We are a little over 24 hours away from the Chiefs and the Patriots in a big time showdown for the right to move on to the AFC Title Game.
The odds are against the Patriots, they are hurting and no one knows how healthy they are, and now Gronk has a back and knee injury and the OL haven’t put confidence into anyone and now they play a great defensive front. The NFL doesn’t want them to win the Super Bowl, so the road to Super Bowl 50 is a very long one.
I’m not saying they can’t, I’m saying it will be hard, but before I look ahead, let me break down the keys to the Patriots beating the Chiefs.
1. Protecting QB Tom Brady:
Protecting Tom Brady is the most important key tomorrow if the Patriots want to win the football game. The line has been really bad, but they will get Vollmer back, so maybe he will stabilize the bleeding line. The Chiefs front and linebackers make a living pressuring the QB and tomorrow will be no different. They will blitz and sometimes rush with four every single down to keep Brady off point. It doesn’t matter whose catching passes from Brady or how healthy they are if Brady doesn’t have time. If he has time, the offense will run smoothly.
2. Stop The Run:
The Patriots defense has to stop the run and stop Alex Smith’s running ability. If they want to beat the Chiefs they have to force them to pass the entire game in order to win. They have limited weapons against the Pats secondary, so forcing them to throw will be in the best interest of the Patriots. West and maybe Ware are very good at running the football. West is quick, and can be a threat in the passing game. The Patriots have to plug the hole and never let him get to the second level. They can’t overrun Alex Smith and get behind him, allowing him to have lanes to pick up big yards. They need to keep Alex Smith in front of them and not miss sacks. Also, they really need to limit miss tackles against this team.
3. Stop The Tight End:
If and When the Patriots force the Chiefs to the air it’ll be a good thing, but only if they can contain Travis Kelce who torched them last year. He’s their number one weapon regardless if Maclin plays or not, so my guess is they have a plan to take him away this time. Chung will be crucial in this game and hopefully he can do his thing because he will be the guy to take on Kelce for most of the game. I know the Pats will probably jam Kelce at the line a lot along with the coverage. If they take away Kelce then the Patriots will have no trouble with the Chiefs offense.