Giants vs 49ers

Giants vs 49ers : The New York Giants take on the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara in a battle of cellar dwellers on Monday night.

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One thing that you can mark down in stone is that long-time Giants quarterback Eli Manning will be under center, according to head coach Pat Shurmur, who put any speculation to rest about who the team’s quarterback would be earlier in the week.

“We just want to play good football,” Shurmur said when asked what his expectation was for Manning this week. “What’s important is, stick with the progressions, get the ball out on time, understand all the situational football. He’s done this at a high level for a very long time, and my conversation with him over the weekend is what coaches and quarterbacks do as you plot the course moving forward.

“He’s like everybody on the team; there’s areas where he can improve, we talked about that, and we’ll get ready to go and put all our efforts toward beating San Francisco.”

Although Shurmur didn’t commit to whether Manning would be the starter beyond this week, the quarterback, who has stayed cool in the face of pressure throughout his career, did so again when peppered with questions regarding the sense of urgency he must be feeling.

“I think there’s urgency to get things going, for sure,” Manning said. “We got to get some wins. We got to get going, and everybody wants it. The team needs it, for the morale and for just the hard work and everything we put in. Just need to reap the benefits of the work and feel good about what we’re doing.”

But is he worried about losing his job if the Giants offense lays another stink bomb?

Manning shook his head no.

“You worry about this week,” he said. “We got the 49ers. I got a job to do, and I’m going to do it to the best of my ability.”

The 49ers are also having quarterback issues.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan formally announced Thursday that Nick Mullens has moved ahead of C.J. Beathard at quarterback on the depth chart and will get the start Monday night.

The game, coincidentally, will come exactly one year to the day after Beathard achieved the high point of his rookie season, directing the 49ers to their first victory of 2017, 31-21 over these same Giants.

That was a factor in this week’s decision.

To ride the hot hand of Mullens, who came right off the practice squad to throw three touchdown passes against the Oakland Raiders in a Thursday night masterpiece?

Or return to Beathard, who already has a win under his belt against the Giants, to his starting spot after he’d had time to recover from thumb and wrist injuries?

Shanahan even got a few extra days to think about it because of his team’s three-day head start on the rest of the league in Week 9.

Thursday, he assured he didn’t need the extra time to decide.

“I don’t think it was too tough of a decision,” Shanahan admitted. “Our team played really well (against the Raiders) and he (Mullens) played well. It was going to be hard to not give him the opportunity.”

As for the future, Shanahan was noncommittal, calling it a “week-to-week” decision. The club’s star quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, won’t be a part of that decision — this year, anyway — as he recovers from knee surgery.

But is it possible Mullens could play so well that even Garoppolo’s return to his former status would be in question?

Shanahan remains focused on the Giants, not next year’s training camp.

That said, he has insisted from Day 1 that competition makes everyone better.

“Those guys are very self-motivated. There’s not a time that you’ve got to give them a kick in the butt to do something. Those guys, they put more pressure on themselves than someone else,” Shanahan said of Mullens and Beathard.

“I think C.J. started off well and I think he went through a tough stretch. I think it is good for him to sit back and get fully healthy and heal up and watch someone else do it. He’s only a play away from getting in. So he’ll be ready.”

The Giants defense is about to find out Monday night if Mullens is for real. All Mullens did in his first extensive playing time last week on a national stage was complete 16 of 22 passes for 262 yards, and three touchdowns for a 151.9 passer rating in a 34-3 spanking of the Raiders.

Mullens doesn’t offer ideal size nor arm strength for the position, but his quick feet in the pocket helps him avoid the pass rush, and he has a rapid set-up and release that gets the ball out of his hand in a snap. Because he doesn’t have ideal arm strength, he figures to push the ball underneath on slants and crossing patterns and let his receivers and tight end do the heavy lifting. If so, the Giants defense better make sure they are getting off their blocks and that they’re not getting caught flat-footed in coverage while trying to watch Mullens’ eyes.

Offensively, the Giants need to get their running game going against a 49ers defense that is somewhat banged up and that is allowing opponents 102.8 rushing yards per game. It would also probably help the Giants offense if it made more of an effort to get running back Saquon Barkley into space to help bring down one of the defenders that usually teams up on double coverage against Odell Beckham Jr.

