I know I run the risk of coming off sounding like a complete and utter homer here, but I feel that any of you that have read my stuff knows I am nothing but realistic. Passionate, avid and devoted, but not a homer. Having typed that, I believe the Chiefs can and will upset the New England Patriots in Foxboro come Sunday.
Tom Brady hasn’t played during the preseason. He has by all accounts practiced, but practicing and real time speed of a game, even preseason is totally different. There is no way, even for Tom Brady, to be on the same page with his receivers this first game of the year. I will give Tom his due, he is the best quarterback in the league, he and Peyton Manning in my opinion and many others. But even he can’t step into the first week of the NFL season and be the Tom Brady people have come to expect. Can he? I don’t think he can. He will struggle to find his rhythm and might not find it at all during the course of the game. As the 0-4 record indicates, the Patriots are pretty much average, or below, without Tom Brady leading the team.
The offensive line is not in good order. The Giants took advantage of the Patriots biggest hole last year and unfortunately for the Patriots sake, they haven’t been able to fix the problem, if anything it has gotten worse due to injuries. I mean the most telling statement to me is the Patriots actually signed an offensive lineman that was released by the Chiefs who arguably had the worst offensive line in the league last year-John Wellbourn. I imagine Gunther Cunningham has watched the last Super Bowl a time or two and is chomping at the bit to unleash the dogs and really get after Brady.
Do any of you remember when Gunther was head coach of the Chiefs and “The Greatest Show on Turf” came to town? Gunther blitzed Kurt Warner all day long and blew up the timing between the QB and WR’s from the first quarter on. At the end of the game, Gun had one of the better quotes of his tenure, when asked about blitzing the Rams he said; “…they said you couldn’t blitz those guys, we said the hell with those guys…” . With Brady not being himself and the O-line still a concern, I look for the Chiefs to blitz and blitz often to keep the Pat’s from throwing it to Moss and Welker.
Being able to keep the Patriots offense off the field and being able to score any points will be a huge key for a Chiefs victory. If the Chiefs can be up by 3 points in the third quarter and find it in their hearts to open holes for LJ, then the Chiefs will come out of week one 1-0. Bottom line is the Chiefs have nothing to lose and the Patriots have everything to lose. The Chiefs are expected to finish the season with the number 1 pick in hand for next year’s NFL draft. They need to pull out all stops when battling the Pats this weekend and walk away with a hard fought victory.
The Chiefs Will Lose The Game If…
The Chiefs are going to get their butts handed to them on a silver platter if they can’t mount some sort of a consistent pass rush against Brady. There is no way they can allow him to get comfortable in the pocket, whether he is the Brady of old or not won’t matter, he could be Babe Laufenburg (Cowboys great) back in the pocket and he would be able to pick the secondary apart. The middle pass rush from Dorsey and Tyler will be critical for the Chiefs, if they can’t create pressure up the middle forcing Tom to move, then it will be over before it ever begins.
The offensive line has to be able to block. The preseason is over, it is time to step up and be a man. The Chiefs have to, HAVE TO, open holes for Larry and the other running backs. The Chiefs must be able to put together long, time eating drives in order to put a 1 in the victory column. Three and outs are out of the question, the Chiefs must convert third downs, the more times the Patriots’ O is on the field, the more chances they get to drive the Chiefs into the ground.
Am I just being a homer? Do the Chiefs stand a legitimate chance of beating the indestructible Patriots on their home field? You tell me. I for one believe this is why they play the games, all teams are 0-0. Yes I predicted the Chiefs to finish 6-10 this season, that doesn’t mean I don’t hope they go 16-0 and won’t root accordingly.