We have reached the second round of the NFL playoffs, and the Kansas City Chiefs are alive and well. While it remains unclear just how healthy the team will be going into Saturday afternoon’s game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, the Chiefs are a group to be reckoned with.
Last week, all we heard was how J.J. Watt was going to win the game by himself. Then we heard that the Houston Texans were a totally different team than the Week 1 version. Well, Watt ended up with one combined tackle and Kansas City beat up on Houston, 30-0.
So who advances to the AFC Championship game? Let’s get to the NFL picks…
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-5)
Going into the Divisional round, most folks seem to be split on who wins. The Patriots are 12-4 and playing at home, but have lost four of their last six games. Meanwhile, they are getting healthier with the expected returns of Julian Edelman and Sebastian Vollmer among others.
However, Kansas City is absolutely rolling. The Chiefs have won 11 straight games and crushed Houston in a statement game for their first playoff win in 22 years.
In the NFL, it is all about matchups. Kansas City’s defensive front is going to cause problems for New England, who is hoping that Marcus Cannon, a natural guard, can handle right tackle against Justin Houston. The interior of the Patriots line will also have to deal with the likes of Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard, who feasted against Houston.
Ultimately, this game comes down to Kansas City being able to pressure Tom Brady. If the Chiefs can hit Brady and force him to make some mistakes, New England is in major trouble. Offensively, Kansas City must run the ball and et up the play-action pass. Expect it to happen.
Pick: Kansas City 23, New England 20
Next: Green Bay at Arizona