Rams vs Seahawks

Rams vs Seahawks : The Los Angeles Rams can take firm control of the NFC West if they beat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. and sweep the season series between these divisional rivals. Los Angeles won the first meeting in Seattle by two points and can essentially end Seattle’s slim hopes for challenging for the NFC West with another win at LA Memorial Coliseum. Both clubs fell last week, as the Rams suffered their first defeat of the season in a shootout at New Orleans, while Seattle squandered several opportunities in a home loss to the Chargers. The Rams are nine-point favorites after the line moved as high as 10. The over-under for total points scored is 51 in the latest Rams vs. Seahawks odds. Before you lock in your Rams vs. Seahawks picks, make sure you hear what SportsLine expert R.J. White has to say.

After suffering their first loss of the 2018 season last week, Todd Gurley and the Los Angeles Rams (8-1) look to rebound when they host Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks (4-4) in a clash of NFC West teams at The L.A. Coliseum as Week 10 action continues on Sunday.

The renowned prognosticator has cashed big in the prestigious Las Vegas SuperContest two of the last three years and has now turned his eye toward Sunday’s game. White has a strong history of success in handicapping these NFC rivals, as evidenced by his incredible 22-7 record on against the spread picks involving Seattle or Los Angeles over the past two seasons.

The loss against the Chargers last Sunday wasn’t their best from a pass-protection standpoint as Wilson was sacked four times. But even with an Carson-less second half, Seattle put up 142 yards on the ground and still rank third in the league in rushing yards.

Seahawks linemen will say they were already aware of what they could do before that Rams game. But doubters of the previously maligned O-line were given their official notice.

As left tackle Duane Brown said: “We did what we set out to do, which was establish the line of scrimmage (and win that battle in the run game, which led to us being pretty good in pass protection, which is something they kind of pride themselves as a pass rush.”

All that is true. But so is this.

The Seahawks are 9.5 point underdogs in a game that will put them at 4-5 on the season if they lose. Controlling the game upfront against the best team in the NFC is essential if they want any chance to win.

When they kick

Greg Zuerlein did not play in Week 5 against the Seahawks because he was recovering from a groin injury. He has made 11 of 13 attempts, including one from 56 yards against the Saints. Rams punt returner JoJo Natson leads the NFL, averaging 14.9 yards per return. Seahawks kicker Sebastian Janikowski has made nine of 13 field-goal attempts. Lockett averages 24 yards per kickoff return and nearly six yards per punt return.

Gary Klein’s prediction

The Rams have not lost consecutive regular-season games under McVay, and they won’t start now. The Rams defense will be motivated to rebound from its poor performance against the much more potent Saints.

We can tell you White is leaning toward the Over, but his much stronger play is on the side. He has scrutinized Rams vs. Saints from every angle and found a crucial X-factor that causes one side of the spread to hit hard. He’s only sharing it at SportsLine.

Packers vs Dolphins

Packers vs Dolphins : The Green Bay Packers were considered the favorite to win the NFC North title. However the Packers find themselves trailing the Chicago Bears as they face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday (1:25 p.m. PT/4:25 p.m. ET, CBS, DirecTV or try FuboTV (free trial).

You can watch the live stream of the game on,, playstation vue, AppleTV, and SlingTV.

The Packers (3-4-1) trail the front-running Bears by only one-half game, but it’s not a position they expected to be in entering Week 10 of the season. The Packers have lost two consecutive games and three of their last four games.

The Dolphins (5-4) will start Brock Osweiler at quarterback for the fifth straight game as Ryan Tannehill continues to recover from a shoulder injury. The Dolphins have a 2-2 record under Osweiler. Osweiler has thrown six touchdown passes and three interceptions in the five games he has played in this season.

Green Bay is giving up 9 points in this game. The Dolphins are currently being given +300 moneyline odds while the Packers are -400. The over/under has been set at 47.5 points, and it appears that there should be multiple good in-game betting scenarios for this matchup.

Miami has allowed opponents to rush for an average of 136 yards and pass for 269 yards per game. Green Bay has allowed 119.6 yards per game on the ground and 254.1 to opponents in the air. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to opponents, as the Dolphins have given up an ANY/A of 6.34 to opposing QBs, while the Packers are allowing an ANY/A of 6.80.

Osweiler is up to 793 pass yards this season. He’s connected on 69-of-104 attempts with six passing touchdowns and two interceptions. Osweiler’s got a 6.82 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number sits at 4.25 over the last two games.

