AFC Championship Preview: Patriots v.s. Chiefs

Well the Pats are here. It’s their birth right of the Brady/Belichick era, going to the AFC Championship.

There are so many factors that play into the outcome of this game, and yet who knows what might happen. These teams played each other so close in the regular season, and the Pats ended up pulling it out in the end. That was in Gillette, this is in Arrowhead. This is do or die, and it’s a whole different ballgame.

Tom Brady came to life last week. The offense finally fired on all cylinders and looked like a classic Patriots playoff game. The running game looked great, and if Sony Michel can get going the way he did last week that will end up being a huge key to the game.

The biggest part of all the success last game was the offensive lines performance. They opened huge holes for Michel and Burkhead.

They also gave Brady the time he needed and did not give Bosa and Ingram the time of day. That will be huge going into this game because Justin Houston and Dee Ford have been beasts this year. Not to mention Chris Jones on the interior line who has dominated, and might be the best defensive tackle next to Aaron Donald.

Interior pressure is something that Tom Brady has struggled with in the past. This should be another big game for both Julian Edelman and James White. Getting the ball out quick like last game will be huge, and picking on the Chiefs weak secondary is a weakness that can be exploited.

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There probably isn’t really anything that can stop the Chiefs offense at this point. If Mahomes is pressured, he just becomes more dangerous.

Once he starts moving out of the pocket he extends plays and makes big things happen. The receivers are all way too fast to cover man to man all game. Hill and Kelce are just going to make plays, and if they’re doubled then Chris Conley and Sammy Watkins can make things happen.

The Patriots need to do what they did in the regular season matchup on defense. They were all bend but don’t break, and only allowed field goals in the first half. If you can stop this high powered offense in the red zone from getting in the end zone, then that is mission accomplished.

The guy that could be a real pain in the Patriots side is Damien Williams. It seems like any running back the Chiefs plug in is effective, and Williams has looked good running and receiving. There are just too many weapons on this team to pay attention to certain ones, so they’re going to need to hold them to field goals and score a lot of points.

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The weather should not be too much of a factor for either team. They both practice in the same conditions, and neither is from a warm weather area or a dome. This is going to be an absolute slugfest and I can’t wait for it. I’ve picked them every game so far, so even in a skeptical situation why change it? Pats 38-34.

-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)

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