Here at ALL32, the most important opinion in our view, is that of the fans, so I reached out this week to a fan of each of the remaining 4 teams to get the top 3 reasons for what they will win this week!
Patrick Mahomes thrives on improvisation. We’ve seen it all season, if teams successfully flush him from the pocket, every Chiefs fan knows something special is about to occur. Mahomes’ ability, and more importantly, willingness to throw through tight windows has been the perfect tonic for a fanbase that has been so use to vanilla football over the years. When Mahomes does his thing, the fans and teammates receive a sudden adrenaline rush of excitement and that excitement turns to belief, it’s that belief that has changed this once vanilla team into a true contender.
Refer to point 1 to understand the importance of the Arrowhead crowd in this matchup. Sports analyst Colin Cowherd said recently that due to the the temperature being -15 on Sunday the Arrowhead crowd will be quiet as they try to keep warm. This sort of take is laughable to Chiefs fans everywhere because when you put an AFC Championship game against the hated New England Patriots on the table, it doesn’t matter what the temperature is, the Chiefs faithful will always bring the heat.
The Chiefs defense plays far better at home than on the road because they feed off the fans excitement and noise. You’re probably sitting there thinking “well you could say that about any teams stadium and fanbase” except this isn’t just any normal stadium or fanbase, Arrowhead stadium is officially the LOUDEST outdoor stadium in the world, just ask the Guinness Book of Records. The crowd noise level of 142.2db was recorded back in 2014 when the Chiefs hosted … you’ve guessed it … The New England Patriots. If a regular season game can create that much noise you’d be a fool to think the Chiefs fans are going to be quiet during at AFC Championship game!
3. Lamar Hunt Trophy
For those of you that know your NFL history you will know there was a man who created the AFC league that would go up against the mighty NFL before they eventually merged to form the NFL as it is today. That man was called Lamar Hunt, the founder of the Kansas City Chiefs and the father of the Super Bowl having named the competition himself.
Lamar Hunt is loved by Chiefs fans everywhere and the Hunt family still own the franchise which is now being led by his son, Clark Hunt. “What is the relevance of all of this” I hear you cry? … well it’s relevant because the AFC Championship trophy is named after the great Lamar Hunt. What bigger incentive is there for the Chiefs Kingdom to bring Lamar Hunt home again. To do it at Arrowhead stadium against the Patriots, there’s no better way to welcome Lamar back home again.
Views kindly provided by https://twitter.com/BritChiefUK follow on Twitter for all things Chiefs.
1.Dominate the Line of Scrimmage
The Patriots O-Line is one of the best in the league and it will need to be at its best against a Chiefs D that possess a strong pass rush; both on the exterior in Dee Ford and Justin Houston but also up the middle in Chris Jones. Belichick in their meeting in week 6 targeted Chris Jones as a potential weakness in the run game and it allowed Sony Michel to introduce himself to the Patriots faithful with 106 yards and 2 TD’s.
A similar game plan will be required to keep Jones sitting back and to allow Brady more time to find his passing options. Not only will this help the Patriots move the ball down the field but it will help control the clock and keep the ball out of the hands of the Chiefs remarkable quarterback.
2.Contain Patrick Mahomes
Mahomes has been brilliant this year, but where he has been at his mostly deadly is after plays have broken down and he has rolled out of the pocket. The Patriots have to stop that happening. Trey Flowers was a wrecking ball last week against the Chargers but I expect him to be used more in his edge setting duty this week to help contain Mahomes.
Deatrich Wise as well was missing last week but he’s back in practice and again he will help with the ability to set the edge. The only other way you’re going to contain Mahomes is to confuse him with defensive looks. Going Man or Zone alone isn’t going to cut it and the Patriots are going to have to hide their schemes and if im them im looking to mix both Zone and Man on different sides of the field depending where the various Chiefs playmakers are lined up.
3,Make more big plays than the Chiefs by stopping theirs.
The Patriots have always been good at taking away an opponent’s best weapon but when the opposition have multiple weapons like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and of course Mahomes it’s a real nightmare. Ive discussed Mahomes above but if im the Patriots im looking to take Hill and Kelce out the game and ask the Chiefs to let Watkins to beat you.
Putting an extra man on Kelce seems sensible and I’d expect Pat Chung to take that role. Hill on the other hand has torched press coverage this year and although the Patriots prefer to use a heavy press id expect them to take a softer coverage on Hill and try have a combination of JC Jackson and Stephen Gilmore take turns on Hill and to have Devin McCourty as a speedy deep option to assist.
The Patriots themselves need to have big games form their remaining playmakers. If you can get after the Chiefs it’s at the line-backer position and as such I expect to see a continuation of the James White experience. Now for my hot take…..Gronk out performs Kelce. Gronk hasn’t been Gronk this year it’s fair to say. That being said he made one excellent catch last week and he had another important play break down on a PI call. I almost think Brady and McDaniel’s have been trying to protect him and where better to unleash Gronk than on Reggie Ragland and Anthony Hitchens.
The Chiefs are a formidable opponent but they are not unbeatable. Arrowhead is a tough place to go and no team has been to the Superbowl winning an away game since 2012. That being said I’m going with Belichick and McDaniel’s coming up with the correct game plan to defeat the Chiefs. Patriots 24 – 21 Chiefs.
Views kindly provided by https://twitter.com/StevieTRay, follow on Twitter for all things Patriots.
1. The crowd
I can’t emphasise how much the Saints fans can impact this week’s game and how the Rams run their offence – it’s vital they stay loud for the entire 60 minute
2. Limit Aaron Donald
He is a one man wrecking machine and the Saints o-line will have to be on top form to stop him destroying the game plan.
3. Brees and Payton
They are 6-0 in home playoff games, that’s not a fluke. Payton has to come up with a great gameplan and Brees has to execute it.
Views kindly provided by https://twitter.com/saintsukhub on Twitter for all things Saints.
1. Rams duo at running back will be more effective than saints RB duo
2. Talib is playing compared to week 9 matchup. Rams secondary are statistically very different with him than without.
3. Our on form Defensive Line will dominate a banged up OL for saints
Views kindly provided by https://twitter.com/LARams_UK follow on Twitter for all things Rams.
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