The Dolphins will probably try to control tempo by getting the ball into the hands of their running backs. In addition to wideout DeVante Parker (48 receiving yards), Kenyan Drake (291 rush yards, two rush TDs, 186 receiving yards, one receiving TD) and Frank Gore (385 rush yards, one receiving TD) have delivered in the offense for Miami.

The Dolphins are 5-4 straight up (SU) while the Packers are 3-4-1 SU. The Dolphins are 5-4 against the spread (ATS) and have gained 2.6 units so far. The team has posted an O/U record of 5-4.

The Packers are down 1.3 units this season. The team is 3-5 ATS and five of its games have gone over the total.

The Dolphins just got a 13-6 victory over the Jets last week. Brock Osweiler completed 15 passes for only 139 yards. Frank Gore (53 yards on 20 rush attempts) led the ground attack in the win. Danny Amendola (five receptions, 47 yards) and Kenyan Drake (four catches, 26 yards) handled the receiving duties.

In Week 9, New England knocked off this Green Bay crew by a score of 31-17. The Packers defense let the Patriots pass for 331 yards while rushing for 123 yards and three scores. Josh Gordon had a solid outing in the win for New England, recording 130 yards on five catches. For Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers completed 24-of-43 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns. Aaron Jones (76 rushing yards on 14 attempts) handled the ground game in the defeat as Davante Adams (six receptions, 40 yards, one TD) and Randall Cobb (five catches, 24 yards) led the receiving corps.

Miami has run the ball on 44.3 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Green Bay has a rush percentage of 34.4 percent. The Dolphins have produced 103 rush yards/game and have three scores via handoffs this year. The Packers are totaling 106 rush yards per contest and have four total rushing TDs.

Chargers vs Raiders

Chargers vs Raiders : Coming off an ugly loss to the 49ers in Santa Clara 10 days ago, the Raiders (1-7) host the Chargers (6-2) at the Coliseum on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05pm PT. Despite poor air quality due to smoke from The Camp Fire in Butte County, the game is expected to proceed as planned.

With a devastating fires raging through southern California, the NFL was nearly forced to move one of the more high-profile games on Sunday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the contingency plan for the Raiders and Chargers tilt was to move kickoff from Sunday afternoon in the Bay Area over to Monday night in Dallas. However, the move hasn’t been made with the air quality remaining roughly the same.

The decision comes only days after the Rams canceled a practice due to issues with the fire. Because of a wildfire being in the vicinity, the air quality conditions around the team’s facility are poor, so it would make practicing tough for the Rams. The team usually practices on the campus of Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.

Significant wind changes are expected to sweep through California on Sunday, making the trio of fires even worse. So far, the Camp Fire, the Woolsey Fire, and the Hill Fire have destroyed thousands of homes, killed at least 23 people, and displaced hundreds of thousands of residents. The Camp Fire, which is the main factor in the Chargers and Raiders game, is the largest fire at 105,000 acres and is only 25% contained. The fire has destroyed 6,700 buildings so far, most of which are homes.

It’s been a tough week for the Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles community, as well as California in general. According to the LA Times, the Woolsey Fire in western Ventura County has damaged over a dozen homes and affected over 8,000 acres overnight. About 75,000 homes in Ventura and Los Angeles counties are under mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders, but the situation is apparently rapidly changing, and even more evacuations are to be expected. The Woolsey Fire has spread to 83,275 acres and was 10% contained, up from 5% the night before. The smaller Hill Fire covered 4,531 acres and was 70% contained. Together, they’re responsible for the destruction of 179 structures, but another 57,000 are threatened, according to fire officials and CNN.

Unless the Air Quality Index worsens, the NFL will head into Monday expecting a normal game. The Raiders and the Chargers, on the other hand, will proceed as normal with a 4:05 p.m. EST kickoff. That is unless something changes in the next few hours.

Cowboys vs Eagles

Cowboys vs Eagles: The Philadelphia Eagles host the Dallas Cowboys on “Sunday Night Football” in a crucial NFC East game for both teams.

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The winner will gain a big edge as the second half of the season begins, all in front of a national audience. Philadelphia is a seven-point home favorite in the latest Eagles vs. Cowboys odds, up from an open of -5.5, while the over-under is 43.5. Dallas was humbled at home by the Titans last Monday night, while the Eagles edged the Jaguars and have won two of their last three. These teams are very familiar with each other, so before making any Eagles vs. Cowboys picks, you’ll need to see what the unbiased SportsLine Projection Model says.

