John’s Well-Educated Guesses: Week 1

It’s always been my dream to start a blog series that would go until the end of the season.  This will be the initial blog to predict what happens in the game, and I will answer for my predictions next week.  

Disclaimer: My takes are almost always correct.  So buckle up- buckaroo

It goes without saying that the expectations are the highest in 10 years. That’s initially what gets me most nervous about this game. The Patriots have to be perfect and Chiefs just have to stay in the game.

That being said, the Chiefs are consistently a playoff team. That alone gets my attention. If they were a wild-card team once in a while (See Dolphins, Miami), I would dismiss them more…But this is a BIG BOY team. They deserve respect.

I particularly remember the 2016 Playoff win against Kansas City to launch us into the AFC Championship game. People forget that it was a one score game late, and that it was only one turnover that decided the game. Also fresh in my mind is the blowout in 2014 which supposedly ended the Patriots run of success. The North Remembers. I’d really like to return the favor.

At first glance, this game is strength vs. strength. Kansas City wants to be known for their strong defense, while the Patriots boast the most potent attack in the league. That matchup will be fun to watch, and will probably decide the game. Something has got to give. I think the Chiefs will try to press their coverage and beat up the receivers at the line. Look for Brady to take his shots down the field. I’m particularly hoping to see one launched to Brandin Cooks. Otherwise, Gronk is a big factor….and:

Prediction: Chris Hogan will play in the slot: The worst part about losing Julian Edelman is that Brady lost his safety valve. When you HAVE to make a play, there are only a few guys you can go to. Gronk is on that list, Edelman was on that list….I think Hogan is on that list. He just hits you as a guy that ‘gets it’. It’s almost like he has a PhD in the offense. He knows where to turn a route, he knows when to break it off and streak downfield. That’s exactly what is required from the slot receiver, and it’s too important of a job in this offense just to let it go. Hogan will play the slot and he will be the target when the Pats really need a first down.

On the other side of the ball, I just don’t think the Chiefs are explosive enough. Isn’t that their problem every year? I always was in fear of Jamaal Charles, and he is gone now. Alex Smith is still Alex Smith (no offense), and Tyreek Hill is a playmaker, but he does not scare me yet. That is why:

Prediction: Belichick will take Travis Kelce out of the game: If anyone understands the power of the TE position its Big Billy B. I expect Kelce to be bracketed, and to have a nothing stat line (sorry fantasy owners). I think the emphasis will be on making it hard for KC to operate their offense, and he is too big a cog to let run wild.

I don’t have much more to say about this because I am ready for the season to start.

Prediction: 38-13 Pats