I did it. I’m not sure how, but I survived that Texans-Chiefs game. That may have been the worst playoff game I’ve ever had the privilege of watching; with the Broncos-Seahawks Super Bowl coming in at a close second. It’s clear that the Browns completely wiped Hoyer’s memory of everything he learned in New England behind Tom Brady.
So, the final four in the AFC is set, and even though not all my pics were correct, I can’t say that I’m surprised with the results. With the Steelers defeating the Bengals, the Chiefs will make the trip up to New England, while the Steelers head west to take on the Broncos in Denver.
So, what do we need to know about the Chiefs? Unfortunately, for the Chiefs, they lost wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, at least for now, to a knee injury. Maclin had torn the same ACL twice before tonight’s game, and gave Chiefs fans a scare when he was seen in tears on the sideline after the play. Many would assume the tears mean another ACL tear, but others speculate its not a torn ACL, indicating a possible return for him.
So, if Maclin is out, who does Alex Smith throw to?
Travis Kelce has made a name for himself over the last two years as one of the better tight ends in the league. We all remember the insane stat last year where the Chiefs went 21 straight games without a wide receiver touchdown. Well, essentially, that stretch of games is where Kelce earned his money. The Patriots haven’t been the greatest team for covering opposing tight ends, but if Maclin is out, I see no problem in putting their focus on Kelce.
A lot of people ruled the Chiefs out of any post season berth when Jamaal Charles was lost for the season with an ACL tear against the Bears in Week 5. However, the Chiefs have used several different running backs in Charles’ place, and surprisingly had more success. Charcandrick West is another surprise star for Kansas City, amassing over 630 yards on 160 carries. He’s a versatile back that has the capability of turning the corner and getting up field.
Watching the matchup between Houston and Kansas City, I can’t help but feel that the Patriots should roll over this team. Throughout the first half, the Texans gave up 4 turnovers and Kansas City was only able to turn that into 6 points, the other 7 coming off an opening kick return for 106 yards. Not to mention all 4 turnovers came from the hand of Bryan Hoyer, you have to think Brady will take better care of the football.
Although the Texans defense has been playing very well of late, I think Brady and the Patriots will be able to get ahead early, and stay ahead. The Kansas City offense just won’t be able to keep up. On the defensive side, Butler and Ryan should have no problem handling whoever they’re assigned to, and the Kansas City defense will struggle to get going.
Even with the strong Chief’s defense, this is a perfect game for the Patriots to try and get their offense back in gear. If Kansas City’s offense struggles like I think they will, there will be no pressure on Brady to force the ball downfield, and he can ease Edelman back into this offense. With all this being said, the Patriots should be returning to yet another AFC Championship game after they beat this Chiefs team to the tune of 28-10.
By Matt Watts