The model simulates every game 10,000 times to produce against the spread, over-under, and money line picks. In a straight-up, pick’em format, the proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Office Pool players in 2016 and 2017, performing better than 98 percent of experts tracked by during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on all A-rated picks last season, and $100 bettors who followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.

The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018, entering Week 10 on a strong 8-0 run. For the season, it is now 22-9 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a blistering 70-43. And when it comes to all straight-up picks, the model is 89-43 this season, again ranking in the top 10 on Anybody who has been following it is way, way up.

Now, the model has simulated Cowboys vs. Eagles 10,000 times. We can tell you that the model is leaning toward the Over, but it has also locked in a bold Eagles-Cowboys point-spread pick that hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see that pick at SportsLine.

The model knows the Eagles have not always looked like the defending Super Bowl champions, stumbling to a 4-4 record with a middle-of-the-pack offense and defense. But look at little deeper and you’ll see the Eagles aren’t far off from being near the top of the NFC. In fact, their four losses were by a combined 15 points.

Carson Wentz passed for 286 yards and three touchdowns in Philly’s last game, a 24-18 win over the Jaguars in London. He’ll have a new weapon this week after the team acquired wide receiver Golden Tate from the Lions. Tate, who leads the NFL in receiving yards since 2010 when he entered the league, adds a new weapon to the Eagles’ 11th-ranked passing game.

However, don’t assume that means the Eagles will cover on “Sunday Night Football.”

The Cowboys (3-5) have struggled offensively, held in the teens in three of their last four games, but they still have Ezekiel Elliott, who ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing with 680 yards. And new wide receiver Amari Cooper has had another week to learn Dallas’ offense.

Quarterback Dak Prescott is, of course, a big key to the offensive success. In Dallas’ three wins, he’s thrown for five touchdowns and no interceptions. In the five losses, he has five touchdowns and five interceptions. On Sunday, he faces the Eagles’ porous 26th-ranked pass defense, which has only four INTs all season.

Who wins Cowboys-Eagles? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on Sunday, all from the computer model that has returned nearly $4,000 to $100 bettors over the past two seasons, and find out.

Seahawks vs Rams

Seahawks vs Rams : The Los Angeles Rams will try to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they return to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.

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Seattle (4-4) is coming off a 25-17 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but the Seahawks gave the Rams all they could handle when the teams met on Oct. 7 in Seattle. Seahawks running back Chris Carson rushed for 116 yards and quarterback Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes without an interception that day but it was not enough to prevent the Rams from coming away with a 33-31 victory. However, Carson has been bothered by a hip injury that limited his playing time against the Chargers, and his status for Sunday is uncertain.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw two interceptions in that earlier game but he amassed 321 passing yards and had a touchdown pass.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll hopes his young, developing secondary shows progress.

“We have to work with the under coverage better than we did last (time),” Carroll said. “We gave up some stuff that they dumped off and made a lot of yards after the catch. A couple of those were tackles, but just deployment and stuff.”

Rams wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp had to leave that game with concussions, but they are expected to play Sunday along with Los Angeles’ third talented wideout Robert Woods.

“This group is fantastic — all three guys getting almost 40 catches,” Carroll said. “So, you don’t know where the ball is going. They have great choices and those guys are fantastic in there.”

Along with running back Todd Gurley II, who leads the league in rushing at 96.4 yards per game, the Rams present a problem for any defense. They lead the NFL in total offense and are third in scoring, averaging 33.2 points per game.

However, they are coming off a 45-35 loss to the New Orleans Saints. For the first time this season, they must respond to a little adversity.

“I think the sense that we got from our players (Sunday) and from our coaching staff is that, if anything, it creates an added sense of urgency,” said Rams head coach Sean McVay. “That feeling in your gut when you wake up and you’re kind of just sick because you didn’t get the result that you wanted is something that you can’t create unless you do end up losing. We try to be consistent whether you win or lose, but there is something that is created just based on not getting the result that you wanted.”

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who is second in the league in sacks with 10, expects the team to respond appropriately.

“We are going to watch the film, make the corrections and fix things,” Donald said. “This was just one game, we will fix it. We are disappointed that we lost, but like I said, we are going to fix it. We aren’t panicking, we’re not worried. We will make the corrections to fix it and continue to be better.”

