backfield, so fans are definitely glad the team was aggressive in bringing Bell in.

Bell put on his best performance as a Chief last week, rushing for 62 yards and a touchdown, so the hope is that he can build on that. That being said, with how weak the Falcons’ passing defense is, the Chiefs will probably focus more on airing it out than handing it off, but Bell can be utilized there for sure.

Kansas City Chiefs to watch vs Falcons – No. 1: L’Jarius Sneed

The Chiefs might have had one of the biggest steals in the 2020 NFL Draft with L’Jarius Sneed. The fourth-round rookie has been sensational and is coming off of a huge game in New Orleans where he had an interception and a sack against Drew Brees.

Sneed is the Chiefs’ best cornerback this season and hopefully, he can make some plays against the Falcons. Matt Ryan has thrown three interceptions in his past three games with all three of them coming in the same game. He has a total of 11 interceptions this season and if anyone’s going to pick the ball off, it’s Sneed. Here’s to hoping Sneed has a big game on Sunday.

Who are you going to be keeping an eye on this weekend, Chiefs fans?