5 Reasons Why the Chiefs Can Beat the Patriots
By Steven St. John
· The Chiefs defense will present a nightmare match-up for the Patriots offense. Kansas City’s ability to generate a consistent pass rush from their defense line without blitzing will be a huge key. Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard were beasts against the Texans and they will be more than a handful for New England’s porous offensive line. If the d-line can move Brady off his spot and hit him even when they don’t sack him, the rest of the defense will benefit. Also, Bob Sutton will then be free to bring extra pressure with some well-designed and disguised blitz packages at his discretion instead of being forced to generate a pass rush through exotic blitzes.
· Ron Gronkowski will not be 100%. The Pats are getting Julian Edelman back from injury, Edelman will also be less than full strength, but he will still be a problem for KC. However, if Gronk is hobbled, the physical and versatile Chiefs secondary will have an easier time imposing their will on the Patriots smallish receivers. KC’s secondary is deep and talented. Even if Gronk makes a miraculous recovery, this should be an excellent match-up.
· Eric Berry. This team feeds off the energy and determination of their leader, Eric Berry. We all know what he’s been through and we’ve marveled at his return to elite level play. He does plenty to physically help this team, but what we don’t quite understand is how much he means to his teammates emotionally. Berry inspires everyone in a Chiefs uniform. The team has taken on his attitude. They have faced adversity and persevered. This is Eric Berry’s team and they will follow him through anything and everything. These intangibles cannot be ignored.
· Alex Smith won’t make the big mistake. Smith may still be too conservative at times, but he has clearly taken his play to a higher level. He has been terrific running the football and he’s developed a good chemistry with Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce. Even if Maclin doesn’t play, it appears that rookie Chris Conley is ready to make a bigger impact now that he is comfortable in the offense. Smith has found his groove of making plays while not jeopardizing the team with crucial mistakes.
· Special teams. Dave Toub is the best Special Teams Coordinator in the NFL. In Kansas City, his teams have delivered multiple returns for TD’s while his coverage units have given up ZERO TD returns since he’s been in KC. Cairo Santos has developed into a dependable kicker with a booming leg on kickoffs and Dustin Colquitt continues to be one of the best punters in the NFL. If this game comes down to special teams, advantage Kansas City.
Chiefs 24 Patriots 20
Return to: Steven St. John Blog