One player who needs to make corrections is cornerback Marcus Peters, who admitted he was not at his best against the Saints.

A majority of the 12 catches and 211 yards Saints wide receiver Mike Thomas racked up against the Rams came against Peters.

“But, the best part about him is the accountability that he took afterwards,” said McVay. “The first thing he’s going to do is look inward and figure out what he can do to be better. We still have a lot of confidence in him.”

In the earlier game against Seattle, Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett burned Peters on a 39-yard touchdown reception.

Lockett is the Seahawks’ leading receiver, but has just 28 receptions and averages 52.0 receiving yards per game. Their biggest receiving threat in recent years has been Doug Baldwin, but he has been limited to six games this season because of injuries and he has yet to have a 100-yard receiving game this season. He suffered a groin injury while collecting four catches for 77 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers and did not practice Wednesday. It is unclear whether he will play against the Rams.

Wilson will try to take advantage of a Rams defense that ranks 25th in the NFL in defensive passer rating.

Wilson had his most efficient game of the season two weeks ago in the road win over the Detroit Lions, when he completed 14 of 17 passes for 248 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He was somewhat less effective in last week’s loss to the Chargers, when he completed 26 of 39 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

The Seahawks have lost their last two meetings with the Rams, and they desperately need to win Sunday to remain a factor in the NFC West. A Rams win would give Los Angeles a 4.5-game lead in the division while a Seahawks victory would reduce the Rams’ advantage to 2.5 games.

“We have an enormous matchup this week with a team that’s been flying the whole first half of this season,” Carroll said. “We’re up against it, we’ve got to play great football and we do that by practicing really well this week and jumping at the challenge, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Redskins vs Buccaneers

Redskins vs Buccaneers: The Washington Redskins entered last weekend riding a three-game winning streak and with a firm grip on first place in the NFC East.

Just a few short days later, the Redskins have a decidedly different viewpoint entering Sunday’s matchup at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Sure, Washington (5-3) still is atop the division but last week’s 38-14 drubbing by the Atlanta Falcons may have altered the course of the team’s season. The Redskins lost three starters to season-ending injuries, including guards Shawn Lauvao (torn ACL) and Brandon Scherff (torn pectoral muscle).

With perennial Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams sidelined after undergoing thumb surgery and right tackle Morgan Moses dealing with a sprained knee, Washington could be without four starters on the offensive line for the next few weeks — reminiscent of the injuries that ravaged the unit a year ago.

“It’s something you don’t want to go through, but it is pro football and you have to go through it,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. “Fortunately we have a very good offensive line coach in coach (Bill) Callahan and we’ll figure it out and make it work. … We have to move some people around that are already here, we can do that. But, we can’t slow down, the train doesn’t stop.”

Such a string of injuries could be devastating to any team, but particularly for an offense like Washington that is reliant on the league’s 10th-ranked ground game (121.9 yards per game) behind a reborn Adrian Peterson.

“You’ve just got to stay positive and keep pressing,” said Peterson, who was limited to 17 yards on nine carries against Atlanta. “It’s not the end of the world, and it’s not the end of the season for us. We all have to perform better. That’s the mindset that I have.”

Washington, which signed three offensive linemen earlier this week to plug the holes, was in a similar spot heading into a road game at the Seattle Seahawks a year ago. Moses was the only starting lineman on the field and yet the Redskins came away with a 17-14 victory.

“You don’t think back at all,” Redskins center Chase Roullier said. “You’re just focused forward on what we can do in the future here, what we’re going to be able to do on the next play.”

Washington still has two games remaining against defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, so it will look to take advantage of a sliding Tampa Bay squad that has dropped five of six and allowed 79 points in back-to-back losses at Cincinnati and Carolina.

The Buccaneers are allowing a league-high 34.4 points and part of the problem is a minus-15 turnover ratio, which also is the worst in the league. Tampa Bay has not created a turnover in five games, putting more pressure on a struggling defense.

“It is what it is, Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter said of his defense. “These guys are fighting and scratching and clawing. We have to do better as a football team.”

Offensively, Koetter has gone back to Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback after Jameis Winston threw 10 interceptions in 3 1/2 games since returning from his three-game suspension to start the season.

Fitzpatrick has lots of outside weapons to throw to and has consistently rallied the team, putting up three games with four touchdown passes, but he put the Buccaneers in a hole last week with a first-quarter interception.

