Previewing championship games, plus what Ravens can learn from them
Patriots vs. Chiefs:
The last time the Patriots and Chiefs played, New England hosted a shootout. In a 43-40 win for the Patriots, the two quarterbacks had very similar stat lines. Pat Mahomes went 23-36 for 352 yards, with four touchdowns and two picks. Tom Brady went 24-35 for 340 yards and a touchdown. The big problem for the Patriots in this game is that they are on the road, and road games have been the biggest struggle for them. The Chiefs are unbeaten at home and that’s for a very good reason. Arrowhead is loud and it is very proud. The Patriots are used to teams walking into their historic venue, now the Patriots are entering the Chiefs hallowed stadium.
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This game is a hard one to put a finger on. The Patriots are a team I have kept waiting to fail, but they keep marching on. They had a great season for the standard of most teams, but their 11-5 record, coming out of the easiest division in the league, was much more difficult than usual. On paper this doesn’t seem to be one of the greatest Patriots teams we’ve seen. Yet they dominated the Los Angeles Chargers, an opponent with a top 10 offense and a top 10 defense. Even the people that forecast a Patriots win were surprised how easy it was. The Chiefs haven’t played good defense all season, yet they are coming off a dominating performance against the Colts. Can the Chiefs play defense now, or did Andrew Luck just have an off day?
In the end I have a bad feeling that the Patriots will pull this one out. It’s not like we haven’t seen this movie before. First of all, it’s Andy Reid in a conference championship game, his record isn’t so good in these games. Secondly, Brady and the Patriots (as much as the Ravens Flock doesn’t like it) are a dynasty. They will be tough to bring down. It’s hard to trust the Chiefs defense. Brady will nickel and dime them to death, and the Patriots will also be able to run the football. Sony Michel and James White will be the key players in this game if the Patriots win. Pat Mahomes is special, and he could go off and change the narrative. For now, I’ll stop doubting this Patriots team. Give me the Patriots in a close game where their offense is on the field too long for the Chiefs liking.