3 Reasons Why the Kansas City Chiefs Will Beat the Patriots
Death, taxes, and the New England Patriots playing in the AFC Championship…. Those might as well be the three certainties of life. Heck, even the New England Patriots playing in the Super Bowl has almost been a guarantee in recent times. Well, not so fast this time around. The Pats are accustomed to hosting the AFC festivities in Foxboro, but it is Kansas City that owns home-field advantage now. That is one of the reasons why the Chiefs the Kansas City Chiefs Will Beat the Patriots. Let’s dive into more reasons why this home win will happen.
The formalities have not yet taken place, but K.C. quarterback Patrick Mahomes is going to be named NFL MVP. In his first season as a starter, the 23-year-old completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 50 touchdowns to go along with 272 rushing yards and two additional scores (he also rushed for a touchdown in last weekend’s 31-13 divisional-round beatdown of Indianapolis). Perhaps most importantly, Mahomes has been picked off only twice in the last six outings. He is still making the dramatic, hard-to-believe plays while limiting his mistakes at the same time. He also averaged 3.3 touchdown passes per game over the last 11 weeks of the regular season.
“He’s an outstanding player in every facet of the game,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick praised. “He’s got a strong arm. He can throw the ball the length of the field. He’s got a great touch. He’s got the ability to read coverages and extend plays, make good decisions, and make explosive plays without taking too much of a risk and putting his team in jeopardy. He does all of those things well and that’s a credit to him…. We don’t want that situation (of Mahomes scrambling) to come up, but I’m sure at some point it will–probably more than once. We’ll have to deal with it then. It’s very challenging. He can do a lot.”
The Patriots have lost five times during this 2018 campaign. Unsurprisingly, all five losses have come on the road. It should also be noted that—much more surprisingly—all five losses have come against teams that did not make the playoffs. Well, now New England has to go back on the road and face a team that certainly made the playoffs. Kansas City, of course, qualified with room to spare; it won the high-powered AFC West and earned the conference’s No. 1 seed at 13-3, thus forcing the 11-5 Patriots to go on the road for this one.
And that, as already mentioned, is bad news for the Brady and Belichick crew. They fell during the regular season at Jacksonville, Detroit, Tennessee, Miami, and Pittsburgh. The latter setback is at least forgivable and the Pats should have defeated the Dolphins. At the same time, though, giving up that “Miami Miracle” is something this franchise would have never, ever done in past seasons. Setbacks at Jacksonville and Detroit are simply indefensible. It’s true that New England is playing better football now; it’s also true that Kansas City is a million light years ahead of JAX, DET, TEN, MIA, and PIT as an opponent.
Chiefs back on track
The Chiefs endured a minor November-December swoon in which they lost three times in the span of five games on the heels of a 9-1 start. They fell to the Rams in what remains a potential Super Bowl preview before also succumbing to eventual playoff participants in the Chargers and Seahawks. Those back-to-back setbacks in Week 15 and 16, however, only seem to have lit a fire under Kansas City. In two outings since, it has bested opponents by a combined 66-16 margin. Sure, one of those foes was lowly Oakland; but the other was a flaming-hot Indianapolis squad that had won 10 of its last 11 contests heading into divisional-round action. The Chiefs have improved dramatically in the past couple of months and they have most definitely picked up the pace since last year’s roller-coaster campaign.
“We’re such a different team,” said Mahomes, presumably comparing this one to the 2017 squad that lost its postseason opener at home to Tennessee. “We have such young players. We have such confidence we’re going to win every single game.”