Washington’s defense has been opportunistic this season and Tampa Bay has been brutal holding onto the ball. That will be key to limiting what has the potential to be a big-play offense when the quarterback play is there.

One of the game’s key matchups will feature Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans squaring off against Redskins cornerback Josh Norman. Evans has 47 catches for 786 yards and four touchdowns but was limited to one reception for 10 yards last week and is dealing with a knee injury that forced him to miss practice Wednesday.

Washington quarterback Alex Smith finally eclipsed 300 yards passing last week against Atlanta after three straight games of failing to throw for more than 178 yards, but Washington fell behind 14-0 early and was blown out.

Smith does protect the ball with nine touchdowns versus only three interceptions and will likely continue to play it safe with his offensive line and wide receivers ravaged by injury. Tampa Bay will challenge Smith to beat them over the top since he doesn’t like to force throws down the field.

Cardinals vs Chiefs

Cardinals vs Chiefs: The Kansas City Chiefs feature the NFL’s highest-scoring offense, are tied for the best record in football and sport a perfect record at home.

Up next for quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs is a home date with the struggling Arizona Cardinals, the lowest-scoring team in the NFC whose only two victories have come at the expense of the two-win San Francisco 49ers.

On paper, it shapes up as one of the biggest mismatches in recent years, with oddsmakers in Las Vegas installing Kansas City as a prohibitive favorite as high as 16 points.

Amid such chatter, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is wary of a letdown by his team, which has rebounded from its only loss — a 43-40 setback at New England — by ripping off three straight victories and averaging a robust 37.3 points during that run.

“Guys are going to be asked that question a lot,” Reid told reporters this week. “That’s just part of this game. You always hear that. You can let spreads, you can let all these things, trap game, all these terms that pop up and things that happen come into it.”

The temptation to overlook the punchless Cardinals is one obstacle for Reid and his staff. Just as worrisome is to keep his players from looking ahead to one of the most anticipated games of the season — a prime-time Monday night matchup in Mexico City against the one-loss Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 19.

“If you can honestly focus on the process and discipline yourself enough to do that, that normally takes care of things,” Reid said. “It at least makes it an even game in that area where you’re not going to let distractions get in the way.”

Mahomes leads the league in touchdowns (29) and passing yards (2,901) and will be bidding to tie Drew Brees’ NFL record of nine consecutive 300-yard games. Mahomes also can join Hall of Famer Steve Young as the only players in history with five straight games of at least 300 yards and three scoring passes.

With a bevy of offensive game-breakers that include running back Kareem Hunt, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, even first-year Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks understands there is only so much a defense can do to contain Mahomes and Co.

“I don’t think you can stop those guys completely,” Wilks said. “You’ve just got to hope you can slow them down.”

The Cardinals average a league-worst 233.3 yards and rank 31st in scoring at 13.8 points per game, so attempting to match a Kansas City offense that is churning out an average of 433.4 yards and 36.3 points appears futile. However, Mahomes noted that Arizona is a stingy seventh in pass defense (224.6 yards).

“They have Patrick Peterson at corner,” Mahomes said. “They got dudes everywhere on that defense. For me it’s going to be a great test to get to go up against these guys. We’re going to try to be ourselves and keep what we have going, going.”

The Cardinals’ best chance of hanging with the Chiefs is to play keep-away from Mahomes. Kansas City’s defense certainly is vulnerable, ranking 31st (427.4 yards) overall and 25th against the run (124.8).

“I think their defense is pretty good. I know the numbers don’t show it,” Wilks said. “The great thing about what they have, they have a very explosive offense to be able to compensate and score points. So, we feel like there’s an opportunity in the run game. Hopefully, we can run the football against these guys, and hopefully, there’s going to be an opportunity in the pass game as well.”

Arizona needs to lean on running back David Johnson, who has scored five touchdowns but has rushed for more than 59 yards just once in eight games. Production from the ground game would lessen the burden on rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, who echoed his coach’s sentiment that Kansas City’s inflated defensive stats are misleading.

“I think a lot of those numbers are a little bit deceiving because they’re up by 30 in half their games,” Rosen said. “So, a lot of times they’re just playing back. They let the offense do what they want to do, try to bend not break, hold them to field goals.

“I think they’re like 32nd in pass defense, but I don’t think you should read into that at all. They’re a very good football team with a very good defense. A lot of that is just because their offense is scoring so many points.”