John’s Well-Educated Guesses: Patriots vs. Chiefs – AFC Championship Edition

8 straight years in this game.  It blows my mind that there are kids who are approaching 15 years old who know nothing other than the Patriots playing on Championship weekend.  They have known nothing else.

Jets fans are still doing the lambada because they went to back to back AFC Championships in 2009 and 2010.  Just keep that in perspective.

It really seems like a collision course with the Chiefs all year.  The two best teams in the AFC  will face off for a chance to go to the BOWL.  The two teams looked really even when they played earlier this year.  It really kills me that we aren’t hosting this game because of the Miami Miracle.  Sunday will be the true test if that once in a decade flub actually hurts us.

For my money, Arrowhead is a top house of horrors for the Pats.  Not worse than Miami or Denver, but still a really tough place to play.  Now that I think about it, the only real example of that is the blow-out loss in 2014, but it sticks with me how its hard to win there.  A win here will all but exorcise those demons.

As for the Chiefs, they live and die with their offense.  Most explosive attack in the league.  Presumed MVP Patrick Mahomes is a sick-bag throwing 50 TDs this year.  I keep waiting for him to look like a rookie, but he has not dropped off. (Now would be a good time to hit that rookie wall...I know he isnt technically a rookie, but he's a rookie.)  I’m hoping Bill will have some tricks up his sleeve for the young stud.  Otherwise, Tyreek Hill is a freak and Travis Kelce is a soft-ass version of Gronk (Which is still really good.)  At the end of the day we only need to stop the huge broken plays that give up a TD.  (Seeing as we let up another one last week, they will probably get at least one.)

Another key factor is no Kareem Hunt.  I thought losing him would hurt the Chiefs way more down the stretch but they are still obviously the team to beat.  He had hurt us real bad in the past two meetings, so I think they will miss his big play ability this time around.

The Chiefs defense stinks though.  They get back Justin Houston who didn’t play last time, so I expect Brady to get the ball out real quick.  Eric Berry should play too, but who knows how effective he can be, he is a real difference maker when healthy.  Running the ball will also be huge if we can do it.  I’d love another 100 yard half for Michel if possible.  

That being said, I don’t see them as a Super Bowl defense and I think we will be able to move the ball.  Keeping Mahomes on the sideline is the key to this game.  Treat him like Peyton Manning and kill clock.

I’m only gonna do one prediction this week because the cute stuff is over.  Before that, I will share my thoughts recapping the Chiefs game from earlier this year.  I hope this context help you guys sleep tonight:

From Week 6 Recap:  As for the Chiefs moving forward?  I’m not too worried about them.  I respect them and they are good, but I just don’t see them upending the Pats when it matters.  They got two broken plays over 70 yards for tuddies, the most embarrassing Tom Brady fumble that I can remember and a 97 yard kick-off return….and they still lost.  That defense is swiss cheese and not built for the playoffs. 

Prediction: Pats win 43-40.  I can’t pick against Tom Brady even on the road.  Same score as last time because why not?  We just need to stop the broken plays and slow them down.  I think our offense if finally looking good.  Let’s cook.